Some decks associate the suit of swords with the element of fire, while others associate the suit with the element of air. Personally it represents wind to me, but mostly because the suite of wands represents fire. Your interpretation might be totally different and that’s how the element works for you. The suite focuses on actions and change, and is often the harshest suite in the deck.
Ace of Swords
Upright: The suit of swords is as double-edged as the weapon’s blade and the Ace is the introduction to that. Representing power, it’s a sign of the energy needed to achieve your goals. Yet be careful how much you use this power, not much can stand in the way of it and you don’t want to destroy something or someone you love.
Reversed: When this card is reversed, it shows a lack of clarity and insight. You’re unsure of an idea or plan and therefore you’re sitting on your heels trying to figure out what to do. With clouded judgement and a lack of clarity, it might be time to take a step back and reexamine things.
Two of Swords
Upright: When this card shows up, it’s a sign of indecisiveness, that you’re stuck between two choices. Blocked emotions may be causing you to have fallen into a stalemate where you’re stuck between choices.
Reversed: Similar to the upright position, this card is a sign of indecision and confusion. You might be overloaded with information that’s making it almost impossible to decide. When this card comes up, take a moment to look at the rest of your spread for suggestions of what to do.
Three of Swords
Upright: The traditional art of this card is a heart stabbed with three swords, which is the perfect symbol for what this card means. Heartbreak, painful separation, and grief are the lot of the card, definitely not a card you want in a relationship spread.
Reversed: Unlike the majority the deck, this card showing up reversed is a good sign. A card symbolizing optimism and a release from pain, it can also mean forgiveness. This could mean that you are being forgiven, or calling upon you to be forgiving to someone in your life.
Four of Swords
Upright: After the harshness of the first three cards, the Four of Swords is a welcome relief. It represents recovery, rest, and recuperation, probably much needed relief. Take the time this moment gives you to gather energy so you can keep going.
Reversed: Restlessness abounds in the reversed Four of Swords. Your lack of progress has you burnt out and it’s causing issues in your life. This is a sign that you need to take a break from whatever you’re working on. Refuel and rest up before getting back to work.
Five of Swords
Upright: This is a card of conflict, but not a fair and honorable one. This is a conflict of deceit and trickery, usually from you. Whatever you’re fighting over, you’re willing to use whatever is at hand in order to win. While you’re trying to pick up the pieces, the damage is done and your life is different for it.
Reversed: When reversed this card is still about fighting and conflict, but rather than wanting to win, you just want it to be over. You’re open to change and want to refresh your relationships. Look for a way to negotiate and end the conflict so you can work on restoring your relationships.
Six of Swords
Upright: The Six of Swords represents a transition, not always a wanted change, but one that’s much needed. In order to move forward, you need to leave something behind, and you might not be too willing to do that. But now is not the time to hold onto the past. You won’t make any progress looking behind you.
Reversed: Speaking of holding onto the past, if this card shows up in a reading, it’s a sign you’re having trouble letting go. For some reason you can’t move on from your current situation; some baggage is holding you back.
Seven of Swords
Upright: Like the Five of Swords, this card is a card of betrayal and deceit, but there’s no open conflict going on. Rather, you’re trying to sneak around other people in order to get what you want, willing to resort to low blows and trickery. It might also be a sign that you’re trying to escape a situation rather than face it head on.
Reversed: When reversed, the Seven of Swords shows that you are having a hard time taking a step in a new direction. You can’t seem to break free of old habits and they keep pulling you back into the same routine over and over again. This card is a warning not to become trapped in the same cycle of thinking over and over again.
Eight of Swords
Upright: Drawing the Eight Swords is a sign that you’re feeling trapped, but by your own feelings and thoughts rather than an outside source. It’s a suggestion that you need to take things in a new perspective in order to keep moving forward. You’re holding yourself back, and it’s okay to let go.
Reversed: This card reversed is a sign that you’ve come through a hard time and are ready for the change ahead. By reflecting on what happened, you’ve been able to change your perspective and how you approach life. You’re refusing to play the victim and now taking charge in your life.
Nine of Swords
Upright: This is not a happy card to draw. A card of nightmares and fear, it’s a sign that you’re being trapped by fear of the future. All the mistakes you’ve made are floating around in your head, causing you to be stuck in the moment. You need to break the cycle in order to move on.
Reversed: Even reversed, this is not a good card to draw. It’s a sign that you’re stressing yourself out over the small stuff, making it harder on yourself. If this card shows up, it’s a sign that you need to move past take the time to get perspective on things before moving on.
Ten of Swords
Upright: The traditional image for the Ten of Swords is a man stabbed in the back with ten blades, not a very pleasant image. This card represents betrayal, backstabbing, and endings, a bad draw all around. Something horrible has happened and you’re left to pick up the pieces and having to reevaluate life.
Reversed: On contrary, the reversed Ten of Swords is a good sign. Quite literally the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s a sign of new beginnings. If you’ve recently been in a lot of pain, whether mental, emotional, or physical, then this is a sign that you’ll soon be free. Take hope, you’re almost there.
Page of Swords
Upright: The Page of Swords represents someone who is energetic, talkative, curious, and mentally restless. When this card shows up, it’s a symbol that you’re starting a lot of projects and ideas, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just make sure you have the energy to keep up with them.
Reversed: On the contrary, when the Page of Swords shows up reversed, it’s a sign that you’ve acted hastily. All talk and no action plagues your life, ether by talking too big or making promises that you can’t keep.
Knight of Swords
Upright: The Knight of Swords represents someone who has their mind set on something and there’s no stopping them. Usually representing a time where you’ve just started a new project, you’re surging ahead with energy. The Knight sees the world through an intellectual view, one that you enjoy sharing with like minded people.
Reversed: The same energy that the upright Knight offers is also in the reversed card, but now it’s working against you. This energy is impatient and impulsive, scattered thoughts threatening to pull others down with them. Careful when around people like this, the last thing you want to do is get swept off your feet.
Queen of Swords
Upright: The Queen of Swords represents cold logic in a situation. No emotion clouds this card’s judgement, she’s stern and set towards her goals. This card is a sign that you need to be independent in your judgments and thoughts, now is not the time to be a follower. This card is a sign that you need to cut through the smoke and tell it like it is.
Reversed: When reversed, this card is a sign that your heart is controlling your life more than your head. Your emotions are driving you and it’s time to stop listening to them and come at it from a logical standpoint. If you’re in a relationship, this is a sign that those feelings are clouding your clear thinking.
King of Swords
Upright: This is a card of clear thinking and logic. You’re able to see through the situation and figure out what the truth is. When this card shows up, it’s a sign that you need to take on a gentle, stern role in life and use that intelligence to find the solutions to the situations.
Reversed: If this card shows up reversed, it’s a sign of a tyrant, someone misusing their power. Prone to aggression, this is not a good person to be around. They might be charming and intelligent, but they are not good in your life. If this card is talking about you, then it’s a wake up call, telling you to stop and reconsider your actions.