Swords is the suit representing elemental Air. These 14 cards symbolize an aspect of elemental Air within us or present in our lives. Within the playing card deck, Swords correlates to the suit of Spades. Like a spade, a sword is a sharp and potent tool. You may notice that the suit of Swords has more negative-looking cards than the other suits. Accordingly, Air corresponds to a person’s most powerful tool AND weapon: their minds.

We could reflect on the nature of air to gain a better appreciation of this suit. Air is intrinsically ethereal: in its natural state it lacks boundaries, is weightless, and all around us. We cannot see air unless it appears in the form of clouds or smoke. Even then, it cannot be grasped, and dissipates on its own. Our brain needs air (oxygen) to function, but this element can also become a destructive force in the form of storms.

Air within the psyche is the mental realm; it relates to thoughts, ideas, and communication. Like the ethereal nature of physical air, thoughts and ideas come in and out of our brains like clouds passing overhead. Many of those thoughts are hard to grasp onto, appearing subtly in our subconscious. A strong Airy personality is likely someone who thinks clearly and communicates persuasively. They’re likely intelligent, rational, and well-spoken.

  • Elemental Air could be understood as the gaseous state of matter.
  • The suit of Swords can be summarized as “I Think”.
  • The Air Zodiac signs are Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini.

(Note: All images Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, available in many versions from US Games)

Ace of Swords

This card symbolizes a fresh new idea or the immense power of your mind. Like the sword, it cuts through illusions and sees with clarity. Be sharp. Use your powers of logic and reasoning. It’s a time for honesty and tapping into the brilliance you have within you. Focus your mind and see the greater truth.

  • A fresh new idea
  • Seeing the light of truth
  • The powers of the intellect
  • Using logic and reasoning to solve a problem
  • Being objective and honest

Keywords:  Clarity, Truth, Idea, Intellect, Focus

Astrological Correspondence: Root Powers of Air

2 of Swords

The contrast or balance between two perspectives or ideas. This card may appear when you’re faced with a choice between two ideas seemingly at odds. Take a moment to relax, use mindful awareness of the situation, and look again. Join intuition and logic, head and heart. Gain peace of mind.

  • Weighing two options
  • Integration of two ideas or perspectives
  • Balance between logic and intuition
  • Mindful awareness of thoughts
  • Peace of mind through deeper understanding

Keywords:  Choice, Mindfulness, Intuition, Perspective, Integration

Astrological Correspondence: Moon in Libra

3 of Swords

This card generally symbolizes the place where thoughts and emotions meet. Be careful with your thoughts because they have the power to hurt. Ultimately, our emotions stem from our thinking, so to change how we’re feeling we might change our mindset. How can you focus your mind in a healthy new way? It may be time for an insight or new perspective.

  • Sorrow or regret of the past
  • Misplaced mental focus
  • Pain leading to breakthrough
  • Negative self-talk
  • A change of perspective

Keywords:  Sorrow, Grief, Bitterness, Insight, New Understanding

Astrological Correspondence: Saturn in Libra

4 of Swords

This card indicates a peaceful mental state where it feels like something is where it’s supposed to be. Maybe you’ve made solid plans for what’s coming or accept a current situation exactly as it is. This card may also symbolize stepping away to rest and reflect in order to gain that peace of mind which has been elusive.

  • A peaceful state of mind
  • Acceptance of a situation
  • A solid plan is in place
  • Time away to rest and recuperate
  • Calm contemplation

Keywords:  Calm, Relaxation, Recuperation, Contemplation, Acceptance

Astrological Correspondence: Jupiter in Libra

5 of Swords

This card indicates a negative or combative state of mind. Is there stress caused by disagreement, competition, or fear of missing out on something? It’s been said that in war there are no winners. Are you fighting for victory at all costs? Is it making you become someone you’re not? It may be time to reconsider priorities or walk away.

  • Wanting to win at all costs
  • Negative response to stress
  • Fear of change, defeat, or missing out
  • Fighting pointless battles
  • Disagreements and negativity

Keywords:  Conflict, Negativity, Selfishness, Defeat, Disagreement

Astrological Correspondence: Venus in Aquarius

6 of Swords

Where do you want to go? If you’re dealing with a problem or looking to improve your situation, this card indicates your mind can get you there. What kinds of ideas have you been thinking or developing?  With your mind in a state of focus and harmony, you may see the destination and how to get there.

  • Seeing a better way forward
  • The mind’s ability to solve problems
  • Improving your situation or attitude
  • Success from harmonious thinking
  • Embracing new possibilities

Keywords:  Reasoning, Movement, Development, Improvement, Exploration

Astrological Correspondence: Mercury in Aquarius

7 of Swords

This card indicates an uncertain mental state. Perhaps you’re keeping secrets or struggling to get truly honest with yourself or someone else. Here is your invitation to take a good, thorough look at the situation and yourself. If you’ve felt confused or somehow “off”, it’s time to get right in the head.

  • Mental deception or confusion
  • Not being honest with self or others
  • Manipulative behavior
  • Calculating and scheming, perhaps betrayal
  • The search within for greater truth

Keywords:  Deception, Dishonesty, Betrayal, Investigation, Secrets

Astrological Correspondence: Moon in Aquarius

8 of Swords

This card indicates overthinking or a thought pattern that’s keeping you stuck. It may seem like running on a mental “hamster wheel”; around and around getting nowhere. There’s more that you’re not seeing, so perhaps it’s time to open yourself to a new perspective. The change to your situation will come by fundamentally changing your thinking.

  • Restricted by a thought pattern
  • Feeling blocked with no way out
  • Blind to a greater perspective
  • Self-limiting beliefs
  • Paralysis by analysis

Keywords:  Overthink, Blockage, Paralysis, Restriction, Self-Sabotage

Astrological Correspondence: Jupiter in Gemini

9 of Swords

The mind can be a very powerful weapon. When we focus on the pains of the past or worries of the future, we can become our own worst enemy. If you’re dealing with obsessive thoughts and sleepless nights, the solution may be near. Most problems are products of the mind. Be kind to yourself and invite the answer.

  • Obsessing over a stressful situation
  • Feeling guilty for a mistake
  • Sleepless nights, bad dreams
  • Making matters worse for yourself
  • Arriving at the solution

Keywords:  Anxiety, Stress, Obsession, Guilt, Uncertainty

Astrological Correspondence: Mars in Gemini

10 of Swords

An ending of some kind is at hand, either a circumstance in your life or way of thinking. Is there something that’s been causing you plenty of stress or pain? The time has come to see the light. This scary-looking card represents a turning point. If you’ve been living with anxiety, remember that it’s darkest before the dawn. Let go.

  • Seeing the light, finally
  • A turning point or climax
  • A new way of thinking or being
  • The end of a painful situation
  • Transcendence by letting go

Keywords:  Suffering, Climax, Resolution, Transcendence, Surrender

Astrological Correspondence: Sun in Gemini

Page of Swords

This aspect of personality is curious and mentally sharp. You comprehend new concepts easily and think of fresh and inventive ideas. This is the card of researching the facts, writing effectively, and speaking clearly. Your thirst for knowledge and agile mind make you an excellent student and problem-solver.

  • A curious mind and fresh ideas
  • Study and research
  • Gifted at written and spoken communication
  • Interested in the facts, not feelings
  • Logical approach to solving problems

Keywords:  Curious, Insightful, Logical, Persuasive, Studious

Elemental Correspondence: Earth of Air

Knight of Swords

This side of your personality leads with your head, leaving little room for sensitivity or tact. You’re opinionated and very effective at arguing your side. You’re also extremely clever and can be critical of others’ viewpoints. You’re known to “tell it like it is”. And since you’re so sure of yourself, you usually get your way.

  • Mentally sharp and headstrong
  • Opinionated and argumentative
  • Sees the world in black and white
  • Insensitive to feelings
  • Fast-thinking and fast-acting

Keywords:  Headstrong, Critical, Aggressive, Opinionated, Uncompromising

Elemental Correspondence: Air of Air

Queen of Swords

This personality type has an astute eye and sharp wit. As the Queen of Swords you’re well-planned, organized, and prepared. There’s no phoniness; honesty and directness are the way to communicate. You’re also mindfully aware of the thoughts that arise and able to stay focused on what is most important. You don’t suffer fools gladly.

  • Excellent judgment
  • Sees people and situations clearly
  • Honest and direct
  • Aware of what’s going on
  • Can be fierce and vengeful

Keywords:  Honest, Direct, Organized, Mindful, Perceptive

Elemental Correspondence: Water of Air

King of Swords

This card symbolizes the authority figure who is respected for their expertise and wise judgment. Their high degree of intelligence is matched by their accumulated wisdom. As this type, you take an objective and reasonable approach to solving problems, making you an excellent decision-maker. Truth is your primary guide.

  • Respected authority figure
  • Knowledgeable and wise
  • Analytical and logical problem-solver
  • Decisions made objectively and fairly
  • Clarity of mind and truth in word

Keywords:  Authoritative, Decisive, Analytical, Wise, Objective

Elemental Correspondence: Fire of Air

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