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)