In this article Two of Swords Symbols, I refer to the Two of Swords card from the Rider Waite Tarot deck, also known as the Waite-Smith, or Rider-Waite-Smith, or Rider tarot deck. The Golden Dawn and Thoth Tarot deck name for this card is The Lord of Peace Restored.
The symbolism found on this card is primarily drawn from alchemy, astrology, metaphysics and western occultism.
- Two of Swords: Key Symbols
- What Does The Two of Swords Symbolize?
- What is The Meaning of The Crossed Swords?
- What is The Meaning of The Blindfold in The Two of Swords?
- What is The Symbolism of The Sea, Rocks and Bench?
- What Does The Crescent Moon Symbolize in The Two of Swords?
- What Sphere Does The Two of Swords Represent in Qabalah?
Two of Swords: Key Symbols
Crossed swords, blindfold, crescent moon, sea, rocks, bench
“The suggestion of harmony and other favourable readings must be considered in a qualified manner, as Swords generally are not symbolic of beneficent forces in human affairs.”A.E. Waite
The Pictorial Key to The Tarot
Two of Swords Symbols
Imagery of the 2 of Swords: Discover the symbol meanings, metaphors and allegory
What Does The Two of Swords Symbolize?
A woman sits with her back to a calm sea, with arms crossed. She holds two crossed swords in a symmetrical position across her chest or heart chakra. She wears a white blindfold. A yellow crescent moon, hangs at the top right.
At a basic level, this card represents the problems of dualism, the crossed swords representing dueling and the fight to see which side or argument is better. There can be indecision, stalemate or at best a truce, as the esoteric title of the card ‘lord of restored peace’ suggests. It can even represent Yin vs Yang, or right- and left-brain thinking.
At a higher level, the duality of the card reflects the possibility to consider two opposing thoughts at the same time. It reflects empathy and being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
As Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
At the highest level, this card reflects body and soul, and the ability to move outside ourselves and look to the Universe for answers. The woman in this card appears to be in a deep and deliberate meditation, trying to hear the Power of God or the mystical Universe. She is training to listen.
At this level of listening, we our likely to find our true life purpose vocation, and a reason to live for something greater than ourselves.
What is The Meaning of The Crossed Swords?
What is the symbolism of the crossed swords in the Two of Swords?
The woman could hold the swords upright, but she chooses instead to place them over her chest in the sign of the cross. The symbol of the cross denotes the unity of opposites. It represents the primary relationship between the worlds of Heaven and Earth.
Historically, the sword was a symbol of power and was the main tool of ‘God’s judgement’, that is the highest justice on Earth. The sword thus represents divine intelligence, and the loss of a sword in battle was equivalent to loss of power and a broken sword signified defeat.
In this Tarot card, the woman crosses the swords over her heart chakra. At a mundane level, this suggests she is trying to emotionally protect herself from something, perhaps an annoying person, a niggling thought or an issue she is trying to avoid. The author A.E. Waite, implies the culprit is not pleasant: “Swords generally are not symbolic of beneficent forces in human affairs.”
However, his description seems at odds with the artist’s Pamela Colman-Smith elegant drawing. The lady in the Two of Swords does not appear distressed, in fact she resembles a stripped-down High Priestess in her earlier years.
The two swords point upwards towards Heaven, and despite their weight, the woman manages to hold them in perfect symmetry. There is control here, and fight in her soul.
In heraldry, two crossed swords pointing up means you are ready to fight, and pointing down means the fight is over. This is why two swords pointing downwards are often found on military gravestones, indicating the end of conflict.
We also see an upwards pointing sword in the Justice Tarot Card, indicating power and authority. Compare to the downward facing swords in the unhappy 3 of Swords.
Worth Knowing: As an alchemist symbol, swords represent the power of thought, purification and transformation.
⭐Upright Swords also appear here: Justice, Wheel of Fortune
What is The Meaning of The Blindfold in The Two of Swords?
At a basic level, the blindfold indicates turning a blind eye, an unwillingness to face the truth or blocking out a situation.
However, the woman in this card seems to have blindfolded herself, perhaps to wake up her other senses, to see alternative solutions or realities. She wants to be blind to the obvious. She is in control of this situation, it is not a reflection of a situation being forced on her.
The esoteric meaning of a blindfold is transformation from darkness (ignorance) to light (enlightenment). It represents being prepared in mind, as much as in body, before receiving access to the mysteries of the world. Many organizations, from fraternities to Freemasons, use blindfolds in rituals of initiations. The masons call it hoodwinking.
The purpose of the hoodwink, according to Masonic text, is not to conceal something from the candidate, but rather it symbolizes the fact that the candidate is yet in darkness, like the baby lying in its mother’s womb. Being in darkness the candidate prepares his inmost mind for those revelations that will be made to him after the hoodwink is removed.
In the Two of Swords, we feel the woman is in spiritual training, removing her earthly senses so that she can focus instead on the development of clairaudience and clairvoyance. She teases her extrasensory perceptions, practicing telepathy or precognition to receive information by means other than her ordinary senses.
⭐Blindfold also appears here: Eight of Swords
What is The Symbolism of The Sea, Rocks and Bench?
The sea in this Tarot card is relatively calm, indicating that the woman’s thoughts are calm. The wind creates a slight ripple on the water surface, reminding us that swords represent the element Air.
There is a connection here to the moon, as the moon’s gravitational pull generates high tides and low tides. The suggestion here is of a ‘greater force’ influencing our lot in life.
Rocks In The Water
Rocks in Tarot represent all that is permanent, stable and solid. In the Two of Swords, the rocks appear to be set out as stepping stones, creating a path or resting points as you journey towards the island beyond.
A bench in Tarot represents a place to sit and ‘take time out’. Benches symbolizes taking your time to reflect, meditate or examine a situation in more detail.
What Does The Crescent Moon Symbolize in The Two of Swords?
In Tarot, the moon reflects light and inspires thought. It measures time and the cycles of life. Astrologically it represents our emotions, subconscious and intuition. It is connected with spiritual thought and psychic abilities.
In the Northern hemisphere, the moon waxes and grows full, from right to left. The moon in this card is early in the waxing phase, reflecting the first decan, or first ten days of an astrological sign. If you were born in the first ten days, or first decan, of a sign, you are said to embody the characteristics of your star sign to the fullest.
The Two of Swords is associated with the sign of Libra, which implies that this card embodies the traits of Libra star sign.
Finally, the stages of moon movement provide an analogy for the stages human life: the new moon is infancy, the crescent is youth, the full moon is maturity and pregnancy, and the waning moon represents the decline of life, death and reincarnation.
⭐A Moon also appears here: High Priestess, The Moon, Eight of Cups
What Sphere Does The Two of Swords Represent in Qabalah?
Qabalah or Kabbalah is a system of Jewish mysticism which attempts to explain the nature of the Universe. It embraces God, angels, devils, letters of the alphabet and numbers or numerology.
Kabbalah originated long before it was associated with Tarot, but it has since been tied by Western occultism to the cards.
According to Kabbalah, God (Ein Sof) made manifestations. Each manifestation is called a Sephirah (plural, Sephirot). Twos in Tarot connect to the second Sephirah, called Chokhmah, meaning wisdom. Chokhmah is associated with the power of intuitive flash insights.
According to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Jehovah is the God associated with Chokmah and Raziel is the archangel who resides over the sphere. The order of angels that reside in the sphere are the Ophanim (the wheels).
Complete List: Tarot Card Symbolism
Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.
The Ultimate Guide to Two of Swords Symbols