When I ask people to tell me their favourite tarot card, the Queen of Swords often comes up. Why? Because this is a strong, powerful person who has been through a lot. Many of us relate to this queen’s story – all the heartbreak and the conflict we saw in the swords suit, all of the processing that accompanied that. We see her as a person of tenacity and courage; she represents getting through it, and coming out stronger (though perhaps a little sadder, too).
What gives the Queen of Swords her power is that she has integrated the lessons she has learned. She has taken each of those heartbreaking experiences and the renewal that came after, and forged them into diamonds. She doesn’t shy away from what hurts, she has simply moved forward, bringing her diamonds with her. Remember the person in the boat in the Six of Swords, taking their lessons with them to new lands? Here they are twenty years later, strong, wise, and self-aware.
This is a person who is committed to ‘doing the work’. That might be deep, personal shadow work, that might be unravelling privilege, that might mean figuring out how to live a life more in line with their principles. This person knows that in order to live authentically, truthfully, they must do inner work. The Queen of Swords is fully, consciously accountable to herself and to the world, yet always aware that there is more to unravel, more to learn.
In the best of the swords cards, we see the transformative power of mindfulness, the spiritual practice of observing our own minds without judgement. We are able to bring peace to our lives, to calm a chattering mind, through practice and meditation. The Queen of Swords has mastered this practice.
Like the King, she is logical and uses her sword to cut to the heart of the matter, again, keen to see the truth behind any situation. But there is more compassion here. The Queen of Swords does not need to be staunchly black and white, she does not lay down the law. She knows that there are grey areas too – and that these can be painful places to dwell. She has been there too.
Again, communication is a powerful skill. The Queen of Swords is able to articulate some of the most challenging truths of our time – she explains not only the sadness in this world, but where it comes from, the systems of injustice and fear that cause harm. She is a visionary too, and when she shares her vision for a fairer world, all can understand.