The Suit of Swords: Of genius and sorrow

Reaching the suit of swords, we enter the realm of intellect, and the element of air.

In this suit we find everything that happens in the mind: vision, planning and strategy, communication. The essence of swords is like standing on top of a mountain on a crisp, clear day. You can see for miles, and it’s a great perspective. You can see where you’re going and where you’ve been. You communicate exactly what you want to say, and are understood.

Here, we find justice in its purest, most unequivocal form – think of how we often see a sword in the Justice card itself. Swords are sharp and cut through bullshit, pare away fluffy grey areas and get right to the heart of what is happening. This is real clarity, razor-sharp truth.

But as we all know, the human mind is often its worst enemy, and so within the swords we also find fear, insecurity, self-doubt, self-deception. The tricks that our minds play on us. The battles we do, body and soul against mind. Some of the tarot’s toughest cards appear in the suit of swords.

And there is sorrow here, too – the Secret Tarot calls this ‘the suit of sorrow’. Here, we find where the mind and the heart collide, and see heartbreak and sadness. We see moments of despair, but we also find the strength that can be gained from processing life’s tough lessons and growing wiser.