This is the fifth and last installment in this Weekly Tarot Card series. The next series will begin on Monday. However, if you’d like to get caught up on the rest of the week, you can use the following links:
After spending time getting to know the 2 of Swords through our own observations and meditations, we began looking at the 2 of Swords in a more ‘universally’ symbolic way, through the numbers, elements and symbols.
Spending time breaking apart the card gives you access to different ways of looking at the card, which will come in handy as it turns up in answer to a variety of questions and a in a variety of positions. Flexibility in understanding is the key to reading Tarot effectively.
The suit of Swords corresponds to the element of Air, which indicates thinking and communication. The crescent moon in the 2 of Swords reminds us that though the blindfold prevents us from seeing the answer clearly, our intuition has a voice and its own sight.
The 2 is an indication of the duality of the situation, the two options that are to be decided between. Likewise, it’s a reminder of balance. There are two things at play here – thought and communication. Communication can correspond to messages, and thus listening to them. Thus, the 2 takes on another meaning in the 2 of Swords, a balance between thinking and communicating, a balance between communicating and listening.
The 2 of Swords is a blind balance. A figure is in need of putting down the massive swords, but can’t see which one to put down first. Because of the blindfold, she doesn’t know the entirety of her situation, but knows that she must make a decision. The moon calls upon her to use her intuition and to trust herself in knowing what to do. But the pressure of making the wrong decision is causing her turmoil. The grey of the ground and her dress show that it actually doesn’t matter, that no matter what decision she makes, life will move on, it is merely the pressure of having to make the decision that is causing her stress.
The Swords indicate this is an intellectual decision, something that she can only mentally weigh. It is within her to make this decision, no one else, or anything else externally can sway her. The number 2 indicates the balance that is needed.
The 2 of Swords indicates being held motionless at the hand of indecision. It isn’t an easy choice, but it must be made, and no movement can happen until it is. Be aware of deceptions that might lead you astray.
Keywords: stalemate, difficult decision, stagnation, false information.
The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.
Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’
Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.
Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.
Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.
The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.
Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.
Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.