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Three of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Three of Swords Keywords

UPRIGHT: sorrow | heartbreak | pain | strife | loss | turmoil

REVERSED: need for reconciliation | emotional healing after heartache

Three of Swords Description

The Three of Swords Tarot card depicts a heart impaled by three swords, symbolizing the deep emotional and physical pain caused by harsh words, actions, and intentions. The image conveys a sense of heartache, betrayal, or loss, reflecting the impact of negative experiences on one's wellbeing. Dark clouds in the background signify the sorrow and turmoil associated with this pain, yet they also hint at the transient nature of such suffering, suggesting that, like a passing storm, the pain will eventually subside and give way to clearer skies. This card emphasizes the concept of healing and recovery, acknowledging the hurt while offering hope for resolution and emotional renewal.

NOTE: The tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider-Waite deck and Decoding The Cards

Wishing For A Deeper Tarot Connection?

Decoding The Cards goes further than keywords and traditional interprations by providing exercises for each card in the tarot.

The exercises this book are designed to challenge you to delve deeper into the meanings of each card, as well as consider your own personal experiences in relation to the traditional meanings.

Three of Swords Upright

When the Three of Swords appears in a reading, it is often an indication that there is a storm of emotions brewing. You may be feeling intense sadness, depression, or despair, which could be due to some type of betrayal by someone very close to you.


As an air sign, swords can cut right to the heart of the matter, which means that you will no longer be able to avoid the truth.


The Three of Swords reminds you to remain strong and resilient despite difficult emotions that may arise. While things may seem dark and stormy now, it doesn’t mean they will stay that way. Instead, look at this as an opportunity to gain wisdom from experience and to grow from it.

Three of Swords Reversed

The Three of Swords reversed is a card that still carries a sense of hurt and loss, to a lesser degree. It shows that your heartbreak is not permanent, and you will begin to heal. 


In the reversed position, this card can also suggest that you can express your emotions by talking things out or simply by expressing them in general. This is a good sign as it means that you are not bottling up your feelings and letting them manifest in other ways, such as depression or anger. 


Finally, the Three of Swords reversed can suggest that you must reconcile with the person who hurt you so you can move forward and heal. 

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