TWO OF SWORDS
KEYWORDS: Balance, Doubt, Truce, Stalemate, Choices, Anticipation, Impending Conflict
CARD DEFINITION: This represents a stale mate situation. You have still not decided which course of action you should follow. You are trying to gain time by stalling. Indecision may lead to trouble.
REVERSE DEFINITION: You may be surrounded by fake friends. You may be given misleading information. Be careful when dealing with certain people. Someone may betray you.
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Interpreting The Two of Swords
If the ace cards of the minor arcana represent the appearance of a new kind of energy that has the potential to grow into something incredible, the two cards represent the unavoidable dilemma posed by the decision that will no doubt arise next. In which direction should this new energy be taken? What should be done with it and what should the person in charge of it seek to channel it into? At this point, the potential is still just thatů potential and nothing more.
The Two of Swords deals with the duality and the dilemma represented by the number two itself, but it deals with it as it applies to the principles behind the Suit of Swords as a whole - especially those tied to the idea of eternal truths. Here we see two opposing forces at work. It could possibly be two partners who can't seem to agree on how to proceed with a stalemate that has developed or it could simply be two opposite principles that must be reconciled in some way. Sometimes it's all about a decision that must be made - act or wait it out, speak or remain silent. Either way, the balance between these two is a delicate and tenuous one and cannot be maintained forever. Yes, there is a certain peace in such a situation, but it is important to understand that it is not of the lasting variety. It comes from stagnancy, as opposed to harmony.
The traditional tarot image attached to the Two of Swords illustrates these ideas for us perfectly. The focal point is a seated female figure dressed in white. She is blind-folded to represent her uncertainty in regards to how to proceed and move forward from whatever her current position may be. In each hand she holds a sword. Her arms are crossed over her chest to further represent the impasse that has been created by these two opposing forces at work. She is positioned in front of the sea with the moon overhead, both being symbols of mystery, uncertainty, and the inner country of the spirit. The image as a whole is one of guardedness and indecision.
When the Two of Swords makes an appearance in a tarot spread, it is almost always suggestive of a situation in which the querent is torn between two opposing paths or decisions. At the time, it is unclear to him which would be the more beneficial one. However, it is important that he understand that his not seeing an answer does not mean that there isn't one. He and any other parties involved simply cannot see it. It could be that the truth isn't being seen because in this situation the truth hurts. In fact, it is highly likely that the querent already knows the answer deep down and is being prevented from acknowledging it by pride or denial.
The crossroads that has been created by this situation is an important one though. Making the wrong decision now could throw things off for a long time to come. Although it can be hard to take the blinders off and really look at situations for what they are, not doing so can cause much pain and trouble down the line. The querent should be advised to face facts and deal with things as they are. Nothing good will be accomplished or overcome by continuing to hide in the shadows.