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The Suit of Swords (Spades)

Swords are the first suit of the Minor Arcana of the Tarot Deck. The Swords modern day counterpart in today’s playing cards is the suit of spades. Associated with the element of Air, Swords are related to thoughts and the processes of thinking. The suit of swords always speaks in the context of thinking. Whether you need to use your intellect, wait and watch to be able to make the appropriate judgment, or to watch the activities of others to ensure you don’t fall prey to their traps, the Swords caution to use your thoughts wisely. The Swords also represent the capability of putting thought into appropriate action.

Weapons of warfare Swords are also defenders of the peace. This duality is seen by the Swords capability to express aggression, courage, boldly running in. Beware the capability of Swords to pull you into battle and hatred which creates enemies and sets up the situation for warfare. Swords can warn us of coming disaster or negative energy generated at us.

The Swords are aligned with the North. Those who live in Northern climes are known to be hardy and independent people by virtue of the climate they live it. It is interesting to note that along with tribal societies that live at the equatorial latitudes that vibrant and ancient societies carry on long held traditions above the Arctic Circle. The North is a demanding land, but she has treasures and abundance to bestow on those that get to know her well.

Swords can be a demanding suit because it is the suit of the Warrior. This is the suit of those who must know themselves well enough — to know their strengths and weaknesses intimately enough to be able to depend on each other in situations of continual stress in combat situations. Men and women throughout history have had to develop this clarity of self in order to defend themselves or the ones they care about.

The Swords are aligned with the high-flying Eagle, reminding us that through our intellect we can achieve our highest ideals. The Swords show us the depths of despair and the height of achievement. If there are a predominant amount of Swords in your spread it is a call to action. Look around you…where are you avoiding battle? Are you entering into battle unthinkingly, without proper preparation? On the other hand, a lack of swords can indicate that you are allowing others to poke at you without staging a proper defense.

Minor Arcana


Ruled by the element of Water


Ruled by the element of Air

(also known as Spades)


Ruled by the element of Fire

(also known as Wands)


Ruled by the element of Earth

(also known as Pentacles)

Tarot Readings