Minor Arcana Swords



Inner Journey Oracle Minor Arcana Swords: this was a project that I spent more than six years creating. Each card was created by cutting out pictures from magazines, assembled to portray the meanings of the Rider tarot deck and glued onto backgrounds. Next I scanned each image and wrote my interpretation of the meanings of the cards. This is strictly an art project and will not be reproduced. Please click here to view image galleries and click on thumbnails.


The Mind, Thinking Processes, Communication  Swords correspond to air (mental). People represented by Swords are independent, goal oriented, and aggressive, but not intuitive or romantic. They are logical thinkers, good communicators and tenacious truth seekers, although sometimes temporarily blinded to it. Swords represent action, progress, either good or bad, ambition, opposition, authority and strength, or may indicate that there is or may be a problem which requires action. Swords point to the mental conflicts we need to remedy and the abilities that will hinder or help us to do that. They put us in a position to make decisions including some that require us to break with past attachments or training. The suit represents the illusion of opposites or duality. Maturity comes when we stop conceiving of the world as polarized.

Air Swords Intellectual
Child Element of Air Curiosity
Youth Gemini Arrogance
Woman Libra Independence
Man Aquarius Intelligence
Ace Element of Air Breakthrough
2 Venus in Libra Uncertainty
3 Uranus in Libra Sorrow
4 Mercury in Libra Recuperation
5 Uranus in Aquarius Defeat
6 Mercury in Aquarius Relief
7 Venus in Aquarius Procrastination
8 Mercury in Gemini Paralysis
9 Venus in Gemini Anxiety
10 Uranus in Gemini Betrayal

Ace of Swords




Powerful and airy, the Ace of Swords is like the wind of change, and often represents a mental breakthrough or insight. Lucid understanding and mental reasoning reach their peak under the influence of this card, and goals are readily achieved. Adjustments in thinking and communicating are implied as you pierce illusions to discover your own truth and release beliefs and attitudes that are no longer appropriate.

This card characterizes intellectual excellence, discipline, and the ability to cut through the clutter of unnecessary details in order to clear a path for progress. Act with integrity and firmness as you work your way through experiences and you will learn the skills required of you.

With the Ace of Swords, your mind is capable of detailed analysis, reasoning and logical thinking. Adding clarity to the mind and power to issues of justice, this card has often been connected to karma. The concept of karma is what balances the universe and implies that we reap what we sow. The energy of the Ace of Swords is transformative, ending what has been outgrown and creating the possibility for new ventures.


When reversed, the Ace of Swords indicates an unbalanced and troubled mind, and changes can seem too sudden or delayed. Your quarrelsome nature at this time makes it difficult to come to any sort of compromise or agreement with others. Step back and clear your thinking and try to cooperate to reach a compromise.

Two of Swords




The Two of Swords implies walking a tightrope to keep things in balance. There are two sides to every issue but you are uncertain whether or not you want to consider both sides. You’re not sure whether you are defending against new information from outsiders or from your own ability to reason things out. Use your mental clarity to integrate your conscious will with your unconscious motivation. Face the fact that changes will happen regardless of what you do.

Whatever you say or do may upset the status quo but will inevitably set you free and, although it may be disruptive, it needs to be done. Let go and allow others to take care of the situation themselves. Misunderstandings will be resolved and you will earn the respect of those around you.

Hiding your feelings or pretending everything is ok just to keep the peace will not solve the problems.  Emotions need to be vented so allow yourself to acknowledge what you're feeling to relieve the pressure. Relief is in sight so you needn’t worry much longer. Make the most out of the outcome of this moment, whatever it may be.


When reversed, the Two of Swords implies cloudy thinking and you are not in the best position to make any reasonable decisions. Any changes will occur slowly which is for the best at this time. Impulsiveness will not work to your advantage now. Take it slow and move forward one step at a time.

Three of Swords




The Three of Swords implies sorrow and painful issues from the past. Family matters from your childhood or conflicts with friends may need to be resolved. It is likely there is something amiss in your life that you are unwilling to acknowledge or that you are not aware of. Examine your feelings and reach out to others and things will start to look up. Take another look at the situation and you will see that the pain you are feeling is temporary.

Perhaps you are focusing too much on old wounds long after their emotional content has been dissipated. The intensity of your disappointment may be out of proportion to what is really going on. This card is about reflecting on yourself and trying to understand others. Focus on the strength and hope that going through this process can give you.

While these relationships were once pleasant and passionate, you have discovered that there was no depth to sustain them. Draw upon logic, reason, and detachment to get to the heart of the matter, sort out the tangled web your life has become, and understand how your problems fit into the greater picture. Once you are better able to understand your situation, you will feel better and realize that this process is necessary in order to allow for healing and growth.


When reversed, the Three of Swords indicates emotional stress and anxiety has been released. You have moved past the confusion you were facing and the emotional pain has subsided. When this card appears reversed, the relationship has usually ended and healing has begun, even if it seems like the wounds are still raw. Remember that every ending brings with it a new beginning.

Four of Swords




The Four of Swords indicates a time of recuperation through meditation and introspection to allow for healing and understanding of recent experiences from a greater perspective. You need time alone to rest, think, and recover from emotional or physical problems and you need to take a break from the usual struggles and pressures of daily life. Meditation and reflection will allow you to recharge your batteries.

This card often appears after a time of illness or anxiety and reminds you that solitude and quiet is required to in order to facilitate recuperation. If you refuse the rest and continue on as usual, your health may suffer for it. There is nothing like a little distance from problems to gain some perspective. A relaxing spa retreat or simply withdrawal from modern appliances including computers and cell phones may be just what you need.

This solitary experience will return your much needed inner strength and confidence. If you are able to face yourself directly and not run away from your difficulties you will ultimately become more alive and more aware of the good in life, and you will develop the inner strength necessary to cope more readily in the future.


When reversed, the Four of Swords implies the need for rest has been ignored. This is the time when illness or anxiety will result in health issues needing a longer period for healing. There is no longer the option to choose to rest, the choice has been made for you. Rather than worry about how this will affect you, accept that it is necessary and let your body, mind and spirit heal.

Five of Swords




With the Five of Swords you feel an overwhelming sense of defeat. It seems that everyone is out to get you and there is no way out. This card implies that you have taken on more than you can handle.  Unable to continue to hide behind the false mask of self-confidence, your true nature is coming to the surface. 

You may have used underhanded tactics in your quest for power and now the feeling of being stuck between a rock and a hard place is overwhelming. Accept your limitations; there are some things that simply cannot be changed. Whatever has happened, it is time to face your problems and responsibilities and surrender to your fate. Your defeat was necessary to force a more realistic plan of action.

You have the ability to create a positive outcome from a negative situation. What you do with what you have will pay off in the end. If you stop pitying yourself you will see that this is only a minor setback and your problems can be overcome. With some careful reassessment you will be free to accomplish your goals again before too long.


When reversed, the Five of Swords implies that it is time to cut your losses. Wanting to prove you were in the right has becomes more important than being right. At this point, you have already lost this fight, no matter what else you say or do. Jealousy, pride and self-righteousness may be keeping you stuck in battle but it is time to accept defeat and walk away. Accept what has happened, learn from it and start anew.

Six of Swords




The Six of Swords indicates relief is in sight and a reduction in stress and strain. Anxieties are resolved, you haven moved into calmer waters and your troubles are behind you. Utilize this time out to catch up on some well deserved rest until you decide where you're going from here. Even a short break or change of scenery will be helpful.

You have learned much from your mistakes and are finally able to enjoy some peace of mind. Travel can also be a focus that would have you returning relaxed and optimistic towards the future.

Part of this change came about from releasing your attachment to worrying about the issue at hand. All areas of your life will improve with this card, relationships, money and career. It is a relief to be moving ahead to a happier, calmer place.

This card also represents your journey from one stage of growth to the next as it depicts the various aspects of your personality all working toward integration. You are moving into a new awareness of how you are interconnected. This is a period of transition, moving on and leaving difficulty behind, surrendering to circumstances and achieving some peace of mind.


When reversed, the Six of Swords can sometimes feel like the eye in the centre of the hurricane. All around, chaos and struggle loom on the horizon but only your determination will see you through. Tenacity and the willingness to go on are required. The only solutions available are temporary; now is the time to catch your breath rather than solve these issues.

Seven of Swords




The Seven of Swords indicates a time of procrastination and indecision. Restless energy and a burning desire for new ideas come with this card. Although you are shifting your time rapidly between multiple projects, you have not managed to complete any of them. Be careful who you share your ideas with as there is the possibility that someone else will steal them and complete what you haven't.

This card is about efforts and attempts amid uncertain or unstable conditions. Keep things in perspective, and maintain balance. Concentrate on finishing off old projects before you jump into something new. If you're having a problem, leave it alone and come back to it later, however, do not leave it too long. Things will clear up and work out.

Perseverance is needed to clear up the backlog before new plans are made. Patience and confidence will enable you to move beyond the tendency to procrastinate and ensure a good outcome. This is the time to move beyond your comfort zone and stretch your intellectual experiences.

This card also speaks about fears, some of which are natural and healthy. However, you are being encouraged to open your eyes to see things as they really are, not scary and dangerous, but full of possibility and hope.


When reversed, the Seven of Swords implies indecision is fueled by over-active thoughts at this time. This may be a time where new thoughts and directions are arriving faster than you can process them. There needs to be more authentic in your life. Honesty and a hard look at reality are needed now.

Eight of Swords




The Eight of Swords implies you are stuck and you feel that you are in a state of mental paralysis, unable to act for fear of the consequences. Unable to move into the future because you are wary of getting hurt, this card suggests that the fear and anxiety you feel is something you are doing to yourself.

Your thoughts may run around in circles and no matter how you try, you can't find a way out. Fresh thinking and some outside assistance are what you need to break free from the imaginary cage you see surrounding you. Face your problems head on and accept the helping hand that is offered you. Expect the unexpected to move beyond this.

Reflect upon what it is that you're afraid of, the truth of the situation is probably much less frightening than your mind is making it out to be. A decision is necessary no matter what the consequence. Take a look at what is really holding you back; once you take the first step to make changes, things will fall into place, wrongs will slowly be righted and it will be the end of difficult times.


When reversed, the Eight of Swords indicates a new state of mind brimming with movement. You've realized that the first step in changing your life starts with changing your thoughts. You've gained confidence and strength from the problems you solved. Be wary of people around you being thoughtless, stand up for yourself and make sure you receive the respect you're due.

Nine of Swords




With the Nine of Swords, the darkest hour is before the dawn as worries and anxieties have overtaken your life. This card indicates interrupted sleep and a foreboding about the future as your fears have turned into oppressive monsters. It’s not all in your head, you have real problems in your life but you need to face them directly.

Because you are not completely clear as to what is happening to you while you try to sort out the chaos in your life, the future seems difficult to face. Allow help from friends and family to help you to you regain some perspective. There are solutions but they will take time and effort to create change in your life.

Because you have allowed your worries to immobilize you, you must face your negative thoughts and shift your emphasis to something positive. Allowing inner turmoil to take over for too long delays healing. Seek closure and reclaim your power as you leave behind your inner imprisonment. New beginnings are possible when you change your focus to something more positive.


When reversed, the Nine of Swords indicates a light at the end of the tunnel. Dawn has broken and the worst is behind you. You have tackled your problems directly, faced your fears and you are now ready to make way for new things. Worry and stress will take time to fade so you will still need to be gentle with yourself. When you allow your remaining fears and doubts to fade, harmony will slowly begin to reappear.

Ten of Swords




The Ten of Swords often indicates betrayal, especially through gossip, and destruction of trust. The sky is black and there is a feeling of loss and sadness and something important is coming to an end. This card could mean divorce, separation or other personal or emotional loss. The parting may not be what you want but it is necessary in order for a new beginning.

Although change is often difficult, you must now give up old ideas and conditioning that have limited your progress. You may have been struggling with a difficult decision for some time, or may have been clinging to something, which was not in your best interests, and now you must let it go.

However dark it may seem now, there are positive aspects to this card. It can symbolize the ending of a cycle where your life will take an entirely new direction. With all endings there is a new beginning, a rebirth, and a rejuvenation of spirit. When one door closes, another will open. It’s time to move forward and let go of the past, the darkness will soon be dispelled because the worst is over. This is also a card of hope, a new awareness and new opportunities lie ahead.


When reversed, the Ten of Swords indicates that you have survived the worst of it. Your situation is now on track for recovery and change. A cycle has ended and a new one has begun. This is a good time to welcome support from others. The period of emotional chaos, sadness, and grief is over, things will improve now. Your suffering was not in vain, a valuable life lesson has been learned. 

Child of Swords




The Child of Swords is gifted with incredible curiosity and insight. There is very little in logic or relationships they don't perceive. After gaining understanding of a situation, it doesn't take them long to turn it to their advantage. Intelligent and with brilliant communication skills, they are never at a loss for words. Brimming with broad ideas and fine details, they want to change the world.

Determined and restless, you are poised for action and alert to possible dangers that may arise. Danger won’t slow you down; however, you will go ahead in your own way, investigating all the angles and observing the reactions of others.

This card indicates new thought processes and ideas. It suggests the unexpected help of someone like the Child in financial matters. It also suggests that you may adopt these qualities yourself. Keep your eyes out for opportunities. Although well meaning, the Child of Swords can sometimes unconsciously cause more trouble than they resolve.


When reversed, the Child of Swords, can become petty and spiteful. Ideas are more important than feelings and anything that challenges their logic will be ignored. Emotionally, there can be a great deal of hidden anxiety. Ideas are easy to control and create; however, people don't respond in the same way. The Child of Swords reversed may be very sensitive, a result from critical family or friends. In spite of the criticism, this might be the most comfortable place for the Child of Swords reversed.

Youth of Swords




The Youth of Swords indicates an arrogant young man with a restless mind, aroused by thoughts of offence, searching for a target to pounce on. Although courageous, he has an attitude of self-righteous hostility, always ready to put any blame on someone else.

A huge risk taker, it is rare that he is ever defeated in anything. Sometimes though, his confidence is misplaced. In his rush to win at any cost, he can cause pain or problems for others. He is bright with strong ideas that are worth pursuing. To better balance his need for glory with ethics, he would benefit from slowing down and considering others.

Unfortunately, even when he is doing the right thing, he is likely to be doing it for the wrong reasons. It is best to deeply question your motives for what you are thinking about doing to discriminate between righteousness and unrighteous causes.

Move with your scattered energies into a new broader view of the world. You may meet someone with the Youth’s qualities or you may find similar qualities in yourself.


When reversed, the Youth of Swords can be quite destructive. Rarely feeling remorse, he moves from challenge to challenge, taking whatever is needed for his own ends. Any semblance of ethics has disappeared and his motivation is self-oriented. To manage himself, he can sometimes resort to abuse of drugs or alcohol; moderation of any kind can be a real challenge. Still moving against the status quo, the Youth of Swords reversed drifts through life, always looking for the next opportunity.

Woman of Swords




The Woman of Swords is independent and dignified, able to care for and defend herself. Whether she has a companion or lives alone, she is happy and content. Living alone for the Woman of Swords means a life without bonds and a lot of freedom, both of which are very important to her. Her mind is as sharp as a razor, and she has an unending thirst to learn.

She can be aloof and unemotional, and no one can tell her what to do. She is a quick-thinking, sharp-tongued woman. Talented and creative, she demands much respect. Using her intelligence to understand emotional situations, she transforms sorrow into wisdom.

Using logic and reason, she cuts through the confusion and doubt that arises from misfortunes and seeming failures. She has learned to align her strong will with higher principles so that she can work with assurance.

This card suggests that you are looking for perfection in yourself and others and are very self-determined. Also that you may adopt the Woman’s characteristics of strength of purpose or you may be helped by someone with these qualities.


When reversed, the Woman of Swords can get caught up in her thoughts to much and forget her heart completely. Acting only from logic, she becomes cold and distant. She abandons any pretense of politeness and tells you exactly what she thinks. Her stubbornness will continue at a disadvantage to herself and everyone around her. Critical beyond sense or reason, she is displeased by everything around her and will stand in judgment. 

Man of Swords




The Man of Swords is an expressive intellectual, whose combative nature can sometimes make every day a new struggle. While he is brave and intelligent, never hesitating to express his opinion, this is often seen as aggressiveness.

He is masterful against any enemy and his sharp mind can defend any attack. He illustrates how a great mind when combined with successful energy can make anything happen. However, his strong nature sometimes will hamper his abilities to create change in society.

In relationships, the Man of Swords can be a wonderful companion for great conversations; however, romance is not his forté. He is more likely to act from his head than his heart. His emotional distance can sometimes feel cold; he does love deeply but very distantly. Freedom is a huge priority for him.

This card suggests the need to begin new projects and look at new ideas. It can mean sudden promotion or help from someone in a high position. This card also shows the conflict or choice between striving to think of an answer or opening up to inspiration and receiving one.


When reversed, the Man of Swords is critical of everyone and everything, his charm has evaporated and the only thing that seems to be left is his biting tongue. Unfair attacks seem to arise from nothing. Like a lightning storm, these flashes of intense mood can devastate. Unfortunately, it also affects every aspect of his life. Professionally, he manages to isolate himself from co-workers and supervisors. For all his enterprise very little can be accomplished as he alienates people.