3 Swords – Short Term Pain but Long Term Gain?
3 of Swords
The 3 of Swords is a minor arcana card in the tarot and when you see this card, it will affect your everyday life. When the three of swords appears in your tarot reading, your heart pierced by three swords, is experiencing a moment of grief or betrayal. The card actually shows a floating heart pierced by three swords possibly meaning 3 events or 3 people. This pain is temporary and you are being called to feel all your emotions so that you can move on fresh and clean.
The three of sword represents financial loss, job loss (perhaps due to the recession), breakup or other recent decline. Perhaps someone you care about betrayed you, resulting in much upheaval in your life? Or your love life feels stuck in a reversed position? Sometimes this card relates to something in your financial situation. Maybe you can’t afford your apartment alone after a partner has run up debt. Or they may have left and the relationship will not be able to survive. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to care of your mental, emotional and physical health. Taking care of these things will help you immeasurably.
Finding a Silver Lining
After you go through an emotional purging and learn to accept your circumstances, these dark clouds can have a silver lining. New opportunities can present, especially if you give yourself time to heal and are able to forgive. When this card is drawn, refusing to let go is not an option. Try to have a positive outlook and don’t let sorrowful storm clouds become a permanent part of your life.
One of the most iconic images in the tarot is the floating heart being pierced by 3 swords and when this card appears, it may be time to let go where you hold grudges. Allow yourself to grieve. Possibly, the trigger is the loss of a loved one or loss of a job. The pain may be intense and for a time you may feel unable to complete the healing process. The three swords that pierce this heart are insight, awareness and mental clarity as you see the truth of your position.
Basically, when this card appears in a reading, especially a career tarot spread or a health tarot reading, the three of swords might suggest a need to let go of the hurt and pain that has physically manifested. In love tarot, someone you care about may have caused sorrow and grief. The three of swords indicates that your emotional or mental health can also be affected by recent loss. Alternatively perhaps it is the mental and emotional health of someone you care about?
The Swords Suit
In a tarot reading, the Swords suit represents mental energy, the mind, intelligence, thought and communication. In addition, Swords also symbolizes anxiety, stress or worry. This tarot suit corresponds to the seasons of Autumn and Winter, when days are shorter and nights are longer. The element of air rules this suit and Swords represent clear communication, logic, and reason. Although it’s true that the heart is the seat of the Soul, we also need clear mental faculties, Swords can help here.
Swords can also represent sadness and tears, suffering and loss. In western countries especially, the 3 Swords sometimes relates to overthinking. We can tend to do this sometimes when we mull over a painful situation, overthinking all its intense details and causing ourselves even more pain. This is actually an opportunity to take control of our minds and use the faculty of thinking to stop overthinking! Imagine a stop sign flying up in front of you if you start obsessing about something. It’s ok to feel your feelings, without passing judgement on them as you move on from a recent loss.
Through the journey of the Swords suit, the 4 Swords follows the 3 of Swords and this card may relate to time spent alone, rest, rejuvenation and solitude. This card can also mean there are benefits from self reflection and meditation after loss or heartbreak, especially after communication has improved. You may even learn from one another.
3 Swords: Meaning and Interpretation of this card
3 Swords is a difficult card in a reading, and can be one of the most challenging in the Minor Arcana. This card suggests a situation in which you feel like your heart has been pierced by swords. It is associated with sadness, suffering, hardship and is also a card of sorrow and disappointment. Although you may feel caught off guard, this card serves as a reminder that all of this can eventually be overcome, even if you are still recovering after some time.
3 swords often appears when someone has been going through some sort of trauma – loss of income, or separation from someone they still care deeply about. It can also symbolize betrayal or deception and can reveal a severing or cutting of ties. It can suggest heartbreak and pain. The 3 Swords relates to a potential loss, your loss of trust in another person, or the loss of an opportunity.
In a reading, 3 Swords suggests an ending to a negative situation. It’s either with another person or an end to the harm they cause you. Whichever way it goes, 3 Swords indicates there are feelings of emotional loss.
Three of swords can also be an omen of feeling trapped or being unable to escape a problematic situation. The keyword is feeling ‘restricted’. You may feel as if a heavy downpour has rained on your parade.
Symbolism of 3 Swords
Especially with challenging card combinations, 3 Swords often signifies a period where things just seem to go wrong, no matter what you do. However, it’s important not to give up.
Traditionally, 3 of swords tarot be about the emotional response within the person involved, but not necessarily. For example, a woman was nursing her elderly and ailing mother for many years. The situation was exhausting and when her mother finally passed, the natural grief of losing someone then arrived. On the other hand, it was also a chance for the woman to move forward from a situation where she felt stuck. The 3 swords pierced her heart and allowed the release of grief and the energetic pattern keeping her stuck. This woman then changed her life.
The 3 Swords card is at the heart of the journey through the swords suit in the tarot. This is where we have suffered major loss and the situation appears to be unretrievable. However, all is not lost, as a mother can love many children, so too our hearts have the capacity to love again. We can eventually realise that nothing lasts forever and sorrow too shall pass.
Although there are multiple tarot meanings for both the upright 3 of swords tarot card and reversed three of swords card, they all revolve around getting stuck in the moment of grief, sudden loss, dire financial consequences or one’s life getting worse. It can seem difficult to move past these things however this card can also indicate that difficulties are a part of life. You can make a choice to respond in a healthy way to whatever comes your way. This card represents that holding onto old patterns and negativity can result in a reversal of fortune. It’s time to move on from a hurtful situation.
3 of Swords Reversed
The reversed 3 of Swords card can signify a difficult period is coming to an end. It is a minor arcana card in reverse position … upside down. When the three swords appears as a reversed card in a reading heartache, sadness, and grief, are now being replaced with understanding and insight. In other words, the pain has been felt, it has been processed and now there’s an opportunity coming. You are reaching the end of the tunnel and likely reaching out for support which can help you to be more optimistic. If you let go and look, you’ll see the 3 swords reversed can signify letting go of the pain to gain hope and renewal.
When this card of upheaval is drawn in a reading, you see the light of the truth. If you had your head in the sand -you’ve certainly pulled it out now. 3 Swords reversed can indicate you’re moving on from a difficult situation and now getting over the worst. You’ll soon be feeling much more optimistic about your chances. There is much for you to enjoy both in outlook and general happiness. Prepare for the experience of liberation in future as you learn much on what happened in the past.
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Posted in Minor Arcana, Tarot Card Meanings, Tarot Swords
Author: Rose Smith