As a reminder, the suit of cups is driven by masculine energy and channels the power of the intellect and mind, including all the concepts, knowledge, and beliefs that it holds. Scholars and academics have connected the suit of cups to the classical element of air, and most of the cards from that suit embody the symbolic attributes of this element, one way or another.
Minor Arcana: Positive elements of Two of Swords
The traditional representation of the two of swords from the Rider-Waite-Smith(RWS) tarot deck and its derivatives, you can see a lone figure, a young woman dressed in a white, almost spectral gown. The suit of Swords represents her sitting blindfolded on a stone bench and holds a sword in each hand, crossed before her.
A large pool of water, probably a lake, can be seen behind her, and the presence of a Moon crescent in the sky suggests that this scene happens at night, dusk, or dawn.
The two of sword rarely has truly positive meanings to offer. Both the core meaning and the reversed one are rather negative, or at the very least provide a few words of warning regarding an upcoming situation or decision.
There is, however, one positive element that should be noted, either way, a probable consequence of the blindfold worn by the main character on the illustration: whatever happens and whatever decision is made under this minor card influence, the two of swords will usually happen without any prejudice or bias, as lack of direct vision will let the woman judge and weight the matter fairly and objectively (this is why embodiments of the concept of Justice in art, paintings or sculptures, are often depicted with a blindfold too).
Negative elements of Two of Swords
The core concept of the Two of Swords tarot card meaning is having to make a difficult decision and standing at the crossroads, balancing both sides of the argument just like the woman balances the swords in her arms. Most of the time, the presence of the Two of Swords suggests that the situation is in an impasse and that the subject is unwilling to commit to a decision, one way or another. They are feeling conflicted, or need more facts and data to make their choice.
Another common interpretation is that the conflicting elements in that situation put the heart and mind, reason and feelings, in opposition. This duality is even further enhanced with a reversed two of swords in a tarot spread. The stalemate is stuck in a dead end and the longer the situation lasts, the harder it will be for the subject to be objective, leaving them in that state of indecision.
Combined with other negative cards that have a meaning of deceit, The reversed two of swords tarot meaning is often that the Querent knows which is the “right” decision, but knows the consequences would be painful and would rather lie to themselves.
Two of Swords and love
The two of swords is a rather thematically neutral element in the minor arcana, in that is does not specifically refer to the professional, personal, or romantic domain. When it appears in a tarot spread that focuses on romance, love, and relationships it often highlights a sort of love triangle the subject is currently in. As described above, the Querent is standing at the crossroads between two love interests and has a hard time letting go of either of them.
Two of Swords: Traditional meanings
When the two of swords appears in a tarot reading, reversed or not, it is almost always to exacerbate a difficult decision affecting either the Querent or the subject of the reading. Lack of information, indecision, or fear of potential consequences have led the situation into a stalemate, and the longer it lasts the harder the eventual decision will be.
The tarot reader should focus on the other cards drawn in the spread to get more information about the problem at hand and use the tarot card meanings to provide some advice that might untangle the situation and provide a way out of this dead-end.
Options, difficult decisions, denial, and opposition between reason and emotions.
Reversed: Confusion, unclear data, refusing to choose, and self-deception.