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The Three Of Swords Tarot Card – Your Complete Guide

Upon the first look at the Three of Swords Tarot card, you think: ouch! No kidding… It seems ominous and not a very good card. There is more you need to know before you just see it as negative.

I completely understand how scary it looks when you see the card, as it’s typically depicted as a heart with three swords going through it. It can seem as though your reading will be rough. That’s not necessarily true though.

There are lessons to be learned and advice that will help you manage your life when you flip over this Tarot card. Keep reading to learn what the Three of Swords Tarot card means!

The Brief History Of The Three of Swords Tarot Card

Unlike the Major Arcana card, there isn’t much history for this card. When the Tarot was created, they were made in the 14th century to be used as playing cards in a game.

The Minor Arcana represents the cards in a regular playing deck. The Swords in a regular deck of playing cards would be Spades; just as Cups are Hearts, Pentacles are Diamonds, and Wands are Clubs.

The Tarot cards were not used for divination until the 1800s when the spiritual movement was happening. They figured out it was a way to talk to the dead and also to tell the future.

The artwork on the Rider Waite version of Tarot created in 1901 is a heart with three swords penetrating it. They are crossing and they represent people. There are also clouds with rain in the picture.

Its unsettling image deems it one of the worst cards in the deck. The meaning gives it some slack, however. Each deck has some sort of different image but all are breathtakingly dark.

1. The Basic Definition Of The Three Of Swords Tarot Card

The Three Of Swords Tarot Card

Pulling the Three of Swords Tarot card means there is an ending of some kind. It may be a love relationship, a friendship, family, or even partnership in business. Whatever it is, it’s coming to an end due to an outside reason.

Now, traditionally, it always means that there is a love triangle in which someone has to make a choice but there will be hurt associated with it once the decision is made.

This would be for example; a woman with two men she loves but has to choose one. She chooses the one she feels is best and so the other man is deeply hurt.

She’s hurt for the need for the choice and the person she chose is hurt that she was in a position where she had to choose.

In other words, he didn’t like that she had two men rather than just him. It’s not all just about love relationships, however.

The card can be an ending of a situation as well as a relationship. Again, if there was competition at work, and someone had to choose who to let go and who to promote.

Perhaps a family member doesn’t like the person you’ve chosen to be your mate and has decided to stop speaking to you, and thus, ending the close bonds of the relationship.

There are different ways this card can be spun. As a card of the day, the Three of Swords Tarot card meaning is more about something in the day not working and bringing about an uncomfortable change or let down.

2. The Three Of Swords Tarot Card Definition (Reversed)

The Three of Swords Tarot card meaning in reverse is definitely not at all close to the upright position. The upright is pain, breakup, loss, and sadness. The reverse is optimistic thoughts and feelings.

You’re recovering from a loss and doing well. You are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and know that you will love again. You might even be in a place of forgiveness.

This is exactly why I said that this card isn’t necessarily the worst card even though it’s made out to be.

It’s true enough that when you pull it in upright it’s quite overwhelming but if you happen to pull it in reverse, you get a ray of sunshine and see that things don’t have to stay miserable.

Now, it may give you a warning of you being too self-critical which; a warning that you need to knock it off. Your own words can stump your growth and healing.

Other than that, you’re embracing new beginnings, joy, and great healing in your life. That being said, the reversal of the Three of Swords is mostly very positive and a wonderful card to get.

3. Love And The Three Of Swords Tarot Card (Upright)

In love, the message doesn’t change much. The Three of Swords meaning is an ending to a relationship. In love, it may be that a third party got involved and caused much heartbreak.

This card may be telling you that your partner is having an affair or it’s pointing out that you having an affair is going to cause the end of your relationship.

You can see how this would be fitting for love, right?! Something isn’t working. It’s gone sour and not working as you had hoped anymore. You may or may not be aware.

If you are aware, then this isn’t going to be a shocker for you. If you had no idea, then this will be a painful eye-opener for you. The card that comes after this one if you’re doing a spread will determine if it was a good or bad thing.

Sometimes when you see this and get a very positive card right after it can mean that the breakup needed to happen so you could move on. How you respond to it will depend on you.

4. Love And The Three Of Swords Tarot Card (Reversed)

Three Of Swords Tarot Card Reversed

Once again, the meaning totally changes in reverse! The reversed Three of Swords Tarot card means that healing has occurred in a painful situation with a relationship.

You’re able to forgive your partner for their mistakes and your partner is willing to do the same with you. This could be reconciliation between you and your partner if you parted ways.

If you two are not getting back together, then you’re finally able to move on from each other so that both of you can start anew individually. You’re able to push forward.

This will all likely be positive if you have positive cards that follow. If you happen to get negative cards, then it may mean you’re having trouble moving on or past what happened.

If something happened but you’re still with your partner, you may repress your pain and then release it on them at a different time causing more distress between you.

I know that’s a mouthful. For the most part, the reversal of the Three of Swords means more positive feelings and healing, but in some cases, it can mean difficulties in the healing process.

5. Finances, Job, And Career With The Three Of Swords Tarot Card (Upright)

The Three of Swords Tarot card means an ending of a situation with your job or the actual end of the job itself. You may get laid off, fired, or get your pay reduced due to problems with the company.

Perhaps you’re having troubles with a co-worker or boss that just doesn’t see your worth, therefore they react by making life difficult for you.

Your situation may come to an end due to someone talking behind your back. Be sure that you’re always honest with your co-workers, so that if it comes back on you, they’ll know you told the truth.

If you did or are losing your job then this may mean a loss of income in which you feel afraid you won’t be able to pay your bills.

Now, another possibility when seeing the Three of Swords card is that your divorce or split up is causing financial hardship on you. Perhaps your ex is legally trying to cut you off or get you to pay them.

It’s not a good card to get when it comes to business, finance, career, or job. The thing is, you’re a lot stronger than you think you are, so don’t let it pull you down.

6. Finances, Job, And Career With The Three Of Swords Tarot Card (Reversed)

Naturally, when you flip over the reversed Three of Swords Tarot card, things change a bit. You may be putting the loss you had behind you. You’re working to find a new job, new career, or better financing.

You’re taking it all in stride, knowing you will always do your best. In fact, you may already be recovering quite well. You might already be making far better money than you once did.

Your savings are becoming plumper as your investments continue to collect. You’re building a stable path ahead of you. Just remember that emergencies or unexpected bills can come about. Be ready!

On the flip side, if you get negative cards surrounding the reversed Three of Swords Tarot card, then you may be struggling to get past the loss you’ve experienced.

You cannot wrap your head around the fact that they demoted you or let you go. You’re allowing the depression to sink in further. You’re the only one in control of your thoughts, however.

Look for a way to move on and take a new path that leads you to better prosperity and abundance financially.

7. The Three Of Swords Tarot Card As A Person (Upright)

The Three of Swords Tarot card meaning when it comes to a person is very dark, depressing, hurtful, and vengeful. This person is someone who doesn’t mind breaking your heart in half.

Then again, it may be a person who is easily hurt, offended, or plays martyr or victim in any situation. It may be that they’ve been through so much in their lives, they just cannot move on.

They have walls up and won’t let anyone in. They may struggle with commitment of any kind. They sometimes actually may even avoid it. It depends on how bad their past was.

This person is dedicated to never fully giving their heart to anyone. They’re broken and don’t know how to recover from all they’ve been through. If it’s you, then you have lots of work to do with your healing.

Don’t allow your past to dictate who you will be or how you will love in the future. You’re keeping yourself from the very best in love and life.

If it’s someone else, then perhaps it’s a warning that this person could potentially break your heart because theirs has been broken for so long.

8. The Three Of Swords Tarot Card As A Person (Reversed)

On the flip side, the reversed Three of Swords Tarot card is a strong person who’s been through a lot, but they’re picking up the pieces and putting themselves back together in an even better version!

Then again, this could be a person who seems to be happy and doing well, but in reality, they’re just totally torn apart on the inside. They’re hiding their pain and not letting anyone know.

This is yet another card that will need to be determined by the cards around it. If it’s pulled as a card of the day and represents someone, it’s letting you know something is hurt within them.

If it’s you, then you’re the one who is wounded and rather than hide it, you should work to heal it so you can be open to love again. The card is a reminder that more healing is necessary.

Do not let your hurt keep you from ever being happy in love again. Just as important, don’t let it scare you so much that you cannot find a really amazing job that pays you very well.

9. Advice From The Three Of Swords Card In A Reading

The advice that comes from the Three of Swords card is “yes, it’s painful,” but you’ve got to stand back up and keep going. This is a bump in your path that you can and will get past.

An ending may be what you need in order to begin something new. Allow the ending to come if you feel within your heart that it has been happening for some time.

It’s not time to clam up and shut yourself down. This is uncomfortable, yes. It will pass and you will take on a new path in the road. Again, this may be precisely what the Universe felt was right for you.

This is especially true if you picked the wrong partner or the wrong job. You’ve put up with it long enough and it’s time to cut it off. It’s time to find something or someone better.

You’re in control here, even if it doesn’t seem like it. YOU are responsible for your own feelings and actions, and this card says to get up and keep moving!

When it’s reversed, it’s definitely telling you not to allow your dark thoughts to take you over. Push them aside and put an ending to that thought process.

10. The Three Of Swords Tarot Card As Feelings

The feelings that come from the Three of Swords Tarot card are hurt, pain, misery, sadness, betrayal, heartbreak, insult, disappointment, anger, and loneliness.

The feelings are harsh that go hand in hand with the upright Three of Swords. When you look at the reversal of the card, it’s a bit different.

There may be hope, optimism, forgiveness, healing, or growth. Then again, negative cards around it can mean feelings such as unworthy, unlovable, not good enough, or lacking.

It’s always really important to look at the cards that surround this card. It could go two different ways. It will explain a lot more as well when you look at the cards that come after this one.

If it’s a card of the day, then it should reflect what you’re feeling at the time. You may feel great and ready to face the day but then again, it may be saying you’re feeling out of sorts and are in need of meditation.

The Three of Swords can also indicate that you’re in a state of confusion due to sadness. The confusion is what happens when you’re caught off guard. I would highly suggest that you do some grounding along with the meditation.

11. The Three of Swords Card Meaning Regarding Children

Since the Three of Swords Tarot card means a distressful ending, then it will also mean disappointment when it comes to the topic of children. You may suffer a miscarriage or be told you need further treatments to have a child.

Perhaps you were ready to have a kid with your partner but your partner finally broke your heart telling you that he doesn’t want to have kids.

It may also be that you financially cannot afford to have a child.

Another angle is having an affair and getting pregnant by the other man instead of your partner. You’re hurt and don’t know how to cope with it.

Looking at the reversed Three of Swords Tarot card opens up a different door. You may have gotten pregnant by your now departed partner. You’re healing and happy to have this child.

If you already have children and the Three of Swords card comes up, it may be saying that something isn’t right with your child. Perhaps they are experiencing heartbreak.

Maybe they’re not doing well at school and get expelled or suspended. They could be getting bad grades and as such, get removed from sports.

The reverse, of course, would mean they’ve already gone through the hard stuff and are now finally getting back on track with their grades, sports, or other activities.

12. Health And The Three Of Swords Tarot Card

When it comes to health, if you get the Three of Swords it may be telling you that you’re ill and need to go see a physician so you can work on your healing.

You may be diagnosed with something terminal or a disease that has no cure. This card does tend to be suggestive of heart problems or even brain issues. Both are hard to treat.

If you get the card in reverse, then it could be telling you that you’re finally in recovery and getting treatment for your ailments.

Maybe you got the wrong diagnosis and now get the correct one, which is far better than the previous one.

I will say this when you’re hurting or stressed you can absolutely manifest problems with your chest (heart or lungs). You can also cause yourself headaches or migraines.

In reverse, healing can happen and there is hope that you’ll live to see more years ahead optimistically.

Keep in mind that the card represents the number three. Health-wise, the number three brings up heart and lung problems, diabetes, arthritis, problems with veins, and also problems with your liver.

Whatever this may mean, it’s the right time to seek a physician and make sure things are as they should be and if not, you’re getting treatment or medication.

One last thing… The Three of Swords is associated with Libra and the health issues that you should look out for are problems with your intestines, digestion, acid reflux, bladder, sexual problems, and kidney functions.

Keep an eye out for these problems. Jump on them quickly and see your doctor. You might be able to prevent such things by eating a proper diet or taking the medication your doctor gives you.

13. The Three Of Swords Card Answer “Yes” Or “No”

This card is fairly obvious when it comes to the old “yes” and “no” answer. The card upright is rather negative, which inevitably is “NO!” It’s a strong no, which is why I capitalized it.

When the card is in reverse, it’s a yes unless there are negative cards surrounding it which makes it more of a “not likely.” Only positive cards around it will make the reverse answer a yes.

In some cases, the reversed Three of Swords can mean “maybe.” It’s not often, but it can happen depending on the cards that are surrounding it and giving it more definition. You can also pull an additional card for clarity.

14. The Three Of Swords Tarot Card In Position

Three Of Swords Tarot Card In Position

There is so much importance to pulling cards in various spreads. I want to show you how it works with the three-card spread. This is a simple lesson of why you have to pay attention to what the card means in a better way.

Pulling one card may not give enough clarity, and so as a minimum when you’re asking a question, pulling three is often best. You get more information and it helps you understand what you’re looking at.

Take a look at what the Three of Swords Tarot card means in the different positions:

The Three of Swords in Past Position:

When the Three of Swords comes up in the past position, it’s stating that you’ve already been through an ending in your love life, business, or financial status.

Whatever it is, it is in your past and still resonates a little bit with where you are now, which is what made you want to ask the question at hand.

If you got the reversed Three of Swords card, then you have done your due diligence and have worked at healing from what you went through. Now you’re ready to see what’s ahead.

The Three of Swords in Present Position:

The Three of Swords in the present position means that you’re currently dealing with a breakup or painful situation that is coming to an end. You may be ready for it, but it still hurts.

You might not have known it was coming so it hurts even more. This can be with romance or with a job loss. It may be a financial blow that was unexpected and threw you off your game.

If it’s the reversed Three of Swords in the present, you may have already dealt with this and you’re starting to heal, get on your feet, and are optimistic about your path ahead.

The Three of Swords in Future Position:

When you see the Three of Swords in the future position, it means that a breakup or end is coming very soon. Are you prepared? Did you know about it?

Is this something you know needs to happen but it still sucks? Yes, I know, it’s not fun to see it in the future position but it’s something that you need in one way or another.

You may not see it or understand it, but an end always produces a new beginning. If the card comes up reversed for the future position, then it definitely leads to something better or healing that allows you to love again.

15. The Lessons The Three Of Swords Wants To Teach You

Lessons The Three Of Swords Wants To Teach You

What can you learn from the Three of Swords Tarot card? More than you think! Now that you know what the card means, for the most part, you can actually take the lessons and put them into practice.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, understand, and practice for your own well being:

  • “Though a situation hurts, it needs to happen to help you learn”
  • “Do not overreact out of fear or hurt”
  • “Endings help usher in better beginnings”
  • “If someone hurts you that is your karma, how you respond is yours”
  • “Learn to let go”
  • “It’s time to put a stop to that which isn’t good for you”
  • “Learn to control your thoughts so they don’t control you”
  • “You’re better than you think you are”
  • “You are worth for better love and better finances”
  • “Your experiences make you who you are in the future, make them count!”
  • “Don’t let pain or disappointment hold you back”
  • “Always tell the truth, no matter what!”

So, as you see, there is much to learn from the Three of Swords both upright and reversed. This card, in essence, is an experience that you’re meant to feel but also to gain wisdom.

16. Astrology And The Three Of Swords Tarot Card

When it comes to the Three of Swords, it’s mostly associated with the sign of Libra. This is why the clouds are often depicted in the picture in various Tarot card decks.

Libra is ruled by Venus. This is why the heart for the three of Swords seems to be relevant. Libra is often indecisive. They have trouble committing. Even when they do commit, some may keep their eyes open for something “better.”

Another planet relative to this card would be Saturn. This is an “in-depth” planet that makes you really dig deep with your feelings. What’s best and what isn’t?

Sometimes what’s best makes you end things because you know you can have better. It also represents life lessons. Saturn wants you to learn what is ultimately going to be the best for you.

Through hard times comes one of the best lessons which are what Three of Swords facilitates.  Pay attention to the Astrological aspects going on when you pull the Three of Swords Tarot card.

It may actually give you that much more information that you wouldn’t know otherwise.

17. The Three Of Swords Tarot Card In Numerology

The number three on the card has meaning. In Numerology, the three for Three of Swords means that though things may be tense, you should maintain optimism and growth.

If the number three is your Life Path Number, then it is a reminder that you need to be working on your purpose. Your purpose with number three is for you to overcome setbacks and work at being your personal best.

It sounds about right, doesn’t it?! You have to overcome bad times or losses with a renewed sense of purpose. Ironically, this is basically what Libra also needs to do in their life.

Everything really does go hand in hand here. If your personal year cycle is a three when you get this card, then it means you’re going to be working on your own personal success and meeting new people.

In other words, you’re going to continue to push forward, no matter how difficult it’s been. It may seem hard to get up and go but this card is telling you to do just that.

This is why I believe that when this card comes up, it’s telling you that whatever is coming to an end is something that needed to happen so you could move on and move forward.

18. When You Keep Pulling The Three Of Swords Card

Why in the world do you keep pulling the Three of Swords Tarot card? Well, this will happen if you ignore the fact that you need to be working on your own healing or tidying up your resume.

Whatever you should be doing is getting put on the back burner, so this card keeps coming up to remind you. It may also come up if there is a relationship about to end and you’ve ignored the signs.

If you blatantly don’t face that the relationship isn’t working or the job that you’re at isn’t the right job for you, then this card keeps making a re-appearance to tell you to wake up!

Either you can accept it and know it’s going to happen but it’s for the best then you’ll surely learn the lesson it intends.

When you keep blowing it off every time you see it or try to rationalize it, then the card may keep pressing you. The Universe needs you to wake up and really understand what is happening.

It’s better for you to know ahead and accept it so that it hurts less when it happens. In fact, typically people usually will say after getting this card multiple times, “I should have known, they kept warning me.”

Now, when you see that card more than once… WAKE UP!

It will be easier for you to get what is going on when you’re paying attention. Look at your relationship. Are you happy? Is your partner happy? Look for red flags you may have written off and make sense of them now!

19. Symbols For The Three Of Swords Tarot Card

The symbols for the Three of Swords Tarot card are quite upfront and blunt. Normally the card will have a heart with three swords painfully stuck through the heart. There are clouds and sometimes rain.

The card may even have a stormy background. Either way, it represents a dark and stormy time you must go through in order to learn and move forward.

The heart represents you, your feelings, being open, and your vulnerability. The swords are sharp and are made for cutting, slicing, and tearing apart.

On that note, it’s fairly precise to what is happening in your relationship, job, career, or finances. Expect that this is a huge change that will cause you to have to take up a different path than you’ve been on.

Now when you’re thinking about getting a Three of Swords represented in a tattoo, a heart with swords going through it is pretty straightforward. I mean, you can pick your favorite deck’s card and get it tattooed but the symbol itself is as open as you can get.

You could also get one sword going through the heart or even two. It’s whatever creative style you’ve got. Storm clouds with rain or thunder are nice as well.

I suggest talking your situation over with your artist because it’s their job to come up with the best representation of what you’re going through. Tell them you want the Three of Swords represented.

Read next: Nine Of Swords Tarot Card: Your Complete Guide

20. Spirituality And The Three Of Swords Tarot Card

Spirituality definitely comes through the Three of Swords Tarot card. When you’re going through a very difficult situation, you hurt, and you question your belief system.

This can help you to either make your beliefs stronger or it will make you re-examine your beliefs to find a better system that suits you. That change can help you with anything you put your mind and effort into.

It’s very important to have faith in the Universe and faith in yourself. This is important when you’re trying to create a new beginning out of the ending that you’re going through or have gone through.

If you expect to heal, your beliefs are going to send you in that frame of mind where you should be or need to be depending on what it is.

If your life hasn’t worked well with the way it was going, it’s time to figure out what exactly you can do to change it. It’s up to YOU which direction you will go next.

What do you feel deep inside is going to help you succeed in love, money, or career? What do you feel drawn to? When you figure that out, you can manifest it.

The Three of Swords springboards you from a dead-end to a door open to a golden path ahead. Isn’t that a better way to look at it?

So you see, the Three of Swords Tarot card means so much more than your initial look at it. It goes very deep and it’s a life lesson that we periodically go through.

Sometimes you can pull this card when things are all going very well. It makes you wonder what’s going to happen to catch you off guard. My suggestion is that you prepare for the unexpected.

How can you do that? Well… keep doing your best always. Be better than you were yesterday. Be open to change, be open to learning, and be open to making a change.

Spiritually, this card is one of the best at teaching you that pain is often just a way to get you to see what isn’t good so that you can really open up to what is better.

Now you understand better what this card means and can view it objectively.

I wish you all the luck of the Universe on your journey!

Your friend and Relationship Astrologer,

Anna Kovach



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