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Three of Swords - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


dissappointment, heart-break, tears, pain after a breakup, emotional injury, loss, shock, sadness, grief, rejection, agonizing thoughts, a painful truth, depression, loneliness, betrayal, suffering.

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A red heart symbolizing emotion is depicted floating in the sky. It is pierced by three swords representing mental power. One sword coming straight from above, the other swords entering from the two sides in a way that all the blades are crossing. In the sky there are dark clouds indicating the sad atmosphere and it is raining heavily. 


General Meaning


The number three points to a manifestation. In the Three of Swords, it is the manifestation of emotional pain. It could mean that you become aware of something painful or that a painful truth is revealed to you, since the swords symbolize thoughts and communication. Mostly this pain is inflicted on us by others through hurtful actions or words. Three of Swords is also a symbol of emotional release. It can represent a time when you give in to your emotional pain and process your feelings, or it can advise you to do so, since it is an important part of the healing process.

Love Meaning


In a love reading Three of Swords can stand for the pain of a breakup, a rejection, being unhappily in love, being hurt by someone, love triangles, jealousy, painful arguments, painful words and abuse, even your own painful thoughts that torment you. When this card shows up, it can ask you to face a painful truth that you might deny. For example when you are in a relationship that brings you more pain than happiness. For singles it could also represent lonely times and dissappointments. 


As Feelings


If you ask how someone feels for you the Three of Swords most probably means that the person in question feels hurt, disappointed, regretful or very sad at the time. It could be about something you said or did, or something that has happened between you. Another meaning could be that they feel sorry and hurting because of something they did to you. 

© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

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