Deck: Standard Rider-Waite
Card: Three of Swords Reversed
Card Type: Minor Arcana (everyday world of sense experience and our daily lives)
Element: Air (thoughts, mental activity, the mind)
Number: 3 (manifestation, tangible results, synthesis, fusion, vital force, creative success, positive energy )
Planet: Saturn (boundaries, discipline, self-control, maturity)
Zodiac Sign: Libra (cooperation, charm, imagination, diplomacy, optimism, calming, soothing, idealism, balance, beauty)
Chakra: Heart Center (Anahata – balance, love, harmony, compassion)
I-Ching Hexagram: Bo (the need for a period of inner contemplation and examination)
Colors: Grey (balance, sadness, humility, indecision); Red (power, passion, action)
Keywords: recovery, reconciliation, ignoring pain
The symbolism of this card is a bit obvious. Here we see a heart pierced three times by swords against the backdrop of a cloudy grey sky. The clouds represent conflicting thoughts or emotions. The heart is the heart of the matter and also represent our core selves. The heart is everything we are as well as all that matters to us. The swords represent the element of air and indicate mental activity or thinking. In this card particularly, the sword shows us that there is a lot of thinking occurring about a specific situation, and that there is likely a decision that needs to be made (or one that has already been made).
The Three of Swords Reversed will often appear after you’ve made a sacrifice, or if you are thinking about releasing something from your life.
You might have recently given up some relationship, behavior, or attitude in your life and are just now beginning to see the benefits of this difficult loss. Or, it may be that you are not yet seeing the rewards of this past release, and are at risk for going back on your previous decision. If this is the case, try to remember the reason why you made the choice in the first place, as well as the challenges you’ve overcome to get to where you are now. This card could also indicate that though there is no visible change, you are internally aware of how your decision is starting to pay-off.
This card could also show up when you are making sacrifices, but not the right ones. You may blame someone else for a circumstance in your life and seek to end that relationship without considering how your own thinking and actions contribute to the undesired outcome. This card may be reminding you to slow down and observe the situation as objectively as possible before taking drastic action.
Lastly, this card may appear when you know that something needs to be gotten rid of, but you are finding it impossible to give it up. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to seek support from others. There is power in numbers.