Three of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

Pamela Colman Smith, 1909

Three of Swords Keywords: Sorrow, Loss, Heartbreak

Three of Swords Tarot Card Description

A vibrant red heart, pierced by three swords, hangs suspended in driving rain under grey clouds in a grey sky.

What the Three of Swords Means In A Tarot Reading

The Three of Swords is a striking image that reveals its meanings at first glance. This is sorrow, heartbreak, loss, strife, and separation. When you’re in the middle of a Three of Swords situation, your heart is breaking. This is the pain of grief and sorrow. Experience tells us that these feelings won’t last forever, but that can be hard to believe when we’re going through a Three of Swords experience.

It’s worth reflecting on the fact that you’re experiencing these emotions because you can. You’re capable of deep feelings, of experiencing great love and happiness, as well as great sorrow. We see this in the image of the vibrant, red heart. You will heal from this experience and go on to feel love, joy, and happiness. Your vital and vibrant heart experiences all emotions with intensity.

The Three of Swords can also point to quarrels and misunderstandings you may have. As this is a card from the Swords Suit, these quarrels can often centre around ideologies, politics, ambition and who has the upper hand. Even though these quarrels cause you great distress, the storm will pass. You’ll figure out a middle ground, a way to communicate more effectively, and a way forward. The Threes in tarot relate to fruition and expansion. Lessons will be learned from your Three of Swords experience, and you’ll develop and grow as a result.

Three of Swords Love and Relationships Tarot Meaning

It makes a lot of sense that if the Three of Swords is going to appear in a reading, it often does so in readings about love and relationships. Relationships are full of ups and downs. One day we’re madly in love and we can’t imagine ever being happy without our partner, the next we’re fighting and arguing with them and experiencing a heartbreak and pain that we’ve never known before. This is a Three of Swords moment. It’s a storm of emotions born of passion, intensity, and love, and, like all storms, it will pass.

Occasionally the outcome of the Three of Swords might be permanent loss and separation, but this isn’t by any means always the case. The quarrels and sorrow represented by the Three of Swords are often resolved quite quickly. These Three of Swords episodes are experienced in every relationship. In fact, the vivid red heart is indicative of a love that is passionate and intense. You love this person deeply, which at times brings immense joy as well as sorrow.

Three of Swords Career Tarot Meaning

The meanings of the Three of Swords remain the same no matter what the subject of your reading is. In a career reading, the Three of Swords shows deep disappointment and the sorrow that will cause you.

The possible sources of this disappointment and sorrow are endless, but clues can be found in the surrounding cards and by analysing your work situation. It may be that there’s conflict between you and your colleagues. Perhaps you just don’t see eye to eye on a work issue, or it may be that you clash over your ideologies and beliefs. It’s also possible that you’ve been turned down for a job you were hoping for, or that you’re facing a job loss. These aren’t the first conclusions you should jump to when you see this card in a career reading, however. They’re simply possibilities. The Three of Swords can relate to devastating and life changing loss and sorrow, but more often than not it relates to a passing storm of emotions that’s over with and resolved quickly.

Whatever the situation, it will pass. You’ll figure a way out of this. The surrounding cards in the spread may give an indication as to how this will come about, or the outcome may still be unclear at present.

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