Three of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Tarot, like astrology, has long been one of our favorite divination systems. Interpreting either takes practice. As you learn, we wanted to help you to quickly connect to the cards and use them in ways that are actionable and practical in every area of life. xoxo, Tali & Ophira

Co-authored by James Kerti

What does the Three of Swords tarot card mean?

The Three of Swords represents a difficult emotional time, characterized by sorrow and upheaval. It’s the kind of letdown that can cause emotional pain and heartbreak.

When this minor arcana card appears in your reading, you may already know what it’s referring to. Or perhaps this card is predicting something around the corner. In the long run you will be okay, but repressing your emotional reaction won’t get you there.

Whether it’s a betrayal by someone you hold dear, the loss of a precious relationship, or something else, it’s important that you take time to process the event. When you lose something or someone that truly matters to you, it can feel like you’ve lost part of yourself.

Allow yourself to grieve. Take good care of yourself. Seek support from people who care about you, as well as mental health professionals if you need extra care. Give yourself what you need.

What is the Three of Swords zodiac sign?

The zodiac sign of the Three of Swords is Libra

Three of Swords Tarot Guide

Keywords for the Three of Swords: Sorrow, loneliness, grief, heartbreak, betrayal, sadness, trauma

Yes or No: No

Planet of the Three of Swords: Venus

Element of the Three of Swords: Air

What does the Three of Swords card mean in a love reading?

The Three of Swords often indicates heartbreak when it shows up in a love reading. If you’re in a relationship now, this card doesn’t necessarily mean the end. It does point to major emotional challenges that you can no longer sweep under the rug. Current circumstances may bring disappointment and you will need to adjust your expectations accordingly.

As this suit is associated with communication, the Three of Swords suggests that trying to talk things through with your partner is an important part of the way forward, whatever the future holds. Do your best to show up for those conversations from a place of curiosity and open-mindedness. By creating a safe space for your S.O. to be honest, you’ll finally get the truth. This can be freeing, even if it turns out to be something that you wish you didn’t have to hear.

If there’s been a betrayal that led to this situation, this might prove difficult. But the Three of Swords urges you to see those conversations through if there can be a respectful environment for them.

For singles, the Three of Swords can mean that you’re still grieving a past heartbreak that is keeping you from being emotionally available for another relationship. If you’re still finding your way back to peace, that’s okay. Give yourself the time and care you need to heal. Make sure you aren’t projecting the qualities of your ex onto your current love interest or people you date.

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What does the Three of Swords tarot card mean for career, money and finance?

The Three of Swords can be a disappointing card to pull in a career or money reading because of its association with loss and sorrow. If you’ve recently lost your job, or may be about to, that would explain this card’s presence.

Even if your job itself is secure, this minor arcana card is often connected with conflict in the work environment. The Swords highlight the value in conversation, and working to resolve workplace discord through words is this card’s suggestion.

From a financial standpoint, the Three of Swords may predict a financial loss, especially one that has an emotional connection, such as a breakup or divorce. It can also indicate that a contract may not go as favorably as you hoped. In instances like this, consider whether it would be better to walk away. Unless there is valuable experience to be gained from the project, best to keep yourself open for opportunities that are more lucrative—or in alignment with your values.

What does the Three of Swords tarot card mean for health?

When the Three of Swords appears in a health reading, it can be like a dashboard warning light to “pull over” and take care of yourself. Although it may be difficult to swallow the fact that you need medical care, this card can be indicative of health issues that need attention immediately.

Since this is the “heartbreak” card, it can sometimes be associated with cardiac problems. It may also indicate anxiety, emotional and mental health issues that are cropping up as a result of a loss or death of a loved one. It’s time to deal with your grief or mitigate stressful conditions that are causing your heart to race.

If that message resonates with your lived experience, the Three of Swords highlights the importance of prioritizing your health right now. Your mindset is a huge part of the equation. But positive thinking alone is not enough. You need to take good care of yourself, and get the support you need from healing professionals.

Three of Swords Tarot Card in Reverse Meaning

The Three of Swords is one of the cards in the tarot deck that can take on a more positive meaning when it appears in reverse. In that case, while it still represents the existence of a difficult challenge, when reversed, it typically means that you’re well on your way to putting that difficulty behind you and coming out the other side.

However, the opposite may be true: This card reversed may be indicating that you’re feeling really stuck in your grief and you haven’t been able to let go and move on. We understand that heartbreak and loss can be crippling. If you’re having trouble and can’t find your way out of the sorrow, it may be wise to seek more support from people around you, as well as consulting with a mental health professional.

Is the Three of Swords tarot card a yes or no?

With its message of heartbreak and loss, the Three of Swords comes through as a no in a yes or no reading.

What does the Suit of Swords mean?

Swords are associated with air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), which get things moving, acting as the winds of change. Air energy is communicative, and people with air signs like to connect and share ideas.

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Feature art by Diana Hlevnja