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But Justice turns the balance scales, sees that we suffer and we suffer and we learn.  And we will know the future when it comes." 

Chorus, Agamemnon, Aeschylus


In the midst of a storm, a red heart is pierced by three swords. Despite the heavy clouds in the background, rain is coming to wash away the sorrows of the broken heart.

The Three of Swords is the card of painful separations and betrayal, but also about emotional catharsis. Catharsis is an intense process in which we purge all emotions after a tragedy, raw and unfiltered. Some of us cry for hours, some scream and shout in anger, but in the end once the release completes the process of healing begins.

Understandably, the lessons of grief, hurt and betrayal are the hardest. But how can such emotional suffering and pain be a positive experience?

First, once you get over the initial shock, you will realize how strong you are. Moving forward, you will become more independent and confident in your steps. You will have the courage to do things that use to intimidate you. And lastly, you will put all your relationships to a sieve and sift out the true from false. People that unconditionally love and support you will be there, and that is what you should focus on instead of the ones that hurt you.

Number 3 represents self-expression, love and compassion.


Three of Swords Keywords

  • Heartbreak
  • Sorrow

  • Loss

  • Separation



  • Healing process
  • Letting go
  • Separation

Upright Three of Swords

Guidance: The Three of Swords represents a period of separation, loss, betrayal and grief. Whether it involves your personal relationships, work or health; this card’s advice is: Don’t beat yourself up. This journey doesn’t have to be alone. Surround yourself with unconditional love and support inside out, you deserve to find peace again. This too shall pass, and you are only going to come out stronger.

Love: The Three of Swords warns you about a heart-breaking situation concerning your relationship. It may represent betrayal, emotional pain; and in more serious cases break up or divorce. It is going to be difficult, but there are times when this card has a positive twist. The heartache you will go through, eventually make way for something better. If you are single, the Three of Swords represents yours, or an ex’s feelings. In this case, there are still some past hurt and resentment to heal.

Work/Finances: This card can indicate loss, failure, and disappointment. It talks about your emotions more so than the outcome. In some cases, the heartbreak may be even related to more personal reasons. It is important to draw lessons from this difficult period to not repeat the same situations again. At this time, try your best to not let your negative emotions interfere with your judgement. See it as an opportunity to clear the old to make way for the new. If you want to bounce back from a financial loss, first evaluate what happened and why, learn the lesson and let go of the past. Don’t let your worries and sadness impact your financial future.

Health: More often than not, the Three of Swords indicates an emotional pain affecting your overall wellbeing. In more literal context, it can be about heart-related issues. The difficult situation you are going through may be related to an outside factor rather than your health. In any case, when this card appears in a health reading, it is an advice to prioritize self-care and love. Alternatively, it can also symbolize past health issues being cleared away soon.

Spirituality: Your inner life is going through some big changes. You may be facing some hard-to-swallow truths, dealing with sorrow or going through ‘’the dark night of the soul’’. Dark night of the soul is known as a temporary period of suffering that propels the soul into the next step of enlightenment. It is a powerful phase of transformation for you, where you will clear out a lot of burden. Don’t focus on the pain, focus on your healing. Take it step by step, always remembering to be kind and loving to yourself.

Guidance: The implications of the reversal of this card are the same as above, however this time you are not dealing with the heartbreak very well. You are refusing to acknowledge the facts and move on. As hard as it may seem, pain is a natural part of life as much as joy. Like when the moon leaves its place for the sun to rise every day; at some point in your journey, you must heal from the pain and allow yourself to feel joy again.

Love: When the Three of Swords is reversed, you feel unable to let go of the heartbreak that you experienced. Whether you are holding onto a break-up, divorce or grief, it is never a good idea to live with bottled up negativity. Accepting and understanding how you feel is the first step to your healing. You are not vulnerable, helpless or hopeless for admitting that you are hurt. Whatever is bothering you, you need to get it out of your chest. For singles, this card can mean moving on from bitterness and resentment of the past.

Work/Finances: You may be having trouble coping with a major loss. The Three of Reversed shows a lot of upheaval and disappointment in the past, reaching to conclusion once you forgive and forget. So, if there is still some bitterness lingering inside you, remember that your future holds new opportunities and the only way you can get there is your strength and hope. Being stuck in regret is not helpful if you don’t learn from mistakes. You need to eliminate fear when it comes to managing your money.

Health: The Three of Swords reversed suggests recovery from emotional/mental trauma, or more literally heart-related issues. You will start seeing progress once you release some negativity you previously attached to this situation. Sometimes, the card also indicates isolation, so if you have any problems, don’t go through it alone. Always rely on the expertise of a medical professional if you need to.

Spirituality: The Three of Swords reversed is drawing your attention to what is happening beneath the surface of your conscious self. Are there any repressed emotions, regrets, unforgiven issues that you try to hide from yourself? Do you fear change or welcome it? It is important to find honest answers to these questions, because it seems that you may be blocking your transformation in a subconscious way. Some old wounds need to be properly healed, so they don’t bleed again.

Reversed Three of Swords

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