Three of Swords

Element: AIR

Upright: Heartbreak, Depression, Grief
Reversed: Releasing Pain, Healing / Repressing Emotions

Symbology, Meaning and Interpretation



Heartbreak, Depression, Grief.

Sorrow and pain are the best words to define the Three of Swords.

The heart at the centre suggests a heart-breaking situation affecting our emotional side that overflows the mind. We can say that our logical and intellectual judgments suffered a great impact as we struggle to concentrate and to use the power of reason.

This card from the Minor Arcana represents a period of grief, loss and tears generally difficult to handle. The bleak thunderstorm at the seaside reveals exactly how we feel inside, knowing that the water mirrors our feelings. Some interpretations describe the swords as words or actions that inflict pain, creating a deep feeling of desolation. Despite the events that contribute to that painful situation, it allows you to grow up intellectually and to make better decisions in the future.

Devote this time to your feelings and embrace the pain for a while, do not mask it. Pain and grief must evolve: open yourself to the healing process. If you need support, do not hesitate to reach the people who care about you. As soon as the storm passes, refocus yourself on your goals and you will realise how different and renewed you are.

The alternative version of the card keeps the same symbology by depicting a feminine character with the swords carved in her heart. She resembles the catholic representations of the Virgin Mary and her sorrows. At her feet, the thorns emphasize the idea of pain and struggle.


Releasing Pain, Healing / Repressing Emotions.

The Three in reverse means that you are mentally strong, and the heartbreak did not affect you as much as in the upright position.

You have already had some experience and suffered enough before; for that reason, you do not go down easily. Use this situation in your favour to build stronger foundations and take more realistic decisions in the future.

If you suffered a deep and hurtful heartache, you would start to feel restored and healed. The pain does not last forever, so you are realising that and are slowly rising up, stronger than ever. The healing process sometimes takes longer than expected. Moreover, if you ignored it by focusing on different things and getting distracted from your inner pain, you did not allow your heart to heal. Focus on your grief and accept it, so you can move on more prepared. An unhealed broken heart is still fragile and easy to break again.