Two of Swords

This is neither here nor there, and strictly non-tarot-related, but I want you all to know that I am currently typing this literally through my cat Sadie’s floof. She is sitting somehow on both of my arms, and I am still typing. She weighs thirteen pounds. I love you all a lot.


We all make decisions, every day of our lives. Sometimes, most of the time, they’re small, inconsequential. This t-shirt, this bagel. There is rarely one of those massive, life-altering choices, those forks in the road, those decisions that you wish you could play out like the timelines episode of Community. What if you accidentally stroll into your own darkest timeline? What if the choice you make is irreversible?

In a lot of cases, it is tempting to wait, to put it off. Arriving at a fork in the road doesn’t necessarily mean you have to choose one of the forks, right? You can hang out at the corner, set up a little picnic, open a blacksmithing shop, find a wife, live and die at the crossing of these two roads. It’s fine. It’s good. The other option that is pretty popular, and is one of my personal favorites, is the shriek-and-dash method. This is the one where you get so overwhelmed by the possibility of failure and doom that you literally just pick a road to have picked a road, and then fling yourself down it headlong because now you’ve picked it and at least there’s that dealt with. This has gotten me into many, many terrible scrapes and is generally not a method I would recommend but like, hey, I’m not your boss. You do you, and if that requires lunging ahead without planning or foresight, lunge away. I can’t deny it works sometimes.

The Two of Swords is the card that you are dealt at the fork of two very important roads. This is not the card of what should I wear today but the card of who will I become. This card is the coinflip that divides your timelines. You are blindfolded at the intersection of two great and terrible things, and the only thing that can guide you is your soul. The Two of Swords, when you see it, is letting you know where you are. Letting you know that now, right now, in this ordinary moment, you are on the verge of something new and different.

The Two of Swords is like the Hanged Man in that it is a card of pause and a card of reflection. A lot of times these cards appear when you are pelting along, not thinking too hard, and their intent is to pull you up short, stop you in your tracks. The Two of Swords is not a warning, necessarily, but it is something on the way to one. It is the clearest signal you can get of one very important thing, which is this: you have to make a choice. The Two of Swords heralds a situation that will definitely be made worse by avoiding it. When you see the Two of Swords, know that it is time to bite the bullet and address whatever difficult choice you’ve been skirting around.

I gotta
Take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And break away
Breakaway“, Kelly Clarkson

It is also, in a weird way, a relief. The Two of Swords is essentially a validation of what you’ve been feeling, which is that this decision is incredibly difficult to make. It asks you why, though – it demands that you figure it out. What is making this so hard for you? Is it a lack of information? Is it fear of the unknown, fear of consequences, fear of shutting doors, fear? What don’t you know about the situation? Swords are the suit of logic, remember, of rationality and clearheadedness, and that is what this situation calls for. Take a step back and look at the fork in the road, and assess it as neutrally as you can. This card asks for balance: these crossed swords, this forked path. You may need to pull yourself back farther than usual, farther than is necessary or comfortable. I am very firmly not a person who cares about what the devil’s advocate has to say, so know that I’m not telling you that, but listen. The Two of Swords indicates a need for balance. It tells you that you aren’t looking at everything, you don’t have all the information. And because of that, because of that imbalance, you may have to look at alternate ideas, different viewpoints. You might have to compromise, which is one of the most difficult things that we have invented, but the Two of Swords is your indicator that it will be worth it. This means personal conflicts, too – sometimes your choice is simply how to relate to others, and the Two of Swords tells you that you cannot move forward until you lay this down, and the only way to do that is simply to agree to disagree and move past it.

I say it once
You say it twice
You know I like a little competition from time to time
You think I’m wrong when I know I’m right
You lose this ain’t no kinda competition
I like a man with ambition
But when you gonna know it’s time to let go?
‘Cause I think I’m about to lose my mind
Competition“, Little Mix

The reversed Two of Swords indicates that your decision is a terrible one, sorry, and what I mean by that is that neither choice will make you happy. The lady or the tiger, so on and so forth. You still have to pick one, though, and the sooner you do the sooner you can begin to deal with the consequences. It can also indicate that you have too much information, rather than too little, and at that point what I’ll do is (sorry again) direct you to Whitman – dismiss whatever insults your soul. If you are flooded with information to the point that it’s paralyzing you, try and wade through to the heart of it, find what resonates with you best, and make the choice. Remember: this card is about action. Even when it is reversed, it demands that you move.

The hall remains, it still contains a pair of doors, a choice.
Behind one door, a muffled roar, behind the other, a voice.
The Lady and the Tiger“, They Might Be Giants

(A note: A helpful thing I have learned is to do a separate reading on the Two of Swords when it comes up – just one additional card for each side, each sword. Each fork in the road. This may give you more insight into what it is your choices could bring, what they mean to you, and help guide you better.)

About Aly

aly was born in nashville but left before she could meet and befriend and ultimately wed taylor swift. now she lives in colorado, where she spends her time crying about bucky barnes, yelling about pop music and vampires, and writing young adult fiction.

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