The Queen of Swords shows a regal looking woman sitting on a stone throne; she holds a sword in her hand. This card is considered to be dealing with honesty, forthrightness and experience.
Appearance and Symbolism
In the Rider Waite Tarot card deck, the Queen of Swords is depicted as a resolute looking woman sitting on a throne made of stone. She holds a sword easily in her right hand, but does not look as if she is brandishing it, or preparing for a fight. She is secure in her self-belief that she could use the sword should she need to. Her left hand is open, gesturing to the world that she has something to give or to offer.
She appears raised up, as if sitting on a mound or hill. We can see clouds at the same level she is, showing how high she is sitting. There are clouds on her coat as well and her crown is made of interlocked butterflies. There are images of butterflies hidden in her stone throne too. We can see the wind as whipping through the trees behind her and there is a single bird in the sky.
Butterflies are considered by many people to be a powerful symbol of transformation and change, of moving from one phase to another. The butterflies we see in both the King and Queen of Swords are symbols of a change in thoughts, of the person attending the Tarot reading, or someone close to them. Butterflies have to go through several stages before they reach their full beauty, a lesson to us all.
Clouds are symbols of hiding, but symbols of revelation too. When the clouds break on something we didn’t know or didn’t expect we find a ray of sunshine bursting through and illuminating something that can make everything seem so much better. This can be a symbol of a great idea coming out of nowhere and depending on the card clouds can also indicate confusion or a bout of clouded judgment.
If you go for a free Tarot card reading online and draw the Queen of Swords, you have drawn a card that represents a powerful, mature intellect that does not let emotion get in the way of making good decisions. This card shows us the ability we all have to discern and judge things impartially, without letting emotion cloud our judgment. This card continues the story we saw in the Knight of Swords, who was rushing headlong into something he couldn’t control – where his intellectual energy had led him into dangerous situations.
Some words that come up, which are related to this card are intelligence, perception, decisiveness, maturity, independence, morality and self-reliance.
This card could show you that the past has been and gone and that the future might be uncertain, but you feel that you want to stand steadfast and face whatever is coming. It might indicate the need to be at peace with yourself or your situation in order for everything to fall into place properly.
This card could also be a message to you that you need to forge some independence for yourself (in whatever sphere of your life you feel necessary) so that you can feel more powerful. It also warns that you shouldn’t let empathy or emotions stand in the way of achieving that goal. The point is to think with your head and not with your heart. If you give your situation your full attention and utmost concentration, you will be able to see you way through to the other side.
When you are in a reading and the Queen of Swords comes up inverted, it is a sign that you might be letting your emotions get the better of you. You are thinking with your heart and not with your head – a dangerous situation. It may also show too much investment in something, emotionally, which may be distorting your view of reality and what is actually happening.
You may need to distance yourself somewhat and rely on your mind and intellect to get a better idea of what is really going on. The lesson is to try and look at the situation objectively and remove yourself to the extent that you can see everything there is to see.