Three of Swords: Love, Career, Health, Reversed, & More

Three of Swords

There are few tarot cards bleaker than the Three of Swords. It’s a metaphor for a tragic event, whether actual or imagined. The Three of Swords suggests that you might not be able to avoid some pain. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Three of Swords meaning is all doom and gloom.

The Three of Swords represent the gift of sadness. It indicates the ability to feel all of one’s feelings without shutting down, including the ability to feel pain and heartbreak. Letting your emotions wash over you and releasing any pent-up agony is a necessary part of the grieving process.

It can also signify the resurfacing of ancient wounds due to present-day relationship anxieties. Past traumas may be resurfacing because something about your current situation reminds you of those old feelings. You may either be a martyr and suffer in silence, or you can allow yourself to get paralyzed by actual or imagined feelings of envy.

This card also represents how two opposing viewpoints might seem to cancel each other out, leaving you feeling as though your heart has been pierced despite your best efforts. A creative breakthrough often follows this period of sorrow.

The thing to remember about the Three of Swords meaning is that a period of sadness is necessary to move past the pain and to grow. There is always a silver lining!

I’ll be discussing the Three of Swords in great detail today, whether you pulled this card in a love reading, career reading, spirituality reading, or as advice.

The Three Of Swords Meaning:

The Three of Swords is one of the most visually disturbing in the tarot deck. Here we see a big heart stabbed by three swords, covered in blood, and floating in a thunderstorm.

Heartbreak and loss are represented by the Three of Swords. It is all about how there is no way to prevent suffering in life. There are times in every relationship when quarrels and miscommunication appear to occur more frequently than joy, adventure, and love.

The Three of Swords is seen as the “breakup” card in romantic relationships. Although the card does not usually foretell the end of an existing relationship, it does indicate that anxiety and struggles in the relationship are present.

The Three of Swords is a powerful Minor Arcana card, but you need to read it in context to properly appreciate its potential. I’ll break down the several ways in which this card can show up for you.

Visual Elements:

The image of the Three of Swords visually isn’t a great one. We see three swords crossing a heart that floats in a cloudy, overcast sky. Everything points to the upcoming moment being an emotionally trying one for our querent.

Blocking out the sun, emotional breakdown, and despair are all feelings conjured up by the rain and dreary skies. The querent’s sadness, deceit, sorrows, and anguish are mirrored in the rain, which is a metaphor for crying.

But keep in mind that rain is essential for the survival of all living things. Rather than destructive thunder as in The Tower Major Trump, a cleansing rain pours down from above in the Three of Swords card.

Three of Swords

Upright Three Of Swords General Meaning 

The negative emotions symbolized by the Three of Swords are abandonment, loneliness, heartbreak, betrayal, separation, and grief – where the sudden nature of such tragedies amplifies their emotional impact.

However, the Three of Swords can also be a cautionary sign that indicates the presence of one or more of these possibilities. The emotional impact of this challenging occurrence can be mitigated, if not entirely avoided, with adequate preparation.

Still, it’s important to remember that suffering, sadness, and loss are sometimes inevitable on the road of life. There would be no growth or development without hardship. In fact, what may seem like a difficult period can actually be a cleansing period.

The Three of Swords is a reminder that life will become much less trying once you learn to view adversity as a chance to grow. This card is also a reminder that you have the strength to overcome any hardships you face.

Three Of Swords Reversed General Meaning 

The Three of Swords is one of the few cards that is actually more positive when reversed.

The Three of Swords reversed suggests that you have recently been through a trying time, whether because of the termination of a relationship or its difficulties, the loss of a loved one, or the pain of a personal injury.

Thankfully, the tough patch is coming to an end, and you’re well on your way to healing now that you know there’s a silver lining to every cloud and other reasons to celebrate in your life. You’ve finally reached a point of acceptance, where you can let the hurt and pain go and move on.

The Three of Swords reversed might also mean that you are having a hard time recovering from a recent heartbreak. This card indicates that you need to go through an emotional cleansing process to let go of the pain of a past loss and move on with your life. You’re putting in a lot of effort to escape this and begin a new life, but there’s a long road ahead of you. Stay positive!

Three Of Swords Keywords

Here are some of the most common keywords associated with the Three of Swords.


  • Absence
  • Betrayal
  • Conflict
  • Grief
  • Heartbreak
  • Heartache
  • Loss
  • Pain
  • Loneliness
  • Sadness
  • Separation
  • Sorrow
  • Upheaval


  • Acceptance
  • Compromise
  • Forgiveness
  • Healing
  • Optimism
  • Overcoming pain and depression
  • Reconciliation
  • Recovery
  • Releasing pain
  • Refusing to let go
  • Sharing

Three Of Swords in Love Descriptions 


The Three of Swords meaning, like the Three of Wands, is an unfavorable omen when it comes to romantic relationships. It’s a metaphor for the anguish of losing someone you care about. In a relationship, this card does not always portend a breakup or a loss. But it does indicate general trouble for your partnership.

In your partnership, you may face serious challenges and difficulties. The importance of recognizing these concerns cannot be overstated. Without recognizing each other and making an effort to step into each other’s shoes, you and your partner may drift apart. Relationships are always two-way streets, and both of you should feel like your opinions matter. This dynamic needs to be in sync to keep the couple together.

Teamwork, attentiveness, and mutual comprehension are necessary for survival. Without regular conversation between both partners, a relationship cannot grow and is more likely to fail.

The Three of Swords meaning can also be that you’re letting past hurts get in the way of your current love life. You may be reexperience traumas from the past, but because these traumas are so deeply embedded within you, it’s hard to see your situation clearly.

The pain from your past is getting in the way of your love life if you’re currently single and looking at this card. Your progress may be impeded by unresolved feelings of sadness and anguish. Your prior hurts have not yet fully healed. Healing requires time and space. It’s important to deal with any traumatic feelings from the past and cleanse yourself fully so that you can move forward.


If you get the Three of Swords reversed, it means that you have been able to forgive and move on from a relationship problem. Once you and your partner have dealt with your past hurts, you can go forward and improve your relationship. This card can indicate that you’ve gone through all the tough times and can expect smooth sailing ahead.

On the other hand, this card represents a refusal to let go of one’s sorrow and suffering. You feel comforted by the familiarity of this relationship, so even though it hurts, you don’t want to end it. Perhaps you’re dwelling on the times your partner has hurt you in the past and you just can’t bring yourself to forgive them.

Sometimes, the Three of Swords reversed can mean that you’re stuck or unable to move forward. It’s important with this card to take action, even if it feels painful.

The Three of Swords reversed can also indicate that you’re truly finding yourself if you’re single. You may be changing your outlook on love and looking for partners that are different from your past.

Three Of Swords as Feelings Descriptions 


In a reading, the Three of Swords might be a sign that repressed feelings are ready to burst forth. Now is a moment of expansion and alteration.

Significant changes in a person’s life, whether in their romantic or professional spheres, frequently coincide with the appearance of this card. Although these events might be extremely trying, they can also pave the way for something brand new and promising to emerge.

The Tree of Swords is an excellent tool for navigating difficult emotions and finding inner fortitude if you’re going through a period of transition.

The Three of Swords in this reading can mean that one or both partners are feeling unappreciated. It’s possible that feelings of jealousy or insecurity exist between you two; if so, it would be wise to devote some time to talk things out.

Generally, the Three of Swords meaning as feelings is that right now, you’re in a period of cleansing. Your feelings may be overwhleming you but know that this won’t last forever and that negative or difficult feelings are necessary so that you can move forward.


Someone somewhere is probably harboring some resentment towards you. All of the issues that plague them haven’t been resolved yet. They’re bottling up their feelings; they’re withdrawing from others and unwilling to discuss what’s been upsetting them. They are repressing their feelings in favor of emotional numbness.

Sometimes, the Three of Swords reversed indicates that you have a rejection or loneliness phobia. You may be suppressing your feelings in order to do what someone else wants, but the truth needs to break free.

Three Of Swords in Career Descriptions 


The Three of Swords appears in a professional reading when there has been a setback, such as the cancellation of a project, the loss of a job, or the sudden collapse of an opportunity. Experiencing a loss can be quite emotionally and psychologically taxing.

Try to maintain some sense of perspective. The work setback may seem monumental at the time, but it will eventually fade away and things will go back to normal. Keep in mind that you have the support of family and friends. The joy of pursuing interests you enjoy, and the strength of your own will to carry you through this difficult time.

And remember that this setback probably happened for the best, that it was necessary in order for something better to come.


In regards to your career and job, the Three of Swords reversed can indicate that you are under stress due to an internal conflict. The bright side is that you can see the end of this predicament in sight. Now that things seem to be improving, you might find that you look forward to going to work more. 

However, be careful that you don’t harbor resentment over any work-related issues. Suppressing your feelings will not help you – they will only come out sideways. Instead, deal with any negative feelings and figure out the best way to move forward. And if that little voice inside of you is trying to speak up, now is the time to listen.

Three Of Swords in Money Descriptions


Money-wise, the Three of Swords meaning indicates bad news. But panicking right now won’t help. Stare your problems square in the face and work out how to tackle them one at a time. Don’t try to take in the entire picture if it’s too much to handle but focus on one problem at a time.

Get started with a manageable piece, even if it’s just the size of your next meal. Figure out each financial issue one by one and try to keep yourself calm emotionally. This is a long-term problem that requires slow and steady work.


This card in reverse portends a transition in one’s financial situation. Good things are on the horizon, so try not to worry. The economic crisis you’ve been going through will soon pass. If you’re currently in the process of making a transition, have faith that everything is moving in the right direction.

Additionally, having hit rock bottom will serve as motivation for you to climb back up. You can fight back against your loss and ultimately recover from it if you take the necessary measures. And your future may be much brighter than your past. Remember that every failure happens for a reason.

Three Of Swords in Health Descriptions 


The Three of Swords meaning in health indicates that a medical condition, procedure, or issue of some kind is depicted here. This could be an indicator of your health or the health of someone close to you.

Sometimes, the Three of Swords means that bad news could lead to health problems as your psychological issues become physical. Feelings of unease and past pain are also represented by this card, so it could also bring up memories or fear of ill-health.

There is a wide range of presentation formats for health problems. If one portion of the body isn’t doing well, it can have repercussions for the rest. It’s crucial to prioritize your care at this time, especially in terms of your mental and emotional well-being.


When the Three of Swords is reversed, you may be missing key details regarding your health. If you’re suffering health issues, conduct some independent research and go visit your doctor (or another doctor). If your intuition tells you that you need a second opinion, but your doctor’s advice seems solid, get a second opinion.

Anxiety can have serious consequences; if you’re feeling nervous and it’s getting in the way of your life, go to your doctor. Your quality of life may be severely diminished by severe anxiety, but it is possible to manage this condition. However, open discussion is necessary for bringing it under control.

With the Three of Swords reversed in a health reading, the general advice is to take action. The answers are out there but you need to go and find them.

Three Of Swords as Spirituality Descriptions 


Grief and loss can have a profound effect on one’s spiritual life. Think of this trying moment as a chance to grow and triumph against adversity. Although it may hurt right now, the pain will eventually subside.

You will be tested in your faith and resolve to discover how you will emerge from this difficult time. It will help you to spend some time on your own. While you might feel like you’re experiencing pain or confusion, these are actually growing pains. You’re letting go of illusions and cleaning beliefs that do not serve you. This process is difficult but also necessary to grow spiritually.


The Three of Swords reversed suggests that you’re at a stage where you can begin to heal. It can mean that your spiritual development has reached a point where you can forgive people who have hurt you or look back on difficult experiences and find value in them.

You might be finally learning something from all of the suffering you’ve been experiencing. You’ve grown in wisdom and fortitude on a spiritual level.

Three Of Swords as a Person Descriptions 


As a person, one who carries sadness, grief, and sorrow at all times may represent the Three of Swords meaning in a reading. Rather than focusing on the positive, they tend to dwell on the negative and the agony it causes.

They may be preoccupied with their tragedies to the point where they can’t imagine a bright future for themselves. This could be a person who is always stuck in “crisis mode.”

Similarly, this could be symbolic of someone who has suffered significant losses throughout their life and truly is in crisis mode. Examples are those of friends, family members, possessions, a career, and so on.


When the Three of Swords appears in reverse, it depicts a person who is actively recovering from a personal tragedy or moving on from a painful split. They’ve been through a lot, but are beginning to recover and move on with their life.

It’s normal to have episodes of depression or extreme emotions. As they revisit the traumatic events and learn to live with the repercussions, this person may experience periodic relapses to a former uncomfortable condition.

Three Of Swords Yes or No Meanings 


The Three of Swords is a reminder that despite our sorrow, we all possess a heart that beats brightly and will not be extinguished no matter how deeply it is pierced. Don’t forget that you are that beating heart. This card is usually a NO, but you have to bear in mind that there is no such thing as endless sadness. So keep looking for a solution to your problems. It can also mean that we simply need to wait until something passes.


The Three of Swords reverse sees your past pain and tries to give you the will to move on by being a little more optimistic about your situation. You have probably mourned as much as you could under the circumstances. Shed your old self and start fresh in this new chapter of your life.

You have overcome your cynicism and the lessons you have gained through emotional anguish will serve you well in the future. Don’t give up hope; the future is brighter now that you’ve left the past in the past. In a reversed position, this card reads as a YES.  However, it’s important to consider the cards on either side of it in a reading. Include the Moon card or more swords, and your travel time may be longer than you planned.

Three Of Swords Advice Descriptions 


The Three of Swords is not the best card to turn to when you need a definitive answer to a practical problem. It steers you away from risky decision-making in the hopes of averting or lessening potential suffering. The Three of Swords meaning is that you simply need to wait for a dark time to pass.


The Three of Swords reversed is a good card to consult if you’re looking for some direction. It encourages you to move on from the past and drop baggage that isn’t helping you today. You already have everything it takes to succeed.

Put a positive spin on your priorities and stay focused on the result. The Three of Swords reversed advises you, generally, to take action to change your situation.

Symbolism in the Three Of Swords Meaning

The heart – Our whole heritage, and all our possibilities are in our blood. They are our birthright — inheritance and also assignment. Just as with all other feelings, the emotions of the heart are not automatically positive.

The Swords – Consequently, the swords’ intended function is to aid in the resolution of emotional conflicts by facilitating the identification of causes and the formulation of appropriate responses.

The composition – The interface between the emotional and rational faculties is formed by the swords and the heart working in tandem. This is, from a psychological standpoint, when consciousness begins. In everyday language, this translates to cutting to the chase!

The clouds – The clouds are a metaphor for impending bad weather. Additionally, that level of awareness, where heart and head are one. This paves the way for the abandonment of empty aspirations and the actualization of meaningful, fulfilling goals.