Three of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

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Three of Swords Tarot Card
Meanings and Keywords:

3 of swords tarot card meanings IMTarot
3 of swords

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Cutting to the heart of a situation.




Emotional pain.

Being let down or letting someone down (including yourself).

Afraid of getting hurt. 

Finding it hard to trust.

Being betrayed by someone in a trusted position.


Deep emotional pain.



Symbolism in Three of Swords tarot card

Symbolism is from Rider Waite Deck.

three of swords

Three swords piercing the heart

The three swords pointing downwards symbolise endings. The swords cross each other as they pierce a heart symbolising emotional pain.

Rainy clouds

The sky is filled with rainy clouds symbolising grief.

Three of Swords tarot card and Astrology

Saturn (World) in Libra (Justice)

Three of swords tarot card meanings upright

Three of swords tarot card in a general reading

Three of Swords tarot card denotes heartbreak. sorrow, pain, and separation. Sometimes the separation is only temporary, other times it is final. The other cards in the spread will tell you in what situation this pain is manifesting itself and how strongly it is affecting you. Three of swords tarot card will also show the old pain that has been covered up, and that desperately needs releasing. If surrounded by a lot of court cards your heart is hurting due to the people in your life. Three of Swords combined with Five of Swords can mean that someone is deliberately trying to hurt you. Don’t let them. Three of swords often shows up when you need to get to the heart of a situation.

Three of swords sometimes shows up for people with a love of music, especially string music.

Tips when Three of Swords shows up in a reading: Remind the seeker of their passions and their dreams. Get them motivated about life again. Steer them away from wanting to escape their problems. They need to get themselves on track first.

Three of swords in a love reading

In a love reading, Three of swords tarot card denotes a painful time where the Seeker is dealing with rejection and separation. Three of swords can also mean the couple is not communicating properly. There are misunderstandings, and they are shutting each other out.

Three of swords in a career reading

In a career reading, Three of swords tarot card signifies work that puts the Seeker under stress. It can also denote a cardiologist, surgeon, and grief counselor. In a general question about a job, three of swords can mean the Seeker feels separated from their colleagues.

Is Three of Swords a Yes or No in a Tarot Reading?

Three of swords tarot card denotes a strong likelihood of a No in a yes/no question. .

Three of swords as feelings

Three of swords as feelings denote the Seeker is feeling heart-broken and isolated. If Three of swords is reversed, there is old grief stored inside the Seeker that they have not dealt with. If you are asking how someone is feeling about you, Three of swords can mean this person is feeling hurt and possibly very misunderstood. There could be misunderstanding between you.

Learn what Three of swords tarot card means in the Grand Tableau.

Three of swords as Personality types

Three of swords as a person indicates someone who is easily offended and hurt due to past abandonment and loss. Three of swords people are terrified of being rejected and are controlling and jealous people. Three of swords people don’t know what it feels like to be secure and often have twisted beliefs about love. As a result, they never really give their heart to anyone and they can be very difficult people to love. Their partners try to fix them and counsel them, but it often ends with more heartache. They are often stuck in the past and are reliving an old trauma. They seek relationships to feel whole, but as their relationship develops they suffer anxiety and fear of loss. As a consequence, they are often in and out of relationships, and they never seem to settle down.

3 of swords tarot card meanings IMTarot
3 of swords

Three of swords tarot card meanings reversed

Three of Swords tarot card meanings reversed indicate there is blocked grief stored in the person’s heart. The seeker might be afraid of grieving and is internalising. This card often shows up when people don’t tell others how they are really feeling. They have problems putting up the correct boundaries and become a punching bag for other people’s aggression and frustrations. They keep taking it believing they have no other choice. They don’t honour their own feelings. This card also shows up when people reject others in fear of being rejected.

Three of swords reversed as Personality types

Three of swords reversed can speak of a person who is calm on the surface but is hiding something disturbing underneath. Three of swords reversed people often seem incredibly confident and hide behind a fake smile. There are often deep-seated issues that have never been processed. The person might never been an opportunity to heal. They know how to act as if nothing is wrong. It seems like nothing upsets or worries them, but only because they have learned to hide their feelings. Somewhere along the way, these people have suffered greatly and they have learned to control their outward responses. What you see is not what you get.

Three Of Swords Tarot Card Combinations

Some important tarot card combinations including Three of swords:

3 of swords + The Fool: Unable to commit. 

3 of swords + The Magician: Breakdown in communication. 

3 of swords + The Hierophant: Unable to trust people in trusted positions. 

3 of swords + The Lovers: Making a bad decision. 

3 of swords + The Chariot: Giving up before you give it a go. 

3 of swords + Strength: Impatience. Fear of standing out due to peer pressure. 

3 of swords + The Hermit: Loneliness. 

3 of swords + The Hanged Man: Unable to communicate your point of view.

3 of swords +The Star: Being led astray. 

3 of swords + The Sun: Problems communicating with children. 

3 of swords + The World: Difficulty completing what you started. 

3 of swords + Four of wands: Gossip. Toxic community. 

3 of swords + Seven of wands: Unable to protect your boundaries properly. 

3 of swords + Eight of wands: Delays. 

3 of swords + Six of cups: A difficult childhood. 

3 of swords + Eight of cups: Surrendering to please others. 

3 of swords + Nine of cups: Disintegration due to lifestyle choices. 

3 of swords + Queen of cups: Dark feelings blocking abundance. 

3 of swords + Ace of pentacles: Separation. 

3 of swords + Three of pentacles: Lack of work performance. 

3 of swords + Five of pentacles: Lack of spirituality and friendship. Health problems. 

3 of swords + Seven of pentacles: Moving ahead before the time ripe. 

3 of swords + Eight of pentacles: Tedious work. 

3 of swords + Ten of pentacles: Pain with original family.  

3 of swords + Page of pentacles: Wasted talents. 

3 of swords + Ace of swords: Unable to think clearly. Wanting revenge. 

3 of swords + Five of swords: Someone is hurting you on purpose. 

3 of swords + Seven of swords: Lying. 

3 of swords + Page of swords: A talented person in the wrong field. 

Learn to read tarot card combinations in my Arrows course here. 

Three of swords tarot card meanings summary

Someone asked me once why Three of swords tarot card has such a negative meaning in the tarot cards when three is a number for expansion, communication, and humour? As you might know, some of the meanings in the cards derive from their numbers. Three is certainly not a negative number. Why is it then that Three of swords is about heartbreak and sorrow? With the Three of swords, we are entering into more negative influences of the swords. The swords in tarot are about conflict. Sometimes conflict is necessary. When combined with Three which is about communication it can denote breakdown in communication. Three of swords on a more positive note is about cutting to the heart of an issue to resolve it. On a more negative note, it is about hurt feelings and criticism. Most people would rather be ruined by flattery than saved by criticism. We all have to face criticism from time to time. It is how we handle it and learn/grow from it that matters. Three of swords can denote that the seeker is learning not to take everything so personal.

Learn the Meanings of the Suit of Swords Tarot Cards Here.

Learn the Meanings of Three of WandsThree of Pentacles, and Three of Cups. 

Learn the meaning of Number 3 in Numerology Here. 

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