The Three Of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Have you had the Three of Swords in a Tarot reading and don’t know what it means? Maybe you were given an interpretation but want to know what else the card could mean? Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever your question might be, we are here with the answers you need! 

Keep reading for a complete guide covering all the possible meanings of the Three of Swords Tarot card. Whether it appears upright or reversed, we have the meaning from you and some guidance on how you can incorporate the meanings into your life. 

So let’s get into it and give you the answers you need! 

Upright Three Of Swords Tarot Card General Meaning

Let’s start with the general meaning of the Upright Three of Swords. Generally, the card represents sadness, sorrow, heartache, and unhappiness. It is the card of loss, grief, tears, and depression. The card usually appears at times of difficulty or emotional hardship. 

Disillusion, conflict, distraction, and misunderstanding are represented by this card too. Whatever situation you are facing, you can expect upheaval, confusion, and upset.

The card also suggests absence, betrayal, depression, disorders, loneliness, and trauma. 

The Three Of Swords suggests you have or will suffer a betrayal or loss. This loss or betrayal is not one you can brush past, it is likely to impact you on an emotional level. You must allow yourself time to process what you have experienced. 

Although the card represents challenging times, it isn’t all bad. The difficult situations in our lives teach us about ourselves and how we can handle the bad times, along with the good.

Give yourself time and space to heal.

This will help you learn as much as possible from the experience. Don’t forget to reach out too for support when you need it. There is always someone there that can and will help you. 

Now that we have looked at the general meaning, let’s dive a little deeper and see what else the card can mean depending on the reading you have asked for! 


Health-wise, the card can suggest disorders, ill health, and surgery. Your health or someone you care about might not be as good as you hoped. You might experience disillusionment or sadness about this. 

The Three of Swords can also suggest cardiac issues. If you have any concerns about this, be sure to reach out to a medical professional for help. 

The card can also be linked to anxiety, trauma, and depression. It can suggest that physical issues might be caused by a deeper emotional issue you have not dealt with. 

It is vital that you take care of both your physical and emotional health. Be kind to yourself and remain positive to ensure recovery. 

Love And Relationships

If you are in a relationship, the card suggests conflict, heartache, heartbreak, sorrow, and tears. This does not mean your relationship is ending, but there are difficult issues that you need to address.

Not addressing them now could be detrimental to your relationship! 

Make time to sit down with your partner and have an open conversation with one another. You need to tell each other how you feel and actively listen to the other person. Arguing, getting defensive, or resorting to nasty comments isn’t going to help the situation. 

You might have become disillusioned or unhappy with the relationship. There could also be a lack of communication, which has caused serious misunderstandings between the two of you.

Not only does this cause arguments, but can leave you feeling lonely in the relationship. 

The Three of Swords can also represent separation, a break up, or divorce. There might also be a third party involved, contributing to the separation.

It doesn’t necessarily mean infidelity, but it could be someone stirring trouble and causing a rift between the two of you.

If you are single, the card suggests alienation or loneliness. You might be dealing with the loss of a previous relationship and are struggling to come to terms with your grief. To move on, you need to deal with this grief. It can be tricky, but you will find a way through. 

The card also suggests being with someone that cheats on their partner. Here you need to ask yourself if someone who values and loves you would treat you this way? Remember, the answer is always no! 

Money And Career

Career-wise, the card represents losses, disillusionment, and stress. This is not a good omen! There could be grief caused by a sudden redundancy or loss of a job.

You could also become disillusioned with your career.

Many things could cause this, such as arguments, a breakdown in communications, or strike action at your workplace. The Three of Swords is the card of conflict and division, so whatever is going on at work, it won’t be pretty! 

You can expect a lot of grief and upheaval in your work-life, which can leave you bringing home feelings of sadness or anger. You can try to have a respectful and open conversation at work to see if the conflicts can be resolved.

Remember to allow others to speak while you voice your concerns. 

If you have lost your job, it’s important you try and find some positives. Use this time to do things you wouldn‘t usually have the time for. Remember that your career is just one aspect of your life.

Try not to let it overshadow other parts of your life! 

Financially, the card indicates loss and upheaval. Again, it is not a pleasant card to receive. There might be a financial loss, or an emotional one that has financial implications, like a divorce or separation.

Things might not have gone to plan, but now is not the time to ignore the issue! Instead, you need to sit down (with professionals if needed) and create a plan to help you manage your finances.

Start with one small step and focus on one task at a time to make it through these challenging times. 


The Three of Swords suggests you need to heal. The recent losses or events have left you full of sorrow. You will likely feel as if there is little consolation at this time.

Remember, out of great sorrow often comes the best opportunities to learn, grow, and evolve as spiritual beings. 

Now is the time to reach out to people you trust for support. Allow yourself time to grieve the loss. Doing so will help you open up to messages from spirit guides, which will help you through this dark time. 

Reversed Three Of Swords Tarot Card General Meaning 

The reversed Three of Swords has a different meaning, so let’s take a quick look at it now! Generally, the card represents overcoming heartache, sorrow, sadness, and unhappiness.

The reversed card represents overcoming depression or grief, releasing pain, and optimism. The Tarot card typically suggests you are recovering from heartbreak, moving through the worst of your situation or reaching out to friends to share your problem or reconcile with them. 

Here you might have found a compromise that will help you to forgive and move past trauma. We know this isn’t always easy, but it is often the key to inner peace!

The card can also suggest you are repressing your traumatic memories, grief, or sorrow. By refusing to let go of negative emotions, you are holding onto the pain.

This pain is no good for anyone, and leaves you feeling miserable. Other supporting cards in your reading will confirm this. 

Now that we have established the general meaning, let’s dive a little deeper and look at what else the reversed Three of Swords can mean. 


Health-wise, the reversed Three of Swords suggests you are regaining your health after a period of disorders, ill-health, or surgery. You can expect to feel more optimistic about your healing or recovery.

The card can also suggest that anxiety levels could be impacting your health. Do not let anxiety rule your life or body. Seek professional help here to learn how to manage and even overcome your anxieties. 

Love And Relationships

If you are in a relationship. The card suggests your relationship is entering a time of forgiveness and reconciliation. Any pain or heartache your relationship has previously caused will subside, allowing you to move forward. 

You can expect better levels of communication too. There is a good chance your relationship will continue to progress, allowing you both to move forward.

The reversed Tarot card can also suggest reconciliation after a breakup.

The reversed Three of Swords can also suggest you are holding onto pain, sorrow, or grief, and are not willing to let these feelings go. Your partner might have hurt or betrayed you and you keep focusing on this instead of moving on. You might feel as though you are unable to forgive them.

Here you need to consider if you should continue your relationship. Your relationship cannot progress if you are unable to forgive them and move past it. 

If you are unable to draw a line under it, or find yourself bringing it up and using it to score points during fights, it might be time to draw a line and end the relationship. We know this can be hard, but doing so can help you and your partner move forward and find happiness elsewhere. 

If you are single, the card indicates moving past a separation, breakup, or divorce. It can also suggest you are leaving a period of feeling isolated and lonely and are optimistic towards future relationship opportunities. 

The card can also suggest you are holding onto a deep level of sorrow. This could be a divorce, bitter break up, or the loss of a loved one. You are sure to be devastated by the loss and need time to heal.

However, holding onto this pain will not make you feel better. If you are unable to heal or are finding it difficult, be sure to reach out for support. There are professional counselors that can help you through this process. 

Money And Career 

Career-wise, the reversed Three of Swords suggests that a stressful work or career situation is beginning to resolve itself. Optimism is on its way, allowing you to become more upbeat  and positive about your work environment.

The person causing the upset might have left the company or communication might have improved, allowing for reconciliation, forgiveness, and compromise.

The card can also suggest a difficult work situation getting worse. There has been lots of upheaval and people might be unable to let go of the negativity or choosing to hold a grudge instead of moving forward productively.

This can be difficult for you to deal with at work. It’s worth considering if there is a way to resolve this, or if you need to remove yourself from the situation to find peace and happiness. 

Financially, the card suggests you are starting to see a change after financial difficulty. There might be a compromise reached with your lenders to pay back your debt, or you might have negotiated some debt forgiveness.

You might have also reached out for help and support with your financial problems. You should feel more positive about these when the Three of Swords is reversed rather than upright.

The card can also suggest you are wallowing in financial loss. You might have lost your home, financial status, or a job you loved. Instead of tackling the issue and finding a new home or employment, you are refusing to accept the situation.

You might be holding onto old memories when you should be looking towards the future. 

Here, it can be hard, but you need to accept what has happened. You cannot control the past, but you can control the present. Start by taking some steps that will improve your situation, rather than wallowing in self-pity. Trust us, even the smallest step will make you feel better! 


The reversed Three of Swords suggests you are entering a time of healing and forgiveness after a heartbreak or loss. While recent losses or events have left you full of sorrow and sadness, you are coming through the worst of it and healing from the pain.

The card can also suggest you are holding onto sorrow and are unwilling or unable to let go of the grief. It can be difficult to see a way out when we are consumed by grief, and often we can block messages from our spirit guides.

But staying consumed by grief will not change the situation.

It can be challenging, but you need to find a way through to start your healing journey. 

Meditation or Reiki could be helpful here. They will provide you with some quiet moments of reflection that will help you open your heart and mind to messages from spirit guides. Here you can expect your healing journey to begin. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, a complete guide to all the possible meanings of the Three of Swords Tarot card. While it isn’t the most positive card to receive, remember that positive times will always follow the storm! Reach out to others for support when needed and you can expect the conflict and heartache to slowly lift. 

Zhara O’Brien
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