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The Queen of Swords - Rising Above in the Tarot

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The Queen of Swords is about overcoming your obstacles and finding wisdom through them.


To give you a bit of context whilst you reflect on your own relationship to the card, here are a few key things to know about the Queen of Swords:


The Queen of Swords is full of meaningful symbols, and we’re going to talk about three of the key ones in today’s mini-lesson.


First, there are the butterflies carved into the Queen’s throne. Butterflies are a common motif throughout the Rider Waite Smith tarot’s suit of Swords: they also appear on the throne of the King of Swords and the dressing of the Knight of Swords’ horse, and I personally think that the butterfly shape appears more abstractly in the design of the Ace, Two, and Three of Swords. You won’t be surprised to know that the butterfly represents transformation. Given that the Swords are associated with the mind, this speaks specifically to a transformed mindset or point of view. And because the Swords are linked to the element of air, there is also something special about the association with transformation here, since a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly allows it to leave the ground and soar - into the air. The transformation offered in the Swords unlocks new heights, literally elevating us.

Another key element of the Queen of Swords card is the rope tied around the Queen’s wrist. This, too, represents a kind of transformation - from tied up to free. The Queen has escaped some kind of bondage and claimed a throne instead. It’s a powerful reminder that we can always evolve beyond our circumstances.


The final symbol I want to talk about in this mini-lesson is the relationship between cloud and sky in the Rider Waite Smith version of the Queen of Swords. Dense clouds rise up from the ground around the Queen, but stop at the level of the hilt of her sword - the full blade pieces through clear blue sky. This feels like an obvious depiction of cutting through, creating clarity, rising above.

In your tarot journal, you’re asked to reflect on what this card means to you, now, in this moment, and what actions and thoughts it inspires in you. As you journal, pay attention to what you’re personally picking up in the card, but also consider what the key symbols and themes in the card might be telling you. What transformations of mindset are you experiencing, or how do you want to start transforming your point of view? What past experiences are you in the process of moving beyond? And what clarity are you pursuing?


This mini-tarot lesson was brought to you by me, Chelsey Pippin Mizzi, founder of Pip Cards Tarot. I hope you gained a little context to help you continue reflecting on the card in your own way, and I’ll see you tomorrow for another mini-lesson.

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