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Three of Swords | Symbology & Interpretations | Tarot Card Meanings

In tarot, the Three of Swords is part of the suit of swords and can symbolise betrayal, hurt, and loss. The imagery depicts three swords penetrating a symbolic heart in stormy weather.

Three of Swords Keywords

Upright Keywords

Reversed Keywords

Heartbreak, pain, betrayal, stress, challenges, disappointment, loss, healing, grief, broken trust, difficult times, conflict, threes a crowd.

Recovery, healing, storms clearing, freedom, courage, acceptance, reconciliation, lessons learned, detoxes, clearings, refusal, being stuck.

Imagery & Symbolism

Three of Swords
Three of Swords

Clouds: The grey clouds signify a conflicting situation that will soon fill up and pour when overfilled.

Rainfall: In divination, rain is symbolic of sadness and disappointment, but also life, cleansing, and healing.

Heart: A symbol of love, compassion, and healing.

Three Swords: The swords are penetrating the heart, which can be symbolic of being metaphorically betrayed or 'stabbed in the heart'.


Three of Swords Tarot Card Meanings


In a general reading, the Three of Swords will typically be symbolic of a situation of conflict. This can be due to betrayal, loss, grievance, or disappointment. Healing is needed, and this will likely be a duration of emotional turmoil. It is important at this time to take a break for any healing that is needed, both on an emotional and mental level.


The Three of Swords in a general reading can suggest you are going through a period of healing after a conflicting period. You may be mourning, or just healing your heart which is heavy due to the circumstances. During this period of recovery, you should take time out to find your soul path again. This storm is only temporary and will pass within a matter of weeks/months. You will find the strength and resilience to move on.



In a relationship reading, the Three of Swords can be a card to signify heartbreak within a relationship, whether it is romantic or platonic. This heartbreak can occur within couples, family members, or even colleagues. The situation can come about due to betrayal by another individual.

Some tarot readers interpret the Three of Swords as a card of infidelity or a 'threes-a-crowd' situation - this can indicate heartbreak caused by broken trust in relationships. Alternatively, the Three of Swords could suggest conflict arises in a relationship due to a third-party individual. This can be supported by the Seven of Swords as a card of deceit or an interfering court card.


The Three of Swords signifies healing from conflicting heartbreaks. You are beginning to accept and come to terms with the situation before you, and are taking the steps necessary to heal. It is possible that heartbreak could occur from a loss within your relationships or the departure of a close loved one.



In a reading that is work-related, the Three of Swords signifies there is conflict in your workplace. One of your colleagues may be spreading gossip that causes conflict.

It is important to stay away from the unnecessary drama that could stir the conflict further, especially if the Page of Swords appears as a supporting card. Conflicts and disagreements may come about due to other people getting involved in your business, or people from different departments having conflicting opinions.


The Three of Swords indicates a conflict in the workplace will come to a resolution. Lessons have been learned and you will be able to move forward. Whether it is the fault of another individual, is not the matter. The important thing is that you move on and not dwell on the past.



In a financial-related reading, the Three of Swords indicates conflict arising from your financial situation. It can indicate issues with money, debt, payments, savings, and any other sources of income or expenses. The Three of Swords appearing can suggest you will be going through a difficult financial time. You may incur heavy financial losses that will impact your situation but are only temporary.


The Three of Swords can indicate that you are going through a period of financial recovery. You will do well to plan and prepare for future financial setbacks or reoccurring situations that may come about to your finances. You may have suffered a significant loss for now, but a recovery is always an option for the future.



In a health reading, the Three of Swords can signify a health condition that appears due to overwhelming stress or conflict. This can be your health, or someone close to you who you have a special relationship with. Multiple factors can contribute to poor health, however, with the Three of Swords, it is likely caused by stress, loss, or grief.


The Three of Swords suggests you are recovering from a difficult health period. It is important to rest, take a break, and nourish your mind, body, and spirit to revitalise your energy. Ask your spirit guides and guardian angel for healing to help you move forward. It may be beneficial for you to practice soul-nourishing such as mindfulness meditation to clear your mind and spend some time out in nature, away from the stress.



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