3 of Swords
The swords cross each other to symbolise pain in the past, present and future, indicating heartache which hasn't been fully resolved. When pain and heartache hits us, we know we are alive. Grief can occur in different ways, like an argument with a close friend, a difficult relationship break up, or the death of a loved one. In either case fighting acceptance only serves to keep this grief alive and wishing for a different outcome will not change what has happened. Pain and heartache isn't something to wash away, it serves to teach us about love, compassion and wisdom through direct experience and deep understanding.
5 of Swords
Conflict often pointing to an extreme and humiliating defeat. We've all been victimised or bullied at some point, leaving us feeling inadequate and despairing. Then again many of us have gone too far and taken out our frustration on people who are an easy target, fuelled by anger, malice and vindictiveness. The character in the forefront has asserted himself and won the battle. The card shows two sides of the battle, there will always be winners and the losers but the atmosphere in the card is palpable, it shows a scene of extreme negativity. The reality is that this kind of behaviour only serves to create a toxic atmosphere, so in this respect everyone is a loser.
See also: Tarot Cards of Success & Failure
7 of Swords
The man is taking action and making away with a bundle of swords, which appears a little daring, if not dodgy. Perhaps he's steeling the swords, given that the characters in the background seem blissfully unaware of his actions. The 7 of Swords reflects craftiness because sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands. What's to say that he hasn't been forced into this situation, or that he isn't taking something back that is rightfully his? Two swords have been left behind, symbolising a lack resolution to the situation, so there are bound to be repercussions from these actions.
8 of Swords
A card of oppression. The castle on the hill top is a symbol of authority, holding a manipulative influence over the situation. This influence manipulates the person’s perception with oppressive ideas, leading to fear, isolation and limitation. This person isn’t limited by a direct force, just led to believe in their own helplessness, they are free to walk away at any time. Freedom is only limited by conditioned understanding rather than direct experience.
9 of Swords
A card of sorrow and pain. The swords are pointing in a forward direction, showing an inability to face what is happening, either now or in the future. The the individual is completely controlled their thoughts. Control in this sense could be seen as this idea of manipulation seen in a domineering family, friend or partner who controls an individual for their own gain.
10 of Swords
Betrayal, violence, back stabbing and wrong doing. However all is not lost, the darkness of the situation is beginning to clear and a brighter day appears in the distance. In this context the 10 of Swords is not as extreme as it initially appears. The card can reflect a melodramatic or hysterical reaction to a situation that isn't as bad as we really think, and even it is, the reality is that it isn't going to get any worse, the damage has already been done and life goes on.
King of Sword
The King of Swords is an authority figure with a powerful intellect. He maintains the principles of order, law and society but is often limited to his viewpoint and has little time or consideration for anything that falls outside of the facts. The King of Swords tends towards arrogance and tough minded common sense, which is loaded with prejudice and preconception. He holds a remote attitude and his thinking is divorced from the ideas of what other people want or need. The King of Swords can be a controlling and domineering person, involved in corruption for the sake of power and control. His detachment lends to cold, ruthless tactics which conveniently carry out his singled minded ideas with little or no consideration for others.