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 any 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
The 5 of Swords is a card of 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 taken out our frustration on people who are an easy target, fuelled by anger, malice and vindictiveness. The character in the forefront of the card 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 aggression only serves to perpetuate negative thought which results in a toxic atmosphere for anyone involved, 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 although 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
The 8 of Swords is 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 individuals perception with oppressive ideas, leading to fear, isolation and limitation. This individual isn’t limited by a direct force, just led to believe in their own helplessness, they are free to walk away at any time. In the 8 of Swords, freedom is only limited by conditioned understanding, as opposed to direct experience. Think George Orwell's 1984, an oppressive political regime like Stalin, or the propaganda and brainwashing found on TV.
9 of Swords
The 9 of Swords is a card of fear, sorrow and pain. The swords are pointing in a forward direction and the individual is overwhelmed and consumed by the experience in their mind. The bed base shows two figures fighting to the death with swords and signifies the intensity and jeopardy of a problem, it may aggression towards us or to someone very close to us. However no amount of worry is going to change anything, the problem at this point is all in the mind and simply inhibits sleep. No matter how much there is to lose, there are times where no amount of thinking and worrying will change the outcome. In fact if we lose ourselves to our minds worst fears, we will begin lose control altogether.
10 of Swords
The 10 of Swords is a card of betrayal, violence and wrong doing. But 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, because there is hope and a new day is dawning. Therefore the card can reflect a melodramatic or hysterical reaction to a situation that isn't as bad as we really think, the reality is that things aren't going to get any worse, the damage has already been done and life still 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.