How We Choose to Not See: Exploration of the II of Swords

Left to right: Golden Threads Tarot by Tina Gong, Crow Tarot by MJ Cullinane, Radiant Wise Spirit Tarot by Los Scarabeo

When the II of Swords show up, we’re receiving a dose of hard reality. She is never a surprise when she comes round, and she will only discuss the one that we absolutely do not want to address. The message is resolute, however: we are avoiding something, and that needs to stop.

Dealing with the realm of the mind, swords often represent our internal world. They encompass the motives behind our actions and the ways we process and respond to things. Where the Ace of Swords represents all that is possible with the use of human intellect, II of Swords comes in tells us that potential can’t be actualized unless we are receptive enough to see a bigger picture than we are currently allowing.

The woman depicted in this card chooses not to see. She chooses to put up her barriers and to internalize. While this is a common response for many dealing with something that’s considered complicated or unpleasant, this action does not make anything easier. In fact, it typically makes the situation worse. Avoidance leads to anxiety, uncertainty, and confusion. It facilitates an internal environment that triggers stagnation.

Fear grips us all at some point or another, and we have all experienced a moment in our lives where we deny our true feelings, have refused to make a hard choice, or avoided the truth to keep the façade that everything is okay. The longer we allow that behavior that harder things become, and the more resistant we are to change.

That’s not to say this card is doom and gloom, but the II of Swords does tell us that we need honestly assess ourselves and do some course correction. Minor arcana cards shape our path and deal with the things that are directly in front of us, yet they still do not provide context. Although a seemingly unsavory card – much like the bulk of the Swords suit – the card is entirely neutral. The II of Swords is just as likely to represent something annoying yet insignificant tin our lives as it is something overwhelming and consuming.

What always remains is the message of the card that can be applied to any situation, big or small:

What is it that we are choosing to avoid because it seems easier to hide?
Why are we choosing to not see?
How is our life impacted by inaction?
Where in our life is greater accountability needed?
What is the underlying reasoning for the barriers we put between ourselves and our environment?