Three of Swords

Three of Swords in the Thoth Deck is SORROW.  When this Card appears in a Spread, it means that there is SORROW in the person’s life.  As a Significator Card, SORROW defines best the personal atmosphere of that person.


Three of Swords
Three of Swords
Thoth Tarot Deck


Three of Swords

Three of Swords has a Key-word.  Its Key-word is SORROW!  Unhappiness, sorrow, and tears galore!

More specifically, this kind of sorrow in not the kind of grief one goes through after the death of a loved one, nor after a divorce.  Rather, it is a sense of unhappiness one carries through life; it is a reaction to just about any situation in life.

It is part of the person’s very own nature to be unhappy, sad, and to have behaviors that result in deceit, strife, and discord with others.  As this type of SORROW is rather difficult to put into words, click on Elvis Presley’s Heart Break Hotel song.  Through the emotions invoked by this vocalist who sings this song, you may better appreciate the type of sorrow represented by this darkest Card in this dark Minor Arcana Suit.

The Darkest Card in the Suit of Swords

The Darkest Card in the Suit of Swords, is the Three of Swords – SORROW.  It is Saturn in Libra; 10° to 20°; its original Title is the Lord of Sorrow.  Those born on October 3rd to October 12th are Libra 2.  The planet that influences them is Saturn.  In Tarot Correspondences, the Three of Swords best represents how they react to the Core Influences and Energies that exercise control over them and their lives.

The proof that this Tarot Correspondence is correct, is found in the following formula:

3 (Binah) of Swords (Yetzirah) + Saturn in Libra = SORROW

The above formula was taken from the book “Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot”, by Lon Millo DuQuette.

The Three of Swords Dominated

The Three of Swords Dominated is in reaction to the Court Card that rules it.  It is ruled by (dominated by) the energy of the Queen of Swords.  The Queen of Swords is herself greatly influenced by the Sun Card in the Major Arcana.”


The Three of Swords
The Three of Swords Dominated by the Sun Card and the Queen of Swords


Markus Katz is a popular author who wrote the Tarot book ‘Around the Tarot in 78 Days’.  He refers to the influences that other Card’s have upon a Minor Arcana Card – as a “trickle down effect”.  The Core Influence of a Major Arcana Card pours itself down into the Minor Arcana Cards.  More specifically, a Major Arcana card pours into a Court Card.  In turn, the Court Card then pours down into the Pip Card.

This trickle down effect, causes both the Major Arcana Card and the Court Card together – to have control over the Pip Card.  This trickle down effect places the Pip Card in a position in which it can only but ‘react to’ these two higher stationed Cards.  In other words, the Core Influence of the Sun Card pours down into the Queen of Swords Court Card; the Queen of Swords then pours down into the Three of Swords Pip Card – causing the Three of Swords to react to the control the two higher Cards exercise over him and his life. The Three of Swords reacts by expressing or causing SORROW in its environment.

More precisely, this type of SORROW is ‘a reaction’ to the Queen of Swords’ control over him. It is not a true state of clinical depression per sey.  It is a dark behavior or emotion; albeit, an instinctively dark response to a dark influence – if one might put it that way…

To Suffer Sorrow

To Suffer Sorrow is to obey sorrow.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “sorrow” as such.  “It is to feel or display great distress.  It is an anxiety, anguish, an acute suffering caused by pressure or adversity”.  This definition of SORROW relates well the trickle down effect from the Star Card, down to the Queen of Swords, and then down to the Three of Swords.  In other words, a person who is in Tarot Correspondences – a Three of Swords, has a sense of darkness and heaviness about them.  Their material world is in chaos.  They know storms in their personal life, as well as in their family life.

The Good Qualities of the Three of Swords

The Good Qualities of the Three of Swords are as follows:

“Mirth in platonic pleasures; singing; faithfulness in promises; honesty in money transactions; and are sometimes even generous!”, Aleister Crowley.

Show compassion to the Three of Swords

Show compassion to the Three of Swords Sitter.  Help the Three of Swords to find it’s fortress!  Its fortress is the hope in their life (their safe harbor).  It is the rock one can lean upon (either within themselves, or another person in their environment).

For example, if I was to Read for someone who is an Elvis Presley-ish type of person, I would select the Three of Swords card as the Significator Card – to represent this person in the Spread.  And I would guide them towards their mother so to seek refuge in her maternal love; she knows how to raise him up when he needs that in his life.

In summary, the Three of Swords Thoth Tarot Card means SORROW!  It is a very complicated card to explain, but well worth a good attempt to do so.  Remember that the Sun always rises in the East each morning, and there is just nothing we can do to stop that from happening.  However, we can always be comforted by those who raise us up, rather – than lean upon those who would keep us down…