In conformity with the significance of the number 2 which represents a balanced stability containing a potential gestation, the Two of Swords manifested, on the one hand, by the color black and the schematic shape of the swords as well as by their arrangement quaternaries, the complete and subtle work of the subconscious preparing an act of will, the primal element of all mental activity; on the other hand, the leafy diamond with three colors enclosed by the swords illustrates the possibilities of gestation.
By itself, the 2 is composed of two forces which, not manifesting by virtue of their composition, would leave the 2 inert, if they were not forced to develop, by virtue of the activity which is the province of the Sword.
As a result of this activity, each unit of the 2 (the one passive, the other active) is reflected in the other, which is to say, that the active is charged with the passive and vice-versa.
In concrete terms, one may say that the passive sword resists and the active sword penetrates; this results in a quaternary.
The assets and liabilities alone are exteriorized and are indicated by the two half-circles crisscrossing the Two of Swords, while the second duality, due to the reflection, remaining internal, is represented by the two swords whose points are encased in sheathes.
Generally, the quaternary represents an equilibrium in the deck of the material elements, but that which results fro the swords, that is, from primal forces, is a quaternary of principles, whereas the quaternary formed by the central blossoming represents the balance of evolutionary forces embryonic in the number 2.
This evolution is brought about by the fact that this quaternary doubles itself for form an octonary, that is, a higher equilibrium. All this shows that the potential gestation of the number 2 will evolve through the activities of the Sword towards the two equilibriums included among the 10 first numbers, and which are the 4 and the 8.
The swords are, in general, represented in a schematic manner to symbolize the characteristics and the factors of mental activity and not to underscore their concrete action. The currents symbolized by this design, by crossing each other constitute a softening within the spiritual and the material, within the I and the Not-I.
This form is also meant to specify that their number does not signify a set of swords, as if on a panoply together; even less does the Two of Swords represent swords in a duel, but rather diverse impulses, different origins, which constitute an act of will.
The black color with which they are drawn is the color of the Invisible, and this is to show that the act of will, which precedes mental action, bears within it something secret because it is self-activating. Its origins are not within our reach, we see their manifestation, but we are unaware of the profound forces behind them.
The swords come from and end at the four corners of the card to indicate the universality of the currents entering into mental activity, and their ends are large to show the power and the mobility of the potential of the forces from which they emanate.
The schematic design is also meant to indicate that all this aforementioned work for the formation of mental activity passes through the subconscious where it cannot yet have taken the exact forms which it will adopt in its ultimate manifestation.
The black and enlarged extremities of the swords are the guards representing defense and containment, through material actions or through intelligence, depending on whether they are red or yellow.
The red and yellow bars are the forces which constitute the boundaries and the necessity of imposing limits in order to curb and regulate the mélange of currents created by the swords coming into contact.
The internal functioning of the swords, blue at top and bottom, indicates that it is of a psychic order; the color yellow of the perpendicular sections which, thereby, correspond to an interior job, introspective and assimilative, is of a mental order.
The figure between the swords, has a central white core from which emanates a yellow and red cross encased in another blue cross. The double bloom of its leaves in the four directions and the meeting of their points in the form of a diamond or an oval represents a synthesis of evolutionary forms which take mental action in the course of its development in the following cards. The seven black stripes on each leaf indicate that this activity must have as its purpose a successful realization.
The four flowers on the exterior represent the connections of this card with the four planes or the four states, and they emerge as seeds ready to sprout. If you examine the process of their formation, you will note that they are composed of a corolla of 5 blue petals and a red bud enclosed in a yellow chalice.
As the number 5 indicates a transition, the 5 petals define a radiance onto a plane different from that of the Two of Swords. This transition gives rise to a birth on the physical plane, as is indicated by the red color of the bud, protected by an intelligent activity.
Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes
MENTAL. Static balance. The absence of activity.
ANIMISTIC. Wealth of potential feelings.
PHYSICAL. consumption without efficacy, restraint, increased weight. Plethoric condition, slowed circulation.
INVERTED. This card, being symmetrical, cannot be read as a reversal.
In its Elementary Sense, the Two of Swords represents the halting of a concrete action in view of further enrichment intended to bring this action to fruition.