To me, the two of swords is one of the most complex cards in the tarot deck.
Not surprising, since it is one of the earlier cards in its suit, the energy being thus purer and so close to its original state. Not until the threes do
we see the energies inherent in the suit take form.
We approach this card through the eyes of the viewer, the traveler. Before us stands the guardian...the gatekeeper. His epee is raised in salute, his face covered. Notice also his dress...this is no brute warrior dressed in armor. No, this is a fencing master. He is the master of subtlety and grace. The movements of the fencer are quick, delicate and encompass much finesse; however, in the appropriate circumstances they are lethal.
He is the gatekeeper to the journey of the mind, the intellect.
The traveler stands before the gatekeeper (note how he blocks the passage?); stalemate. No aggression is shown; however, there is an underlying tension, a possibility that this peaceful balance may at any moment be disrupted. It is definitely apparent that physical force or physical reaction of any kind could have disastrous consequences. Now is the time to think, to reason.
A time of decision is at hand. The traveler must choose...will she avoid decision and linger at the gateway, refusing to go forward or retreat? And what will that gain her? Nothing, for as noted, the face of the gatekeeper is covered...and for a reason. He is not here to teach or converse. His place is not to enlighten or illuminate. He awaits the decision of the traveler, who must reach that decision on her own.
Will she retreat, avoiding all possibilities and experiences that forward progress would bring her?
Or, will she acknowledge the salute of the fencing master with one of her own and request his leave to pass?
And what will the traveler then see before her?
A grand staircase which represents the journey ahead and the many steps that must be taken...one at a time. The staircase stretches rather alarmingly and steeply into the air...a reminder that this is a "journey" of the mind,
the intellect. Scary? Yes. For what can be more fearful than the pitfalls and complexities of our own intellect? What can get us into more trouble than the machinations of our own thoughts? Steep is the staircase... symbolizing that the journey is a difficult one and precarious at times.
In the distance is the goal...the reward is the castle in the clouds, representing achievement and mastery of the lessons of the journey of the mind. Lessons that will be encountered and experienced in the ensuing cards
of the Suit of Swords.