The Queen of Swords is a simple enough card, but it's the small details that really make it pop out and mean something. The queen sits of a throne of stone, intricate carvings riddled throughout (most notably butterflies and a cherub). The throne sits upon the top of a hill, with a great view of the sky above. The queen herself sits with regal austerity – her clothing is intricate, and she wears a cloak covers in clouds and a crown covered in butterflies. The queen holds a sword in one hand. The queen's other hand is stretched forward, as if to as someone to approach and be judged – her eyes are cold, stern, and unforgiving.
To start with, we'll want to disambiguate court cards. They are often the most difficult to read, due to their general nature. It is easier to remember that a court card often signifies a person or entity: the sex of the person may not match that of the court card, but the attitude and persona will seem familiar. If it's clear, however, that the court card doesn't refer to a person, remember to break it down further. First, define what the suite stands for – e.x. Cups generally refers to emotion. Then take the role of that court card and apply it to the suite – e.x. A Page of Cups would be a young juvenile in the world of emotion, just as the Page of Swords is the inexperienced lad of thought. This can help you to decide what the court card is trying to tell you.
Person: This is a queen with a lot of experience under her belt – she's come close to seeing it all, so don't be surprised if you approach her throne and she already has a good idea of what you're about to tell her. This experience has made her very straightforward – she wants to get to the point, and to judge based on all the facts. She will pull no punches. The queen combines a feminine power with the power of the mind – these two make a dangerously astute woman, and one you don't cross.
Metaphor: The Queen of Swords may be asking for you to take matters into your own hands, and to deal with them quite harshly. Partner been cheating? Throw your partner out. Dishonesty at the work place? Time to call it out like you see it. Friends talking about each other behind their backs? Bring everything to light. The queen is, if nothing else, painfully honest, and she asks of us all to be as honest as she is. If you are in the right, you have nothing to fear, but if you are in the wrong... you might want to run.
Here are some things to ask yourself when you see the Queen of Swords in your readings. Does the Queen represent a person? If so, who? What message or lesson do they hold for you? What harsh judgments need to be passed? Is it time for you to lay down a smack down? What harsh truth needs to be revealed?
The Queen of Swords is undoubtedly a rough card – rougher than many of the others card in a tarot deck. Still, there are several cards that have this rough-around-the-edges factor in common with the Queen. The Justice card is most notably similar due to impartiality in judgment – both the Queen of Swords and Justice ask for you to do what needs to be done, level the playing field, and may all injustices right again. The Knight of Swords has a lot in common with the Queen, but while the Knight's negative aspects as something you want to steer clear of, the Queen's harsh nature is one that is tempered with wisdom... unlike the Knight. You'll want to heed to what the Queen tells you to do, while you might want to give some thought to what the Knight suggests.