In the RWS deck and clone decks this card is shown as a lady, arms crossed across the chest, holding two heavy swords. She is alone in a desolate landscape, a crescent moon hangs in the sky and a large body of water appears at the back of her.
There are two ways to interpret this card and when it appears in readings you must use your own intuition and the signs from the other cards to decide which applies, or indeed if both apply.
The first and maybe most obvious is that she has locked herself away to avoid making an important decision. Her hands are crossed firmly across her heart, her eyes are closed – to the world? to the facts? to the obvious? the two swords keep everyone at a distance. The two swords do suggest a choice of some sorts, and here she is avoiding that decision by turning inwards.
However, I almost always never read this card like the above. In my narrative, she has swam from the mainland onto a secluded island, she has sat herself down, she has closed her eyes to distractions, she has drawn her hands across her heart to keep it safe and she has thrust the swords of intellect and balance into the air to act as a weight and guide to her decision. She has consciously retreated in order to meditate on a problem or a decision.
We all lead busy lives, we all have so many demands on our time physically and emotionally and sometimes don’t we all wish that everyone and everything would just shut the hell up? This lady is making that happen, and if she uses the intuitive influence of the moon in the sky behind her and the emotional guidance of the water, that is always present in this card, then she will make he right decision for her. This card is nearly always about a tough decision or choice and one in which we may not have all the facts.
Sometimes, it is just good to be alone, to block out distractions and just be, it is amazing what you can find out about yourself. I have never been able to meditate successfully, and to be honest I have only tried a handful of times but recently I started doing Yoga, and it is only through being forced by the yoga teacher to just sit and breath for 5 minutes did I realise just how much stress and tension was hanging around in my whole body. My body was that tense and closed it was actually hindering me taking a proper deep full breath! And that is just from life, from plain old regular life. Look back at the Two of Swords, she doesn’t look tense or stressed, she looks serene and in control, this lady knows what she is doing and we must trust her, and we must trust ourselves to do this from time to time.