Since the swords are crossed in front of the woman's heart on the Rider-Waite Two of Swords, this card often manifests as a closed heart. This expression refers to one of the many barriers that are erected around you to protect you from what you perceive as dangers. In this case the swords are not forces opposed against each other, but forces allied against anything that might try to pry them away and reveal what they are guarding. If the barrier is broken suddenly, it will be painful. But if the barrier is allowed to remain it will become stronger and tension will build until it breaks on its own.
In a relationship-oriented situation the Two of Swords shows such barriers between the two partners. Sometimes only one person is responsible, but the number of the card suggests that both partners are at fault in the majority of cases. It manifests as a vicious cycle; one partner refuses to tell a secret and becomes defensive. The other partner is hurt and becomes equally defensive. This continues until the relationship falls apart or the tension is relieved, and such relief cannot come about through further defensiveness. The barriers cannot be shattered; they must be taken down piece by piece. And sometimes this is very uncomfortable to do.
The Two of Swords often represents situations where an answer could be found and the truth could be seen, but where the person or persons involved choose not to see it. The Two of Swords shows those times when you deliberately avoid seeing the truth. Maybe one of your ideas has been proven incorrect and, though you see that you were wrong, you do not want to admit it. It can be painful to remove a blindfold and see the truth, because even the softest light will blind those who have lived in darkness. But being blinded by the light is far preferable to being blinded by darkness.Copyright 2000 James Rioux