Three of Swords

3 of Swords from Anecdotes Tarot: A pink sword in a gray sky with a heart in the background

Do you love me?
Will you remember?
The snow falls above me.
The Renderer, renders.

Joanna Newsom, “Sapokanikan” (Divers, 2015)

Image Description

In a gray cloudy sky with snow falling, a hand emerges from the clouds holding a sword with a pink blade and an orange hilt. Two more blades come out of the sword’s cross-guard to meet at the tip. These other blades are light blue decorated with two twisting pink lines. A red ribbon with three pomegranates strung on it hangs below the hand and the swords. A heart shape is visible in the sky behind the pink blade.


The Three of Swords is about an intellectual response to Death: anxiety over being remembered. The composition is inspired by the card of the same number in the Sola Busca deck (see Selected References). The garland at the bottom indicates commemoration, the proverbial fruits of one’s labor on display. The blue blades bend to enclose the pink, showing attachment to one’s own life. But the motif on the blades is the double-helix thread of XIX. Sprout and the Bean, showing the interconnection that this song also explores (see X. Sapokanikan, which shares the same song).

This card links to the Eight of Swords, which seeks to climb higher than these attachments.