What Tarot Card Represents Betrayal? | A Complete Guide

  • By: Reece
  • Date: 20 February 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

When it comes to disappointments in life, few things are as unpleasant as being betrayed by someone you thought you could trust. If you’re doing a tarot card reading, either for yourself or for a client, certain cards can represent betrayal by someone in your life.

Once you recognize these cards and become familiar with them, they’ll become a lot more helpful in helping you or your client figure out what to do next. If you think about betrayal, you often think about being “stabbed in the back,” which is why so many of these cards are part of the swords category.

What Tarot Card Represents Betrayal? Some of the tarot cards that represent betrayal include the ten of swords, nine of swords, five of swords, three of swords, seven of swords, and the nine of wands. But there are additional cards that can indicate betrayal besides these, including the magician, the moon, and the five of cups, to name a few.

What Tarot Card Represents Betrayal

The “Swords” Cards That Represent Betrayal

3 of Swords. This indicates that a heart that’s already been broken in two (the first two swords) has just had another sword thrust into it.

It usually means that the client has been suspicious of a betrayal and this card indicates they are right about their suspicions.

5 of Swords. This card indicates the client wants to confront the betrayer, but it will end badly. If the betrayer is confronted, they will simply say they never promised anything to their partner and will not take the blame for the betrayal. In this instance, it’s best if the client just walks away.

7 of Swords. This is a terrible card to draw because it means the betrayer is shameless through and through. In fact, this person won’t even hide who he is but has somehow gotten you to trust him. And once you feel like you can trust him completely, he pulls the rug from under you.

9 of Swords. This one invokes the true feeling of being stabbed in the back. The image carved in the bed seems to be attacking another image. This indicates the deepest type of betrayal, including someone you love completely turning on you and hurting you.

The “Wands” Cards That Represent Betrayal

5 of Wands. This is a card of conflict. The betrayer is either the cause of the conflict or the person who takes advantage of it. In both cases, this is where the betrayer thrives. This person will strike when you are very distracted and busy, so you might not notice the betrayal at first.

9 of Wands. This card indicates someone who puts up barriers between themselves and the world because they’ve been hurt and betrayed. They end up with a skeptical view of the world and are always defensive and suspicious.

The “Cups” CardsThat Represent Betrayal

5 of Cups. This card represents hopelessness that has engulfed someone and seemingly taken over that person’s life, as a result of a betrayal.

The person has left behind a “river of tears” and a “black cloak” of depression.

8 of Cups. Because of deep betrayal, the client has decided to walk away from the “3 cups of joy” and the “5 cups of sadness.” They no longer trust most people, including themselves, and they feel unable to judge who others truly are.

Betrayals Depicted in Major Arcana Cards

The magician. The magician is a master manipulator and creates the reality that he wants. He seems to have multiple personalities and can be a sweet talker one moment and a domineering person the next.

The high priestess. This is the mistress of secret knowledge.

She has knowledge and hidden skills that she uses to suck you into her web.

She makes you trust her so she can get information and will dump you as soon as she gets what she wants.

The hanged man. This represents a person who always seems to have problems for any solution you come up with to help him. He can be frustrating but also has a hidden secret, which is something hurtful, that he’ll show you when you start to get attached to him.

The devil. The devil is someone who fools you into thinking that bad behaviors really aren’t that bad. He’ll get you hooked on things you never even liked, but he’ll walk away afterwards and make you feel as if you did this to yourself.


Naturally, there are other tarot cards that represent betrayal, in both the major and the minor arcana. They are fun to study but most importantly, they’ll help you help others with the sense of betrayal they are experiencing. While the cards with swords are a little easier to read than other betrayal cards, it shouldn’t take you long to review the others and practice your intuitive skills so that when any of these cards appear in a reading, you’ll know just what to do to help your client.

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