Ten of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

ten of swords tarot card meaning

10 of Swords

Upright

Feeling Powerless, End of a Relationship or Phase in your Life, Ruin and Pain, Defeat, Wondering “Why me?”, Being on the Receiving End, Misfortune, Feeling like a Doormat, Being at the Lowest Point, Hitting Rock Bottom, Ruin of Plans, Desolation, Accidents, Bemoaning your Fate, Feeling Self-Pity, Depression, Muggings or Personal Robbery, Utter Despair, Someone Stabbing you in the Back, Signals the Worst is Over, Knowing it’s Darkest before the Dawn, Tears, Seeing Life as Hostile, Suffering from an Attack, It is Time to Give up on a Lost Cause and Get on with Life, , Catastrophe, Sadness, illness, Mental Anguish.

Reversed

Feeling Better, Retaining your Position, Clean Start, Now Having a Better Outlook, Freeing Yourself from Torment over something, Worst is Over, Ability to Survive in Hard Times, Release from Afflictions, Overcoming a Revolt, Having an Advantage over an Opponent, Lifting of Burdens, New ideas, Evading Disaster, Improvement, Courage.

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Brianna Stoker

This card depicts a figure lying on the ground, apparently dead, with ten swords sticking upright in his/her back. The sun has recently set, and the sky above the distant gray hills is jet black. Apart from the obvious inference of death, the immediate impact of the card is Ruin. In order to determine the cause of the ruin, we have to rely on the radiance of the surrounding cards to shed some light on the matter. The card suggests Defeat, Failure, Ruin, Death, Destruction, Tragedy, Devastation. The ruin is complete, final, and there is no possibility of recovery. In a sword context, the card may indicate a violent death, either caused deliberately, by murder, or assassination, or perhaps a high-speed car accident. It could mean a casualty of war. In academic terms, it could represent a dead or discredited theory. It could mean failure in examinations. In a legal context, the loss of a case. In technology terms it could mean obsolescence. In association with Coins it might indicate bankruptcy, with Wands perhaps a terminal illness, with Cups the loss of a friend or lover, either by death, or simply that they have left the scene never to be seen again.

The reversed card might suggest regeneration, rebirth, a phoenix rising from the ashes. Figuratively coming back from the dead. Note that the Death card is often seen right-side-up as the end of something, up-side down as a rebirth, or a new beginning. Essentially, the ten of swords is the Minor Arcana equivalent to the Death Card, and all that was said about the right-side-up ten of swords would equally apply to the Death card. Some people are very vague about the Death card, arguing that right-side-up it just means the end of something. The fact is though, that the Death card is a bad card, and if it is to mean right-side-up the end of something, it should be seen as a bad end unless the surrounding cards strongly contradict this. The reversed card might also indicate suicide. Perhaps self- destruction in a figurative sense.

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Tarot Goddess

Title: Lord of Ruin
Element: Air
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Decan: Sun in Gemini; June 11 – 20
Thumbnail Meaning: Ruin, failure, betrayal, the end.

It shows the intellect at its lowest ebb. Unlike the brilliant Ace or the balanced Six, this card shows “reason divorced from reality,” as Aleister Crowley so memorably put it.

At its best, reason allows us to recognize reality. When used to deceive, reason betrays its purpose, becomes corrupt and endangers many. More often than not, this ends in tears.

This “Lord of Ruin” suggests painful failure. Sometimes this card is a warning, a reminder that “the wages of sin is death.” However, it isn’t a harbinger of death, violent or otherwise.

The Ten of Swords offers new hope after pain and failure. The worst has happened, the lowest point reached. There’s nothing to do but to recover and heal.

Far from easy––but far from impossible. In the picture above, the dead man makes the sign of benediction with his right hand; an invocation of divine help. If you ask for help, more often than not, you will find it.

If you draw this card, guard against despair and reason without reality. Look at it in context. Above all, don’t panic. The worst, like the best, doesn’t last forever.

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