Ten of Swords

A prostrate figure, pierced by all the swords belonging to the card. Divinatory Meanings: Whatsoever is intimated by the design; also pain, affliction, tears, sadness, desolation. It is not especially a card of violent death. Reversed: Advantage, profit, success, favour, but none of these are permanent; also power and authority.

The Ten of Swords appears to be a card of terrible misfortune, but surprisingly, it often represents troubles that are more melodramatic than real. The man on this card has quite a few swords in his back. Wouldn’t one be enough? Isn’t ten a little excessive? Perhaps this gentleman’s suffering, though sincere, is exaggerated as well.

One meaning of the Ten of Swords is hitting rock bottom. When one disaster follows another, we feel devastated at first, but eventually we throw up our hands and laugh

This card can also show when you’re in victim mentality. You’re certain that the whole world is picking on you just to make your life difficult. When we’re in victim mentality, we think everything is horrible, hopeless and impossibly unfair.

The Ten of Swords can tell us being a martyr is not the same as making a sacrifice for another with no strings attached. With the Ten of Swords, either is possible, but doing a good turn for someone else is more satisfying without the strings.

Sometimes the Ten of Swords indicates a sad event, but you know when this is the case. There is not even a hint of laughter in your heart. Most of the time the Ten of Swords has a lighter side. It is as if your Inner Guide is gently kidding you about how you are handling your own personal tale of woe. When you see the Ten of Swords, check your attitude and know you’ve reached the point where things will definitely begin to look up.

Rider-Waite Tarot  —  The Fool’s Errand  —  Curiosities  —  Home