The Ten of Swords

Tarot Card Meaning

Suit of Swords
The Ten of Swords

The Ten of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

The Ten of Swords shows a gruesome image of a figure lying face down on the ground looking dead with ten swords piercing his back. He’s draped in a red cape denoting dignity as he departs this world. The sky in the background is a mixture of a dark ominous night making way to the rising sun signaling hope and opportunity is about to come. The calm sea in the background is peaceful – even in darkness, tranquility can be found.

The ten swords represent that a circumstance has come to an end. Being stabbed in the back represents a feeling of betrayal and the knowledge that someone was behind all of this. This card frequently indicates the ultimate blow in a chain of events, resulting to a deep sense of loss.

The Ten of Swords may, in the long run, represent the beginning of a period of recovery and healing from a trying situation. This card exhorts you to maintain your strength and to search for any potential signs of optimism and rejuvenation that may follow endings. It also acts as a reminder to have hope in the future and trust in life’s natural cycle. This card may be seen as a turning point in your spiritual journey, leading you towards greater self-awareness and inner peace.

The Ten of Swords Upright

Upright, the Ten of Swords marks a painful but necessary ending. The ending seems to have come out of nowhere and rocked your world. You’re grieving this shocking loss and wondering if you’ll ever love, work, or trust again.

This card can mean being betrayed or deceived by someone, making you feel stabbed in the back. Your partner cheated, a coworker spread rumors about you, a family member broke trust – the pain cuts deep because it likely marks the end with them. Along with the pain, you may grieve the loss of the relationship.

The Ten of Swords can suggest taking on a ‘victim’ role hoping others pity and save you from despair. But you can’t change others’ actions, only how you respond. Even if harmed or betrayed, you now have the choice to move forward with life rather than playing the victim hoping for pity.

This card is about accepting your circumstances and allowing change to happen, even if it initially hurts. You recognize that change facilitates renewal, so you allow it rather than resisting it. The good news is this marks the final hardship – no more pain from this source. It’s darkest before dawn – you must fully experience what’s happened before moving on. It won’t be easy, but this won’t last forever.

Pick yourself up and reflect on what happened and why, and what you can learn. The hurt will fade, and you’ll soon see why this needed to happen for you to evolve fully. The pain served a purpose – use your inner power to gain wisdom from defeat.

The Ten of Swords Reversed

Reversed, the Ten of Swords indicates resisting inevitable change or ending because you aren’t ready to face what’s happening. But the more you resist, the more this situation drags on, so rip off the bandage already (ouch!), get it over with, and start fresh. Trust it’s happening for a reason and leading to growth and renewal long-term, even if it’s hard to understand now.

Similarly, this reversed card can represent an old situation that ended badly. You still carry wounds from it, buried so deep you don’t realize they’re still hurting you. These old pains need to finally be dealt with. It’ll be difficult, but it’s the only way to release yourself from this pain and let it pass.

The reversed Ten of Swords encourages evaluating your life and letting go of any aspect no longer serving you. Rather than dwelling on your painful past, look ahead and see how these events free you up to reshape your life and choose a new direction. You can free yourself of the past and create a new sense of self.

Finally, this reversed card can signify the pain and sadness you’ve felt is ending. The swords in the man’s back appear to be falling out, releasing him from the hurt he’s endured. You’re letting go of past memories and moving forward with renewal and hope.

The Ten of Swords in Love

Upright, the Ten of Swords is bad news for relationships indicating breakups, divorce, separation, resentment, or severed ties. If this card relates to a split, you probably already know the relationship is in serious trouble – the card says to accept it. This card can also represent betrayal and fidelity. Or it may just mean you’re being overdramatic, attention-seeking or playing the victim in the relationship. Failing to change this behavior could be the final straw.

This card warns if you’re in an abusive relationship, you must act now to preserve your safety. The Ten of Swords can mean if single, you’re still in shock over your latest split. Even if the relationship was toxic, part of you struggles to accept the finality of the breakup since it was unexpected. Take time away from relationships to heal and rediscover yourself.

The Ten of Swords in Career/Money

Upright, this card indicates possible financial ruin – be extremely cautious in money matters now and avoid unnecessary risks. This is not a time to gamble with money or investments. In career and business readings, the Ten of Swords is a strong ‘no’ card.  A variety of professional dead ends may be looming ahead:  severed work ties, office gossip/backstabbing, failure or burnout, to name a few.  Take this card as a reminder to watch your back and look out for number one.

Getting the reversed Ten of Swords in a career or financial tarot spread ain’t usually the most positive sign, but it can have a few different meanings depending on the surrounding cards and your situation.

On one hand, it can mean you just barely dodged total financial disaster or ruin. Maybe you were on the brink of bankruptcy but managed to pull through at the last second, or you’re finally getting back on your feet after a money catastrophe like going broke or divorce. The reversal suggests you’re coming back from the edge of absolute money mayhem.

For your career or business, the reversed Ten of Swords can be a good thing showing you’ve overcome major work stress. Perhaps you quit a toxic job that was burning you out, or you’re bouncing back after totally hitting a wall. You may have been to the point of collapsing at your job, but now you’re clawing your way back. So in that sense, it’s a positive reversal – leaving behind super high stress and recovering past professional breaking points.

But the reversed Ten of Swords can also warn that your miserable work situation could be making you lose it mentally and emotionally. Maybe it’s time to consider if other jobs would be healthier for you. Or for businesses, it can mean you’re revived after nearly going under or that you’re now totally tanking with no hope.

The Ten of Swords: Keywords

Upright Keywords

Endings, betrayal, grief, pain, loss

Reversed Keywords

Recovery, healing, resilience, renewal, hope

More Suit of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

More Tarot Card Meanings

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