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Ten of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Ten of Swords Keywords

UPRIGHT: endings | wounds | loss | betrayal | crisis 

REVERSED: recovery | resisting an inevitable end

Ten of Swords Description

The Ten of Swords portrays a grim scene with a man lying face-down, ten swords protruding from his back, indicating betrayal, defeat, or a dramatic end to a difficult situation. The red cape covering him symbolizes a semblance of dignity in the face of such a tragic conclusion. Despite the darkness of the immediate situation, the sunrise on the horizon introduces a glimmer of hope and the prospect of new beginnings, hinting at the cyclical nature of endings and fresh starts.

The serene sea in the background contrasts with the violence of the scene, offering a sense of peace and the possibility of recovery and tranquility after turmoil. This card suggests that, no matter the depth of despair or defeat, there is always potential for renewal and change. The image serves as a reminder that after the darkest times, there can be a new dawn, bringing light, hope, and opportunities for a new chapter in life.

NOTE: The tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider-Waite deck and Decoding The Cards

Wishing For A Deeper Tarot Connection?

Decoding The Cards goes further than keywords and traditional interprations by providing exercises for each card in the tarot.

The exercises this book are designed to challenge you to delve deeper into the meanings of each card, as well as consider your own personal experiences in relation to the traditional meanings.

Ten of Swords Upright

The Ten of Swords symbolizes difficult life challenges and absolute endings. This card often appears when you’re feeling betrayed or let down by someone close to you, and the relationship will never recover from the wound that’s been inflicted.

But it also brings with it a reminder that the low point is also the starting point of something new, and if you can surrender to this midnight moment, a brighter dawn will rise. So take heart — there’s a better future waiting for you just over the horizon.

When you draw the Ten of Swords, it signals that a new phase is beginning, and you’ll never have to return to what you’re leaving behind. What’s done is done, and you are being released from the anxiety you’ve been carrying from the Nine of Swords.

Ten of Swords Reversed

The Ten of Swords reversed is a message that it is essential to confront your fear and hurt so you can finally leave those feelings behind. The worst may be over, but it is necessary to start the healing process to move forward. 

When this card appears upside down, it can point to refusing to accept that something is really over — that it is time to move on and make room for new possibilities. 

The Ten of Swords reversed indicates a rebirth after surviving the storm. It encourages you to accept what has happened and use the experiences from your past as lessons to create an even brighter future. As you take steps forward, this card supports you in finding the strength and courage to let go of whatever is no longer serving you. Your pain can now be used as a bridge to a new beginning. 

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