Ten of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

Ten of Swords’ Upright & Reversed Meanings

Ten of Swords tarot card image
Ten of Swords (Reversed, Lacking)

Ideas: Persistence, resurrection, turnaround

Traits: Anticipative, capable, dedicated, observant, steadfast, tough, uncomplaining

Emotions: Eagerness, gladness, hope, optimism, relief, uneasiness

  • Actions:
    • Committing to a turnaround
    • Paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you
    • Persevering until the end
    • Picking yourself back up
    • Reviving yourself
    • Seeing the signs that you’ve reached your limits
Ten of Swords (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Failure, hardest lesson, lowest point

Traits: Careless, clumsy, critical, disrespectful, enervated, inert, opinionated

Emotions: Defeat, dejection, disappointment, frustration, insult, neglect, rejection

  • Actions:
    • Accepting defeat
    • Acknowledging that you’ve hit bottom
    • Dealing with failure
    • Giving in to the need for rest and renewal
    • Knowing the worst is over
    • Learning the hardest lesson
    • Surviving a bolt from the blue
Ten of Swords (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: Exaggeration, mental breakdown, total exhaustion

Traits: Complaintive, cowardly, desperate, extreme, fatalistic, fixed, sarcastic, timid

Emotions: Fear, guilt, hopelessness, pity, regret, shame, sympathy

  • Actions:
    • Becoming fixated on deeply unhealthy thoughts
    • Driving yourself to total exhaustion, especially mentally
    • Exaggerating your misfortune
    • Experiencing a mental breakdown
    • Obsessing on a problem to the breaking point
    • Refusing to move from thought to action
    • Throwing in the towel

Ten of Swords’ Advice

Personal Growth

Failure is a cruel but powerful teacher. When possible, make corrections before hitting bottom. If that time has passed, the mature thing to do is accept consequences, resolve to do better, and start the process of making amends. As they say: live one day at a time.

Relationship

Preserving a relationship or friendship shouldn’t require self-destruction. There’s a strong possibility it’s time to let this one go. Examine the logic you’re using to justify maintaining this connection. A healthy relationship produces peace, not insanity.

Career

Know when to say when. Continuing to take on more work and more responsibility is not the answer here. Be honest about your limits. If they’ve been exceeded, ask for relief. Diverting some of the work may mean eating some crow, but beats a complete systems failure later on.

Spirituality

It’s hard to keep your eyes on heaven when you’re face-down on the ground. When darkness overwhelms us, we may be tempted to abandon Spirit entirely. Finding just one thing to be thankful for, though, may provide you with the key to turning things around.

Ten of Swords’ Symbols & Insights

The Human Pincushion

Optimistic users of the Rider–Waite–Smith claim the Swords on this card pierce the pitiful figure’s charkas, yielding enlightenment through trial. Other decks show the victim face-up, suggesting the additional agony of seeing a bad situation coming. In your situation, is there a way to extract a life lesson from the trial you’re now facing? If so, what would that lesson be?

Dark Skies

Rider–Waite–Smith-inspired decks often depict a sunset (or sunrise) in the background of this card, suggesting that a change of some kind is at hand. How might your current situation contain the seeds of a turnaround?

The End of Logic

Numerology suggests the Ten is the point at which fullness has been exceeded, and the energy of the suit becomes spoiled and over-extended. Here, endless deliberation and over-thinking have exhausted all possibilities for growth. It’s time to try another approach.

The Marseilles Image

Two crossed Swords pierce the eight curved blades, producing a dramatic image of mental excess. At this point, any further debate (the two Swords) will do little more than shred the mental work (the eight Swords) completed so far.

More About Ten of Swords Tarot Card

Prediction
Disaster.
Put off plans and do not take action until omens are better.
Timing
Between June 11 and June 20
Affirmation
“When my limits are exceeded, I take action on my own behalf.”
Numerology Number
10
(the end: finality, completion, exhaustion)
Classical Element
Air
Astrological Planet in Sign
Sun in Gemini
Story Character
The main character must acknowledge that all is apparently lost.
Questions to Ask
What are the signs that the time for debate is over?
How can you tell when interest has given way to obsession?
When your own limits are reached, where can you turn for aid?
Other Tarot Card Meanings