Key Meaning: The End
The Ten of Swords represents a devastating loss and the end of a situation.
Number 10 Meaning In Tarot
All tens, including the Ten of Cups, Ten of Pentacles and Ten of Wands indicate a climax, as events come to a head. The Ten of Swords represents a metaphorical death, meaning that major changes are now taking place and it may well seem as though vast sections of your life are being swept away. There are similarities here to the Tower card, but as swords represent the mind, this is in the mental realm. It warns of events coming to a head which cause some mental pain.
At major stages of life, a snake will shed its skin. You must begin to shed the psychological skin you have worn for so long now and although this is going to be difficult, this is precisely what you must do. Brighter days lie ahead.
Ten of Swords Description
This description is based on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. A man faces down, stabbed in the back with ten swords. No single wound seems to be a mortal one. It looks as though he has turned his back on things which he thought he could ignore but they caught up with him. The black storm clouds rise in fury, but note the yellow sunrise dawning. As difficult as this is, whatever transpires now is forcing you in a new direction and towards a new dawn.
This card is associated with job loss, bankruptcy, grief, backstabbing, misfortune and dashed hopes and dreams.
Ten of Swords Keywords
😒 Upright: Ending, failed plans, loss
🥰 Reversed: Success, fresh start, rebuilding
LOVE: What does The Ten of Swords Mean when You Ask About Love?
When the 10 of Swords turns up in a love reading, it means:
💖 You feel ‘done’ with love, and yes, it is no harm to take a break for a while. Consider yourself a caterpillar, waiting to become a butterfly.
💖 A relationship is over and there is not going back. This card represents a permanent breakup, separation and divorce.
CAREER: What does This Card Signify when You Ask About Work?
If your question relates to work, business, career or study and you receive the Ten of Swords, here is your guidance:
⭕ In work, this card can mean job loss or business failure.
⭕ On a smaller scale, it can mean a project, idea or presentation is rejected. It is back to the drawing board.
⭕ In study, it can mean switching courses, quitting college, or not receiving the exam results you expected.
Careers associated with this card include: Surgeon, anesthesiologist, paramedic, mental health worker, chiropractor, social worker, lawyer, investment banking and financial analyst.
MONEY: What is the Meaning of The Ten of Swords in a Money Reading?
If you asked the Tarot about money and you receive the 10 of Swords, it can indicate:
💲 Bankruptcy or serious financial loss. At this time, be very cautious with your money.
💲 A bubble bursts, investments fail or a market collapses.
💲 You receive judgement in a court case. At least now you can move on.
💲 You hit rock bottom and decide now you have enough. You are prepared to work harder or smarter to achieve your goals.
Tarot Card Combination Meanings
“10 of Swords combined with Judgement” – You just had a major wakeup call.
“10 of Swords combined with The Devil” – Accept responsibility for what has happened.
“10 of Swords combined with The Star” – You have nothing to lose anymore, reach for the stars.
HEALTH: What does The Ten of Swords Mean when You Ask About Health?
In a health reading the 10 of Swords is particularly associated with back injuries, and the requirement for back surgery. It can also indicate acupuncture may help the recovery process.
Occasionally this card is associated with burn-out. Listen to your body if you feel exhausted.
YES/NO: Does The Ten of Swords Mean Yes or No in a Reading?
❓ When you ask a Yes or No question and this Tarot card turns up, then the answer is NO.
TIMING: Does The Ten of Swords Predict any Particular Timeframe?
🕔 This card is only a timing indication when you specifically asked a timeframe question. For example, if you want to know if something will happen, and when, then you need to draw two separate cards. These are in fact, two separate questions. This is a fundamental principle to understand if you want an accurate tarot reading – and it is core to my teaching in my book Tarot in 5 Minutes.
🕔 Using my timing method, the 10 of Swords is about 10 days. If the card is reversed, timing will be slightly longer – so up to 15 days.
Karina’s Timing Method:
Swords are days. Wands are weeks. Cups are months and Pentacles are years. Please note this is my personal timing method. Feel free to adopt it (or not).
What is the Meaning of The Ten of Swords Reversed?
When the 10 of Swords is upside down then the new dawn has approached. This is a fresh start.
✔️You are climbing back up from rock bottom. You are passed the worst of it and there is nowhere but up from here.
✔️You recover from an illness or situation, and now can start planning your future again.
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The Ten of Swords Symbolism
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Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.