Ten of Swords Tarot Card

The Tarot Suit of Swords

The Tarot Suit of Swords is associated with the suit of Spades in standard playing cards - both have sharp edges. Although many tarot decks use the term swords to refer to this suit, it also has other names (that is, for the equivalent suit in other decks), which include daggers, blades or knives.

There are meanings associated with each of the suits in a tarot deck, as well as the more specific interpretations associated with each individual card - and yet more precise meanings pertaining to particular cards in particular locations within spreads.

The suit of swords is associated with the element of air. It is also associated with the season of spring and the direction East. The suit of swords concerns academic or philosophical thought, intellectual pursuits, truth, and clarity.

The Tens in the tarot deck represent transcendent completion as opposed to the mere physical completion of the Nines. That is, not only has the task been completed, but the performer has also learnt the lessons and experienced the spiritual development brought to him or her by the task or situation.

The 10 of Swords is often portrayed as a negative card but is more complicated than simply indicating 'disaster', as some summaries state. The theme of this card is of conflict, mental difficulties, and overreaction.

Interpretations of the 10 of Swords can include advice to cease fighting a losing battle, realising that ones own negative thoughts are adversely affecting a situation, and advice to look for the glimmer of hope on the horizon.


Keywords and phrases for the possible meanings of the 10 of Swords Tarot Card include:

  • Defeat
  • Failure
  • Misfortune
  • Ruin

Alternatively:

  • Misfortunes that are now over and in the past

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What about the Ten of Swords Reversed ?

Some interpretations of the meaning of the 10 of Swords reversed include:

  • The worst is over.
  • Improvements ahead, ability to overcome present or recent difficulties
  • People who are survivors of 'near-death' situations e.g. due to hostilities, accidents or illness

Tarot Articles:

Tarot Card Games - for, against and examples

Learning to Read Tarot Cards

20 Steps to reading Tarot Cards

Why use Free Printable Tarot Cards?

List of Tarot Card Meanings

Origins of the Tarot Nouveau - or 'French Tarot'

Learning Tarot

Uses of Tarot Cards

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