Tarot Card Meanings

Ten of Swords

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Ten of Swords Keywords

UPRIGHT : Betrayal, Disaster, Conflict, Painful endings


Ten of Swords is one of the most poignant cards from the Suit of Swords. The dreadful image in the card shows a man lying flat on his face with ten swords stabbed into his back. This horrid view induces a feeling of impending betrayal which is inescapable and predestined. The red drape which is wrapped around the lower body of the man symbolizes leaving the world with grace and dignity. The black cloudy sky in the background point towards the negative and sad feelings associated with death. The river in the back is calm, signifying that peace can be found even in the darkest of days & situations, and the rising Sun on the farthest end shows the rise of a new day which brings with it new hopes and opportunities.

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The Ten of Swords brings with it, an inevitable feeling of pain and betrayal. The appearance of Ten of Swords in your reading is a sign that something apocalyptic is about to happen. It signifies disaster which continues with violence, ill-health, and mental anguish. This card indicates that even though situations are dark right now, but after every night comes a beautiful sunny day.


Ten of Swords in the upright position means deception and painful endings, which indicate towards bad-mouthing and back-stabbing by a trusted person. You may feel hurt and betrayed by the treacherous behavior of someone close to you. This might be the time when you are feeling helpless and don’t have the clarity to cope with the current situation. This situation has led you into feeling like a victim but this is the time to fight and get over with the self-pity. The Ten of Swords reminds you to accept and adapt to the changing situations and convince yourself that you can encounter any adversity and come up as a champion. This Minor Arcana card symbolizes harrowing experiences of ending and separation. You may feel blighted by misfortune as the current losses and setbacks may have left you feeling torn and shattered. On the positive note, Ten of Swords indicates that the darkest hour is just before dawn and with a new sunrise you will see a new beginning, eliminating every wrong.


The Ten of Swords in the reversed position indicates relief from stress and torments. With the reversal, the swords on the man’s back loosen and fall which signify that now the period of turmoil is over and one can feel the solace in their life. However, the appearance of reversed Ten of Swords is a reminder that life is not a bed of roses. You cannot imagine life to be a flat line of happiness and forever smiles, hence, you need to get out of your comfort zone and take up the challenges that surface everyday. The Ten of Swords in reversed encourages you to let go of the painful past and embrace changes to reshape your life.


In the context of love, Ten of Swords is an indication of the period of bitterness, lies, infidelity, and betrayal. This card represents high melodrama and abuse between the partners. You may feel helpless to escape or come up with a final decision in terms of a break-up. This Minor Arcana warns you to be aware of the hidden deceit while entering into any new relationship.

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