Tarot Tutorial: Ten of Swords Meaning
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Tarot Tutorial: Ten of Swords Meaning

February 18, 2023 by PathForward
Discover the meaning of the Ten of Swords.
Discover the meaning of the Ten of Swords.

So, let’s quickly get the obvious stuff out of the way for this card. On many pop versions of the Ten of Swords, including the OG Rider-Waite-Smith, there’s a figure with ten swords in their back, laying in what appears to be a puddle of their own blood, with either a sunrise or sunset in the background. You may be thinking, “Sunrise, sunset, what does it matter!? A guy is bleeding out on this card!”  

While we’d love to tell you this card means your next visit to the acupuncturist will get rid of all the knots in your shoulders, it’s best not to expect lollipops and rainbows ahead. What we can tell you is, in the words of Florence Welsh, it’s always darkest before the dawn. We’re #TeamSunrise; no matter how bad things get, there’s always a chance for things to improve. 

Ten of Swords in a Love Reading 

Check your back for knives, bestie. When the Ten of Swords shows up in a love reading, there’s a strong chance you’ve just been betrayed or a very serious boundary has been crossed. While it 100% could mean your boo is cheating, they could also betray you by spending your money, keeping an addiction secret from you, or any other things. Check the surrounding cards to get a clearer picture of what is happening. 

If the Ten of Swords comes up in a position representing you, it could confirm any thoughts you had about this relationship being over. Part of you has already moved on, and you’ve reached a point where the only thing that will make things better between you two is ending it. Even if you know leaving is the right thing to do, don’t be surprised if you still have big feelings about it. Give yourself time to grieve what you’ve lost before pushing yourself forward. 

The Ten of Swords reversed in a love reading doesn’t promise sunshine and roses, but it does mean the worst is now over. Whatever caused the fighting or hurt feelings between you is decidedly in the rear-view mirror, and you can make a fresh start—if you want it. You may want to check the surrounding cards to see what your chances are for starting over. But if it’s something you both want, it’s worth putting in the work.  

The Ten of Swords in a Future Reading 

There’s no shortage of drama when the Ten of Swords shows up in a future reading. Someone might be about to cut you from their life completely.  Betrayal and backstabbing could also be in the mix, so check on the surrounding cards for clues on the who and what. Traditionally, the Ten of Swords could represent an upcoming surgery—but it doesn’t mean the outcome will be bad. Always listen to what your medical pros tell you, though throwing a little positive and protective energy your way doesn't hurt. 

When the Ten of Swords comes up in a position representing you, there could be a forced separation between you and something that brings you joy. It might be temporary, but usually, it’s not.  It’s also not unusual for this card to be linked to depression. If you are dealing with depression, please do what you can to get the help you need. 

If the Ten of Swords comes up reversed in a future reading, it means the worst is behind you. You can start making plans for recovery and moving on with your life. It can also indicate some last-minute or surprising intervention that keeps the worst-case scenario from happening. You might also stumble across something unexpectedly good from a bad situation. Be sure to take time for self-care to help you recover from what you just went through. 


The Ten of Swords in a Career Reading 

Start updating your LinkedIn profile, sis. The Ten of Swords in a career reading lets you know there’s an expiration date on your current job, and it’s coming up quickly. If it’s coming up in a position representing your workplace as a whole, it means you are on a sinking ship. You probably aren’t the only one making an exit plan. And don’t expect too much cooperation or personal investment from people who already have one eye on the door.  

When the Ten of Swords comes up in a position representing you, there could be a layoff or firing in your future. Yeah, not the best news, but getting a warning means you can start plans to make your landing a little softer. It can also simply mean that you’re at a dead-end career-wise, with advancement or raises being about as likely as winning the lottery. Check on the surrounding cards to see if they offer hints for any resources you have available to find something better for yourself. 

When the Ten of Swords shows up reversed in a career reading, it can still mean there will be layoffs, but there’s a decent chance you’ll be spared or find something else quickly. It might also mean a situation in your workplace gets to the edge of a crisis, but an eleventh-hour solution will get brokered that will keep your project or your job from falling off a cliff. If it’s in a position representing you, it could mean you need to find a way to rescue yourself…BUT the bright side is that there is a workable solution possible, one that keeps you gainfully employed. 


Get a Professional Tarot Reading

Need an assist in navigating the disruption the Ten of Swords might bring into your world? We gotchu! Our Tarot readers have the skills to go deep when you need answers about love, career, or anything else weighing on your mind. See how their insight can have you moving in the right direction to manifest the life of your dreams. 


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