Ten of Swords Tarot Card - What Does it Mean?

A Starter Guide to the Ten of Swords Tarot Card

Two tarot cards, one of which is the Ten of Swords.

Tarot cards are a mystery to many of us as they have a magical and almost eerie feel to them. They are thrilling, mystical, and frightening all at once, which is what I believe attracts so many of us to the deck of cards.

One specific tarot card, the Ten of Swords, has a particularly strong ominous feel towards it. This is because of its unsettling meaning. Read on to find out more about the Ten of Swords including,

  • The Ten of Swords’ upright meaning
  • The Ten of Swords’ reversed meaning
  • The of Swords’ keywords
  • What you should do when you get the Ten of Swords

First of All, What Exactly Are Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards consist of 78 separate cards, each with their own meaning assigned to them, and they are used by those looking for some type of insight or ladder to their inner selves.

In a deck of tarot cards, twenty-two of them are Major Arcana cards, meaning they are based in karma/spiritual dimensions, while the remaining fifty-six cards are classified as Minor Arcana cards. These Minor Arcana cards are based on the obstacles we face in our lives.

Why Do People Use Tarot Cards?

Individuals who find themselves using Tarot Cards are often searching for answers in life from the cards. This does not happen simply by the cards predicting the future nor by some type of magic power the cards hold.

Rather, the tarot cards are able to provide answers to those who use them by providing them with a window into their subconsciousness. This window allows these individuals to envision what they would want for their life and helps them make their next decisions.

Tarot cards are also able to help people become aware of something they cannot see on their own. By bringing just the idea of something to the users’ attention, the users of the card may think long and hard about their own life, and discover something there that they failed to see before.

Tarot cards scattered out.
Tarot cards can give us greater awareness of our inner desires and motivations. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

How Do I Use Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards can either be used individually or with another person.

If you are using the cards individually, you can ask the cards a question on your own and pull a card. The card you pull is your answer. Oftentimes, your answer is open to interpretation depending on how you apply the card’s meaning to your life.

Using cards with a partner is only slightly different. With a partner you two will have a conversation in which your partner asks you a question and you draw a tarot card for them. You then attempt to tap into their inner emotions and provide an answer for their question using the tarot card.

Partner tarot card reading can be tricky at the beginning, but with more practice you will get progressively better at it.

Ten of Swords Tarot Card

Now that we have covered the basics of tarot cards, let’s move onto specifically examining the Ten of Swords Tarot Card.

What Does the Ten of Swords Tarot Card Mean?

The Ten of Swords Tarot Card, as we already stated, is an ominous one, so prepare yourself to move forward. The Ten of Swords Card has two different meanings depending on if it is upright or reversed.

Three different illustrations of Ten of Swords cards.
As can be seen in the picture above, the Ten of Swords is an extremely dark tarot card to pull from the deck. Image courtesy of Tarot Teachings.

Upright Meaning

If you flip the Ten of Swords upright, the meaning of the card is a shocking, earth-shattering ending to something you love or value. The upright meaning of the card represents the present or near future, so the pain is fresh or will soon come.  

This could signal that you are in the depths of an unsettling life event such as a disintegrating friendship or romantic relationship. If you are not in a state of pain at the moment, the card could be informing you to take a look around at your life and those who are in your life.

Receiving the Upright Ten of Swords could mean that someone or something you hold close may betray you sometime soon, even if it is unintentional.

While the appearance of the Ten of Swords appears frightening, much like its upright meaning is disturbing, the horizon in the background is one of peace and radiance. This can be seen as a symbol. The sun is on the horizon on the card just as the sun is on the horizon in your life.

Dark times pass and once you get through it, there is new life on the other side.

Reversed Meaning

In contrast with the upright meaning, the reversed meaning of the Ten of Swords focuses on a possible past wound that has not fully healed.

For instance, maybe you cannot move on past a prior love interest and that is preventing you from seeing anyone else. You may interpret drawing the Ten of Swords Reversed as a sign to let go of this prior love interest once and for all.

Additionally, it is also a message to move on from anything that isn’t serving their best interest.

This could possibly be in the form of a toxic job that you may enjoy at times, but you know is ultimately hurting you more than it could ever help. The card may help you tap into these emotions and come to peace with moving forward without this job.

An illustration of the Tens of Swords tarot card that ironically, and sarcastically, states “Everything Is Fine”.
While drawing the Ten of Swords tarot card can mean a painful event is occuring in your life, it also means that this is the lowest point, and the lowest point always eventually passes. Image courtesy of InPrnt.

Ten of Swords Tarot Card - Keywords

The keywords for the Ten of Swords tarot card vary depending on if you pulled the upright or reversed version of the card. The keywords of tarot cards essentially give one an abbreviated meaning of a tarot card’s symbolism. It makes understanding the card a little simpler.

Listed below are the keywords of the Ten of Swords tarot cards. If you are confused by the card’s longer, more complicated meaning, you can reference these when you pull the Ten of Swords card.

Upright Keywords

For the upright version of the ten of swords tarot card, the keywords are

  • Betrayal
  • Enemies
  • Failure

Reversed Keywords

For the reversed version of the ten of swords tarot card, the keywords are

  • Perseverance
  • Forgiveness
  • Coping

You Drew The Tens of Swords - Now What?

Drawing the Tens of Swords can seem rather depressing because it is seen as a bad omen either for the future or the present. The first thing you should do after drawing this card is evaluate your life and see how it could apply to the situations you currently find yourself in.

Try not to panic, take a deep breath, and take life one day at a time. If you are currently going through a hard time, you have the strength to push through. This may be the lowest point of your life, but eventually things will turn around. Surround yourself with people who care about you and wish you the best in order to get through this difficult time.

Additionally, make sure to give yourself grace to feel whatever it is you are feeling. It is important to process your emotions rather than attempting to bottle them all up. You have to take care of yourself, and part of that is finding healthy ways to cope with the difficulties in your life.

The cast of the TV show Friends all sitting together.
Make sure to surround yourselves with close friends and family in order to get through the tough times in life that Ten of Swords tarot cards may signal. Image courtesy of Elle.

Difficult Times Always Pass

Experiencing difficult times, such as the ones that the Ten of Swords tarot cards indicate, can be demoralizing and exhausting. However, you must always remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Who knows, you may just so happen to draw The Sun tarot card next.

You never know when life will turn around, so keep your chin up and continue to live in the moment while having hope for the future.

Elyse Endres

Elyse is a marketer, writer, and lover of dogs, dance, and reading. She resides in Columbus, Ohio.
See All Posts >>

You Might Also Like...