Ten of Swords
A painful ending
Betrayal or being stabbed in the back
The truth being revealed OR finally accepting the truth – typically a painful or difficult truth about a personal relationship
Hitting rock bottom
Being deeply wounded by someone close to you
Being able to heal and move forward
Hello again, friends and welcome back!
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I’ve been doing a tarot challenge for the month of April, which consists of drawing a card each day in response to a specific prompt/question. So, for today’s #Tarot Tuesday, I decided to go ahead and combine the two.
I drew a card in response to the Day 6 question and decided I would write about that particular card and/or what it meant for me if it had a particular or interesting meaning for me. And this one definitely did, so today’s post will be another personal story.
Day 6 Prompt: What will be my biggest teacher on this journey?
Card: 10 of Swords
Since I haven’t done an actual post on this card yet, I’ll go ahead and give a quick rundown of what the 10 of swords means for those of you who aren’t as familiar with Tarot.
In my personal opinion, this is the worst card in the deck (followed closely by the Tower).
The Light Seer’s Tarot (pictured above) depicts one of the most positive images I’ve seen of this particular card. There, you see a woman walking across a barren desert with ten black crows flying overhead.
However, in most Tarot decks, the 10 of Swords shows a figure lying face down on the ground outside with ten swords sticking out of his back, particularly if the deck is based on the original Rider Waite Smith version.
Clearly, this is a gruesome scene implying a very violent and painful death. Whenever I see the 10 of Swords come up in a reading, I find myself feeling immensely sad for whoever I am reading for.
In Tarot, death doesn’t typically represent a literal death, but rather a symbolic one.
So, the 10 of Swords denotes some sort of painful ending in your life. Although the ending can be in any area, I tend to interpret this card as one that depicts the end of a close relationship.
As you can see, the man depicted in the RWS deck has been literally stabbed in the back, an expression that is often used to imply some sort of personal betrayal.
Another thing to note about this card is that Swords represent conflict and misfortune as well as logic and intellect. Thus, I read this card as suggesting the realization of a painful truth. Perhaps someone close to you has broken your trust or revealed their true colors to you.
The visual depiction in the 10 of Swords is an extremely violent one – the man has been stabbed with 10 swords, all of which were left in his back after the attack. In a literal sense, it’s overkill. Symbolically, this suggests that you’ve been deeply, deeply wounded by someone. Whatever hurt they’ve caused you has hit you to the core.
I’ve written before about one particular Ex of mine, and once again, this personal story has to do with him. In fact, he’s shown up in both of my previous personal stories on his blog.
The first story about X was in regards to the 2 of Swords – a card which suggests anxiety, feeling torn between two equally negative choices, and being blind to the truth.
In that story, I spoke about how I’d recently re-ignited a friendship with X only to realize he may have hurt me more than I initially thought. Next, I wrote about him with regards to the 9 of Wands – a card which represents feeling defensive and guarded.
Since then, X and I have spoken a handful of times. I did end up asking him more direct questions about his last relationship and, just as I thought, it was with a woman he’d been close to when we were dating.
As much as that hurt me to hear, I chose to forgive him – after all, I’m with someone else now so it doesn’t matter anymore. So, I remained friendly, even asking him to meet up for lunch again.
Here’s where the story starts, I suppose. It’s a rather long and complicated one, but I’ll try to sum it up as concisely as possible.
The last time that X and I got together, he’d just been broken up with (on Valentine’s day, no less) and I empathized with him, but also pointed out to him that he’d hurt me a lot more than he may have realized.
We actually had a decent conversation that day – I suppose you could even call it a “closure” conversation.
We talked about our past relationship and he gave me a (long overdue) apology for certain things that happened.
One thing that he said, though, gave me pause. He said that if we had met now rather than back then, he thought we’d have ended up in a more serious relationship. When I balked a little at that, he insisted that it was a matter of timing rather than a reflection of his feelings for me.
It was a bittersweet sentiment and it stuck with me. I wasn’t sure how much I really believed him and part of me (the cynical, jaded part, I suppose) wondered if he only said it as a way of trying to leave a door open for something to happen later on should he decide he wanted that. (Basically, as a close friend of mine crudely put it, a foundational pathway for him to fuck me down the road.)
Still, I gave him the benefit of the doubt – staying friendly and offering to meet up again for lunch. He agreed and we made tentative plans. But then, poof. He ghosted.
I texted him the dates of the week I was free and got no response. I wondered if it was just a fluke, so I waited a few days and sent another message. Still, no response. Three days later, I decided to try once more – after all, we’d just spoken the week before and things seemed fine. Once again, I got no reply.
I had no idea what happened or why he would’ve been ignoring me. I racked my mind trying to figure it out only to come up with nothing. We’d seen each other a month earlier, we’d talked on the phone before, we’d texted, he’d even commented on my social media since then.
To be honest, it bothered me quite deeply. I talked about it with my new love, John, who had this to say: “Where was he in his life the last time you got together? (single, having just been dumped) And where is he now? (in a new relationship, per our last conversation) He doesn’t need you – that’s the bottom line.”
Tarot Card Guidance
Now, here’s where today’s card and prompt come in to play. This situation has been fairly recent, and it’s been weighing heavily on my mind.
As I was shuffling my deck this morning, I focused on the question about what my biggest teacher will be. The 10 of Swords flew out. Many readers pull their cards this way, but I’ve always cut the deck and pulled the top card instead, so I put it back in and shuffled some more.
I then pulled a card from the top, but since I hadn’t actually cut the deck, I decided to put it back and pull a new one. Oddly enough, the 10 of Swords came up again.
The 10 of Swords is symbolic of betrayal and heartache, but it also indicates a truth being revealed (swords = knowledge). It means that you’ve been deeply wounded by someone else’s actions and that part of the intense hurt comes from the realization that the relationship will never recover.
While the betrayal isn’t new, the ghosting is. It’s a new type of betrayal, I suppose, and the truth I’ve come to see is indeed a painful one.
The truth is, I cared about someone who didn’t care about me. He was able to completely dismiss me. It’s a hard pill to swallow. It makes me feel used, discarded, and foolish for being so naive.
But the one good thing about the 10 of Swords, the part depicted by the Light Seer’s deck, is that a painful ending always leads to the opportunity for growth and healing.
Thank you for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.