Ten of Swords

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The 10 of Swords card in the Sola-Busca tarot desk

Ten of Swords is a Minor Arcana tarot card.

Tarot cards are used throughout much of Europe to play tarot card games.[1]

In English-speaking countries, where the games are largely unknown, Tarot cards came to be utilized primarily for divinatory purposes.[1][2]

Divination usage[edit]

Ten of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

In its upright or positive light, the ten of swords represents absolute destruction, being pinned down by a multitude of things or situations. The person lying on the ground, defeated and bleeding, may also represent a feeling of hopelessness and being trapped by emotions or mental anguish, since swords represent strife and the mind.

The Ten of Swords is the most grim card in the deck, more destructive and reminiscent of death than the Death card itself.[according to whom?] Again, the dark clouds depicted above the person signify despair and a terribly bleak situation. However, upon closer examination of the images in the card, any real death or destruction, like all things, may not be permanent. There is hope regardless of the situation: the golden sky in the distance suggests that this is the worst the querant's situation could possibly be, and that things will only improve.

In the card's reversed state, it symbolizes a troubling situation that will continue for a significant amount of time. The card suggests that the subject should not despair in difficult times, to avoid ruining future prospects for success.

Other usages[edit]

There was a Bob Dylan bootleg compilation called Ten of Swords released on ten 12 inch vinyl records, which consisted of various unreleased material of the artist.[3]

A track off the Arsis album Starve For The Devil is entitled "The Ten of Swords".[4]


  1. ^ a b Dummett, Michael (1980). The Game of Tarot. Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd. ISBN 0-7156-1014-7. 
  2. ^ Huson, Paul, (2004) Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage, Vermont: Destiny Books, ISBN 0-89281-190-0 Mystical Origins of the Tarot
  3. ^ http://www.edlis.org/twice/threads/ten_of_swords.html
  4. ^ Starve for the Devil

Ten of Swords is also a western PA death metal band.