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Ten of Swords | Symbology & Interpretations | Tarot Card Meanings

The Ten of Swords depicts the image of an individual lying down exhausted and defeated. He has 10 swords impaled into his back, leaving him unable to move and get up.

Ten of Swords Keywords

Upright Keywords

Reversed Keywords

Defeat, exhaustion, giving up, hitting rock bottom, ruin, lowest points, losses, destruction, worn out, loss of dignity, ending of difficulties.

Slow recovery, cling onto hope, acceptance, and forgiveness of fate, relapses, discomfort, and pain during healing, being a survivor, learning through failures.

Imagery & Symbolism

Ten of Swords
Ten of Swords

Swords: The swords are impaled on the individual, leaving him defeated.

Posture: The individual is on the floor, symbolising him hitting rock bottom.

Black: The colour black represents worry, fear, the unknown, and mystery.

Water: The water symbolises the emotional state of the character.


Ten of Swords Tarot Card Meanings


The Ten of Swords will appear when a difficult situation is nearing its fateful end. This is a period of conflict, and you may feel as though you have mentally hit rock bottom. Things are not going well, and you are exhausted, upset, and feel like you have reached your lowest point. However, the Ten of Swords also signifies that this difficult situation is nearing its end, and you can be close to a new beginning.


The Ten of Swords can signify a period of recovery. You have learned difficult lessons through hardship and conflict, and this has allowed you to accept and forgive your situation. Although you have hit rock bottom, you cannot fall any further, and the only direction you can go is up.



In a relationship reading, the Ten of Swords can signify betrayal relationships. This can lead to severing severe ties that may be toxic to your mental health. It may be time to let go of relationships that do not serve you, so you can allow yourself to move forward.


The Ten of Swords appearing in a relationship reading can indicate healing after betrayal in relationships. It can typically indicate that your relationship may have ended negatively, and you are struggling to move on from this and start again. Alternatively, if you are still in a relationship, it can indicate a very hurtful time for you both, and that healing and a sincere conversation are needed to clear the air.



In a reading that is work-related, the Ten of Swords can indicate hitting rock bottom in your career or work. You may feel completely unmotivated and that there is no way to move forward in your career. It may be time to consider a serious career change or change of job. If you run a business, it is likely a difficult time for you to carry on with its progress, if any at all.


The Ten of Swords can suggest trying to pick up the pieces and back on your feet again after a difficult time in your career or work. It will be slow progress and is a desperate attempt to remove yourself from your current situation. However, this progress is always better than no progress at all. Once you pass this stage, you will find yourself entering a new beginning.



In a financial-related reading, the Ten of Swords means you are dealing with financial burdens and difficulties that are affecting your mindset and ambitions. Your finances are likely all you can focus on at the moment, due to your being in a difficult position. You may have debts to repay or heightened bills. Your focus should be on getting yourself out of this situation and negative mindset.


The Ten of Swords can suggest that you have managed to pull yourself out of financial difficulty, however, you are still struggling to stand back up on your feet to move forward. Once you are completely out of this difficulty, you will be able to focus on other things of importance and be able to have a positive start to your finances.



In a health reading, the Ten of Swords is a sign that you need a serious break or complete rest. Your health is getting to a concerning point, and you are exhausted and overwhelmed to the point where your health is being affected. You must spend time recovering your health and improving your mental well-being.


The Ten of Swords can suggest that you need to spend time recovering your health and improving your mindset. You are in a difficult place, and you need to think more positively and take care of your well-being – both mentally and physically. It may be time to seek some support for your difficulties.


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