The Meaning Of The Ten of Swords Tarot Card

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Ten of Swords Tarot Card

New to Tarot? Just pulled the Ten of Swords? If the defeated Ten of Swords was pulled out of your deck and you want to know what it means, keep reading!

When the Ten of Swords appears upright in a tarot reading, it carries a significant and powerful message. This card represents the end of a difficult phase or a challenging situation in your life.

You may have experienced betrayal, disappointment, or overwhelming struggles, but now is the time to release yourself from the burdens of the past.

Want to know what else this card wants to share with you? Read on!

Key Facts

UprightBetrayal, pain, rock bottom, endings, crisis
ReversedRecovery, healing, release, hope after a difficult period
Yes or NoNo
Astrological SignGemini
Key Facts: The Ten of Swords Tarot Card

Upright Meaning of The Ten of Swords

The Ten of Swords wants you to embrace the lessons learned from your difficult times and use them as stepping stones for personal growth. This card reminds you that the darkest hour is just before dawn, so let the past be the past; look to the future for better days!

You may be realizing that there are people who hurt you in the past who require your forgiveness, not for their own benefit, but for yours. This hurt may feel like an unhealed wound in your heart, and you need to find the strength to move past it.

When you see the Ten of Swords, you might be scared at first, but despite the scary image of a guy with several swords in his back, ultimately, this card is a symbol of hope, encouraging you to let go of negative thoughts and move forward with a sense of renewal.

In the upright position, the Ten of Swords advises you to practice forgiveness towards yourself and othersHolding onto grudges will only stall your progress, just like keeping all those swords in his back will keep him pinned to the ground. Let them go!

For now, make sure you’re focusing on healing and building resilience, because now you know you have the strength and dedication to overcome your obstacles. No matter how tough you are, everyone needs some rest!

Upright Love
Upright Career MeaningUpright Health Meaning
Feeling betrayed or experiencing a painful ending in relationships; seek healing and renewalCareer setbacks or a difficult ending; embrace new opportunitiesRecover from a difficult time; prioritize mental and emotional healing

Love and Relationships – Upright, The Ten of Swords

In love, the Ten of Swords can indicate that betrayals have taken place! This card can indicate that someone is causing you or, you are causing them emotional pain, or both! You can feel totally defeated in love when this card appears, but hope is on the horizon!

You must let go of the past to move forward, understand your emotional needs, and know how to express them to others. How you tried to operate in love before didn’t work, and now you know the changes you need to make

Career and Work – Upright, The Ten of Swords

The Ten of Swords in a career reading may suggest some issues coming in the workplace! If you find yourself in a challenging situation with a coworker or setbacks in your professional life, this card lets you know that this time will eventually pass.

Whether it’s a coworker’s betrayal, a workload causing you to feel completely overwhelmed, or a sense of defeat when ignored or shut down by your superiors, it’s unlikely to be fun. You should still hold onto hope because this isn’t forever; it’s just for now.

The Ten of Swords wants you to see things with a clear mind and be self-aware enough to notice any negative patterns or factors that you may have contributed to the workplace. Embrace this as an opportunity for growth and learning.

Health and Wellness – Upright, The Ten of Swords

This could be a doozy! This card suggests that you could be going through a challenging time when it comes to your well-being, usually a time of physical or emotional strain. Stay strong because you can feel overwhelmed or defeated by health issues or personal struggles.

The Ten of Swords wants you to take heart because it’s not over yet. You might feel at your lowest, but this is likely the turning point where you will begin to get well again in many circumstances. Keep taking care of yourself and be kind.

Don’t hesitate to contact healthcare professionals or seek counseling when you need help. It’s your time to release any negative thought patterns or self-criticism that may be contributing to your distress. Instead, focus on healing and self-compassion.

Spiritual Context – Upright, The Ten of Swords

The Ten of Swords card brings you a time of huge transformation and spiritual growth after a very challenging time that may have overwhelmed you. You might feel like there’s no way forward after that and that you should just give up.

The hard times you’ve faced and the obstacles you’ve overcome lately should remind you what you can accomplish even when the odds are against you, so don’t give up just yet!

Whether a spiritual awakening or a moment of profound realization, the Ten of Swords can inspire you when you’re at your lowest point. This card urges you to release old beliefs or thought patterns that no longer serve your spiritual growth.

The Ten of Swords encourages you to surrender to let go and trust that it will lead to positive changes in your spiritual life. Embrace this period of reflection and healing, as it marks the end of a cycle and paves the way for a new beginning.

The Ten of Swords upright is hopeful but also exhausted or betrayed and needs time to rest and heal.

Reversed Meaning of The Ten of Swords

When you see the Ten of Swords flipped upside down, it can indicate that you are finally coming to the end of a challenging point in your life. You might finally be seeing that light at the end of the tunnel!

The reversed Ten of Swords wants you to let go of any lingering pain or grudges from your past because they only hold you back! Let those negative thoughts and emotions wash away down the drain.

The Ten of Swords reversed is also trying to tell you to be self-aware because when you’re not self-aware, you can believe a story about yourself that’s not true. Tell yourself a positive story of healing, recovery, and self-love.

Embrace forgiveness, both towards yourself and others, as it will liberate you from the weight of past burdens. At the same time, learn from your mistakes.

Reversed Love MeaningReversed Career MeaningReversed Health Meaning
Overcoming anxieties or worries in relationshipsA sense of relief or easing of career-related stressEmbrace healing and recovery for improved mental and physical well-being

Love and Relationships – Reversed, The Ten of Swords

The reversed Ten of Swords in love wants you to know that you’re likely coming out of intense challenges or emotional pain within your romantic life and into the warm light of a more positive relationship or partner willing to heal

This, too, shall pass, especially any difficult times in love that have had you feeling betrayedresentful, or hurt. If you’re still holding on to these feelings, it’s time to set them free

This is a time for forgiveness, both towards yourself and your partner, as holding onto grudges will hinder the progress of your relationship. While your road to love might have been rockyfresh starts are possible so you can rebuild your connection better.

Career and Work – Reversed, The Ten of Swords

When the Ten of Swords is upside down in your career reading, it suggests that you are coming out of a period of difficulty or struggle in your professional life. Luckily for you, your challenges are beginning to subside, and there is room for healing and recovery.

The reversed Ten of Swords wants you to find a way to let go of all the lingering negative feelings or grudges that hang around with memories of past work-related issuesResentment will only hurt your progress and prevent you from moving forward!

This card also reminds you to learn from past experiences, use them as stepping stones for personal and professional growth, and know when to seek greener pastures. Not everywhere is right for you; you might have done all you could!

Health and Wellness – Reversed, The Ten of Swords

When the reversed Ten of Swords shows up in matters of health, it suggests that you are moving away from a period of physical or emotional difficulty. The most likely answer is that, in health, the worst is behind you, and now you can focus on healing and recovery.

The reversed Ten of Swords wants you to put any lingering negative thoughts or self-criticism behind you because it may affect your well-beingLet go of past worries and embrace a more positive outlook on life for your health!

When you see this card, seek proper support and care for any health issues you may have faced. After all, when you see this card, it’s about as bad as it can get, so it’s time to improve it!

Spiritual Context – Reversed, The Ten of Swords

In the reversed position, the Ten of Swords asks you to release burdens of the past and find strength in forgiveness. It lets you know that it’s time to let go of old wounds and negative emotions so that you can begin anew.

Past moral blunders and mistakes may still be stuck with you, and you might still be beating yourself up for something you did long ago. Ask for forgiveness if you can; if you can’t, find a way to forgive yourself.

The Ten of Swords reversed reminds you that setbacks and painful experiences are not permanent, and a lot of them are lessons. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and with a positive mindset, you can recover from even the most devastating situations.

When the Ten of Swords is reversed, this is your cue to lean into hope, dust yourself off, and find a way to rebuild.

The Ten of Swords: Yes or No

The Ten of Swords is a no; he is letting you know that it’s time to give it a rest, sometimes literally. You’re likely exhausted by this question, or you are exhausted and at the end of your road with this situation. It’s time to close this chapter and wait for another road to open.

If you’re really not ready to give up, at least find a way to take a pauseheal, and give it another shot at a later time. At this time, at least, the answer is almost certainly no.

When the Ten of Swords is here, the answer is no, or give it a rest.

The Ten of Swords and Astrology

The transitionalstruggling Ten of Swords in astrology is associated with Gemini. Ruled by Mercury and associated with Mars in Gemini, Gemini shares the same hopefulaccepting, and adaptable traits.

The Ten of Swords’ energy will likely feel more natural to you if you’re a Gemini, and similarly, if you are an air sign, as Libra will understand balance and letting go, while Aquarius will align with deep thinking and evolving.

The air signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius will emotionally identify with the Knight of Swords!

The Ten of Swords and Numerology

In numerology, the Ten of Swords is represented by the number 1010 represents endings, new beginnings, completion, and hope. 

The number 10 asks you to say goodbye to a difficult period of your life and enter a more positive period or to say goodbye to a joyful period of your life and enter into a more solemn one. Both are transitional, but one is much easier.

It’s time to close the door on a period in your life, and while it can be painful and sentimental, it’s okay to grieve while making room for a new beginning. It’s okay to have a fresh start.

The number 10 helps us say goodbye to the past and hello to the future.

The Ten of Swords as a Daily Card

When you see the Ten of Swords as your daily tarot card, you’re being encouraged to face any challengesbetrayals, or endings with acceptance. It’s not always easy to be courageous in the face of this pain, but you can make it happen, even if you don’t feel courageous!

This card serves as a reminder that everyone sometimes encounters difficult situations or painful endings. While this might be overwhelming at the moment, it also provides you with an opportunity for growth and renewal.

Use this time to reflect on past hurts or setbacks and be honest about how they shaped your journey. Embrace lessons you’ve learned and allow yourself to release any lingering pain or negativity, making way for hope. You might be down, but you’re not out!

Approach communication with care today, as conflicts or misunderstandings may arise. Be open to listening to and understanding the perspectives of others because everyone goes through their stuff. The more understanding you are, the more grace you may get back.

The Ten of Swords wants you to be open to renewal and accepting, but make sure you have boundaries, too!

The Ten of Swords in Relation to Other Cards

All tarot cards have other major and minor arcana cards that back them up by complementing their energy or that challenge them by contrasting their energy. Are you doubling down or finding a balance? Let’s find out!

  • Ten of Swords’s rock bottom + The Sun’s joyfulness The positivity coming in after a time of struggle
  • Ten of Swords’s hardship + The Tower’s chaos = Difficult times, despair, unpredictability
  • Ten of Swords’s closure + The Nine of Swords’s fear Finding a solution to eliminate fear, even if it is painful
  • Ten of Swords’s endings + The Ace of Swords’s new beginnings A new beginning after the end of a difficult chapter

Complementary Cards

In a tarot reading, certain cards can offer additional insights and nuances when combined with The Ten of Swords.

These may include the:

  1. The Four of Cups: The Ten of Swords shares the introspectionreflection, and letting go with The Four of Cups
  2. The Hermit: The Ten of Swords has the same isolationcontemplation, and solitary nature as The Hermit
  3. The Wheel of Fortune: The Ten of Swords has a shared symbolization of change and transitional energy with The Wheel of Fortune
  4. The Star: The Ten of Swords shares peacedawn after darkness, and hope with the radiant Star
  5. The Hanged Man: The Ten of Swords has a similar stasis, acceptance, and desire to let go like The Hanged Man

Contrasting Cards

In tarot readings, certain cards provide contrasting energies and themes when paired with The Ten of Swords.

These may include the:

  1. The Sun: The Ten of Swords isn’t as joyful or successful as The Sun, indicating that better times may be on the horizon, and there is a need to create joy
  2. The Empress: The Ten of Swords isn’t as nurturing or abundant as The Empress, indicating that new beginnings are coming, times of fertility or creativity
  3. The Six of Cups: The Ten of Swords isn’t as generous or nostalgic as The Six of Cups, indicating a need to cherish positive memories and be inspired by them
  4. The Tower: The Ten of Swords isn’t as chaotic or sudden as The Tower, suggesting that drastic or unfortunate changes could be on the horizon
  5. The World: The Ten of Swords isn’t as successful or accomplished as The World, indicating that fulfillment could be on the horizon if sought out

When the Ten of Swords is with a complementary card, it might tell you to go for it in a specific way! If a card in the Ten of Swords is with a contrasting card, figure out what needs balancing out.


The Ten of Swords wants you to know that the end of a chapter isn’t the end of the story and that the darkest moments are always before dawn. If you can keep hope alive in your heart, the difficult lows can never keep you down. 

Whether betrayalexhaustion, or endings make you feel down and out, don’t worry. There’s always an opportunity for a comeback as long as you are alive. Don’t give up on yourself, even when you’re at your lowest.

The Ten of Swords knows that tough times sometimes land in everyone’s lives, but as long as you can embrace these difficult times and face them head on, it’s okay if you don’t end up on top. Just hang in there and live to fight another day!


What does the Ten of Swords tarot card symbolize?

The Ten of Swords symbolizes a painful ending, betrayal, or a difficult situation coming to an end.

Is the Ten of Swords a positive or negative card?

The Ten of Swords is generally seen as a negative card, representing pain, loss, and the need to let go.

What should I do if the Ten of Swords appears in a tarot reading?

If the Ten of Swords appears, it suggests accepting the situation, learning from it, and embracing the opportunity for growth and transformation.

Does the Ten of Swords always indicate a literal death?

No, the Ten of Swords rarely represents a literal death. It usually symbolizes the end of a difficult phase or a painful situation.

Can the Ten of Swords be reversed in a tarot reading?

Yes, when reversed, the Ten of Swords may indicate the beginning of healing, recovery, or the possibility of overcoming a challenging situation.

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