Ten of Swords Tarot Card Meanings 2016-11-06T19:44:38+00:00

Ten of swords tarot card meanings 10 of swords tarot card

Ten of Swords Tarot Card
Meanings and Keywords:


Being stabbed in the back.

Being the victim.

The end of something.

Hitting rock bottom.

Feeling useless.

The need for a new beginning.

The end of darkness. The only way forward is up.

Unable to cope with demands.


Holding on to pain.

Being a scapegoat.

Mental torture.

Symbolism in Ten of Swords tarot card

The man laying on the ground with ten swords in his back symbolises hitting rock bottom. The ten swords in asymmetrical order symbolise defeat and endings that are completely unmanageable to the man on the ground. The red cape symbolises his flesh. It has six swords in it symbolising having nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. The four swords in the man’s upper body symbolise unwanted endings and loss. The sun is rising in the background dispelling the darkness, symbolising a new beginning.

Ten of Swords tarot card and Astrology

Sun (Sun) in Gemini (Lovers)

Ten of swords tarot card meanings upright

Ten of swords in a general reading

Ten of Swords is the tarot card for endings and loss, backstabbing and lack of support. Sometimes this card denotes hitting rock bottom. It has the mentality of ‘when it rains it pours’, and the Seeker might be feeling there is no end to the suffering. However, on a more positive note, this card often shows up when there is an opportunity to end the suffering. The worst has happened and you survived it. On a day-to-day basis, Ten of swords can mean feeling depleted and tired, unable to cope with the demands.

Ten of swords in a love reading

In a love reading, Ten of swords tarot card denotes a need for renewal in relationships. If the Seeker is single, Ten of swords can denote the end of being single.

Ten of swords in a career reading

In a career reading, Ten of swords tarot card signifies work that involves death, such as funeral director, detective, forensic science. Ten of swords can also mean the Seeker is ready to retire. Ten of swords can also mean unemployment, especially if it shows up reversed.

Learn what Ten of swords tarot card means in the Grand Tableau. 

Personality types in Ten of Swords tarot card

Ten of swords tarot card indicates someone who often find themselves in hardship and struggles. They want to free themselves from dependency and feel relieved when their relationships, jobs and projects ends. They often end dramatically and even violently, but it still gives the person a sense of freedom. This is someone who struggle with being happy. They feel comfortable with the loom and gloom where they can lick their wounds. They know they need to heal, and dream about better times, but are afraid to actually live a new way of life. They find all kinds of relationship exhausting, mostly because of their constant feelings of failure and ruin. They come across as cold and distant.

Ten of swords tarot card meanings


Ten of swords tarot card meanings reversed

Ten of Swords tarot card reversed signifies holding on to pain often inflicted by others. This Seeker might not be able to let go of what other people have inflicted and is feeling no support. Not just is there no support, there might even be deliberate sabotage. Ten of swords tarot card often shows up reversed when the Seeker is being lured into a deliberate plot where they become the scapegoat and have to take the blame for other people’s misconduct. Other times this card shows up reversed when the Seeker is so tired and worn down that they make a mistake that will cost them.

Personality types in reversed Ten of Swords tarot card

Ten of swords tarot card reversed indicates someone so scared of failing that they live in constant terror and anger. Their reputation is often poor as a result. They play mind games as a way to salvage their reputation. They often promise the world and deliver little if anything. They leave their family and friends constantly disappointed. They need to take a step back and face their fears, or at least admit that they have them. Ten of swords reversed indicates someone who is unable to admit shortcomings. They need to be perfect and find themselves exhausted as a result. They lack the inner substance to see what is really important. Their lives look good on the surface but is, in reality, a very shallow and empty existence with few good memories.

Ten Of Swords Tarot Card Combinations

Some important tarot card combinations including Ten of swords:

Ten of swords + The Fool: Re-training. 

Ten of swords + The Empress: Neglecting your own or someone else’s needs. 

Ten of swords + The Emperor: Feeling like just a number. Lost in a system. 

Ten of swords + The Hierophant: A spiritual crisis. Ego out of control. 

Ten of swords + The Lovers: Losing your identity in a relationship. 

Ten of swords + Strength: Saving others in an attempt to save oneself. 

Ten of swords + The Hermit: Being emotionally unavailable. 

Ten of swords + The Wheel of Fortune: A quick turn to the better. 

Ten of swords + Justice: Seeking compensation. 

Ten of swords + Temperance: A situation or person bringing out the worst in you. 

Ten of swords + The Tower: Revenge-seeking. 

Ten of swords + The World: Fear of failing blocks growing. 

Ten of swords + Ace of wands: Starting a new life. 

Ten of swords + Three of wands: A demanding situation. 

Ten of swords + Five of wands: Giving up before trying. 

Ten of swords + Eight of wands: Escaping problems. 

Ten of swords + Ten of wands: Unable to keep on top of things. 

Ten of swords + Knight of wands: Being used as a doormat. 

Ten of swords + Queen of wands: Creating chaos. 

Ten of swords + King of wands: Violence. 

Ten of swords + Ace of cups: Healing the sick. Helping others. 

Ten of swords + Two of cups: Growing closer in adversity. 

Ten of swords + Four of cups: Depression. 

Ten of swords + Five of cups: Deep grief. 

Ten of swords + Six of cups: Unable to let go of the past. Haunting memories. 

Ten of swords + Seven of cups: Escaping through drugs. 

Ten of swords + Ten of cups: Putting on a brave face. Not letting others in. 

Ten of swords + Page of cups: A pessimistic person. 

Ten of swords + Knight of cups: Ignoring your creative talents. 

Ten of swords + Queen of cups: Recovering from grief. Writing about grief. 

Ten of swords + Two of pentacles: Wasting money. 

Ten of swords + Three of pentacles: Lack of work progress. 

Ten of swords + Six of pentacles: End of charity. 

Ten of swords + Seven of pentacles: Loosing interest in something that used to mean a lot to you. 

Ten of swords + Nine of pentacles: Feeling like a prisoner. Detention. 

Ten of swords + Ten of pentacles: Restrictions and burdens. 

Ten of swords + Page of pentacles: Lack of independence. 

Ten of swords + Knight of pentacles: Unemployment. 

Ten of swords + Four of swords: Recovering from illness. 

Ten of swords + Six of swords: Moving away from a bad situation. 

Ten of swords + Seven of swords: Hurting others without knowing. 

Ten of swords + Eight of swords: Deep insecurities. 

Ten of swords + Page of swords: Learning the hard way. 

Ten of swords + Queen of swords: A woman scorn. 

Ten of swords tarot card meanings summary

When Ten of swords shows up in your tarot cards it denotes a time when you are faced with endings of some sorts. You might even feel grief and sorrow. This is a time when you must face up to change. Ten of swords shows up when the seeker has invested themselves into a way of thinking which turned out to longer serve them. Their beliefs might have been proven wrong or they realise they can no longer go on the way they used to. There has to be a renewal. You either renew yourself or peril, sink or swim. Things can no longer stay the same.

I often see Ten of swords in a reading when someone is retired or unemployed. For some people retiring is tiring. Ten of swords shows up when the seeker needs to renew themselves and realise the world still needs them. One way or the other life will get interesting again. It doesn’t have to be through work. It can be anything the seeker wants it to be. 


  1. Hap June 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I got the ten of swords for a couple of days repeatedly, and was wondering what the heck might be coming. Then I got a last-minute call from my health clinic that I was scheduled to see their chiropractor. This was my first visit to a chiropractor and I had no idea what to expect. I can assure that the image on the classic ten of swords tarot card (Rider-Waite deck) illustrated my chiropractic experience quite well!

  2. Hauntqueen November 3, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    King of cups and 10 of swords in a general read. Ace of pentacles before the king of cups. I’m stumped

  3. Inger Bråthen November 4, 2016 at 4:28 am

    Hi, Kings with any of the 10s are generally a good sign, as it denotes success. The 10 of swords can mean the success will create some stress in the seeker’s life…

  4. Raji December 18, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Hi I did a soul mate reading 2 and got 10 of swords in position 5 how will we meet what does this mean for a meeting, does it mean some terrible life lessons for us both overcome, and how will we meet I got world how does this relate to when
    Can you give clear advise

    The cards I got 1 eight of cups 2 judgment 3 justice. 4 two of cups 5 ten of swords. 6 the world. 7 nine of nine of penticles as you can see very positive cards except for the swords
    Thank you

  5. Inger Bråthen December 18, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Hi, Raj. The ten of swords and the World are connected. Ten of swords speaks of something coming to an end in your life, and the World speaks of completion. You get the Judgement as a block, which could mean you are meant to go deeper within your life purpose, and when you do, this will bring you your soulmate….You also get a lot of the 2s showing up, which means your heart will lead you straight to this person. The more you start following your heart, the closer you will get to your soulmate….:)
    Cheers, Ingie

  6. Luis February 7, 2017 at 5:20 am

    I did a Celtic cross reading and my first three cards were the ten of swords the death card and the king of swords… what does it mean? I didn’t ask any question in particular. Just what do the cards wish me to know at this time…

  7. Inger Bråthen February 19, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    This card combination can mean you have outgrown a situation in your life. Don’t hold on to people from the past or previous situation that you were attached to that ultimately are holding you back. Start something fresh. Time to do some spring cleaning, take out the garbage, and begin anew.

  8. Callie April 2, 2017 at 7:02 am

    I did a relationship past,present and future reading. …For someone I fell in love with a long time ago….felt an incredible connection with him, almost telepathic, although nothing physical. But he suddenly turned his back on me…. he was committed to someone else.
    Past was two of cups, present 10 of swords ( 🙁 and I feel like that man lying dead) and lovers in future. There is no chance of even seeing this person, he hundreds of miles away in a very happy life…. I thinks

  9. Callie April 2, 2017 at 7:21 am

    I know I need to move on…. I know no joy without him. What is the last card saying??

  10. Inger Bråthen April 3, 2017 at 2:00 am

    The Lovers card as the last card is telling you that you will end up with the right person, your highest and best, most compatible soulmate, and then you will have joy again 🙂

  11. Callie April 3, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Thank you!
    I meditated a long time and only chose the cards after I felt the ‘energy’ of the ‘universe’ in me and around me and the cards….and I asked God and that energy and anyone who was tuned in to speak to me through the cards. I told them how lost and defeated I felt and that I seek direction and need to know that everything will be okay. I can’t describe it because I haven’t felt it too many times before but I’m sure as a tarot reader you know what I’m talking about. Thank you for your answer. My silly heart still thinks it is him… but that’s why it’s 10 of swords now!

  12. Keisha April 7, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Hi, I did a 3 card spread asking about future love and children. In the past I received a three of swords, in the present I received a 10 of swords, and in the future I received the Moon. What I can gather from this reading, is that the three of swords represents my past pain, the Ten of Swords represents my pain soon coming to an end, and the Moon represents possibilities?
    I appreciate any help that you can provide. Thank you.

  13. Inger Bråthen April 8, 2017 at 10:28 am

    The Moon means there is creativity in your life and you will be able to use your creativity to work through what has been painful in your past.

  14. CAT April 16, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Ten of Swords Ace of Pentacles and Two of Swords – this seems ominous. Was told it represented physical, mental and spiritual. But I’m not seeing the connection.

  15. Inger Bråthen April 17, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Hi. I feel this card combination is telling you that you need to clear your mind of any clutter. There is more responsibility in your life and more demands could be put on you, therefore, the cards are saying to do some meditation and clear your mind from any clutter. I feel there is a positive surprise as well just around the corner.

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