Ten of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Tarot, like astrology, has long been one of our favorite divination systems. Interpreting either takes practice. As you learn, we wanted to help you to quickly connect to the cards and use them in ways that are actionable and practical in every area of life. xoxo, Tali & Ophira

Co-authored by James Kerti

What does the Ten of Swords tarot card mean?

The Ten of Swords can indicate a significant disaster or ruin—or at least, the feeling of it.

This minor arcana card carries on the theme of the cards leading up to it (the Seven of Swords, Eight of Swords, and Nine of Swords) in representing difficult situations that weigh heavily on your mental health.

In the case of the Ten of Swords, it represents the feeling of completely breaking down and hitting rock bottom. You may be wondering how things could possibly get any worse.

But when you see this card, you may be able to find hope in the silver lining of the Ten of Swords: there’s potential here for rebuilding, for constructing something stronger, better, and more lasting.

Like other Swords cards, the Ten of Swords tarot card carries a reminder that holding self-defeating thoughts and beliefs can make situations feel worse and more hopeless than they actually are.

Although it may seem incredibly difficult to make your way forward, the Ten of Swords brings encouragement to cut your losses and move on. While painful, this will be liberating.

What is the Ten of Swords zodiac sign?

The zodiac sign of the Ten of Swords is Gemini

Ten of Swords Tarot Guide

Keywords for the Ten of Swords: Failure, betrayal, painful endings, loss, bitterness, rock bottom, breaking down

Yes or No: No

Planet of the Ten of Swords: Uranus

Element of the Ten of Swords: Air

What does the Ten of Swords card mean in a love reading?

The Ten of Swords can denote a difficult ending to a relationship, perhaps one that was not altogether unexpected. In fact, the finales predicted by this card are usually ones that—at least looking back—you can say you saw coming. Or perhaps a certain era in your relationship is coming to completion.

If you feel a sad truth clicking into place as you read this message, the Ten of Swords encourages you to start moving toward acceptance. That doesn’t mean forging ahead as if nothing happened. There may be sadness and grief. If you need to let this relationship end, do so, and allow yourself to feel all the complex emotions that arise.

In some cases, you may be moving out of the buzzy “new relationship energy” of the honeymoon phase, which can feel like its own sort of grief. No, you’ll never get that first blush of attraction back 100%. But on the other side is a deeper level of intimacy that comes from being truly comfortable and vulnerable around another human.

This card can sometimes be associated with truly toxic or abusive relationships that you need to leave as quickly (and safely) as possible. This card also urges you to prioritize your own safety and security. If that’s the case for you, seek any support and help that you might need to get out of an unsafe situation.

The Ten of Swords may represent still feeling pinned down by the emotional weight of past heartbreak. This card is a gentle confirmation that you’re still healing, and that’s okay. The Ten of Swords urges you to take your time and go at the pace you go. There’s no need to expect healing to come on a specific timetable.

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What does the Ten of Swords tarot card mean for career, money and finance?

The Ten of Swords can indicate a few different things in a career context, though none of them are particularly fun at face value.

This minor arcana card can point to endings. You may be experiencing hitting a wall in your job and starting to recognize that this position (in its current state) is not a fit for you. Whether you apply for a new job or talk to HR about creating a different role for you within the company, something about your current post is drawing to a close. If you know this situation is no longer for you, allow yourself to let go. It can help to begin looking around to see what other roles are out there.

Another interpretation of the Ten of Swords in a career reading? You may be feeling completely beaten down by a situation in your professional or financial life. Maybe you’ve been working yourself to the bone, or are suffering from backhanded colleagues. When that’s the case, the Ten of Swords suggests prioritizing yourself and your own needs. That may mean taking a break, such as a vacation, or looking for other ways to give yourself relief (remote work, switching teams) so that you may reset.

From a financial standpoint, the Ten of Swords can represent a financial disaster. Be very careful about the choices you’re making at this time. This isn’t a season for taking risks.

What does the Ten of Swords tarot card mean for health?

The Ten of Swords is not an encouraging omen when it appears in a health reading. It can represent total breakdown. You might be feeling on the brink of collapse, especially with respect to your mental health.

This minor arcana card is here to communicate that now is the time for putting your well-being first. If it means delegating, taking PTO or letting go of excessive obligations, so be it. Call in support where you can.

It may feel inconvenient to do so, but if you don’t hit the pause button now, you may find yourself experiencing longer-term consequences that will require much more drastic intervention.

Ten of Swords Tarot Card in Reverse Meaning

While the Ten of Swords still represents endings and loss when it appears in reverse, here its message is more overtly hopeful.

When you see this card reversed, it shows that you are making progress in getting out of a seemingly hopeless situation. It reminds you of your own power and resilience; how you’re rising up to see the potential for renewal in your current position.

Let yourself focus on that positive energy. The more you do, the more strength you’ll gather as you continue on your way.

Is the Ten of Swords tarot card a yes or no?

With its meanings of bitterness and loss, the Ten of Swords typically comes through as a no in a yes or no reading.

What does the Suit of Swords mean?

Swords are associated with air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), which get things moving, acting as the winds of change. Air energy is communicative, and people with air signs like to connect and share ideas.

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Feature art by Diana Hlevnja