The Ten of Swords has strong ties to the Planet Mercury, which is the planet of mind and mouth. This shows that these cards refer to matters of communication and creative expression. The Ten of Swords also has strong ties to the Gemini astrological sign, symbolizing fexibility and cleverness. The Swords suit would point towards a mental journey.
The Ten of Swords is another very visually striking card. On its face we see a man, face down, with ten swords in his back. There is a completely still sea in the background, showing the peace that can come with death and there is a cape draped over the body to show dignity in death.
Upright- Painful endings, betrayal, crisis
Much like the face of the card may imply, the Ten of Swords is a bad omen. It shows an imminent betrayal or a “backstabbing.” You may be surrounding yourself with people who are talking behind your back or do not want to see you do well. The journey of swords from ace to ten shows a lacking in judgement and decisions that come back to haunt the protagonist, leading to this tragic end. When the Ten of Swords is upon you, everything may seem overwhelming. In love, there may be infidelity. In your career, you may be fired wrongfully. Whatever is unfolding may feel like a tragic ending, but it is also the beginning of something. A lot of depictions of the card also show a sun on the horizon to show a silver lining is waiting around the corner when you get past this dark time.
Reverse- Recovery, regeneration, survival
In reverse, the Ten of Swords is not a much more welcome sign. You are resisting a change in life situation that is inevitable. It may also represent something that has happened in the past that you are struggling to accept and move past. This case is actually the most welcome because it shows that the pain you’re feeling will soon pass. When upside down, the imagery of the card shows the swords falling out of the man’s back instead of impaling further, much like your hurt disappearing.
**In a yes/no reading, the Ten of Swords is a clear no.