Exploring the Ten of Swords

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Ten of Swords and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.

Introduction of the Card


The Ten of Swords is card number 59 in the deck and the tenth card of the Swords Suit in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.

Card Examples


L-s10Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.

My Analysis of These Cards

Yet another visually dramatic card most people don’t like to see. It looks like everything has come to a final end here, doesn’t it? Well… except for the Dragon Tarot card. What do you suppose is going on there? The dragon looks comfortable and free in its environment. Why do you suppose that is compared to these other cards? Take a moment to consider that before moving on with this post, because I do have some feelings on this matter in regards to what this card means.

Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • LOSS

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

What this Card Means to Me

Okay, so I understand why this card tends to get depicted with just dramatic imagery. There are times in our lives where things must come to an end. Period. It could be something we have struggled with for a long time and it’s just a lost cause. It could be a mindset that we really need to let go of. Sometimes it’s a way of life that we need to say good bye to.

Whatever it is, this is a difficult transition where we hit the bottom of the pit so to speak before we can rise again. However once we’ve hit that bottom, we can find relief. So in many ways this card is related to the concepts presented in the Death card. It’s the closing of a chapter, phase, or cycle so a new one can begin.

The keyword I choose for this card is: RELEASE.

Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.

I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!

Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

3 thoughts on “Exploring the Ten of Swords

  1. Pingback: Exploring Character with Ten of Swords – The Art of Chaos

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