Ten of Swords – Tarot card meaning

Ten of Swords - Rider Waite Minor Arcana - Swords

The Ten of Swords is widely regarded as one of the most negative Tarot cards to pull in any reading. Just look at the illustration, there is very little positive about it. The central character lies motionless on the ground, Swords protruding from almost every part of his body.

The Ten of Swords represents failure, the end, and complete destruction. Take the Ten of Swords seriously.

Card meanings


Sometimes in life, everything just goes completely wrong. This may have happened recently, or it could reflect a time long in the past which you are still dealing with. Despite everything going wrong, you’re still here, and you’re still living.

The Ten of Swords in the past position can represent us not letting go of a past mistake or failure. Despite all the growth we’ve had since, it can still come around to haunt us.

Depending on the level of trauma, it can take years to get over something. Don’t rush yourself. Have a support network. Learn from your mistakes. The past may have been rock bottom for you, but you’re still here. Remember that.


The Ten of Swords is a very bad card to draw in the present position. Something you love is likely going to come to an abrupt end very soon. Consider the theme of your spread to work out what this may be; it could be a job, a relationship, a friendship. It may be something you treasure very much.

Expecting the worst is one way to live, but living in the dark isn’t healthy for us at all. Bad things will happen to us, whatever life we lead. All that matters is that we deal with the issue and recover, pick ourselves up and keep going.


The future is not looking bright when you see the Ten of Swords. Is your current path in life a destructive one? is this sustainable? You might have to readjust to get your life back on track.

One of the worst aspects of the Ten of Swords is the surprise factor. Without our knowledge or input, something can come crashing down and completely change our lives for the worse.

The future is changeable, so take the Ten of Swords in the future position as a warning, not a clear cut sign that everything is going to go wrong in your life. Look for where bad things may happen and stop them before they do.

Work, careers and education

Something may come to an end when you see the Ten of Swords show for your career or education. This can simply mean an end to your current job, possibly by getting fired. If anything is going to happen, it will likely be quick and unexpected.

The Ten of Swords can also signal bad grades at school, a failed exam, and not getting good enough results for what you planned. Try to have second choices, have a Plan B when it comes to important decisions.

Love and Relationships

The Ten of Swords is possibly one of the worst cards you can draw for love and relationships. Don’t take the Ten of Swords lightly, especially if you are currently in a loving, committed relationship.

The Ten of Swords is bad news for love. Your current relationship may come to an end, and it likely won’t be your doing. if you have concerns, then bring them up with your partner now. it may all just be a misunderstanding.

If your relationship isn’t working, then you may need to consider if it is actually right for you. Do you have similar dreams and aspirations? Relationships can be tricky and they are all unique, but at least be sure you are dating for the right reasons.


The Ten of Swords is a negative card, and this resonates too when drawn for money. Brace yourself for the worst. Now is not the time to gamble on anything at all, as you’ll likely lose it all.

If you have any dealing with money, then expect bad outcomes when you see the Ten of Swords. Expect to get back less than you put in.

The Ten of Swords is a strong warning when it comes to money. Just play it safe. Don’t risk it all for some tiny gain.

Health and well-being

The Ten of Swords is a warning when it comes to health. You may have received bad news. Expect the worst. There is no pleasant way to say it. If things are all becoming too much, then seek professional help.

We usually draw life aspect cards for the future position, so treat the Ten of Swords as a critical warning when it comes to our health and well-being.

Other associations

Element: Air

As a Yes or No question: No, definitely not


Failure, destruction, pain, catastrophe, defeat, crisis

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