Ten of Swords

For many people, one of the most uncomfortable cards to encounter when working with the tarot is the Ten of Swords. The imagery often includes ten swords fully engaged in some ghastly array. In keeping with the desire to present only positive interpretations in the Nature Spirit Tarot, here are some added thoughts about this disturbing card.

The Ten of Swords is meant to shock us. The suit of swords is all about the entanglements of the mind. One of our biggest challenges and impediments to spiritual growth is the inability to recognize old and established patterns which we hold in our minds. It often takes a shock to awaken us out of preconceived mindsets.

The mind, our most powerful tool, rules the way we interact in the world. Many spiritual teachings tell us that mind and matter are interrelated. It is human nature to rarely look outside of our mentally constructed reality. If we try to consciously expand our perception, shocking events often occur. At such times, we are encountering the message of the Ten of Swords.

When dealing with a difficult position expressed by this card, the key is to observe our attachment to the experience, and approach things as an opportunity to become detached. We might seek the higher way, and separate ourselves from the entanglements we are experiencing by elevating our thoughts and reactions. This is first a mental exercise, but with practice, often deepens into spiritual progress. This is the work of releasing our deeper inner self from the ego, so that our higher self has an opening to shine through. It can be a painful process, but the rewards are immeasurable!

In the life of the butterfly, there is a stage when the caterpillar drops everything and builds its cocoon. I think butterflies are closer to the Source than we humans. They don’t need to suffer in order to expand, because they follow their inner calling. They intuitively follow an inner process to evolve from caterpillar, to cocoon, to butterfly. I find that to be a lovely thought. Here we see a living example of naturally expanding into a new way of being in the world. This is an important discovery revealed in the Ten of Swords.