Ten of Swords



Ten hands of medium skin tone hold swords, forming a circle and reaching toward the center. The swords pierce a bright pink heart. The background is bright yellow.

Key words

Upright: failure, defeat, treachery

Reversed: endurance, comeback, transformation

Reflection questions

  • What strategies can I use to keep moving forward in the face of defeat?
  • How can I show compassion to myself in the face of failure?
  • Am I holding on to past hurts or resentments, rather than forgiving and letting go?

Ten of Swords Upright

The Ten of Swords speaks to an unforeseen defeat or betrayal, one that hurts so much you’re knocked off of your feet. It represents rock bottom, feeling like there’s no way out. While you should allow yourself time to grieve, don’t wallow— better things wait on the horizon.

Ten of Swords Reversed

Things can only get better from here. You’ve endured a lot, and you’ve changed for the better as a result. You have a chance to start over, this time with a fresh perspective and the experience of having lost before.