I’ve written interpretations for every card in the Wild Unknown Tarot. As the box of the deck states, there are no rights or wrongs. These are simply my perspectives on the tarot card meanings. I hope you find them useful!
Click here for a directory of all posts in my Wild Unknown series.
Creator’s keywords: rock bottom, melodrama
Carrie’s keywords: overkill, martyrdom
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Ten of Swords Tarot Card Meanings in the Wild Unknown
A bull is splayed across the bottom of the card, merging with the darkness below. A sword is pierced through both of his hollow eye sockets, and nine more swords stab the body from above. It’s not subtle! And it’s not exactly the most pleasant image we’ve encountered in the deck, is it?
The Ten of Swords, though undeniably one of the darker cards in the deck, has always struck me as over the top. The Wild Unknown gives “melodrama” as one of the keywords, and this seems appropriate. There’s SO many swords that it almost makes you roll your eyes. This card can show the ways that you might exaggerate situations and get into a “poor pitiful me” mentality.
A continuation is at work between the Nine and Ten of Swords. Notice that in the Nine, we saw eyeballs devoid of a home. And now in the Ten, we see a bull with empty eye sockets. This shows the natural way we progress from the grips of worry into the thralls of self-defeat. There’s also a sense here that you’ve got nowhere to go but up. The damage has been done, the worse is over.
Since swords are the suit of the mental realm, this card also hints at the way you can overthink things. We all have a tendency to sometimes make things more complicated, ridiculous, and bogged down than they need to be. When your thoughts become burdensome, you become like the bull – pinned down by your own mind.
Ten of Swords Tarot Card Meanings in General
In decks based off the Waite-Smith tarot, this card typically shows a person laying on the ground face down, ten swords pierce their back. One of the person’s hands is visible, and it has been speculated that he is forming a mudra for surrender. The sky is black, but at the bottom of the card is a hint of yellow, suggesting that the darkest hour has passed. Dawn will inevitably come.
Although some of this person’s trouble’s may be real, it’s easy to imagine them dramatically declaring “poor me! I do everything for everyone! And I walk uphill both ways in the snow as I do it!” This card definitely asks you to look at how you might be perpetuating the drama at work in your life.
In a reading
This card often indicates that the crap storm has passed. You’ve gotten through the thick of it, and things can only get better from here. Instead of fixating on how terrible everything is, train yourself to look for the light. Say no to drama and martyrdom! It’s good to be realistic about your struggles, but check yourself if you’re exaggerating things.