In the Suit of Swords there's a gradual build up of stress, worry and problems as the numbers ascend. Beginning with the initial challenge of the Ace of Swords, the attempt at diplomacy in the 2 of Swords, failure in the 3 of Swords continuing on until reaching a crescendo of mental, sleep depraving, aguish in the 9 of Swords. The scene in the 10 of Swords, which looks like a gruesome murder scene, is one of calm and peace. Whatever your plans were they are well and truly dead. There is a realisation here that no amount of re-thinking, planning, negotiation or intellectual manoeuvring can take things forward from this point.
The 10 of Swords is a card of total defeat, collapsed plans and failure. The element here is Air which relates to challenges, conflicts and the mental aspects of our lives. The storms on the path of life that we have to navigate through. The number 10 is reduced in numerology to a 1. The 10 marks the passing of one cycle at the beginning of a new one. In numerology the number 1 represents beginnings, creation, the initial spark and ambition. Accept defeat here and move on to new challenges.
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THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT
By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)
A prostrate figure, pierced by all the swords belonging to the card. Divinatory Meanings: Whatsoever is intimated by the design; also pain, affliction, tears, sadness, desolation. It is not especially a card of violent death. Reversed: Advantage, profit, success, favour, but none of these are permanent; also power and authority.