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Secret Tarot study: 10 of Swords

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Secret Tarot study: 10 of Swords


This card is timely for the Easter weekend. We see the hapless protagonist beaten and then tied to a post to die of asphyxiation, if not poisoned or bitten before then by the serpents at his feet. This card pulls no punches. It is definitely a more graphic card than the RWS 10 of Swords which shows the protagonist stabbed by ten swords when one would have done, thus showing the RWS card to be a less graphic, more symbolic card.

A question for the history experts. What is this form of execution called? Definitely not crucifixion.
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The buzzards are already circling in the background, ready for the victim. The color in the background is equally cheery and eerie, storm clouds loomin. 5 swords are ghostly in the background, like memories of past pain, 5 more in front, reminders of present pain. Everything in the picture is dead- dead soil; dead, gnarled tree; dead hope for the figure that is tied, whose head hangs, blood dripping from his lips.
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The LWB book states that each suit relates to a specific kingdom of the mysterious, and dark world depicted in these cards. This specific card relates to the Kingdom of Sorrow. Here are some of my ramblings...

The colour of the sky is that of a war-torn Hell. I feel that perhaps this man has been dragged from a battle or from his home, beaten, and strapped to the dead-tree. It is almost as though he has been left to suffer until his very last breath. I have the feeling that he is still alive, but that he will not live for much longer... blood appears to pour forth from his mouth like a dark, and rich wine.

Are those serpents at his feet? I think that they may well be, but I also like to think of them as the roots of the gnarled tree, clutching at his feet, and almost nailing him to the ground, and destroying all possibility of escape.

His death is inevitable.

He is food for the hungry birds which circle in the distant sky. It appears that they are waiting for him to die, before they approach the tree to feast upon his body.

The Ten of Swords can refer to the end of a specific situation, aspect, or issue. In the RW card, the end also carries hope, depicted in the promise of a new day. In the Secret card, the man is not lain on the ground. Instead he is stood upright and strapped to the dead tree, therefore, he is still, in a way, attached to the Earth.

There is a positive side to the Secret card, albeit expressed in rather a dark manner:

His body dies and returns to the Earth, from which new life begins.
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The sheer graphic nature of the imagery suggests that it is indeed the end of a major chapter in the querent's life. There is likely emotional, physical or financial pain. But the bright side is that that chapter is soon going to be over, along with the pain associated with it. As Jypsie notes, the imagery of this card suggests there may be a storm looming. If the querent can weather the storm and bear the last manifestations of the pain, there will be calm afterwards. However, much of what the querent had may have been destroyed or dismantled in the process; thus, there may be some work to be done in starting anew.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Centaur
The colour of the sky is that of a war-torn Hell. I feel that perhaps this man has been dragged from a battle or from his home, beaten, and strapped to the dead-tree. It is almost as though he has been left to suffer until his very last breath. I have the feeling that he is still alive, but that he will not live for much longer... blood appears to pour forth from his mouth like a dark, and rich wine.


His body dies and returns to the Earth, from which new life begins.
VERY nice, Centaur!!! I really love the detail in your description of this card...I can picture it even though I have not actually seen it yet. Also appreciate the idea that this card offers a message of hope and redemption...it is not so much a painful death as it is a painful rebirth....much different than the RW version.

Luna
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Hi Lunakasha ... In the RWS card, the sky is clearing in the horizon. A new day is dawning. The pain is over.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Neon
Hi Lunakasha ... In the RWS card, the sky is clearing in the horizon. A new day is dawning. The pain is over.
This is true enough....I guess I have always seen this card in a very negative way, but looking at different versions of it gives me a different perspective on it. For example, in the Gendron deck the swords are not sticking into the person, they are guiding her toward a better place...hope and renewal.

Luna
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Interesting ideas already posted. I have to say...I have a tough time seeing much hope in this card. Unless...yes, I think I have it. To me, this guy is dead as a doornail like the RWS. The only positive is that the worst of this ordeal is over. No more pain. The sun is about to rise over the horizon. The vultures circling overhead have not yet begun devouring his carcass. It is a moment of pausing where old actions are finished, but new ones have not yet begun.
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[QUOTE=teaguejb] The only positive is that the worst of this ordeal is over. No more pain. QUOTE]

Quite agree

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Originally Posted by teaguejb
To me, this guy is dead as a doornail like the RWS.
If only RWS were as dead as a doornail. People seem to keep using it, though!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanctum_Priest
If only RWS were as dead as a doornail. People seem to keep using it, though!!!
Ha! Isn't that blasphemy around here? Is there such a thing as blasphemy around here? I have still never used my RWS for a reading.
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