10 of swords


As a novice "fey" student, I apologize for joining in some of these threads so late (the Fey only found a home with me yesterday). Even though the book is wonderful, I like to study a card first before reading the book meaning, and I also appreciate reading everybody's point of view as well - a good Tarot deck has cards which can be interpreted in many ways (even some ways that are not so obvious).

Oh, and thank you Marion for the progession of the swords suit - I certainly enjoy studying the minors in this way.

My take on the 10 of swords - well, I cannot add much to what has already been said. I definitely buy into the second option from the original poster, that the fey is dissolving and not stuck in quicksand. One just has to look at her elbow to see that the dissolution is not just centered on her feet. The broken sword speaks to me a little differently, however. I see the sword as the Fey's last line of defense and since it is broken, she is defenseless. However, the fact that she is fading away leaves the idea of the sword as moot. There is a vulnerability present, but it doesn't really matter - don't worry about the external pressures present in your life right now ...... you have bigger, more internal (emotional?) issues that need your immediate attention.

This was my initial thought on this. Yes, it is not a happy, cheerful card, but it is not as negative and gloomy as the RWS version. I have the feeling this is going to be a good face-to-face reading deck for me.



I have lately read a book By L.M. Duquette about the Thoth Tarot. He says certains things in it that explains, to me, why this fey dissolves in this card.

"The suit of Swords (as Ruach, the intellect) is a wondeful aspect of our being because, when we identify with the Ruach, we rise above and separate ourselves from our lower nature, the animal soul (the Nephesh). However, when we identify with the Ruach, we also separate ourselves from the higher parts of our souls that represent greater realities and levels of consciousness than our Ruach is incapable of comprehending. Consequently, the Ruach does everything it can to keep its grasp on our identity. This is why the Eastern mystics warn us that the mind is a great ennemy. It must be defeated in battle. When the battle begins, the Ruach naturally sends its finest swordswoman into the field - a warrior-princess who manifests eveything that is inherent, yet hidden, in her Lord, the ace, a mighty champion of the mind - a Minerva, an Artemis, a Valkyrie, - the Princess of Swords."

I see that swordswoman, that mighty champion of the mind, is that fey, and in the Ten of Swords, she is finally being defeated. The mind has finally accepted that the intellect is not all there is, that there is something out there higher and better than the intellect.


A close look at the images in the 10/swords

This Fey is definitely disolving into sand, the grains and pebbles of which are quite distinct. These may be "sands of time" or a death or ending.

The sword seems to be a ceremonial sword in that the blade is thicker, actually hollow inside. So, if it is not an actual sword then it must be a fake sword -- why? Perhaps it represents a "mental construct" or a world of ideas made up by this particular Fey. It has broken apart. The mental view of the world is inconsistent and falls apart. This represents an ending, as does the sand. It also represents a completion of a life -- an actual life or the life of a concept or attitude or belief.

Note that the arm and shoulder are also showing early signs of disolving into sand. All aspects of the Fey and her life up to this point are coming apart. So, this is a wholesale ending -- a completeness of her present being.

The tile or stond floor continues into the background -- the red area is probably not a wall but a cloud or fog -- or a perception of a reality that is based on sword/fire/creation/spirit or something of that nature. The image may be a mandalla but it seems "empty." Has it proven to be unfullfilled? Is its lack of completeness the basis for this Fey falling apart? This cloud does not quite reach the floor in terms of its densist area; this may suggest that it is apart from reality or a "grounded area."

The "Fey-to-Sand" portions of the image seem alive and active. Sort of like a fizzing as in a carbonated beverage. Perhaps this disolving is driven by an energy, an explosion of awareness. The dying "concept or beliefs" of this Fey are converting to a more substantive basic form.

The images as I've described them, without recourse to the book, seem to be a result of a self-propelled course of thought or belief that has created a view of reality that has proven to not be complete or coherent. Aware that an end has been reached which is not satisfactory coincides with the sudden destruction of the Fey; the Fey dissolves back to basic building blocks as preparation for beginning over perhaps. The concepts or beliefs of the Fey are as insubstantial, in this case, as is the fake sword. Perhaps we can see this card as representing a personal "judgement" phase as opposed to a more universal "judgement" card or symbol. Dave.


Your thoughts have broadened my ideas on this card. This card came up when I finally made the decision to end a cycle and start a new one, one that pertains to the past way of thinking. The cycle was suddenly ended because of a lacking or missing piece. Its funny sometimes when you have a grip on a situation, you realize that you really don’t. I didn't look forward to this card showing up, but I can appreciate all of its symbols.


A very deep card

This Fey card, like the others, is very deep and requires us to really think and share with others in order that we may all learn and grow. It is no wonder that this deck has found favor with so many. Dave.

Water Lady

Very interesting, I just got the book and now lots of things make more sense to me.