Golden Tarot -- Ten of Swords


A man lies on his side, dead, on the rocky ground near the bottom of a flight of stone stairs. Ten swords pierce his side from his arm all the way down to his knees. He's dressed in simple clothes of blue and orange. His arms cover his chest protectively. He is barefoot.

The whole landscape is rocky. There are some leafless trees. Night is falling.

The only thing that is obviously alive is a menacing black dog that barks at the dead man from the top of the stairs.

What the card screams is that something is dead -- a dream, an opportunity, something. Not just dead, it has been murdered, many times over. Whatever it was went down as low as it could go, and then it was finished off.

No resuscitating here. Nothing to be done except to accept the death. Not always the easiest thing to do.

The "black dog" can symbolize death, but also everything that is unknown and which people therefore fear and hate. So this card could carry the idea that something was feared and therefore killed because it was outside one's realm of experience. Or an opportunity was killed because of the fears of the people involved.

It occurred to me also that it could refer to someone other than the querent. I guess that's true with any card, but with this, it seems more likely than with some others. Since the person pictured presumably has no awareness, it seems likely that it could represent someone the querent knows who was laid low by circumstances and is therefore in need of help.


This card is harsh! Not only is the man pinned down by the 10 swords, he is out in a barren desert landscape AND a mean dog is growling at him. When you think things can't get worse, they do...