Pearls of Wisdom - 10 of Swords


The dreaded 10 of Swords :)

This image seems to be dominated by a spiral which I take to be the wind but maybe it's not. There seems to be this 'windy spiral' on a lot of the Swords cards.

In this card we see a man lying face down on the very edge of a cliff. He is so near the edge that his right leg is actually dangling over.
A red cloak covers him (or is that blood) and the cloak is pierced by 10 swords. The sword points all seem to enter his body or the cloak at the same point.
Just behind the man is an oak tree which looks very sad; it's leaves are brown and falling, in fact they seem to be blown by the wind and the tree is almost bare.
In the sky above the scene is a crescent moon but on the horizon it looks as if the sun is just starting to rise.
2 clouds appear in the corners of the card and they appear to be blowing wind into the picture.
The spiral which covers the man and broadens out towards the base of the card seem to originate from just above the moon. This spiral looks like a cone of power.
The swords in the border of the card are wrapped around with strings of pearls.
I can't see any runes on this card.

I was looking at this card a couple of days ago and I noticed that the man has something in his right boot. What is it do you think? A dagger maybe?

I like this image.
It looks like something terrible has happened but it also shows that this is the end of this cycle and the start of the next. The sun is rising after a long, dark night. The man hasn't gone over the edge of the cliff so I'm hoping that he is able to get up and remove himself from the danger.
The spiral / cone reminds me that because this is a 10 it is an aspect of The Wheel of Fortune and so shows that one thing has ended (the worry that has caused this scene) and now it's time to move on.
The leaves falling from the tree re-enforce this - everything must come to an end in order for growth and regeneration.

6 Haunted Days

I really like this image too. That spiral cone of power adds an extra dimension to the card. As it's a 10 and a new cycle is on the horizen, could it be a drawing down of power onto the prone figuire? Wisdom from living through a dark night of the soul?

His laying prone on the precipice with a leg dangling is a great image, extreme crisis at hand, yet hope still left.

The stuff the swords are piercing may be a pinkish cape? It looked weird tome, maybe it's a symbol of life energy being pierced and oozing out of him.

I love the leaves too, the dying season lines up with the culmination of the suit and suggests a new season is very close at hand.

Sorry I've been neglecting the study group. Weekends are always so hetic!


6 Haunted Days said:
That spiral cone of power adds an extra dimension to the card. As it's a 10 and a new cycle is on the horizon, could it be a drawing down of power onto the prone figure? Wisdom from living through a dark night of the soul?

Ooh I like that :)

Rede Seeker

What is that pink stuff?

I have trouble reading what that pink stuff is, too. It forms a sheet thick enough to form ripples. If it's blood, I would have expected a more blood-redness to it. If it's blood, the man has lost too much to expect to survive this ordeal. I think the cliff color is closer to a blood-red than the stuff the swords are sticking into.

Things I noticed:

There is a broken string of pearls in his hand.

Unlike other versions of the 10 of Swords, this card has the swords all striking the same single location.

He is laying on a patch of grey material - rock maybe - surrounded by that wonderful verdent green Roxi Sim uses throughout the deck. Odd that the patch of earth he's laying on is a different color and texture than the cliff sides.

I love the 'cone of power' idea! In the man's ordeal, is there a Higher Power communicating to him through this cone of power or is the ordeal sending spirals of meaning to the Higher Power? The Cloud Spirits blowing down - is the cone of power protecting the man while he's vulnerable from the winds of change or adversity?

Notice how the pearls spiral around the swords on the borders of the card similar to the cone of power. The sword points are meeting forming a column for the pearls to twine around, as opposed to the swords in the upper corners of this card where the pearls are dangling from the hilts.

The Tree Spirit doesn't seem to be grieving even though Her leaves are falling. Anyone familiar with a comic book called 'Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose'? In Issue 43, the heroine is pulled into a magickal realm where dreams go to die. Many of the abandoned dreams in that realm take the form of dead leaves that continue to plead 'Believe In Me'. If the dream is still connected to the world of the living, it takes the form of a leafless tree - it's not dead yet. This card reminds me of that story. The man is not dead yet and neither is his dream. It may have taken a beating, but it's still standing (or at least not falling off the cliff).


Rede Seeker thanks so much for those insightful comments. I particularly like your story 'Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose'
When I was looking at this card yesterday it was very cold and dull here and it was difficult to see details such as the tree's expression. I thought it looked sad but today in better light I see that she doesn't actually look sad at all.
The leafless tree, not dead yet... I really like that.
As winter is a time for renewal, a 'mini death', so this card is saying that things are bad but they will get better.

I noticed the broken string of pearls in the bloke's hand; broken but he still holds onto them, all is not lost.
I noticed too that the ground he is lying on is rocky and unlike the ground in the rest of the card.
I'm convinced that the pink thing is in fact his cloak, it doesn't look like blood at all.

Any thoughts about what that is in his boot?

Rede Seeker

It's a cape

That pinkish-red covering bothered me, so I emailed the people at 7th House who forwarded my message to Roxi Sim. Here's her reply (posted with her permission):

"...The reddish/pinkish fabric is a cape. It is protecting him from the swords like a "psychic shield" he isn't finished off yet!..."


Ha ha, thanks for that Rede Seeker...
It does look more like a cape than blood, bit too pink for blood :)