Ten of Swords: The Most Important Thing That Tarot Will Teach You

I Fall, I Rise

The last post I wrote had one major message that I derived from the story of the major arcana: that life is filled with ups and downs, good and bad, dark and light; and that we could trust that every low point in our life would be followed by a high point.

So, I've been approaching the last few weeks with this in mind and trying to stay positive through some drama with my extended family. I completed the Journey to Calm spread. The final question in that spread is, "Who am I in a state of calm?" So, essentially, "What will it look like when I've achieved a perfect anxiety-free life?" I expected to get The High Priestess or The Strength card -- some image of a powerful woman using her intuition to put her life into order. Instead, I got the 10 of Swords.



Normally when I get what seems like an "off" card in a reading, I briefly take it into consideration and move on, maybe even chalk it up to a bad shuffle. But, this felt different. It felt like a bigger life lesson I needed to learn.

My first thought was that, maybe I would be calmer when I was dead (ha!). Or that my thoughts (swords) were literally killing me, that I would never, ever be calm. The other card meanings in the spread came to me clearly, but this one irked and shook me and made me doubt myself. So, I decided to take it with me.

Come Along Now

I imagined taking that grumpy 10 of Swords card and putting it in my pocket. I printed an image of it and pasted it into my journal. Over the next week, when I felt moments of anxiety or defeat, I would imagine that card and try to understand it and jot down ideas in my journal.

The Tarot is known for its opposing meanings, and it's not necessarily linear, so it can reveal both the good and bad of a situation. It can mean both that my anxiety is negative/debilitating and that it is positive/fueling good. I wanted to know it all, so I tried to find the positive aspects too:

  • My thoughts are sometimes debilitating. Ugh. OK, got it.
  • My anxiety is sometimes overwhelming to the point of defeat. BUT:
  • I am strongest when I'm at my lowest.
  • I am calmest in emergency situations.
  • When knocked down, I always, always, always rise.

Just by exploring the dark and light of that card, and accepting it, I realized something huge (at least for me) about my anxiety and my life in general.

The Most Important Thing(s)

If life is just a constant change of the tides, we can choose how we perceive them: either always high tide dropping to low, OR always low tide rising to high. We can actually choose to focus on the high tide, to keep climbing.

We have another choice too: we can choose to try to navigate our ship through the waves, to control every aspect of our journey, to tackle the big waves and ride out the small OR sometimes, we can just be the ocean.

We can meld with the good and bad, completely accept it, and trust that the universe will do what she does best. She will create beautiful swirls of chaos and order. She will heal and provide. She will give you every opportunity to thrive. And, when you accept her help, she will lift you, and you will rise.


Post Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash; Card Images from the Linestrider Tarot.