Tarot is amazing, that's for sure. As we all know, Tarot has a way way of being frustratingly, bloody accurate...dead-on, so to speak. I needed to take a self-prescribed hiatus from my study of the Robin Wood Deck because the "Ten of Swords" darkly colored the fabric of my own life for the last few weeks. I'll spare you from my gloomy tale of doom, but suffice to say when the Ten of Swords makes its presence known, change has been or will be occurring...like it or NOT...and usually not without a heavy dose of pain and suffering. It's odd, but this whole recent event had me thinking, among other things, what I did before I discovered Tarot. There's something weirdly comforting when you're feeling BAD and the Ten of Swords corroborates what you're going through...kind of like a stamp of approval that I have a right to feel so awful.
Robin said it all in her book when giving the key words for this card: "No, It really IS that bad." Sometimes, when in terrible, especially confusing circumstances it's hard for the person/people involved to actually see the big picture and know how to proceed or even when to throw in the towel. When a card like this one comes up in a reading, it's like a big, red flag is waving to be sure we understand just what we are seeing and feeling. Denial is part of human nature, particularly during the worst of times, and the Ten of Swords can act as a wake-up call.
Robin also said endings, even situations as dire as that depicted by the ten-times-stabbed figure, can lead to beginnings. In other words, when a door closes; a window opens. In a reading containing the Ten of Swords, depending on the question asked, I might look for answers in the other cards for how to take advantage of that open window or even for how to open the actual window myself (or for the querent to consider how to do so).
I found it particularly helpful that Robin said the Ten of Swords is a card of questions. Is the guy dead or dying? Is it the death of an idea he has or a firm stand he takes? Do lots of folks hate him enough to stab him in the back or was this all done by one person/organization/twist of fate/bad decision/etc.? Was he the enemy or the slain good-guy? Is this an affair of the heart or the mind or something else? What happens next?!!
One thing's for sure, I'm much happier to see the back side of this card in my readings...