Alchemical Study Group - Ten of Swords


In this card we see a man lying on the ground with ten swords thrust into his chest. A pool of blood spills out onto the ground. A book lies open in the foreground. In the background we see hills.

I think it is interesting that Place calls this card 'The Victim'. It is a reminder that the card is a sword/air card and that mental energies/thoughts play a part.

Clearly in this card there is an ending, a tragedy, and as Place says the worst has happened and now we can heal. He also says that "negativity has focused on one person".

I guess bad things do happen and we can choose to take on the role of victim and lie there taking it and then identifying who we are with the pain we have experiences, or we can move on and learn from it (maybe represented by the book) and begin a new cycle.


(from the book)

A man stabbed with ten swords lies in a pool of blood. An open book lies in the foreground. Ten have come back to one; negativity has focussed on one person.

Tarot wisdom: The worst has happened. Killing criticism, words or even deeds have created physical or emotional pain, or both. The message also expresses the negativity of censorship, which is especially symbolized by the book. But focus on the bright side. The deed is done; now you can heal.


Ten Swords stab painfully down into the heart of the Victim. Ten swords seems like too many to do the job. Like it was done to make a statement. The swords point down indicating that there are negative thoughts. It could be the Victim's thoughts or thoughts about the victim, thoughts of rejection or injury. But in the foreground is an open book, symbol of available knowledge. The loss may be painful and seem a great injury, but it is a completion. It represents an ending of the suffering and a new beginning made better by the lessons of the past.