Gay Tarot - Ten of Swords


The Ten of Swords "cites" the RW: there IS this guy, ten swords in his back, lying in his own blood, probably quite dead ;) There is even the X in the nightly black sky...

But here, you see him not directly in front of you but as an image on the screen of a computer's monitor. And there's a hand pulling the plug right now...

I think this is one of the masterpieces of the deck! It is all there- but pulling out the plug switches your point of view: what I often found in this card, self-pity, excessive suffering is stressed here: "Oh stop this complaining! Get real!! - What's ten swords in the back!?" I like that.

By the way, Elentir- go ahead, you're free to start a new thread yourself anytime you like! I have no monopole on this ;)


Well, I do see the image on this card to be pretty wonderful.... but I'm afraid I don't understand what it's supposed to mean. I like your idea, Telcontar, about "pulling the plug," because I often tell clients when the 10 of swords appears that, although it's certainly far from being a "happy" card, it does, at least, mean that the worst part is over. In the Arcus Arcanum deck, the figure is not pierced by swords, but is rather all bandaged up and his sword is notched and ragged. The interpretation is "A battle has been fought, and one has once again survived."

But I still don't quite see the significance of the computer screen and the so-direct reference to the RWS. I'm thinking that the point is to quite literally draw attention to the "standard" or "traditional" image, in sharp contrast with the modern computer screen. Is the card also saying we should "pull the plug" on traditional standards? Lee, what were you thinking?

I remember seeing another card, another member of the sword court, I think, that depicted a young man in a suit sitting in front of a computer. Is there a connection here, too?


Elentir said:
Lee, what were you thinking?
A question I ask myself frequently. :p

Seriously, though, telcontar has the right idea. Also, I wanted to emphasize that the despair and ruination depicted in the RWS 10 of Swords is a state of mind. In other words, we may not have control over external events (although we often have more than we think we do, because often external events reflect choices we have made in the past), but we do have control over how we react to them. Not to sound too Pollyanna-ish, but negative feelings have a way of self-perpetuating, and sometimes drastic action is needed to "pull the plug" on them.

The image of the computer monitor and the plug also suggests the extent to which these kinds of thoughts are just that, thoughts. Notice how Antonella has drawn the picture to be ambiguous... is the hand unplugging the monitor, or plugging it in? If plugging it in, it suggests that the person is making choices which will initiate self-destructive mental progams. If unplugging it, the person is taking action to end this self-destructive mental "loop."

From a completely different perspective, it could also mean your computer is about to crash! Or at the very least, you'll forget to save your work and will lose what you just spent hours working on.

-- Lee


That makes sense to me. Very cool. I also thought this picture was a "masterpiece" when I saw it, because of the little mental trick it sort of plays on you, with the "picture within a picture" thing and the reference to the RWS. I just didn't quite understand what you were getting at. It also suggests that our suffering-- particularly mental suffering-- is often an "illusion" (frankly this claim sometimes bothers me, but I do get it, though).

Are computers a common theme in the suit of swords, or is it just this one and that other one I mentioned (I forget which card it is)?


It's just this card and the Youth of Swords that show computers.

In reading over my prior post, I realized I should emphasize that in the example of one's computer crashing and losing one's work, this is yet again an example of seemingly uncontrollable external events which still reflect one's own choices. For example, if one had chosen to save one's work, then the crash would have still happened but the work would not have been lost.

-- Lee

Lady Mary

I think it's one of the best cards of the deck. I was in a "10-of-swords"-situation a couple of years ago and I kept getting (of course) the 10 of Swords over and over again. It nearly drove me crazy. If I had had the Gay deck back then I'd have understood the message. Get yourself out of this negative thought pattern. You're staring too much at yourself in your misery. It's in your hands to "pull the plug".