Renaissance Study [Jones/Lyle] - 10 of Swords...

Little Baron

... or alternatively titled 'Morth Hangs in There'. :D

This card is not as scary as many '10 of Swords' that I have seen. I think this may have something to do with the lilac colouring in the background and the fact that none of the swords actually pierce the body of our little 'Morph-like' figure [for those not familiar with Morph, in the Uk, we had a little plasticine figure on tv, who was not unlike the people in this deck's minors].

This card does show hope. The swords hang above the figure. They remind me a little of the burdens often represented in the 'Ten of Wands' of traditional Waite-type tarot, but here, it is a mental heaviness that is weighing down on the subject.

The figure looks tired. The weight of the swords has drained him. But a sun rises behind him or her, offering hope. It could be that the figure has, after a rough time, dragged himself up onto the ledge we see him on now. Alternatively, he may have been clinging there for some time, waiting for help or assistance. But he is still holding on. A sure sign that the worst has already happened and faith will get him through.

But how long can he wait? This card is the end of something and the beginning of something else. It is that moment of hanging in between the two, I feel. Like the 'Wheel of Fortune', we can never be certain which way fate will twist and turn. Will the figure drag himself onto the ledge and find a new way to start over? Or will he no longer be able to hold on and plummet to the ground below? - whatever happens may depend on what cards surround or whether he is reversed. In a reversal, it might be like literally turning the scene upside down and shaking off his grip to watch him fall. I think I may remember that for readings. It might depict a time when the mental struggle is too much and people might need to seek professional help, as apose to being able to rely on their own counsel and resources. For an upright person in some kind of mental distress, I would see this as a card of strength and coping. They have come a long way and have been able to deal with what has pierced and stung them. The fact that the card is mainly taken up with swords leads me to feel that situations and thoughts have backed someone into a corner, where for a time, little else has been able to be focused on. The 'nine' might be a direct representation of this anxiety and worry, but this card is the next step - a welcoming of light after a dark time.



I really like this card.

Isn't it funny how we see things differently and at different times?
You see him as hanging in there and wonder 'how long can he wait?' whereas I pulled this card yesterday and saw him climbing out of a hole.
Looking at it now though, I can really see the tiredness. He looks like a swimmer resting at the edge of a swimming pool getting his breath back before climbing out and moving on.

I love the realness of the swords in these cards, they look heavy, as if you'd need 2 hands to lift them. And here he has 10 weighing down on him.
But yes, the sun is rising, or is it setting?
Either way it's an ending and a new beginning all wrapped up in one and that to me is the essence of the tens.
Movement, relating to the Wheel of Fortune. The outside of the wheel makes large movements around and around whilst the central hub is relatively stable.
The hub, the stability of the ten makes me think of what has gone before. It's a new beginning yes, but there is still the cycle that has just ended to either put behind us or build on, it's not a completely fresh start (as The Tower or Death would be).

Little Baron

Yes, Sulis. I agree. And I very much like the comparrison to the swimmer. An 'ace' offers new beginnings, but it comes with no baggage. But in this instance, something has provoked the change. It may be deciding that you cannot carry on as you have been. Like swimming too many lengths, your mind may be exhausted and rest might be indicated. It is the end of a way of thinking. Or maybe the end of over-thinking or a relationship that has ended up half-destroying you. Originally, I saw the man to be asleep, with his body laid out behind him, but not in view. The sun feels protective here. I see how rising brings light, but in setting, it might also allow him a few hours to conserve energy and sleep before the new day.

I think that from previous study of Marseille-type decks, I always see the '10's' to be hanging in there. I never see them as a complete and utter end. And I never see them to be particularly good or bad. They are an acknowlegement or a relaisation in many cases. In the 'Ten of Cups', for example, what could possibly be better than what is shown, traditionally? And for me, that could be as restrictive as it could be comfortable. How can we top this? But here, I feel that the darker moments can be overcome. Like you, I think it is a new start, but with experience. It is one of those 'If I knew then, what I know now' feelings, aside from the fact that you are at a point where you CAN draw on your past experiences as a way of moving forward.



Is he aware of the swords? Is his head down because he is resigned to them? Is he studiously ignoring them or is he ignoring them because he thinks they will go away? Is he unaware?

The sun shape reminds me of a magic circle, he is trying to keep them off him. He is trying to get just a tiny bit of rest.

The swords aren’t pointing down. More hopeful yes, but if they fall they are going to crush him. They aren’t going to make him into a morph kebab they are going to make him a little puddle of play-dough. If they fall.

Little Baron

Of course, since we can not see them, he may have already have had his legs cut off :D Is he dead, afterall?

I like the idea that he might be ignoring them, Starambler. I wonder if he is trying to push them out of his mind.

Strangely, this card reminds me more of traditional '9 of Swords', where the person is woken by the criss-cross swords above their bed. And the '9 of Swords' in this deck has an element of the traditional '10 of Swords', where they almost pierce the figure.



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I like the Morph connection, I had completely forgotten all about that TV show. But the figures are very Morph like.

With this 10 of swords it looks to me as though the bottom has fallen out of his world. A sudden surprise event and whoosh, there goes the floor and he is left hanging on.

He does look like he has been there for awhile. Two things occur to me, he either thinks, if I can just hold on for a bit longer, just make it through this I might be able to summon the strength to pick myself up. Or he sometimes looks as if he is waiting for rescue, like clinging on to a life raft in hope of rescue.

I like your idea of the magic bubble Staramber, like it is his little shield protecting him from the swords only it is taking all his energy to keep it up.

This made me think of him not feeling or accepting what had happened and with acceptance will come release.

I don't think that the things weighing on him are imagined, I think they are real and weighty burdens or responsibilities. I get a sense of duty here, like "I can't just let it all fall down, so and so is depending on me."

It would seem he has two options, let go and pray for something soft to land on, or try to pull himself up and writh under the swords. Either way he needs to have faith. Relating to the Wheel, faith that things will get better, and to everything there is a reason and a season even if it isn't so clear now.


Little Baron said:
This card does show hope. The swords hang above the figure. They remind me a little of the burdens often represented in the 'Ten of Wands' of traditional Waite-type tarot, but here, it is a mental heaviness that is weighing down on the subject.

I agree with LB's feeling of mental heaviness from this card, but I don't get as much feeling of hope. The swords seem so massive, and just about to fall. The sun may be rising and optimistic, but it is SO small! He seems to have given up, at least for the time being.


Sulis said:
He looks like a swimmer resting at the edge of a swimming pool getting his breath back before climbing out and moving on.

That was my impression too: that he's had to cross a huge stretch of water and has just made it, and now he's exhausted, but at least he's safe...


When first viewing this card I too got the negativity - the swords just hanging there over his head. The figure dejected, head on hands - is he asleep or just too deep in his misery to move?

But on reading through the replies on here, I can see the other aspect of this card, the sun behind his back - He's just gathering his strength for whatever will come next. I really like the colours in this card, the deep purple of the edge that he's leaning on and the lilac of the dome above him, it almost looks like a shield. There is a lot more to this card than meets the eye.