Tyldwick - Ten of Swords


The inkwell, note and red smear on the wall immediately bring to mind a suicide. I can think of no other action that makes such a dramatic statement. But there are other forms of suicide that aren't physical, which is to what this card alludes. In these cases, there is a manifesto drawn up in the mind, an idealistic set of ideas and beliefs that a person is willing to go to bat for no matter what the cost. Just recently the Republican party shut down the government in America because Obamacare was passed into law and they were angry about it. The politicians got paid for doing nothing, while thousands of Americans didn't receive services or pay while the shutdown was in effect. I think it will become a case of political suicide for those leaders. But another example is a person who has had a job for several years but doesn't like how the company is being run. He goes on Facebook and posts scathing statements about the boss, co-workers and the corporation in general. As a result, he loses his job when it's read by the boss. This kind of "suicide" can happen in all areas of life - politics, career, family, groups or friends. It's easy to feel like the victim in these cases, but it was actually the "victim" who got the ball rolling in the first place. He might be the one who took the fall, but he stood on the crumbling edge of the cliff when he unveiled his manifesto. Whatever the relationship, the rigid ideas have suffocated the life out of it. It is time to start anew... but hopefully the declaration will be rewritten with a little more thought this time.


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swimming in tarot

While disagreeing with none of the above, I would like to add further ideas.

-The ink in the inkwell looks so very black, like the fireplace in The Devil--and noxious. Makes me think of poison pen letters, and the devastation they can cause without contact with the victim at all. Cyberbullying is a modern version of poison pen letters. (This morning's news reports someone tampering with the Rehtaeh Parsons Wikipedia page...anonymous "fact"-changing now, on top of cyberbullying.)

-The phrase "the pen is mightier than the sword" pops into mind. But the bloody calligraphic swash on the wall, reminiscent of a Marseilles arrangement of ten swords, makes me think that the sword did its best here to belie that saying.


It hasn't been mentioned yet that the third object is a straight razor (sometimes referred to as a "cut-throat" razor). Intended for shaving, this tool can certainly be used to kill, as the tableau suggests. But from personal experience I associate razor blades more with self-harm: deliberate injury without suicidal intent.

This interpretation emphasizes the psychological state of someone using self-inflicted violence as a coping mechanism. I think less about the crisis represented by the 10 of Swords, and more about the effect it has on the survivor: how one deals with an experience of loss, pain or misfortune. There are healthy and unhealthy methods of coping with trauma but we must move on, one way or another.


Interesting angles!

Hi Everyone,

So glad I found this study group, as the Tyldwick is both inspiring and baffling!
Very good insights from all here. I must admit, this 10 of Swords representation is quite unique. The interpretations can be endless of course, depending on the question. I did notice the sense of "suicide". I also kind of see it as a cry for help. The blood on the wall is like a message to someone. Or it could even be a warning. Looking at it literally I guess - why else would you paint the walls with your blood? Assuming it is blood. I don't see it as insidious as the 5 of Swords energy of being horrible and cruel. If we look at 10 of Swords as an ending, the final culmination of the suit, you could even see it in a positive light: like the thinking process has reached it's peak, and the mental fervour is such that the only thing left to do is write it in blood - so it could even be a self sacrifice, a martyrdom, maybe even a release (people cut themselves to release pent up frustrations and emotions too sometimes, not just in a suicidal capacity). Like Van Gogh, cutting off his ear. There is a place beyond which the sane mind cannot go any further, so there is a metaphorical death. It can be wonderful, in all its gothic glory.
Sorry, just some stream of consciousness rambling there!