Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015

Posted by Sarah Taylor

“The worst is over; now you can choose to take what it has given you, and transform it.” This statement forms the foundation to this week’s tarot reading by Sarah Taylor, who explores the Ten of Swords and how your experience of it could give you the key ingredient in an act of alchemy that has the potential to shift something from the shadows into the light.

By Sarah Taylor

“The worst is over; now you can choose to take what it has given you, and transform it.”

This week, the Ten of Swords lies at the centre of the reading. The Ten of Swords also lies at the centre of your experience, in one form or another. Yes, it can be a scary-looking card, but, like The Tower of a couple weeks ago, a first glance seldom, if ever, gives up the whole picture.


Eight of Wands, Ten of Swords, Ace of Cups from the Röhrig Tarot deck, created by Carl-W. Röhrig. Click on the image for a larger version.

The reaction that may be kicking in immediately is, actually, a taste of Swords in action: a thought you attach to a situation that has the ability to colour it all kinds of weird and chaotic; a thought that hides something beneath it; a thought that, for some reason, feels designed to stop you from looking for what’s really beneath.

The mind, eh. Who can fathom that particular rabbit hole? Do you want to fathom that particular rabbit hole? Do you get the feeling that, if you do, you’ll just surface somewhere else with more of the same? That’s what I feel when I look at the Ten of Swords today.

So let’s look into the Ten of Swords — but only for a little bit. Just enough to see what’s useful. And after that, how about we look beyond it? Specifically, to the two cards that flank it, to the left, to the right. All three are linked.

I always like to bear in mind an interpretation of the Ten of Swords I came across in a discussion on a tarot forum. There, someone referred to it as “the card of the drama queen.” I think it makes a good point, and this point comes in the form of bad news and good news.

I’m going to take the traditional tack and go with the bad news first, which is: something has indeed happened. A deal was broken, a relationship didn’t live up to expectations, a job was lost, an unexpected downturn tapped you on the shoulder, a virus morphed into a secondary infection. That’s all there to be seen on the surface of the Ten of Swords, as unapologetic in its expression as the card is.

But the good news is this (and it was revelatory for me): the worst has already happened. The drama queen knows the drama has passed. She is simply singing an old tune, drawing out as much as she can from her experience. You can learn from your inner drama queen: you’ve reached the peak. The dark night has come, and the dawn is about to break over the horizon. You stuck it out, and you saw it through. The drama only continues if you choose not to let that dawning of the light in. That’s why the Ten of Swords was labelled a drama queen. What is passed is done, and yet the mind can still cling to it as a living, breathing reality.

That creature in the Ten of Swords can’t continue to live. Right here, right now, it is only your thoughts about what you’ve been through that give it life.

When I was writing the card correspondences below this article, I mistyped the “Ten” in the Ten of Swords: instead, I typed “tend.” I believe this is on point. Gather up those ugly-beautiful, mismatched, disparate pieces and hold them until they find a home. Share what you are going through with someone who sees you — not just with their eyes, but with their heart. Now you may start to see the alchemy that the Ten of Swords is offering you.

At the top of the Ten, there are two parallel, light-grey seams that look like they’ve been squeezed onto the card from a paint tube. Look to the left, and you’ll see a mirror of them again in the lines that pass between the man and the woman in the Eight of Wands. Except this time, the lines are straighter, whiter and brighter. They are lines of light, less viscous, signifying an exchange from one third eye to the other. There is an intuitive connection that is asking to be harnessed. There is a ‘separateness’ to the figures in the Eight that stands in direct contrast to the hoard of the Ten. There is room to breathe, there is “you” and “me,” and the eyes are spaciousness itself. Take your Ten — take what you have gathered from your pain — and transform it.

The same holds true for the card on the other side — the Ace of Cups. When I look at the rays emanating from the Ace, I see a metamorphosis from the arc of swords at the top of the Ten of Swords, and a naked, ecstatic woman who has taken the place of the dim, red light beneath them.

Take your heart, and transform what you have been given from your time of ‘ruin’. Because if there’s one thing that it has given you, it is an awareness that you have a heart. You can feel it, alive, beating and glowing inside you. It can feel pain, and it can radiate healing. I’m really not sure one of those happens without the other.

You are built of sturdy, enduring stuff — if you were to look past your mind and see the bounty that lies in what you have to offer yourself and others, not in spite of your experience of the Ten of Swords, but because of it. Your broken heart simply broke open. Your mind has simply been released to see more than the darkness. Your solitude has given way to an opportunity for communion.

Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Eight of Wands (Mercury in Sagittarius), Ten of Swords (Sun in Gemini), Ace of Cups (the pure, limitless potential of Water)

If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.

10 thoughts on “Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015

  1. StrawberryLaughter

    I agree, DivaCarla. That “the worst is over” reading is so clear from where I stand. Thank you, Sarah. Especially if you layer in the Rider-Waite version of the 8 of Wands — all that energy propelling things out of/through(?) the “Drama Queen” mentality and into the fullness of the Ace of Wands. Absolutely lovely. :)

  2. Cowboyiam

    As I have followed these readings for more than a year and know they hold truth, my confidence expands for this temporary breakdown. Your reading lifted my spirit in a moment of dark desperation.

  3. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter

    “That’s why the Ten of Swords was labelled a drama queen. What is passed is done, and yet the mind can still cling to it as a living, breathing reality.”

    Funny, I was just telling someone a couple hours ago about a situation in my life where I think I’ve let this very thing happen. It was quite an epiphany to realize that perhaps my holding on to that thing/dynamic of that past is what recently tripped me up, and that perhaps boldly not worrying about that past dynamic is what frees me from it happening again. Or, at the very least, it frees me from *fearing* the consequences even if it *does* happen again.

    Slightly cryptic, I know — but hopefully you can follow that!

    Somehow it is that “swift” clarity of communication (within myself, and with another) in the 8 of wands that allows me not only to recognize that the 1 of swords is past, but allows me to stand much more fully in myself (in my heart’s desire, in my strength, in my skin) and radiate that beautiful strength outward…

  4. Leilani Curry

    Thank you Sarah.

    Yes, the swift communication happened on Friday, then the confrontation, and disappointment in myself for playing out the same old routine. But the love in the Ace of Cups came from my lover who refused to hate me when I stuffed up, even though I was hating myself. He supported me all the way through. I love him even more for that!

  5. Amy Elliott

    Every Ten card is about the completion of a story, and the Ace is a new beginning. This is an especially hopeful reading if (and I imagine this is true in a few cases) life has recently seemed to be one disaster after another. The Ten of Swords here brings the sharpest pain into full manifestation, but also seems to pave the way for a new beginning, as Sarah implies.

    My astrology this month suggests that I may actually have to face the pain, experience it, live through it, and allow myself to grieve in order to heal. Sometimes having a good cry does turn out, as Susan Coolidge might say, to be a clearing-up shower. The Swiftness card has that air of marching bravely into whatever is ahead, to deal with it and then move on. The aid of Sarah’s excellent insights and beautiful prose will hopefully be a comfort to many of us.

    1. Jaimie

      Amy, this is wonderfully expressed. Please know that you will not be marching through the briar patch alone. I have six things — all of them bearing the kinds of thorns that gouge and tear — to address in the next two weeks. I loathe these upcoming experiences and have to summon a warrior’s courage to endure them. And tears help me cleanse the wounds as I go. May your own journey through what lies ahead be filled with aid and comfort. May the Gods help carry you through.

      Sarah, thanks for another excellent reading.

  6. Sarah TaylorSarah Taylor Post author

    Thank you, all! And to all of you who are facing your own Ten of Swords moment, take heart: first, you’re far from alone; second, change is inevitable and a new card and new experience are waiting for you.

    ~ S

  7. kelley

    This is a really brilliant analysis! I’ve been getting many of these same cards in my own readings, and one thing I thought recently was this: as we realize the worst of this current storm has passed, we can use the space that formerly was occupied with anxieties/fears/whatnots over the storm and what we thought about it, and let that space be filled with…awe and joy. Kind of like letting the light come in, once again, in that constant cycle it has, and simply letting it be there, showing us the way.

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