10 Swords – Ruin

This month’s card to explore is the 10 Swords with the keyword Ruin. Many people find this one of the more challenging cards to receive in a reading as we have a tendency to fear that we literally will experience the ruin of our entire lives. If reading for ourselves this is doubly scary as this card does appear when we do indeed fear this to be the case – we might be scared we are about to lose our job and then our house and family to boot with no income to hold our lifestyle together.


However this card is usually talking about this fear – the fear, not the actual experience, of ruin. As we fear things will just get worse and worse until our lives are shattered around us so we feel immobilised and scared about all our actions and decisions. Sometimes this can bring about events that serve to confirm our worst fears. However we can look at the card and see the symbolism of the heart in the center with light shining all around it as showing us that we are actually on the brink of a turning point. The difficulties we have been experiencing to this point are about to turn around and the light and joy of the heart about to grow and become stronger and stronger in our lives if we do not allow the fear to take over but face it head on.

Technically looking at the card we see it is a 10 which corresponds to the ending of something in numerology and the implied renewal, and swords being thoughts we have the ending of our thoughts being the only driving force in our world; thay may feel very powerful when this card is active though.

In the Kabbalah the 10’s are at the malkuth node of the Kabbalah. This is the final most earthly point of each of the worlds. The world of the swords is about the mental facilities and how we conceive of the world intellectually. This card indicates how our thoughtforms can create physical situations, but at this level we are being tested in a sense. Having experienced difficulties with our thoughts further up the tree as we try and manifest our highest thoughts, so here at the earthly level of Malkuth we see that we have done all we can with our thoughtform energy and now something more physical must happen to continue to bring our dreams to reality. We have to shift from thinking to doing (the world of the disks). As we make this transition some of our ideas have to be refined and we are tested in our ability to hold positive visions of what we want to create as we face physical issues that now have to be overcome on the final stage of the journey into creation on the Earth. In a sense it is the ruin of the intellect, we can no longer trust to our thoughts alone we have to move forward and do something and trust our journey thus far has strengthened us to overcome the fears our intellect can place before us. As we view the energy this way so we can overcome the possibility of creating our own worst fears by ‘running away’ into our obsessiveness.

It is sun in gemini and so represents thoughts changing (mutable gemini) and running all over the place in an ungrounded way. Gemini’s quick-to-change energy being out of control. We can harness this and recognise that we also do have the ability to use this fluidity of thinking to find the way forward into the physical world and find solutions to any real problems that arise in creative ways. We can also discern when our thinking is merely circular and fear based, rather than based on any real evidence. This distinction helps us know what is just purely fear based on no evidence, and what is actually an issue that needs to have some action taken to make a change occur. Once we see the difference, the actions needed can be taken, remembering to let go of negative expectations (met in the 7), and fears of defeat (met in the 5).

We see this process demonstrated as we fear the job change will ‘all go wrong’ rather than be exactly the breakthrough we have been seeking. We see it as the money almost running out – giving us the fear will will not be able to continue living in our house, yet it is only a transition and we need to place our trust in ourselves; that our journey on life is exactly what we need to develop into our fullest and highest version of ourselves. We see it in the fear that our partner’s desire for space means they are no longer in love with us, or the fear that our speaking up for what we know we need with push our partner away.

We may need to be active in following our heart’s desire in spite of the fear, rather than to submit to it at this point, allowing the fear to stop us going forward to find the new, more rewarding job, or to check our income and outgoings and make changes for now to help us move successfully through the transition. To allow ourselves to trust that our relationship will be able to hold up to each partner being able to live their own individual needs as well as nurture the relationship. As we do this so the light of our heart grows in strength.

We see the five upper swords pointing towards the tiphareth and this shows how our connection with our spirit and dreams (tiphareth) and our balance is attacked by our fears, the moon on the hilt of the sword at Malkuth and the sun on the one at yesod suggesting the unconscious is becoming conscious so we see our fears; our lack of self-belief and self-value; the things we most dislike about ourselves, as we are challenged to move through this energy with awareness and the on into our dreams with a more balanced practical approach.  The seeing of our shadow can be a powerful opportunity for growth and brings into the light how we negatively view ourselves. Once in the light we can work with our self belief and come to see ourselves as more valuable, lovable and loved and so attract this into our lives as we release this transition.