The Druid Craft-Ten of Swords-Ruin, chooses to display the more traditional tarot image of a downed warrior with ten swords sticking out of his back. A very poignant image of ruin. Hence, this is known as the "physical death" card, in the Tarot suit of death, swords.
Ah, the paradox of the swords! This card also indicates a new hope, a new direction born out of ruin and despair.
The Ten/ 10 of Swords card represents a mental conclusion, long sought, that has been a mental struggle which has rent asunder our plans and left us in an insomniac’s mental paradigm. One may have reached a conclusion that things are just not going to work out in two areas of their life;
This realization may cause one to experience a deep fear of "things not Working out" which only insures that they don't.
THE THOTH- 10 OF SWORDS-RUIN
As stated, astrologically this card represents the Sun in Gemini and is the most destructive card in the deck. However; many astrologers state that, “The stars impel, they do not compel." This simply means that we are not slaves to our destiny, but have the inner-spiritual capacity to considerably improve our earthly life. Choices are to be made and a change of perspective is always possible.
Qabalistically, 10 of Swords represents Malkuth (Physical World) in Yetzirah (Astral World). The divination meaning of this card is ruin, death, failure, disaster. This is more of a death card than the Key 13-Death trump, which is more of an inner- transformational card than a physical death. The reason the 10 of Swords can be more of a death card is that it is the Physical World influencing the Astral; the Astral being the foundation of the physical world where dreams become reality and some of those dreams we most fear are nightmares of ruin.
What makes this card so very destructive is not ruin itself, but rather the fear of ruin which doesn't allow us to move-on and therefore change our destiny.
The Swords arranged in a Tree of Life format, shows us a break in the connection of "as above so below" which indicates our survival mind has closed itself off from the Higher Self of Spirit and wallows in its own fantasies of fear. There is destruction of relationships, ruin, death, disaster, complete disruption and failure, fearfully dancing in the almost gleeful brain as it may laughingly plot the destruction of happiness in others who it blames for its failures. Not a great card. However, it is also a harbinger of change.
The Angels of the Decan, are Dambayah and Menqal. [For more information on angels, see Crowley's books: 777 and Book of Thoth]
To reiterate; for Material things, this is the most destructive card in the deck and most people dislike seeing it in a spread; However, those who know and use the Tarot as an instrument of Divination, understand that as in Astrology, "the stars impel, they do not compel". Hence, we are being forewarned.
Since, by focusing our thoughts, we have the capacity to improve our life-motion, we should do just that. Ethically this is no less moral than resigning a position when one sees a work related disaster on the horizon. What moral is broken, when one is told by the cards," that if you walk in the street you will be struck by a motor vehicle", and that person now chooses to walk on the sidewalk instead? Divination helps us make focused choices. We should use the capacities we are given, as we are not Slaves of any destiny outside of our own making.
However, this destiny control, requires us to "Above all things, Know thyself", and to be an Active Personality, Rather than a personality made by environment and/ or a reactionary presence that is controlled by peers, or cultural definitions, making our destiny that of Ruin, as our performance is always "after the fact".
The 10/Ten of Swords Ruin, implies, the Horse is already out of the barn, and closing the door is a Band-Aid, not a solution. Something that our governments are slow to learn.
It's best to focus on what you are thinking, pay attention! For your thoughts create no other but your own identity, as your thoughts are the operating fulcrum of your Life-Motion, they create your destiny! For a fulcrum to operate efficiently, a rigid base is a necessity. Thus, as in a "personality", which is a mechanism of the Mind, if the mechanical (personality) Fulcrum (thinking) must devote most of its energy trying to hammer out a permanent way of movement (overcome negative thought), while trying to overcome the counter motion of a "wobbling base", i.e. an uncertainty of Self, the outcome for proper performance is bleak indeed.
Again, I cannot overstate the necessity for "Above all things, know thyself"! Each of us must understand, that by thinking ill of ourselves or of another, we only supply our body with ill thoughts that confuse our performance and ruin our destiny!
However, 10's are notoriously short lived, as they are an end of a cycle, and soon a new cycle begins. So a 10, can also mean, the pain you are going through now is on the mend, especially if you are recovering from a physical or mental injury, where your movement has suffered a "ruin", but by focused perspective, you are aiding your recovery. As it has been determined by medical studies, that 80% of healing is psychosomatic, this is certainly possible. A ten is 1+ 0=1, which is the number of Kether, on the Tree of Life, thus a cycle of the Tree ends, and a new one "down the Tree" begins.
The 10 of Swords card reminds us that with positives comes negatives and when thrown during a divination it indicates:
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