The Tarot of Eli, LLC-Minor Arcana: Thoth Tarot- 10 of Swords-Ruin & Tarot of The Ages- Ten of Swords

Western hermetic Qabalah, astrological, numerical, alchemical, and Tantric Tarot Card Comparisons.

· Tarot of the ages

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10 of Swords-Ruin:

Ah, the paradox of the death suit of swords! This card indicates a new hope, a new direction born out of ruin and despair. The 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;

  1. Things of the heart (lower half of the image) as shown by the pierced heart
  2. And areas of finance as shown by the balance scales at the top of the card.

This realization may cause one to experience a deep fear of "things not Working out" which only insures that they don't. Doubt is a mental virus that ruins successful programs.

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The Astrological sign of this card is Sun in Gemini. Individuals who have their Sun in Gemini, are very gifted at synchronizing paradoxes, polarities, and/or oppositions. Therefore, they are able to look at all aspects of a situation, hopefully balancing the positive and negative aspects. This facility to synchronize can also produce a deep heart-felt fear about the issues of finance, relationships, and creative initiative. With powerful facilities of any kind, we have the Great Creative Pendulum of the Imaginative Mind that can swing from positive motion to negative motion right at the apogee of creative endeavors. When we are powerfully imaginative, we must also exercise powerful discernment, concentrating our thought on what we want rather than what we fear; thereby, avoiding the negative swing just when we can see successful endeavor looming in the near future.

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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.

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Qabalistically, 10 of Swords represents Malkuth (Physical World) in Yetzirah (Astral World). The divinatory meaning of this card is ruin, death, failure, disaster. The 10 of Swords, the traditional death suit of Tarot, is more of a death card than the Key 13-Death trump, which is more of a inner-transformational card than a physical death. Another 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.

Often times what makes this card so very destructive is not ruin itself, but rather the fear of ruin which can interfere with every day activity for it doesn't allow us to move-on and therefore change our destiny.

The Thoth Card displays 10 Swords arranged in a Tree of Life format, which suggests a break in the connection of the conscious-below with Unconsciousness-above . This disconnection indicates our survival mind has closed itself off from the Higher Self of Spirit and wallows in its own animal fantasies of being preyed on. Such emotional states create destruction of relationships, ruin, death, disaster, complete disruption and failure while 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.

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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".

Since, by focusing our thoughts, and emoting them towards our goals, 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. A "knee jerking" personality ruins our original destiny as a Presence of our Psyche, as our performance is always "after the fact" and we live only "yesterdays".

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The 10 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.

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It's best to focus on what you are thinking, and which thoughts you put emotion to. Pay attention! For your thoughts create no others, nor their definitions, as your thoughts are the operating fulcrum of your Life-Motion (E-motion), the emotional thoughts create only 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. This is the message of the 10 of Swords.

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. Therefore, 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. A 10 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.

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tarot of the ages- ten of swords

The Tarot of The Ages-Ten of Swords, shows a Norse warrior totally ruined by the piercing 10 large swords. This is a traditional Tarot Card image of the 10 of Swords. The extra-large swords imply a very big/large disaster. Above flies the vulture in a gloomy sky, implying death. The chasm that the devastated fellow is lying in provides an image of a personality who has "hit bottom"; However, the walls of rock on each side, provide a gateway to the "next life" and/or other side of the mirror that reflects life. Our Psyche is the mirror that reflects our personality, therefore, the personality is returned to the Soul that reflected it as a avatar of the Psyche. New conclusions will be reached and new decisions shall be made by the "life giving Soul/Psyche, and a new persona will be born as new information comes to light. Transformation requires introspection and acting upon the new information realized. Hence, Ruin isn't the end of the future, it is an end to the past.  

Both The Thoth and Tarot of The Ages 10/Ten of Swords implies the same information and therefore, the same divinatory meanings.

The 10 of Swords card reminds us that with positives comes negatives and when thrown during a divination it indicates:

  • The Divinatory meaning of the TEN/10 OF SWORDS is ruin, death, failure, and disaster. Since this card is in MALKUTH (Earth) it is more of a death card than Key 13-DEATH, of the Major Arcana. DEATH, key 13, is more of a situational death, a transformation, whereas, #10 of Swords- Ruin, is a "personal disaster" waiting to happen. When and if this card shows up in the "house and Home" or "Beneath" you position in a Celtic cross reading, go get a thorough physical checkup from your medical doctor and focus on your physical and mental health. You need a "personality tune-up" and it’s time to pay attention to how you perceive the world.


  • That in the next 10 weeks or 10 months, we will have the capability to experience resolve negative thinking about both finances and things of the heart. Especially our fear of ruin about relationships with Gemini people in our life (May 21 to June 21).
  • One  feels fear of things not working, or “I know this is not going to work" and are cautioned not to believe them and just concentrate on what you desire to happen. Energy-in-motion needs a focus to "produce" the desired effect.
  • There is a positive here to understand, and that is just when we are about to achieve our goals, great fear of not achieving them shows up. So when that fear is experienced, one may now know it as a positive sign that a little more effort is needed to "get over the hump" towards successful pursuance of your dreams.
  • When fear of ruin is seen as a stepping stone, its debilitating effect is greatly reduced and we are almost there; wherever "there" may be.
  • Swords reminds us of the conundrum of the mind.... that if you think with great self-power (emotion), you can also be powerfully self-destructive. This is the paradox of the Artistic personality.
  • Knowing that these moods of creative joy swinging into heart felt fears, really means we are a very creative thinker, and by refocusing our emotional goals, can help us to avoid being a victim of our own powerful oracle--- that is imagination.
  •  Within 10 days, 10 weeks, or 10 months, choices for a new beginning may be seen, depending on how long we fear.
  • Transcending one’s old patterns, does require a ruin of the past patterns so this card can also represent the realization of ruin if we continue on with the patterns of the past.
  • It can also represent ailments of the heart and depending on the cards around it, a visit to your health practitioner is advised.
  • It is good to remember, however much doom is perceived,  that our thought is immersed in our future is in  fluid-light and can change brilliance in a moment just by shifting one of our operational patterns. We have the Power of Spirit, which is to identify and transform identity,  in the eternal now of moment. This card tells us it is time to do so!
  • Mental anguish.
  • Misfortune.
  • Desolation.

When surrounded by well defined cards:

  • Benefit.
  • Profit.
  • Temporary gain.
  • Improvement.
  • Temporary favor. 
  • Passing success.

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