X of swords. Backstabbed, betrayed, disappointed, defeated. It is difficult to look at this card and not feel bad. Even if expected or unsurprised when it comes up in a reading, no one wants to be in the position the card depicts. The man on the card is lying face down. The Sky is black. The man’s shirt or vest are the same mustardy color as the ground he lies on. Ten swords are firmly plunged into his back. A span of blue lies beyond him. Beyond the blue horizon is a span of yellow, the only bright spot of color in the card. Even the reddish garment covering his lower body is washed out.
There aren’t a lot of us who have not felt the anguish, resignation, pain, frustration, sorrow and defeat depicted in this card. I think that is why drawing it is a soul sucking moment.
A closer look offers the reader and hopefully the sitter some consolation. X is the last numeric card in the swords. Ten is a number of completion and moving on. The worst probably happened before the ten of swords. Ten is the time to pause and consider the anguish, trauma, betrayal and pain that has been visited upon the person. The person is down and out. When any of us reach that place we know that we have to cast our gaze upwards. We can’t look down any further.
This card gives us a pause. We can begin to gather our thoughts, consider what happened and why it happened. We can take stock of those who we trusted and who, we know longer trust. What are the takeaways? How can we change, adapt, let go, mourn, find support and move ahead?
The end of something has arrived. Whether we like it or not, whether we ultimately find it a good thing, become indifferent, let it harden our spirit, cause us to become embittered is mostly up to us.
We can choose to let the hardest lessons be a different kind of beacon or warning as we cautiously move towards the light. In time the sting of whatever happened can inform our future relationships, ventures and sense of self. This incident does not need to define who we are. Endings can lead to something new. Something we might not have envisioned but may find to be a better fit, bringing light and life that we did not entertain as a possibility. May we welcome what lies ahead.