Shadowscapes Tarot – Ten of Swords

We continue interpreting the Shadowscapes Tarot. This time we have the Ten of Swords.

What do we see?

The card is split almost in half based on color: the upper part is crimson-red and the lower part is purple with hints of yellow.

We then see a human figure that makes us think of The Fool card. The figure looks away from us, and it also seems as if she doesn’t have a face. She seems to have tattoos on her upper arms, as well as a red ribbon on each arm. 

She wears a large piece of cloth, white/yellow in color. it seems to be breaking apart, and turn crimson. She has long blond hair. Her body is also twisted in a quite unnatural manner as well. 

There are no actual swords to be seen. Instead some 10 black birds with abnormally long tails form the swords. Or is it blood? These birds broke through the cloth. There are at least 3 holes in the veil made by these birds.

The birds are not still, they’re flying. Either away from the veil, or towards it. We even see one bird emerging from one hole. in another hole, we see the beak of another bird. 

At the bottom of the image we see some trees bare of leaves, and a crescent moon, like a boat.  One of the trees, the one at the feet of the female, is split into 2 main branches, reminiscent of the High Priestess card. 

What do these elements suggest?

To get a better understanding of what the inspiration for this card was, you can check out the official page

The overall impression i get from this card is being in a nightmare. Probably trying to break free from it. Perhaps the fall will help. It’s possible that the nightmare ended, but we still feel trapped in it somehow. 

To fully be free, we really have to stop bringing back memories, old arguments, and stop using the same patterns as we did over and over.

Breaking free is not an easy process, and some people can do it easier (the birds) while others not so much (the female figure). Those who have a hard time letting go, have a complacent attitude and don’t really try. 

But, if we don’t let go of the past, it will only be more and more difficult to carry, and there will be no help. What’s more, the others might even separate themselves from us. 

Not letting go means we’re also not able to move, because our old patterns hold us down and we don’t even realize it. Because we’re so used to them, we feel comfortable. 

The red in this card is not bright and vibrant. It is crimson, dark, and muddy. This can only suggest struggles. 

The character might even be lying either to herself or to others, about her hardships. She tries to keep a clean and bright appearance, but there are signs that let out something else. 

The birds are her pain and sorrows. She lets them out through her words – spoken words “fly” just like the birds; meaning they’re not stable or memorable. They’re also dark somehow. 

What do we pay attention to?

The red ribbon. Always this red ribbon. 

The character doesn’t have the tools nor the interest to set herself free. Her comfort in the situation is more than obvious. It’s probably all she knows currently. She might not even be ready to set herself free. nor to be set free.

We can only observe for now. She probably needs more time to make up her mind. 

© Charly Cross 2020. All rights reserved.

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