The Ten of Swords and Acupuncture

The Ten of Swords is probably the most gruesome card in the deck and is certainly more disturbing in its imagery than the Death card.

Ten of Swords

Swords in tarot represent our mind, and this poor guy is being pinned down by his many weighty thoughts. James Ricklef in his book Tarot Tells the Tale refers to the Ten of Swords as “analyzing something to death.” Mark McElroy in his book, Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Tarot, refers to it as the “the human pincushion.” I love both of these interpretations, but I also have my own personal association with this card. I call it my headache card.

I’ve had migraines for years, and before I really knew what they were, I came up with the following metaphor to try to describe them. In a bullfight, before the matador enters the ring, the picador stabs the bull’s neck with a lance to weaken its muscles so that it can’t raise its head. The banderilleros also plant little flags in the bull’s neck to further weaken it. When I have a migraine, I feel like the bull with lances and little flags piercing my energy. I can feel my spirit slump.

In more recent years I tried acupuncture, and I found relief in being pinned down to the practitioner’s table. I liked having a regular appointment that allowed me to be alone with my thoughts. Solitude!

Anyway, when the Ten of Swords card appears, all of these associations surface.

Exercise for Reflection

Go through your deck face up and choose a card that represents something that you have been “analyzing to death.” Find another card that represents what you need to do in order to lay that issue to rest.

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llustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

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One Response to “The Ten of Swords and Acupuncture”

  1. Elias Says:

    wow, huuuuge cards:) very nice to have a peek in to the fuutre with these ones. or is it really the fuutre one looks from the tarot cards..? more like the inner feelings or.. eeh, i m not so sure about this..nice cards anyway!

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