The Card of the Day: The Ten of Swords (Reversed)
“Clouds part, and the sun always returns.”
Help! The Ten of Swords looks scary! Are we all going to die?!
Absolutely not! The Tarot has done it again, using potent symbolism to get us to wake up and pay attention to something very important.
The man on the card is face down. All the swords are in his back. Whatever "got him" was chasing him from behind. He was running away. The swords in his back symbolize his irrational fears. They finally caught up with him. But look closer. In his last moment he finally learned to surrender. This is symbolized by his right hand opening to Spirit.
What fears are you constantly trying to keep ahead of? Is your day filled with thoughts of terrible things that might happen? Do you try to just "keep busy" so you don't have to face the source of your unease?
Ignoring fear is the same as running from it. It's still there. Lurking about as usual. Often the thing we fear (horrible illnesses, death, poverty, loss) is a distraction from going deeper and listening to our inner spirit. Spirit does not want suffering for you. But the only way to be free from needless suffering is to surrender. You aren't surrendering to fear, you are surrendering the fear. Surrender to feeling the fear and then letting it go.
The Ten of Swords asks that you turn around, and face the fears coming from behind. Tell the fear, "I'm not running from you today." Give yourself five minutes to feel all the scary things fear is trying spook you with (illness, aloneness, poverty, loss, failure). Set a timer. When the alarm goes off, that's it. The fear doesn’t get any more of your energy today, it’s already taken five valuable minutes. Let go of amorphous fears and enjoy something about being alive at this moment. Focus on the colors around you. Witness something beautiful. Fear is like the dog that chases the car. When the car stops, the dog doesn't know what to do. Fear thrives when you ruminate. Switch mental gears. Reach out to a trusted loved one. Speak your fear aloud. Sometimes speaking the fear to someone who supports you is the first step to truly letting it go. Take your fears out of the shadows and into the light.
A wise teacher of mine, Nancy Retzlaff, used to have a saying on her dresser that she looked at every morning:
"This is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I won't need any of your help so enjoy your day."
Enjoy your day!
When the Ten of Swords appears reversed the sunlight now appears at the top of the card. The clouds are parting, and light is returning once again. This card reminds you that the light will always return, no matter how many dark days you’ve experienced. There is a quality of resignation to this card. When it appears, life will no longer feel like a breathless sprint to avoid difficult inevitabilities. The storm has happened, and now it is time to assess where to go from here. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and stand tall once again. The Ten of Swords reversed symbolizes that you have accepted reality, instead of rationalizing it away.
Challenges in life do not present themselves to destroy you, but rather to motivate you to grow beyond your current limitations. Look on challenges from a different perspective, with the wise eyes of Spirit. You will always see the way out of the maze when viewing it from high above.
When the Ten of Swords reversed appears, you’re learning that the source of your anxiety is merely a puzzle to solve. Stop avoiding your growth by keeping busy. The Ten of Swords (upright or reversed) asks you to accept truth, so that you can finally be released from feeling metaphorically chased. The light on this card symbolizes that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Raise your shadows into the light and they will no longer haunt you.