Upright: betrayal, bitterness, severance
Reverse: Despair, escape, Recovery
a starfish raises its arms up as ten swords impale its limbs and center, piercing it through mercilessly. the swords are pierced through the top of it, implying that the attack came when it was least expecting it. the ten of swords signifies betrayal and deadly harm, but even in death, there is still serenity to be found. starfish are capable of regrowing lost limbs, implying that, though the damage has been done, recovery is still possible.
when upright, the ten of swords signals a painful yet inevitable ending to a relationship, project, or endeavor you were once a part of. this ending came as a surprise, shaking you down to your foundations. you may be the victim of someone else’s targeted attack, or you may be wearing the mantle of the victim in hopes of drawing pity and support from those around you. break away from those mentalities as they will only encourage you to fixate on the negative. the worst has already occurred. all that’s left is to move past it and seek recovery while becoming acclimated to your new reality.
when reversed, the ten of swords indicates that you are currently fighting an inevitable conclusion, and in doing so, you’re only succeeding in making things worse for yourself. it may seem admirable to rage against the machine doing you harm, but at this point, it’s better to bow out and let things end gracefully. sometimes, you have to let them happen before you can move on. if you’ve recently suffered from a bad situation, this may be a sign that you are still holding onto the wounds from it. find the root of your pain and take steps to seek out the release you never had while the situation was occurring. pain and sadness are transitory feelings, and if they are no longer serving you, then this is the sign you need to take steps to free yourself from them for good.