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Saturday, August 29, 2015

10 of Swords: Astrological Associations

Astrological associations for the Minor Arcana cards typically involve a planet, a zodiac sign, and/or a house. The attributions established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are by far the most commonly used. However, there are other associations out there. As a professional astrologer, I find it interesting to compare and contrast these associations. (The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is intended to be interesting and fun!)

Credits for the decks and books mentioned in this post can be found HERE.


Thoth Tarot
Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley

For Crowley and the Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ten of Swords is linked with the Sun (identity, ego) and the sign Gemini (a mutable Air sign known for being intellectual).

Crowley titles the card "Ruin" and notes "The mercurial airy quality of the Sign [Gemini] serves to disperse [the Sun’s] rays; this card shows the disruption and disorder of harmonious and stable energy.” Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler (in Keywords for the Crowley Tarot) describe the energy of the card as "fragmentation (Gemini) of vital force (Sun).”

Whispering Tarot
The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel

Liz Hazel's astrological associations for the Ten of Swords align with those of Crowley and the Golden Dawn: Sun/Gemini. Hazel's DMs for this card include: "the death of a concept or idea that was ahead of its time. . . the journey of a soul from the old body to the new. . . if well-dignified, may indicate that an ending is welcome, or a project is completed. A welcome release; relief." Ill-dignified DMs include: "divorce; separation, permanent ending, finalities. The last word. . . Looking forward to a new start, but still seeking exactly what that will be.”

One World Tarot
One World Tarot by Crystal Love

Crystal Love associates the Ten of Swords with the third subdivision of Aquarius (natural ruler Uranus; subruler the Moon). She writes: "The Moon ruling this subdivision indicates changeability and melancholy, solitude, strange terrors and weird experiences. An instability in the emotional nature may be cruel and impersonal, and the tendency is to unusual or erratic behavior.”

Mandala Astrological Tarot

The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann

Mann associates the Ten of Swords with the energy of  Uranus in Gemini. Mann calls Swords Eight, Nine, and Ten "The Vibrations of Gemini," and links the Ten of Swords with the period between June 11-20. Pale yellow is the color associated with Uranus and orange is associated with Gemini on the King Scale of Color.

Mann's divinatory meanings for the Ten of Swords: "Quick comprehension of organizational matters leads to easy boredom and restlessness. The need to control intellect and apply will power to real needs." Reversed: "Scattering energy in a disjointed fashion makes for confusion and relationships which are insecure.”

Universal Waite Tarot
The Tarot and Astrology by David Thornton
(illustrated in this blog by the Universal Waite tarot deck)

_David Thornton_ associates the Ten of Swords with the placement of the planet Uranus in the Third House (House of Environment and Perceptions, Communication, Siblings, Short trips). The Third House in astrology is associated with the sign Gemini.

Thornton's description of the energy of the Ten of Swords is: "The tendency to take everything in fits and starts. Quick comprehension can turn to restlessness, scattered energies.”

Tarot Dynamics System by Anna Burroughs Cook
(illustrated in this blog by the Universal Waite tarot deck)

Anna Cook links all Tens to Astrology’s Tenth House (Capricorn), representing ambition, status, reputation, career, and the parent who set limits for you as a child. She associates the Ten of Swords with the third decan of Gemini. In Cook's TD system, Subject Card Ten signifies Achievement. The keyword for the suit of Swords in this system is Challenging, which gives us Challenging/Achievement for the Ten of Swords.

Cook applies the keyword “Despondency” to this card, noting: “Beware of a tendency to imagine the worst or to create self-imposed restrictions such as ‘I can’t.’ . . . This card is just as likely to appear when success is within your grasp as it is to appear when you’re grappling with a recent loss or setback.”

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)

About the Ten of Swords, Thierens writes "The element of Earth on the Tenth house: Capricorn., of course, relates to authority and earthy might or power.” He goes on to state: “It is ultimately the card of inexorable karmic results, say material karma itself. To the profane this means very often affliction, etc., and the personality may be burdened by the weight of fate.”

His keywords for this card include: "Karmic results, whether benefic or malific; material limits, physical necessity; authority, official might and power, obedience to the same; official persons. . . Affliction, sadness, etc.”."

(Note: If you are interested in learning more about this system put forth by Thierens, I recommend the book referenced above.)

Speaking strictly in astrological terms, for the Ten of Swords we have:

  • Crowley and Hazel with a Sun/Gemini association
  • Mann with Uranus/Gemini
  • Love with Aquarius/Uranus/Moon
  • Thornton with Uranus/3rd House (Gemini)
  • Cook with the 3rd decan of Gemini, also referring to the 10th House (Capricorn)
  • Thierens with Earth/10th House (Capricorn)

The sign Gemini is linked with the Ten of Swords by five of my sources. Three of them link the planet Uranus -- planet of sudden upheaval, rebellion, surprise, individuality, disruption, and the future – with the Ten of Swords. I sense the energy of Uranus in this card more than I do the Sun, which is the choice of Crowley and Hazel.

The Tenth House association referenced by Cook and Thierens resonates with me because of its link with the planet Saturn, ruler of Capricorn. Saturn is the planet of karma, lessons, limitations, and discipline.


  1. What a wonderfully informative post, Zanna. What I see is a combo not mentioned, a Saturn/Gemini influence. This is purely intuitive based on my own experience of the planets and signs from a sufi perspective. I've yet to dive fully into the astrological associations with the cards but have been dabbling with them for awhile. Your post makes me want to dive deeper.

    1. Yes, I could have done more with that Saturn-Gemini combination, you're right, Rose. Where there is Capricorn, there is Saturn!

  2. This is such a great synopsis of the 10 of Swords .
    A lot resonated with me .
    I pulled this card yesterday, and later in the day my industry I work in was closed down again because of Covid .
    The 10th House in Capricorn and the Saturn/Uranus connection are there.
    Well done . Thanks for this resource.

    1. Thank you! The astrological influences you mention are not the "traditional" ones for the 10 of Swords that many readers would insist are the only "correct" associations. It is refreshing to see someone who is receptive to thinking outside that particular "box."


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love hearing from my readers!
~ Zanna