10 of Swords: Yes or No

By Lauren Williams
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The 10 of Swords is one of the most striking cards in Tarot, often associated with endings, loss, and the culmination of a negative cycle. Its imagery typically portrays a dramatic scene, symbolizing deep betrayal, finality, or the conclusion of a difficult phase.

10 swords stab into a man as the ten of swords tarot card.

In ‘yes or no’ readings, the 10 of Swords tends to lean towards a ‘no,’ suggesting that the current path may lead to disappointment or that it’s time to accept the end of a situation and move on.

Upright 10 of Swords in a Yes or No Context

When the 10 of Swords appears upright in a reading, it signifies closure, the need to let go, and the end of a challenging period. This card serves as a stark reminder that some situations are beyond salvaging and that acceptance is key.

In a yes or no reading:

  • General Interpretation: The upright 10 of Swords generally suggests a ‘no,’ indicating that the situation in question may not turn out as hoped or that it’s time to face an inevitable end.
  • Energy and Symbolism: The card typically features a figure lying on the ground with swords in their back, symbolizing defeat, betrayal, or a harsh conclusion. It represents the need to confront reality and the importance of acceptance.
  • Embrace Endings: The appearance of this card is often a sign to let go of struggles that are no longer serving you. It’s an encouragement to accept the end of a cycle and prepare for new beginnings.
  • Learn from Experiences: While the 10 of Swords signifies a painful conclusion, it also encourages learning from these experiences and growing stronger as a result.

Reversed 10 of Swords in a Yes or No Context

The reversed 10 of Swords can indicate a resistance to accepting an inevitable ending, or it may suggest that the worst is over and recovery is on the horizon, leading to a cautious ‘yes’ in some cases.

When you draw this card in a yes or no reading:

  • General Interpretation: In its reversed position, the 10 of Swords might suggest a ‘yes,’ implying that while the situation has been challenging, there’s potential for recovery and improvement.
  • Energy and Symbolism: Reversed, this card can represent the beginning of healing after a painful experience, or the refusal to accept a necessary ending, delaying the inevitable.
  • Start of Recovery: This position may indicate that the hardest part is over and it’s time to start picking up the pieces and moving forward.
  • Consider New Perspectives: It advises a reevaluation of your situation, urging you to look for new ways to approach the challenges you’re facing.

Examples of Yes or No Questions

The 10 of Swords can offer insights into various situations:

  • Relationship Issues:
    • Question: “Should I try to mend this broken relationship?”
    • Upright: No, it may be time to accept the end and move on.
    • Reversed: Yes, but with caution and understanding that healing takes time.
  • Career Decisions:
    • Question: “Is staying in my current job the right choice?”
    • Upright: No, it may be time to seek new opportunities.
    • Reversed: Yes, but consider a new approach or attitude towards your work.

Factors Influencing the Yes or No Interpretation

  • Surrounding Cards: The cards surrounding the 10 of Swords provide important context, helping to understand the full implications of its message.
  • Question Context: The specifics of the question, particularly those involving endings, loss, or betrayal, will resonate with the 10 of Swords.
  • Personal Intuition: Your gut reaction to the card is significant. The 10 of Swords might trigger an emotional response that can guide your interpretation.
  • Card Position in the Spread: Where the 10 of Swords appears in a spread can influence its meaning, indicating whether its theme of ending and closure is imminent, currently being experienced, or a warning to prepare for.


In ‘yes or no’ readings, the 10 of Swords is a powerful symbol of endings and the acceptance of reality. Upright, it typically suggests a ‘no,’ indicating the need to confront and accept the end of a cycle. Reversed, it can offer a cautious ‘yes,’ hinting at the start of a recovery process or the need to reevaluate one’s approach.

The 10 of Swords teaches the importance of facing difficult truths, learning from hardship, and the inevitability of life’s cycles, encouraging resilience and the ability to move forward after setbacks.

Lauren holding a crystal ball in her hands.


Lauren Williams
Lauren merges ancient wisdom with modern insights, offering a fresh perspective on life's mysteries. She's passionate about guiding individuals through the world of astrology, lunar cycles, numerology, and tarot. When she's not charting the stars or reading tarot, she enjoys getting out in nature, hikes and yoga.