Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- 10 of Swords-Ruin & The Wild Wood Tarot-Ten of Arrows-Instruction
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- 10 of Swords-Ruin & The Wild Wood Tarot-Ten of Arrows-Instruction

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Tarot-10 of Swords: Ruin & The Wild Wood-Tarot- Ten of Arrows.

The 10s  of Tarot are where the formative-elastic world of Yetzirah, ends and the absolute solidification of form is established in Asshiah, an active world attributed to Malkuth (Kingdom). Hence, this is as solid as thought or an issue gets. 

The Thoth 10 of Swords is called RUIN and in the world of Malkuth--Ruin is death of a thing. As a mater of fact the 10 of Swords is more the physical death card in the deck rather than the Death Card (key 13) of the Major Arcana. Key 13 depicts a death of perspective, a personality death that is necessary for change rather than a physical, mental or objective one.Therefore, the 10 of Swords implies that if one goes on fighting long enough---all ends in destruction. Something our bodies prove by fighting gravity all their lives until they end up back in the earth they resist.But there is a bright side to this card, as there is a bright side to death and that is, that from ruin rises new construction. Also, recovery from a psychosomatic illness is also implied, as the Ruin is done, and recovery is beginning.

The Thoth Tarot- 10  OF SWORDS is called RUIN, or Lord of Ruin as Crowley names it. Here, the Sun is in Gemini, greatly diminishing the stability of the Sun. Hence,The 10 of Swords, is rampant because it is ruled by the Sun in Gemini, causing the mercurial nature of the Sun to be diffused, and scattered which disrupts the harmonious nature of energy. This makes it hard for the individual, of this Sun sign, to concentrate upon any given subject as their tendencies are vagueness and irresponsibility; such is the disaster implied by the 10 of Swords.

The Angels of the Decan, are Dambayah and Menqal.
The 10 of Swords is Malkuth, the Earth, in Yetzirah, the Astral World.[for more information on angels, see Crowley's books:777 and Book of Thoth]

For Material things, this is the most destructive card in the deck and most people dislike seeing it in a spread; However, those who know and use the Tarot as a instrument of Divination, understand that as in Astrology, "the stars impel, they do not compel" and that ruin doesn't end creation, it begins recreation, so it behooves us to see beyond the disaster.

Since, by focusing our thoughts, by a process of divination, we have the capacity to improve our life-motion, we should do just that. For, ethically this precognition, is no less moral than resigning a position when one sees that there is a work related disaster on the horizon; What moral is broken, when one is told by the cards," that if you walk  in the street you will be struck by a motor vehicle", and that person now chooses to walk on the sidewalk instead? Divination helps us make focused choices. We should use the capacities we are given, as we are not Slaves of any destiny outside of  our own making; such as a mind enslaved by words-definitions enforced upon the individual. Imagination builds all thinks, and all thinks are an image. Therefore, Tarot, specializes in the images of the Unconscious, for therein resides our true knowledge.

However, this destiny control, requires us to "Above all things, know thyself", and to be an Active Personality, rather than  a personality made by environment; a reactionary presence that is controlled by peers, or the conditioning of cultural definitions for this often makes our destiny that of Ruin, as our performance is always "after the fact".

The 10 of Swords Ruin, also implies, "the Horse is already out of the barn", and closing the door, while cursing yourself for leaving it open, is a band-aid, not a solution. Something that our governments are slow to learn.

Therefore, it's best to focus on what you are thinking, pay attention! For your thoughts create "no others", nor do the definitions others give you, influence who you are. Rather, your thoughts or judgment of others, creates only your interaction of the I AM (will) and the body-Me!

Remember, your thoughts are the operating fulcrum of your LIfe-Motion, they create your destiny!  For a fulcrum to operate efficiently, a rigid base is a necessity. Thus, as in a "personality, which is a mechanism of the Mind, if the mechanical (personality) Fulcrum (thinking) must devote most of its energy trying to hammer out a permanent way of movement (overcome negative thought), while trying to overcome the counter motion of a "wobbling base", i.e. an uncertainty of Self-identity, the outcome for proper performance is bleak indeed. This is  yet another message of the 10 of Swords: ruinous thoughts, ruin the thinker of these thoughts.
Again, I cannot over state the necessity for "Above all things, know thyself"! Each of us must understand, that by thinking ill of ourselves or of another, we only supply our body with ill thoughts that confuse our performance and ruin our destiny!

The Divinatory meaning of the Wild Wood Tarot- TEN OF ARROW,S concentrates on instruction; showing an elder, teach a child the art of bowman- ship. In the back ground is a wheel of 9 arrows, while the child has the 10th arrow, notched and ready to fire. Be the old man father or mentor, he is passing on his skills with patience and tolerance. So depicted here is the fact that skills, wisdom and instructions are passed on from generation to generation by loving and patient communication. In a sense, the ruin of his youth, has gained the old man wisdom and skill, both of which he can pass onto the new generation.

However, 10's are notoriously short lived, as they are an end of a cycle, and soon a new cycle begins, So a 10, can also mean, the pain you are going through now is on the mend, especially if you are recovering from a physical or mental injury, where your movement has suffered a "ruin", but by focused perspective, you are aiding your recovery. A ten is 1+ 0=1, which is the number of Kether, on the Tree of Life, thus a cycle of the Tree ends, and a new one "down the Tree" begins. 


Therefore, this  sword-death card also indicates a new hope, a new direction born out of ruin and despair. Thus, the necessary ruin is to support the start of something new. Hence, the 10 of Swords card represents a mental conclusion, long sought, with much ruinous thinking becoming a mental struggle which has rent asunder our plans and left us in an insomniacs mental paradigm.

The 10 of Swords implies that one may have reached a conclusion that things are just not going to work out in two areas of one's life.
  1. Things of the heart (lower half of the image) as shown by the pierced heart on the Thoth card.
  2.  And areas of finance as shown by the  scales at the top of the Thoth card.
The realization of ruin, may cause you to feel a deep fear of "things not Working out" which only insures that they don't; However, to understand ruin is just a beginning step to something new, is to leave your mind open for healing and progress.   

The Astrological sign of this 10 card is also the Sun in Gemini, the sun sign is on the upper left and the symbol for Gemini, is on the upper right. Individuals who have their Sun in Gemini, are very gifted at synchronizing paradoxes, polarities, and/or oppositions thus they are able to  look at all aspects of a situation, balancing the positive and negative aspects. However, this need to balance everything, can obfuscate priorities and therefore, produce a deep heart-felt fear about the issues of finance, relationships, and creative initiative.

With powerful facilities of any kind, we have the Great Creative Pendulum of the Imaginative Mind that can swing from positive motion to negative motion right at the apogee of creative endeavors. When we are powerfully imaginative, as all of us are, we must also exercise powerful discernment, concentrating our thought-forms on what we are doing rather than what we fear.  By thinking joyfully of the journey towards our goal, rather then concentrating stress to try and achieve it, one is avoiding the negative swing that happens when we can see successful endeavor looming past the hills of exhausting labor and fear loosing it before we get there.


Malkuth is the earth, the sacred physical world, and the 10 of Swords, represents the unadulterated energy of mind, confined to the lowest microwave frequency-(most condensed) consciousness on earth.
 The animal survival brain's fear of death, is indeed the Ruin of all Hu-man and/or "higher" thought. (Hu-is Mandarin for "god" and Man, comes from the Hindu-Manas, meaning "Mind"). Hence the survival mind fearfully interferes with Image-making, and/or Imagination, which is the creative god-mind. Hence, here in the 10's, the survival ego, is ruining all mental progress with ruinous thoughts of fear.

The 10 of Swords, represents reason gone mad, the logic of lunatics, or for the most part, the reasoning of philosophers who divorce their reason from reality.
To further illustrate this scattering of philosophic reason, this card is ruled by the Sun in Gemini.  Gemini's mercurial-airy quality disperses the rays of the Sun and disrupts the harmonious and stable energy, as does the atmosphere of Earth.

The position of the Sword Hilts, on the Thoth Card, are as the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. However, the central Sword, which represents the #6 Sephiroth-Tiphareth- Sun ("Heart", Soul/Christ-Buddha intelligence), is shattered by Swords 1 through 5, as well as, by swords 7-9 .  The 10th sword represents the intellect with it's moral qualities shattered as well. Thus, we know the 10 of Swords is depicting Intellectual Ruin, by baser and/or lower  thought.

The heart, which also represents the Higher Thought of the Psyche (Soul) is pierced and in ruins as well, dampening down, weakening, and corrupting the creative impulse. Often this is because of love lost and/or "heart break". The 10  of Swords, therefore, counsels the personality to purge the brain of unworthy thoughts and ideas, that corral the creative impulse so that it putrefies into malice.


As you may have gleaned from previous paragraphs, the number 10 is the culmination of the unmitigated energy of the idea. In this case its "all Mental" and shows reason run mad; as Crowley put it in his Book Of Thoth, the 10 of Swords represents: "a ramshackle riot of soulless mechanism". It represents the logic of philosophers and lunatics and for the most part, it is reason divorced from reality".

For instance, the philosopher says,"Thou shalt not kill", which is divorced from reality. Reality states that we must kill (even vegetation) to eat and a Mother and Father must sometimes kill to protect the family, for without family---there is no future! So the
statement "thous shalt not kill", should say, "Thou should not murder for the visions of ambition, ( of Politicians, Philosophers and theologians etc.) be they personal or governmental". For any man and woman worth their salt, will kill to protect their family and to eat! Even vegitation kills to survive! That is expected in this Natural Universe where "life eats itself to stay alive"! Therefore there is a fine line between philosopher and lunatic; between genus and insanity.

When the 10 of Swords or Ten of Arrows is thrown, the querent is experiencing or will be experiencing:
  • In a period of 10 weeks or 10 months, Cruelty and Malice towards others.
  • A feeling of Ruin, because of a oppressive feeling of over-bearing strength applied to selfish ends.
  • Revenge, injustice, ill-will, lying etc.  
  • Maybe a death in the family.
  • A life threatening illness, either mental or physical.

However, if the accompanying cards are well dignified, the Ten of Swords implies:
  •  Generosity, self-sacrifice, and even disinterestedness on the querent's part.
  • Just the fact that the querent acknowledges this mind set, will begin the process of changing it.
  • Recovery from a life threatening illness.


For the querent, the 10 of Swords is almost a worst symbol than the 9 of Swords.
  • It is about death, ruin and failure, all because of the lower thoughts of the lizard/survival mind of fear based thought, misdirecting the tremendous power of the Psyche (Sun) which can only be directed by a Higher State of Mind, i.e. the Human Soul, that is based on Love rather than fear.
  • There is disaster, because of the undisciplined warring force unleashed by fear-based thinking which self destructs in the mayhem created by an army of unbalanced ideas.
  •  With the lower mind being over-power by the Fiery E-motion (Will to Force) of the Solar Soul, ruin of all plans and projects is common place, as well as, disdain, insolence and impertinence are common expressions.
  • There is often a misplaced display of mirth as one overthrows the happiness of others.
  • The querent will find that their brain is a repeater of things that have never worked in the past, and won't now.
  • The brain will often repeat many impoverished words, such as "swear words", but doing so cleverly, and eloquently, in order to hasten the character assignation of others.
This card alone, is ill-dignified; However, if the accompanying cards are all well dignified, this is a  1 week or 1 month card of indignity, and the personality is well aware of the need for a change in perspective.
  • The querent maybe tired of nonsense programming and is seeking away to fix it. The rest of the cards in the reading will show the querent how to get out from under the tyranny of fear based thought, and accelerate away from the lower thought processes. Here, the wisdom and intuition of the Tarot reader comes into play and aid is easily given.


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