10 of Swords: Mystical Experience
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2004-10
The 10 of Swords is one of the most painful cards in the whole Tarot deck. It is a painful card to even look at. Traditional imagery depicts a man lying on the ground impaled by 10 swords; the landscape seems bare and barren. He has been attacked, ambushed, betrayed and abandoned. Perhaps this is a payback for the times he attacked, ambushed, betrayed and abandoned others in his life. Paybacks are a bitch and maybe this is the payback of the painful conscience. We don't know if he is already dead, mortally wounded or if healing is possible. If all that painful steel embedded in his spine could be absorbed and reformed, he could stand up straight and hold his head up again.
What is he thinking as he is is lying there is this state of disrepair and neglect? Is he hallucinating from the pain, lost in a dream or caught up in a mystical experience? Our times of deepest despair and darkness can take us to a place of truth and eventually to a place of light. We have all felt the sting of betrayal, being blindsided by an alleged friend, been unfairly attacked and felt abandoned by the people we thought cared about us the most. It is a dark place to be but it can really herald the awakening of your own divinity - born in the deep pain of your experiences. The closer we have come to death, the more we are alive.
How do you know that you are experiencing the awakening of your own divinity and that this particular time in your life is the threshold of your mystical experience? There are some signs and symptoms that you should look for and be aware of. There are physical manifestations such as a sore neck, back, shoulders and other body aches and pains. You may be experiencing feelings of deep sadness, depression and anxiety. This sadness has probably always been there at some level in all of our lives, now it is deepening and transforming you as you come to terms with the angers, frustrations, betrayals and doubts that have fed it. You find yourself suddenly crying and releasing emotions over seemingly trivial concerns or sentiments. You find the news too painful to watch.
You may suddenly have a career or job change. It may be a choice you have made or it may be a change based on circumstances beyond your control. When one thing changes, many things will change in your life. You may find yourself withdrawing from old relationships and situations which no longer seem pertinent or worth your continued efforts. You are no longer putting your faith in people. People will always exceed your lowest expectation.
Another strong indicator is a disturbed sleep pattern and intense and vivid dream cycles. You may be suddenly wakeful at 3 or 4 in the morning or are suddenly as sensitive as The Princess and The Pea to every lump, bump or wrinkle in your bedclothes. Your dreams may involve chasing, falling, running and monsters of the real or imagined variety. You can wake up more tired than when you went to sleep from all of the activity in your dreams. You may feel physically disoriented, sometimes from the lack of proper sleep, and find you have suddenly lost the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time. Multi-tasking is just not an option right now. You feel lonely in a crowd of people, detached and disconnected from the main stream and your own "normal" everyday life. It could also be that everyone is avoiding you because you seem to be talking to yourself a lot. My grandmother always said that talking to yourself means you have money in the bank.
You may also be experiencing the loss of your ability to feel impassioned about issues, life, relationships and yourself. You may feel like the inner warrior has gone on some kind of permanent hiatus and left no forwarding address. It may even manifest as just an overriding sense of loss without knowing what exactly you are grieving. The most telling aspect of this is the sense that you don't belong anywhere and you wonder how you ever got into your own family because you are nothing like them. You are very tired of being an accessory in someone else's life, particularly your own. You may have a strong desire to return to "somewhere" or to travel "somewhere" although you have no idea where that "somewhere" is or what you might find when you get there. "Anywhere but here" could be your new mantra. You are in transition between being active socially to becoming a social activist.
Perhaps you are noticing for the first time that tears always taste the same. It doesn't matter the reason they have been shed. You have learned that love isn't love until it's returned and that you have to love people for what is wrong with them and for what makes them fragile. This is the love you have to give and also the love you seek but have not yet found. It is hard to remember that what we seek is always seeking us and we are only ever as far away from someone, something or that "somewhere" as it is from us.
If you have to be curled up in a fetal position on the living room to get through this, then so be it. Find a nice blanket, throw on Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" and learn to be still. This is your own self making a conscious choice to have a life with more harmony and balance and to return to a place of personal empowerment and growth. It sure doesn't seem like that, but that is what it is. Embrace it but don't dwell and don't feel like a victim. It is more like you are waiting for a pot of coffee to finish percolating. I do mean percolate - none of those namby pamby drip units will do. Like the coffee percolating, you will rise back to the top on your own steam. Life is a process of percolation, let the flavours infuse and the aromas waft around you. When the brew is true, you'll be back on your feet again.