Reversed: stuck, refusal to proceed, close-minded, fearful, melodramatic, ending, holding onto fear,
Associated Major card: The Tower
The X of Swords is a card of finality since the number 10 comes as the culmination of the suite of Swords. Swords represent the realm of the mind, so when the X of Swords comes up, know that you have thought it through to the end. You have thought of every angle. You have thought about this thing to death. You have probably overthought it, to be frank. You need to stop thinking about it, that’s your best course of action right now. Put yourself out of your misery and stop beating a dead horse. Almost always, when you have overthought something, the best thing to do is something else. You’ll be surprised to find an answer to your long overthought problem magically show up when you stop focusing so intensely on your troubles and how there is no way out of them.
The X of Swords, like all the cards with the number ten in the tarot, is also an in between card. Ten is a space in between an ending and a beginning. It comes after nine, but reduces down to one. It is the end of a cycle but it is also a beginning. It is the time when you get to decide how you want to proceed. You may feel like you have been reeling in doubt and confusion but now the answer is just around the corner. Or you could have recently had an epiphany and are ready to make a start fresh with a new perspective and an open mind. Know that resolution is upon you. An answer is coming or the need for an answering is going. Either way, peace of mind is near and that is a welcome thought indeed.
The X of Swords can be a bit melodramatic due to all of that mental overstimulation. Your mind is a highly active place, and that activity often tends to image a terrible, horrible, no good future. Your mind wants to keep you safe and secure and the best way it can imagine doing that is by not taking risks. Risks lead you out of your comfort zone, and that is the zone that has kept you alive up to this point. “Do you want to die!,” asks your mind, “Well you most certainly will if you do something new, exciting or different. Don’t do it!”
Okay, is that anyway to live? You can’t trap yourself into doing the same things over and over again just because those are the things that didn’t kill you in the past. That is melodramatic and actually pretty nonsensical. Why would picking up a guitar to try a new hobby kill you? Why would asking a crush out on a date cause you to physically die? That is just crazy talk that your brain makes up to ensure that you don’t do anything new and exciting, so that you survive. It doesn’t know the difference between jumping off a cliff and jumping into a new relationship. It fears both equally. You have to outsmart your brain when the X of Swords comes up in a reading. Get out of that overactive head of yours and realize that you should take a risk, you should jump, you should try something new.
X of Swords reversed:
When the X of Swords shows up reversed, something is really holding you back from moving on or overcoming negative thoughts. Your mind is working double time against you, keeping you trapped in worry and anxiety. This is similar to the X of Swords upright, except with the reversal you probably don’t even realize what you are doing. You can’t see it. This comes from living outside of the present moment. You are either agonizing over past experiences or fearing future experiences. Living in the past fills you with regrets and doubts, which cannot be altered. You can’t change the past, why dwell there? What do you gain by focusing on what has already happened instead of immersing yourself in the only moment that actually exists, the moment right now? It’s time to take some baby steps towards confronting and healing from the past. You can’t change it, but you can figure out a new way to live with it that allows you to live a peaceful and happy life in the now.
On the other hand, if you find yourself fearful and doubtful about the future, you are also living outside of the present. You are worrying about something that doesn’t exist. Your mind wants to create terrible, horrible outcomes in the future if you make a change or take a risk. Do you want to let negative thoughts and misconceptions rule you moving forward? Why is it that you can’t image anything good happening in the future? It’s time to start investigating ways that you can visualize and imagine positive, productive outcomes from your future outcomes.
Depending upon the position of the reversed X of Swords in a reading, this card can also indicate that you have already moved on and are on your way to a new outlook and mental recovery. Particularly if you draw this card for a past circumstances position, the reversal can show that this is the energy moving out of your life now. You have put anxiety, fear, trauma, and crisis behind you and are ready to move on. Perhaps your great achievement at this point is learning how to integrate your negative, darker side with your positive, lighter side. You are made up of both light and dark and figuring out a system for dealing with that and living a full life as a complete human being is a major accomplishment. The clouds are parting onto new clarity for you as you make a place for your anxiety that isn’t totally disruptive and paralyzing for you.