There are so many memes about how the worst possible tarot reading you could get would be one that had the Tower card and the 10 of Swords together. Memes of this nature usually consist of pictures of those who never want to get out of bed again. And who can blame them? Because this combination is one that you never want to see, let alone one or the other.
However, yes, it can indicate devastation, which also means you will have the opportunity to start fresh – it doesn’t necessarily mean that. Sometimes it literally can mean a horrible situation will finally come to an end unexpectedly. That also will, however, depend on the surrounding cards. If you have the 3 of Swords as well, then yes, you are in for some devastation.
However, if you have the Star, the Sun, or the 9 of Cups in the same spread, that indicates that a horrible situation will finally end in a way that you would least expect! Those are the ‘happy cards’ as you know. So let’s break down the meanings of the Tower as well as the 10 of Swords.
This card represents upheavals and a shock, something breaking down unexpectedly, or something simply happening that will shake you up. It sounds negative, but that is because no one wants to be shaken up—especially me with my Taurus moon. People fear uncertainty as it is and want to know what is expected ahead. Who wants to be shaken up by some significant upheaval. Sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise, or it can be a shocking situation but will bring relief.
The 10 of Swords
When this card shows up, it means the end. The end. But the end of what? That will depend on the spread. A long time ago, I did a spread for a newly pregnant friend (which I will not do anymore, but I was new at reading tarot and did not know where my limits should have been drawn). Sure enough, she asked about the pregnancy, and of course, the 10 of Swords came up at the very end. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to deliver that message, so I just told her vaguely to keep an eye on things without trying to scare her (no, again, I will not do readings for pregnancies or health in general). Sure enough, later that week, she miscarried.
However, sometimes this card comes up when you are dealing with a terrible situation, and it finally comes to an end. And with the Tower card next to it in this particular case, the ending to a bad situation can come in a very unexpected way. It will be complex way and painful way, but it will bring relief. With that said, you have to look at the surrounding cards and the situation you are in that you are asking about. Because if you are getting a reading based on being free of a bad situation, such as whether or not you will escape an abusive relationship.
Seeing this combination based on that question, if the other cards once again are positive or at least one is, and the others are neutral – then this is a good one to see. Yes, the way the abusive relationship will end will be unexpected and perhaps even frightening. But the point is it will end, which those cards will confirm. And that is vital so that you can create a new life and freedom after the fact. However, suppose you have the 9 of Swords in the same spread in addition to the Hermit. In that case, that will mean that you will have anxiety over the lousy relationship (understandable), and you will need therapy after leaving the awful relationship – which you would expect regardless.