Ten of Swords

10 of Swords from Anecdotes Tarot: two symmetric winged people connected by rays of light

the Selfhood inverts on a mirror

Joanna Newsom, “A Pin-Light Bent” (Divers, 2015)

Image Description

The upper and lower half of the composition have rotational symmetry. Five blades of light point down from the top of the card to meet at the center, and five blades also point up from the bottom. Together, they form an hour-glass shape. At the top of the card, there is a flying pink winged figure who intersects with three of the blades. The blades that do not touch the figure are gold. The other blades are pale blue above the figure and pink below the figure. The same figure is reflected on the bottom of the card. The background of the top half of the card is gold, and the background on the bottom half is dark brown.


The resolution of Swords’ quest for immortality is to live on through others. The image is taken from “A Pin-Light Bent,” showing a camera-obscura-like duplication. The Ten signifies reflection – loved ones sharing parts of each other’s spirit in life, or reflecting through memories after death. It also refers to being made in someone’s image, which is not limited to creationist beliefs. We can see ourselves and our personalities as parts inherited from both our ancestors and our friends. This card is a reminder of those connections, and the understanding that they give us.

The Ten links to the “shard of mirror” of the Ace of Swords.