The Youth of Swords holds her sword aloft like a maiden warrior waiting to cut through the deceit and deception that surround her. She is clear eyed and trusts that her judgment and intellect, guided by the divine, will help her through all challenges. She has a youth’s simple faith and trust that the world is ultimately a good place and the righteous and just will triumph. The Youth of Swords still believes there is honor in battle and that war serves a moral purpose.
The 10 of Swords shows a group of garbed figures leaving a room, swords or knives held triumphantly aloft. A bloody body lies at the foot of an overturned chair. He has apparently been slain by the victorious crowd. According to James Ricklef, this image is inspired by The Death of Caesar by Jean Leon Jerome. Am I Caesar, feeling stabbed in the back and slain? Or am I a member of the crowd, victorious and determined to overthrow a perceived tyrant?
Actually I think the message of these cards is a bit reversed. I think what they’re telling me is that in order to achieve what James Ricklef calls “the beginner mind” I need to slay that overly confident, tyrannical side of myself. I need to leave it behind and let myself reconnect to the simple, child-like openness to possibilities and unlimited potential that surrounds me. I need to cut away the cynical and allow the hopeful and believing side of my nature to expand and embrace it all.