While researching the Ten of Swords I was really struck by how DEVASTATING the imagery of Smith-Rider-Waite is. Okay, maybe this is just me, but when I'm feeling sad, I LOVE indulging on stuff that just makes me feel more affirmed for feeling sad. But does it help? Does it make me feel more seen or make me want to fight for a way out? No, not at all.
When I created this card, I wanted to focus on the bigger picture of the movement from the ten to the page (seen here, over the shoulder of the ten). The swords lay under the mountains, feeling the smothering weight and darkness of despair, buried. But just above their heads, if only they could reach up, they could feel the warm dawn of a new day. This card holds both truths: it's hard, almost impossibly hard, but if you can muster the strength to access the light, a new day is dawning, and the light will melt your monsters away.