Fox Taylor
150 supporters
Kitchen Nightmares : The 10 of Swords

Kitchen Nightmares : The 10 of Swords

Jan 16, 2023

I've been watching a lot of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. I'm not sure what prompted me and my husband to start watching it, but I really like it. Kitchen Nightmares is a reality TV show from 2007, in which Gordon Ramsay goes to struggling restaurants and does what he can to help save them. Every episode takes place over three days, in which Gordon Ramsay figures out the problems, and then overhauls the menu, the decor, and the attitudes of the owners and employees.

The opening titles and credits include a clip of Gordon Ramsay standing in front of a wall, as dozens of kitchen knives fly toward him, narrowly missing him. Gordon catches the last knife right before it hits his face, and he sharpens it before throwing it back at the camera. I made a comment that this opening imagery has little to do with the actual thesis of the show. My husband quipped that I should write an essay exploring the symbolism, which made me realize....

Kitchen Nightmares is a perfect expression of the 10 of Swords.

The phrase that sticks in my mind for the 10 of Swords is one that someone said to me in a reading (I can't remember who it was, forgive me) is, "It can't get worse." Kitchen Nightmares follows these restauranteurs who are at their wits end, up to their necks in debt, emotionally drained, feeling passionless about this career they used to feel so much excitement for. It's a hard place to be.

Pamela Colman Smith's design for the card features an individual covered in a red blanket, with ten swords stabbing them in the back. Behind them, a calm landscape and what appears to be a sunset (or a sunrise?).

It can't get worse.

A.E. Waite interpreted this card as, "A prostrate figure, pierced by all the swords belonging to the card. Divinatory meanings: Whatsoever is intimated by the design- also pain, affliction, tears, sadness, desolation. Reversed: Advantage, profit, success, favor, but none of these are permanent. Also, power and authority. "

Rachel Pollack interprets the 10 of Swords as, "Extreme mental states, but also the possibility that someone's fears or worries are exaggerated. Intense meditation to overcome ego." She also suggests that the card connects directly to the action of "killing the ego."

Traditional meanings make this card sound like one of the scariest cards to get. An upsetting card to pull. One that you don't want to get. But that's the thing with tarot- there isn't a single card that isn't completely good, or completely bad. Context is everything. The other cards play a part. And plus, there's the intuition of the reader, and the whole being of the individual being read for.

Connecting the 10 of Swords to Kitchen Nightmares helped me recognize the nuances of the card. Yes, the 10 of Swords is a rough card, but there's hopefulness in this card. Again- it can't get worse. The sun is rising. There's a new day on the horizon, and with that, there's possibility and promise. Kitchen Nightmares is the 10 of Swords in all of its complications, fear, unrest, and uncertainty, but it's also the 10 of Swords in the fact that it's ready for a solution.

Let's say that Gordon Ramsay is The Tower in the whole scenario. Another card with a lot of negativity associated with it. A card of major change, upheaval, drama. But here we are, a scenario where two kind of negative cards are interacting. 10 of Swords and The Tower. The 10 of Swords is the energy of everything, and The Tower is here to shake things up, to get the individual in the 10 of Swords to get up, get engaged, so that they can become the Page, and then move upwards and onwards. Interesting stuff, huh?

Enjoy this post?

Buy Fox Taylor a coffee

More from Fox Taylor