10 of Wands

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The Ten of Wands Minor Arcana card depicts the final mile that separates you from the longed-for finish line. The card shows a man weighed down by the ten heavy sticks he is carrying as he inches towards his final destination, a small town in the near distance. The man is staggering under the weight of the burden he is shouldering, and that, presumably, he has been shouldering for a while.

When the upright Ten of Wands card appears in Tarot readings, it is an indication that you are shouldering a heavy load of responsibilities and tasks. You may have committed yourself to too many projects or you may be wearing too many hats all at once. Your determination to accept all the responsibilities or extra hours at work has put you under intense pressure – however, the heavy burden you are struggling under has become the norm, and you may not even be aware of the weight constantly pressing down on you. Sure, you may be experiencing a feeling of being overworked, but you are only just beginning to become aware of the toll that your significant responsibilities are taking on you. Your responsibilities may be just manageable for now, but you sense that something has got to give, and that the punishing schedule you are adhering to right now isn’t going to be tenable in the long run. Sometimes, the Ten of Wands might serve as a reminder that doing twice as much as you should, half as well as you could is never a good idea.

When you read Tarot cards and the Ten of Wands Minor Arcana card shows up in its reversed position, it is a sign that you have reached or are on the brink of reaching either a breaking point or a breakthrough. On one hand, it may have dawned on you that you are carrying more than one person really should, for longer than lesser mortals could, for much too long. This realisation may spur you on to start delegating some of your tasks and responsibilities, so that you can focus on the vital aspects of what you need to do – and perhaps even find a moment for yourself now and then. On the other hand, the Ten of Wands reversed can indicate that you are truly at breaking point, on the brink of a complete stress-induced meltdown.

What the Wands stand for in Tarot

The Tarot’s Minor Arcana divides into four suits, one for each of the four elements. The suit of Swords symbolizes air, the suit of Pentacles symbolizes earth, the suit of Cups symbolizes water and the suit of Wands symbolizes fire.

The fire element is linked to willpower, passion, desire, drive and ambition. whenever you read Tarot cards and a Minor Arcana card from the suit of Wands comes up, it is talking about these energies and how they are at play in your life.

Numerology number 10 in Tarot

According to numerology, the number 10 is the number of both beginnings and endings, as well as completion.

The number 1 resembles an exclamation mark and represents the first bold and decisive step or drive in a new direction. The number 1 represents initiative, action, and forward movement. The number 0 resembles a portal, a gateway of opportunity. The number 0 stands for open-ended possibility and potential, a blank slate, a space in which anything can happen.

It is interesting to look at the numerological significance of the number 10 as it relates to the 10 of Wands Tarot. Like the number 10 itself, the 10 of Wands is about endings and beginnings, as the man in the card takes the final few strenuous steps towards his destination. Once he reaches the town, he will finally be able to put down his heavy burden and likely enjoy a brighter future.

Ten of Wands card description

Depictions of the Ten of Wands card differ from Tarot deck to Tarot deck, but most share the same essential details and symbols. Let us study the card a little closer.

The man

The Ten of Wands shows a man carrying ten heavy wands in his arms. He is hunched over, clearly weighed down by his impressive burden. Any progress he is making is painstaking and slow.

The man is dressed in simple, earthen tones, indicating a stubborn, proud and meticulous approach.

The ten wands

The Ten wands in the man’s arms represent his projects, his work, his ambition, his responsibilities and obligations. The man is clearly working very hard at upholding them all seeing them all through to completion.

Wands, in the Tarot, often represent our drive, ambition and the things, projects and people we are passionate about. Being driven and ambitious, alight with that divine fire, is a blessing. But biting off more than you can chew by pursuing too many passion projects or committing to too many exciting causes can become a drain and a burden.

When the fire energy is balanced and well-directed, it enriches and infuses our lives with magic and a powerful flow of energy. When the fire element is unbalanced – or overburdened, as the case is here – there is a danger of burnout, or of following a particular passion off the the edge of a cliff.

The town

An idyllic and peaceful-looking town appears in the near distance. The man is so close to the completion of his goal that he can almost taste it. He may be close enough to be able to pick up on the sounds and smells of the town. Spurred on by his proximity to the goal, the man keeps on struggling and moving towards it.

Ten of Wands Tarot card meanings

The Ten of Wands is a particularly complex, many-faceted Tarot card. It has several shades of meanings that ripple and shift, depending on the other cards that may appear in the surrounding spread, the individual Tarot reader’s take on the card, and of course, on the overall subject of the Tarot reading.

Read on for the key upright Ten of Wands Tarot card meanings.

Hard work

There is little doubt that the Ten of wands represents hard work – one look at the card will make that clear.

The good news is that the Ten of Wands indicates a rock-solid work ethic and a stubborn ability to keep going despite obstacles, utter exhaustion or lack of funding. The kind of project that the Ten of Wands talks about is often fuelled by pure passion and stubborn determination, rather than by reason. At the same time, the Ten of Wands suggests that you are feeling overworked and worn out with stress and a general lack of rest.

Sometimes, putting in long hours and working yourself to the bone is a short-term sacrifice worth making, particularly when the goal is in sight. The Ten of Wands appears in readings to remind you of this, but also to warn you that you are burning your candle at both ends and cannot keep doing so indefinitely.

Nearing completion

A positive meaning of the Ten of Wands is that a goal, a project or a task is nearing completion.

Typically, the Ten of Wands refers to a long-term project, one that may have grown and spilled into every area of your waking life as it approaches its completion. At last, the goal is in sight and you only need to keep it together for a little longer before you can finally set down your burdens, rest and recover.

The weight of responsibility

The upright Ten of Wands can indicate that you are really feeling the weight of too much or nearly too much responsibility. We might be talking financial responsibilities, family obligations, work projects, or the responsibilities that come with working hard towards a big dream.

Whatever the nature of the responsibilities you carry, they are weighing heavily on you, pressing you down into your own footsteps.

Doing it all, carrying the full weight

The upright Ten of Wands upright indicates that you are doing much more than you should – in fact, you are doing it all.

Whether the Ten of Wands refers to your work life, your family, your romantic relationship or your band, it reveals that you are the one doing the lion’s share of the work and shouldering the lion’s share of the shared responsibility.

Ten of Wands reversed Tarot card meanings

When the reversed Ten of Wands appears, its meaning is either taken to its extreme, or turned on its head. Here are the key meanings of the reversed Ten of Wands.

Insurmountable problems

The reversed Ten of Wands can be a sign that your burdens have finally become too heavy. Whether they consist in financial problems, metal health problems, love life problems or an impossible workload, you are slowly but surely sinking under the weight of what you have to carry alone.

The great news is that you are not obliged to carry what you cannot. Reach out to other people, to friends or family, to mental health professionals or financial advisors. Get yourself the support you need, and put down what you cannot bear.

Burnout, overwhelm

Closely related to the sense of facing insurmountable obstacles is burnout and overwhelm.

When the reversed Ten of Wands comes up in a Tarot reading, it can mean that you have been shouldering so much for so long that you have finally run yourself into the ground. All you can do is learn from this mistake, absorb the lesson and begin the slow process of recovering your life force energy.

Releasing a burden

Sometimes, the Ten of Wands reversed suggests that you have have managed to catch yourself on the verge of burnout and are making a u-turn.

Recognizing hat you are unable to keep on as you have been going, you enlist the help and support of others, and delegate those responsibilities and projects that you cannot handle on yourself.

Ten of Wands Tarot card interpretation

Like every other Tarot cards, the Ten of Wands is complex and multi-faceted. Whether upright or reversed, its meaning can vary greatly between different Tarot readings. Here are a few examples of how the Ten of Wands might be interpreted in the context of different context.

What the Ten of Wands means when it represents you in a Tarot reading

Upright

You are dedicated and stubborn, but struggling under the weight of responsibilities and deadlines. You are not half as good as you could be at reaching out to others for the support, advice or encouragement you need. You may hold the false belief that you are not allowed to ask for help, or admit when you have bitten off more than you can chew. Learning how to say no, and to prioritise obligations, is your greatest lesson of the moment.

Reversed

You have been burning your midnight oil and are either on the verge or close to a collapse. Pull back from the edge if you can, delegate and share out what is too much and put down the rest. Focus on restoring and rebuilding your energy, and your boundaries, so that you do not end up in the same situation again.

What the Ten of Wands represents in a love Tarot reading

Upright

Your romantic relationship appears to be an uphill battle. Even if you are with someone, it appears that you are the one doing all of the heavy lifting. Ask the other person to step up more and contribute more. A relationship is a collaboration, not a solo project.

If you are single, finding time for love seems all but impossible. It is up to you to carve out space in your life where love might take root and grow.

Reversed

You have been struggling to make a relationship work, but you are finally on the verge of giving up. You have been the primary or only investor in this relationship for too long. Much as you might like to, you simply cannot maintain a relationship on your own, no matter how much time, love and life force you are willing to sacrifice in order to keep it going.

What the Ten of Wands presents in a career Tarot reading

Upright

If feels like you are doing several people’s jobs, and the weight of your role is weighing you down and actually slowing your growth and progress. Seek better assistance and support, instead of merely gritting your teeth and getting up with it.

Reversed

Stress has gotten to you after wearing too many hats for too long. Still, you may be just in time to hit the breaks and delegate some of your work activities before you reach the next destination – complete and utter burnout.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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