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The Ten of Wands in Tarot and How to Read It

Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.

The Ten of Wands is about having a great deal of responsibility. This card in a love reading shows an earnest lover who wants to impress someone. They might show up at your house with a large bouquet of flowers.

The Ten of Wands is about having a great deal of responsibility. This card in a love reading shows an earnest lover who wants to impress someone. They might show up at your house with a large bouquet of flowers.

Ten of Wands

The Ten of Wands represents burden and could be a sign that you may be trying to do too much all at once. You might be overwhelmed. If you keep carrying this burden, you will run into burnout. This card is a reminder that you can't take on all the responsibilities of the universe, and that you'll have to learn to delegate.

When you have too many wands, it is hard to see past them. If you have too many responsibilities, it might become challenging to see the big picture.

A person overburdened by his enterprise is active, but where is he going? Does he have an end game in mind?

Can Be a Pregnancy Card

This card could indicate a late-stage pregnancy. It could also indicate you're getting really close to going into labor. The card in the upright position tells the story of someone who is very pregnant. The card in the reversed position tells the story of someone going into labor.

The card could also indicate whether you make it to the hospital or go into labor somewhere else. Consider how the person with the sticks is almost at his destination.

Card Alignments

Upright

Burdens, challenges, intense pressure, oppression, overcommitment, extra responsibility, completion, overwhelmed, too much, trying too hard, caring too much about impressions.

Reversed

Doing it all, carrying the burden, delegation, release, rest, losing it all, not caring anymore, freedom, new priorities, disaster, chaos, not your problem, atrophying.

It might seem fun at first to carry a heavy weight, but it will likely stress you out. You can only carry so much before you have to drop it all. Don't try to be a hero; think of other methods to spread out the weight.

It might seem fun at first to carry a heavy weight, but it will likely stress you out. You can only carry so much before you have to drop it all. Don't try to be a hero; think of other methods to spread out the weight.

Card Description

In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Ten of Wands shows a man holding ten big sticks. He is a short distance away from a town. He is struggling to carry all the weight, and the heaviness is pushing him down. His back is bent. He is almost at his destination, but he could drop this heavy bundle before getting there.

Progression From Previous Cards

In the Eight of Wands, arrows and other weapons rain down from the sky. In the Nine of Wands, a single warrior is standing. He is wounded, but he survived the last attack. He still has a chance to win the battle.

In the Ten of Wands, we see a man making it back to town. He is a survivor who is trying to take home all the spoils he can. He doesn't want to drop any or leave any behind. This is someone who is successful, but not necessarily someone who gets celebrated. If the person can take home all the wands, he and those who are connected to him will benefit.

The survivor might be greedy and trying to take too many things home at once. Since they won, they may have an inflated ego and think they can do more than they actually can. This person could also be taking home bodies. The person wants to let families know their loved one died in battle. The sticks he carries could be of the dead or even memories of the dead.

Tarot Suits

CategoryWandsPentaclesSwordsCups

Elements

Fire

Earth

Air

Water

Color

Red

Green

Yellow

Blue

Represents

Free will

Physical Manifestation (The Body)

Thoughts

Emotions

Music

Percussion

Brass

Woodwinds

Strings

Numbers

1, 5, 9

2, 6, 10

3, 7, 11

4, 8, 12

Animals

Land Mammals

Reptiles

Birds

Fish

The Body

Head, Heart, Thighs

Throat/Neck, Chest, Legs/Shins

Arms & Shoulders, Belly, Ankles

Hands, Root Chakra (Spine Base), Feet

Four Humors

Yellow Bile

Black Bile

Blood

Phlegm

Ruling Planets

Mars, Sun, Jupiter

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

Mercury, Venus, Uranus

Moon, Pluto, Neptune

Seasons

Summer

Spring

Winter

Fall

Western Astrology

Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Chinese Zodiac

Dragon, Monkey, Rat

Snake, Rooster, Ox

Horse, Dog, Tiger

Sheep, Pig, Rabbit

Yin and Yang

Yang

Yin

Yang

Yin

Court Cards

Knight

Page

King

Queen

Poker Equivalents

Clubs

Diamonds

Spades

Hearts

The Suit of Wands

The Suit of Wands represents the element of fire. Fire is considered the first element in Western astrology. Fire formed the universe. The other elements come from fire.

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Fire represents our free will, desires, creativity, and actions. It's the energy in us that pushes us to make our decisions. Fire can be considered your behavior. You don't want fire to overtake you. You want a steady fire that pushes you to go toward your ambitions.

Cards in the Suit of Wands are often depicted as a battle. Wands represent conflicts and how to manage them appropriately.

The Ten of Wands indicates you have a lot of responsibilities and possibilities on your plate. You feel pulled in multiple directions. Other people see you as a responsible and reliable person, so they want you on their team.

The Ten of Wands indicates you have a lot of responsibilities and possibilities on your plate. You feel pulled in multiple directions. Other people see you as a responsible and reliable person, so they want you on their team.

Upright Ten of Wands

You have a full load on your plate. People see you as an important person, so you've been entrusted with a lot of responsibilities. You are stressed because you're trying to do too much at once.

You likely need a new strategy for how to manage your stress. This man on the card who is carrying all these wands could have used a cart. He could have delegated responsibilities to other people. He didn't need to carry all these wands. Surely, it wasn't required of him.

Unsafe Office Practices

This card could represent a toxic workplace whereby managers put too much work on their employees and don't realize the harm they've caused. No single person can do everything. No one should try to multitask everything either. It causes you to be divided. You need to have better focus. You need to hire more people to split up the responsibilities if your staff is caving under the weight of everything.

Can managers always hire new people? No. They can't.

Managers are in a constant battle with their budget. They have to buy new equipment. Things break down or need to be updated. People's responsibilities change. It's not easy, but you have to stay the course with the budget. You can't ignore your budget and do whatever you want, or you'll run your business into the ground.

It's possible that this person who is carrying the wands is doing so because someone told them to do it, and there isn't another person or method to lighten the load. This is a poor assignment, and it may be a good time to protest it if you're the employee.

Managing Stress

Sometimes in life we're forced to take on more stress than usual. We have sick relatives, sudden pandemics happen, earthquakes, job losses, several tests all at once, car crashes, etc.. Every day has something random in it. Sometimes what comes to you sparks joy. Sometimes what comes to you robs you of joy.

Your goal right now is to mitigate your stress. You want to lower your baseline stress so that things don't go haywire. You need to relax and stop doing activities that are going to cause you to turn gray or add extra wrinkles.

You need to live in more balance. How many sticks do you think you can realistically carry? It's not a matter of how much strength training you can do. Sure, you can work your way up to more weight. But let's not get excessive—no one should be picking up 400 pounds.

Unaware That You're Taking on Too Much

Sometimes the card can be a sign that we're unaware that we're taking on more responsibilities than we can handle. We feel exhausted, and we don't really know why. There was one semester of college where I took on 19 credit hours, worked three jobs, and had a thriving social life. It was great! But I was in part doing it to distract myself from my parents' divorce. Eventually, the cards came tumbling down. The next semester I could hardly be bothered to do anything. I had lost my pizzazz. I probably should have paced things out better than I did.

Seek Stability and Practicality

If you want to get your life back on track and make it more manageable, look to the Suit of Pentacles. You need more Earth energy. Add things into your life that keep you organized. You want to stick to planners, calendars, and the like. Consider how you can tidy your living spaces. Think about how you can pace out your work. You don't have to cram everything together and can work through one lesson at a time.

The Ten of Wands indicates you are trying to take on too much. You're having trouble delegating responsibilities. You are a needless martyr.

The Ten of Wands indicates you are trying to take on too much. You're having trouble delegating responsibilities. You are a needless martyr.

Reversed Ten of Wands

In the reversed position, this card can be a sign that you're letting all the weight go. You've given up. You were almost at the finish line, but the weight of everything got to you. You might actually feel better now—all that weight was driving you nuts.

You might feel defeated or like you died when you let go of everything. You might feel uncertain about what to do next. Perhaps you can get on the ground and pick up some of the sticks. Everything isn't over just because you dropped things.

Sometimes we have to momentarily pause what we're doing to take care of other priorities. Always being on the go and never reflecting on your days will lead to mixed results. You won't entirely know where you stand on things or why. Your memories will become muddled. You're making yourself sick by cramming so much into your life.

Would you eat an entire buffet? Would you eat a week's worth of food in one sitting? No, because that would be insane. Think about what you're doing to your brain. You can't cram everything into it all at once. You have to pace yourself out. The Reversed Ten of Wands indicates you met your breaking point and let everything go.

But maybe that's what you needed to do. Now you can relax. You can stretch your limbs. You can make adjustments before picking up the sticks again. You're close enough to home, why not ask for help? Is it such a big deal to ask for help?

Heck, maybe your plans were a bust. Is that such a big deal? Can you go get a coffee and just wait for things to blow over? Try to be reasonable. More plans can be made.

Chronic Pain Issues

If you keep carrying all that weight your back might go out. Your shoulders might get super sore. You might give yourself lifelong health problems. Avoid chronic pain; opt for a balanced life. Know your limits and when to say no. Have rules for yourself and don't break them. Work on tightening your contracts with yourself.

Don't force yourself into situations that cause you pain and suffering. You don't need to be a martyr just for the fun of it.

Struggling Because You Have Too Many Objects

Purge what you don't need. Use minimalism to enrich your life. You don't need so many personal objects. You can start to get "object burden" if you try to take care of too many things.

What is object burden? It's when your objects demand all your time. It's when you get upset that your objects aren't working. It's when you feel weighed down by your possessions.

Let go of things. Perhaps there are people who would be blessed by your old belongings.

Ten of Wands in a Love Reading

The card could indicate a partner who wants to impress you. They'll do anything for you and will work really hard to earn your favor. You can sustain this level of strength and insanity in the beginning of a relationship, but it will usually decline somewhat to a more reasonable pace. This isn't necessarily a bad or good thing. It's what people do when they're in love. They want to show the best sides of themselves. A really interesting person can help you unlock certain sides to yourself that you may have been hiding.

Someone who tries really hard to win your favor will do it intentionally. Imagine a suitor with a bouquet of ten roses. They're standing at your door waiting to get the date started. They want you to feel loved and reassured.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2021 Andrea Lawrence

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