Is there too much of a good thing? Are you trying to please too many people? Have you taken on too much work? Do you have numerous talents that do not necessarily match up into one vocation, hobby or outlet? Are you starting to see your dream become such a grind that you are facing the facts about the likelihood that it may never actually manifest? Look for the Ten of Wands to appear in your Tarot reading. This is the card of carrying a load that you probably brought on yourself with good intentions, but are stuck with as quite the burden.
A man is walking away from the viewer toward a small building way off in the distance. He is holding ten large walking sticks, or wands. The clump of wands is fanned out in an orderly manner, towering above him. His head is buried in the middle of this alignment, his arms holding everything in place, as he seems to slowly trudge onward and away.
This is one of the few cards in the Tarot deck that reveal all within the illustration. There are no obscure references or associations. The blue sky and perfect day illustrated in the card are indicators that outside forces have little to do with causing this man’s plight. Ten is the Tarot number of abundance, Wands are the Tarot symbol of creative energy and the Tarot deck illustrates a person with too many of these creative aspirations on a slow road home.
Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions
Every Tarot reading starts with the cards being dealt into specific positions representing the past, present and future of the person receiving the reading. The Ten of Wands in the past position represents either a youth with many obligations to the point that you have a clouded view of your childhood, or it could indicate that a recent overextension of your resources has lead to your current predicament, whatever that might be.
In the present position, the Ten of Wands lets you know that you are in over your head. You may have a brilliant idea and feel like you could be successful but there is a lot that you do not know about your field of choice and ignorance of the everyday realities will hinder your development. Wands represent creativity and often appear in the Tarot readings of people who are starting their own business. So many businesses fail when someone assumes they can “wing it.” If you open a restaurant because you are a good cook, you may find that the local health department has many regulations about what you are and are not allowed to do. If you do not have administrative help, you may be left unable to cook because you are filling out paperwork and replacing your cooking equipment with the proper models. You could become overwhelmed and lose your passion for cooking before you even open the doors to your dream.
In the future position, the Ten of Wands is the harbinger of the result of your current enthusiasm. This card in this position is a blessing of forewarning. If you have just begun a relationship, this is an indication that your new partner may be so high-maintenance that your role in the partnership will be as caretaker to his many needs and demands. When you get this card in a reading in this position, it is best to prepare now to draw definite boundaries over what you will and will not do in a relationship or group project. Work hard now to avoid carrying the load in the future.
When Tarot cards are dealt, the group interacts together. A card in combination with another is different than a card alone or grouped with a completely different card in an earlier or later reading.
As a card with a 10, this is the lower echo of three cards in the deck: The Wheel of Fortune (card #10), Judgment (card # 20) and The Fool (card #0). Tens represent abundance and all the good and bad that “too much” entails. When the Ten of Wands is in the same reading as The Wheel of Fortune, the negativity of the Ten of Wands is mitigated by the knowledge that good times are coming your way. If Judgment is in a reading with this card, the weight of what you are carrying may be something you have to carry for longer than you expected. If The Fool shows up you will soon find that your burden has been an illusion all along.
There are three other Minor Arcana cards numbered ten. The Ten of Swords combines with the Ten of Wands to emphasize the bitterness of carrying such a load and you may find that you are complaining to people who would have tried to help you had you just been polite to them. The Ten of Pentacles is a card of hope when it is in a reading with this card, as you are given assurances from the Tarot that the load is worth carrying. The Ten of Cups reminds you that you are extending yourself specifically out of love for other people when it is in the same reading as the Ten of Wands.
Along with the Ten of Swords and Ten of Wands, there are a few other Tarot cards that have all of their characters turning away from the viewer. The Six of Swords features three people turned away from the viewer. Combined with the Ten of Wands, this combination actually increases your ability to concentrate on the numerous projects you are carrying. It allows you to speak seriously and persuasively if you are trying to raise money to extend one or more of your projects.
The Three of Wands features one figure staring away from the viewer and is a card of optimism – this card is a symbol of a project with focus and attention to detail instead of scattered energy. The combination of these two cards will allow you to pare down your excess jobs and regain commitment to the most important tasks at hand. The Seven of Cups and Eight of Cups both feature one individual turned away from the viewer and one illusion of a face. In the Seven of Cups the face appears out of a cup and the figure turned away is seduced by the glamour appearing out of each cup. Combined with the Ten of Wands and this is a combination that almost assures none of your many current struggles is leading you anywhere beyond illusion. In the Eight of Cups we see a traveler walking away from a stack of cups and a face on the Moon glancing across the sky at him. Paired with the Ten of Wands, this card combination allows you to leave behind manipulative people and other sentimental but unproductive attachments that might be in the way of your making money or otherwise succeeding at what you love doing.