tarot of the week--ten of wands

Just as Aces kick off the suit with all the potential and energy of the suit, Tens complete the suit and carry it into the next phase of the Seeker's life. With the Cups, we see the happy family beginning their "happily every after" time. Swords, ten of which poke out of the back of a man in battle, the new beginning is one of freedom, transformation, whole soul change. With the Pentacles, we see legacy, estate, the passing on of wealth and money. These end cycles are represented by both the most positive images (literally rainbows and dancing, lush gardens and large homes) and the most disturbing one (a man killed with swords in his back). 


The Ten of Wands is one of those cards that people often dismiss with a casual, "Yep, I'm carrying a lot." But the Ten of Wands is so much more than that, deeper we go to uncover the truth here. The Suit of Wands holds the element of Fire--creativity, passion, ambition, enterprise and business. It is an action-oriented suit, one that really speaks to the fire in one's belly. It is charismatic, dynamic, inspiring. Or rather we are charmed by our projects, and we influence others to believe in us. There is a competition here underlying these cards. That is part of the suit of Fire, ask any Leo, Aries or Sagittarius about that wild competitive streak in them. There is vision here, drive, self-motivation. We start businesses under the Ace of Wands, and in the Ten we see the business grow and change.

So, imagine that your Seeker, or you, is watching their inspiration grow through the Wands. Ace is the melding of Divine inspiration, passion and creativity to begin the journey to starting your business. At the Two, you begin achieving, understanding your personal power. In the Three, you contemplate expansion, taking stock. In the Four, there is celebration. In the Five, you have minor competition and struggles. In the Six, you have overcome those struggles for victory. The Seven holds more defense, but you have the upper hand. After all, you have traveled through this far, and you know how your business should be run. In the Eight, all the blockages are removed from the Seven and Five, and it is full speed ahead. The Wands land in the Nine, and we stand at the ready--exhausted from the battles, but not quite having won the war. In the Ten, we see a man carrying ten wands on his back, trudging to town. His wands have sprouted fruit, and he is going to sell the fruits of his labor.

So, where is the growth here? The completion? This is the time when the Seeker needs to expand again and possibly hire some help. We often nod when we get this. It makes sense. We are carrying burdens for our family, for work, for friends, and it is too much to juggle and walk. We do this for success, but what Tarot warns us in this card is that our independence and self-reliance can only get us so far. We may experience success, but we need to share our burdens and hard work to grow into the next phase. So, this is the new phase--delegating.

There is much to acknowledge here as a positive. The sky is clear, the wands have leaves, and the man is moving forward. He keeps going. When the Ten is pulled, you can be sure the person sitting in front of you is working hard, but it can mean he has too much on his plate. When someone owns a business, I see this card as hiring a new person, or delegating to someone who already works there. Often this card comes when someone is a primary caregiver for an elderly or infirm relative. I often suggest self-care, and asking for help, even hiring help. In physical terms, this card sometimes comes with backaches, neck aches, spinal issues.

You can read many interpretations of this card, and most of them are negative, or rather have this warning of failure in the offing. This is not my feeling of this card at all. I see it as a warning, but not of outright failure...the build-up and suit of Wands doesn't lend itself to that interpretation. There is hard work, inspiration, passion, and drive here. In the Ten, the passion gets worn down by hard work, but it is not extinguished. But because of the high standards of Fire signs and the element of Wands, asking for help can be seen a kind of personal failure. It is a fear of vulnerability. Fire signs needs to ask for help. Nearly across the board you can assume that about a Fire sign. They bear their own burdens, secrets, and self-imposed standards. It is difficult for them to rely on others, to trust, or to turn to others for help in any area of their life. The most successful Fire signs are those who master the art of delegation, rely on others and ask for help. That is what this card is about, and it is a lesson for us all.

Wands are leaders and visionaries. They own businesses, create massive projects, (or small ones). They teach others innovative solutions. They run the show. They bring people together, and inspire them. This is their gift. This card asks you to do what you do best, which is create these amazing works and businesses. Let someone answer the phones and carry the large sticks, sell the wares. Let them carry the burden of the daily toil. It is time to free yourself to start new businesses. Put down the bundle and start a new fire.