Ten of Wands:
Function: The Will, Action, Creativity, and Initiation
The ten of wands is the natural progression of the Nine of Wands. Here, the man in the card has picked up all of the nine wands from the last card, added another, and is walking steadfast to the town. We can’t see his face because he’s buried it in his bundle of wands, but he doesn’t look like he’s going to give up, or that he’s upset or regretful. After all, he’s near the village or town. He’s going to be able to set down his burden soon.
The man wears an orange tunic, symbolizing enthusiasm, and brown leggings and shoes, symbolizing practicality and strength. He appears to be walking on a paved road, such that he’s not just close to the town, but he’s within the area of the town. He’s made it, and he just has to go a little further.
He will do it though. This is a moment that begs the reader to cheer the man on and tell him to keep going and not give up, and not as an admonition but as sheer encouragement and shared enthusiasm. This invokes the same feeling one gets watching the very end of a race, or the very end of a ball game, when’s team is about to make the winning score.
The Ten of Wands symbolizes not just the very last leg to victory, but the excitement and determination to make those very last, critical steps, toward victory. This card shows where someone is very near the end of some very hard work.
This is the end of the numbered deck and therefore the end of the narrative. The wands have gone from the spark of life to a destination, through strife, and now through that strife a little wiser and a little stronger because it willed it that way. This card indicates that through the querent’s own blood, sweat, and tears, they will see victory.
The Ten of Wands can also mean that the querent is doing much more than expected or more than what others have to do in order to get things done. They will have to work harder and longer, but they can’t pity themselves. They haven’t the time when the end is so close.
When the Ten of Wands is reversed, the querent is shouldering an unnecessary burden, playing the martyr, or refusing to take their burden and move with it, rather wallowing and pitying him or herself. In any event, self-pity and seeking attention or approval for it likely.
The Ten of Wands reversed can also mean that the querent is shouldering a burden that isn’t theirs to bear and that they either pick up or have placed on them involuntarily. Someone in their lives may be projecting emotional garbage. They may feel responsible for someone else’s success or someone else’s emotional well-being. It drags them down and they can’t seem to get rid of it.
This card reversed may simply indicate a hoarder who needs to do spring cleaning.
In a three-card reading, this card means…
Past: In the past, the querent shouldered a great responsibility and carried it through to the end, which has brought them to this point today.
Present: The querent is currently carrying a heavy burden, but the end is in sight and they will soon see relief and victory if they keep going.
Future: In the future, the querent will have to carry a heavy weight, but it’s simply what they have to do to meet their goals, and since the end is in sight, they understand that it needs to be done.