ten of wands meaning

Ten of Wands Meaning: Upright and Reversed

Many Tarot readers have stories about specific cards and how they feel when they pull them. Certain cards are more likely to elicit a reaction than others, especially when those cards may point to something not so fun. The Ten of Wands can give readers a mixed response depending on how they view the card. 

The Ten of Wands is a wake-up card, bringing messages that warn of the need for change. New beginnings take effort and courage because facing harsh realities isn’t always easy. It’s time to call time on what’s not working and step forward into a new future.

Key Words 

Upright Keywords for the Ten of Wands 

  • Overloaded
  • Stress
  • Duty
  • Struggle
  • Lost focus
  • Hard work
  • Burdens
  • Absence of fun
  • Obligation
  • Exhaustion
  • All work, no rest

Reversed Keywords for the Ten of Wands 

  • Avoiding the truth
  • Undependable
  • Resigned to suffering
  • Running on the spot
  • Over-burdened
  • Releasing the load
  • Dropping the baton
  • Avoiding responsibilities
  • Breaking down
  • Out of juice

Key Facts

  • Suite: Wands
  • Zodiac: Sagittarius
  • Element: Fire
  • Number: 10, 1
  • Planet: Jupiter
  • Yes or No: No

The Suit of Wands

In tarot, the wands are all about daily life. They may not be as glamorous as other suits or the major arcana cards, but they are just as insightful.

Wands are also closely connected to the human experience, covering creativity, motivation, focus, and desire to improve. Wand tarot cards give us insight into a journey with struggles and, hopefully, ultimate success.

The intense energy of wands represents drive, possibility, and optimism, but only as a result of a struggle. Making a difference depends on having the passion and drive to push on through fear, exhaustion, or pain. Success lies ahead if you are prepared to go for it.

Reversed position wands may not be as positive, but all is not lost. While the uprights acknowledge tensions but shine the primary beam on the positive outcomes, reversed wands do the opposite. They’re rather like that negative person we all know who identifies and frets over every possible obstacle and almost forgets that things are going to come right in the end. 

The main point to take from a reversed wands tarot card in a reading is to be careful. It’s a clear warning of bad decisions or reckless behavior on the horizon. It would be foolish to ignore that when planning your next move. Remember, it could be you who is causing these issues, so ask yourself some searching questions.

The Number Ten in Tarot

The number ten in Tarot symbolizes the ending and beginning of a new cycle. The 4 tens and the tenth card in the Major Arcana, the Wheel of Fortune, all symbolize the ending of one cycle and starting of the next. 

While not all of these endings will necessarily be seen as happy, they are all necessary to move us forward through life, as is the case with the Ten of Wands. 

Symbolism and Imagery of the Ten of Wands

Ten of Wands

The Ten of Wands in the Rider Waite Tarot shows an older man trudging across a field carrying ten wands [depicted as large sticks]. They look heavy, a real burden, and we can sense the man’s exhaustion. Luckily the man seems to be heading home and is very close to being free of his tiresome load. 

The fields look healthy, ready to nurture new plant life. In our snapshot of his life, we see his journey ending while the plowed field is waiting to start another.

Both the field and the man need to rest to take some time out before facing the next challenge. Or to retire from the game, satisfied that everything possible has been achieved.

The wands represent a physical burden, but we know the cross carried could also be emotional or spiritual.

Upright Ten of Wands Meaning

The upright Ten of Wands symbolizes the struggles everyday life brings. In particular, the focus is on a burden that’s weighing you down. That could be a financial worry or something physical like poor health. Other possibilities are emotional issues or maybe a significant problem with love, work, or spirituality.

Whatever the cause may be, the Ten of Wands in a tarot reading forces you to face up to what’s weighing you down or holding you back. Although this all sounds a bit gloomy, it isn’t. Chances are, the burden is temporary, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Or perhaps this card makes you face up to what’s going on so you can change things. 

Perhaps the key message the Ten of Wands brings is that you need to face the music because ignoring things doesn’t help. It’s not always easy to challenge things, but this is your task. 

The Ten of Wands represents a worry of some kind. Maybe it’s too much work, grief, a tricky marriage, or mounting debt. Whatever issues you have, turning in this card should be a reminder to take a moment and evaluate what’s happening.

Take this opportunity to scrap the things that hold you back or drag you down. While this may involve facing uncomfortable truths, it’s vital to your future. The cycle is ending, and closure is within reach, so grab this with both hands. Work hard to reach your goal, and you can walk away with grace; sometimes, letting go frees up space for the nourishment we need.

Upright Ten of Wands Love Meaning

ten wands

Turning the upright ten of wands in a love reading reveals a severe lack of balance in a significant relationship. While it’s natural to play to your strengths, overall, it’s not healthy to have, say, one person dominate at the expense of the other.

Perhaps you work long days to bring in some cash, but your partner slacks off? Or maybe one of you is less affectionate than the other these days? Whatever the concerns are, the Ten of Wands is a reminder to face up to them before things go too far to be repaired.

If you are currently single, this card suggests you use ghosts from the past as barriers to the future. Forgive yourself if necessary, or put any traumas to rest. Only then will you be healed enough to jump back into the dating scene.

Upright Ten of Wands Career and Money Meaning

This card tends to turn when work isn’t going great. Maybe you are working too much and have no time for yourself. Or the opposite, stuck on a zero-hour contract or in the gig economy, with little financial security. 

Sometimes in a career position, the Ten of Wands shows up to make you face your frustrations. Only then can you be truly open to seeing things change. Chances are you already have some ideas to help make your work and financial life improve; you just need the encouragement to get started. 

The man in the card’s image is on the last leg. He’s managed his burden and is now so very close to setting it down. If he has no end goal, he’ll just keep on trekking the earth with no particular purpose. Instead, he looks to his hometown and takes step after step toward it. 

Do you have career and money ambitions, ideas, and a list of ideal outcomes? If not, then this card is telling you to do it.

Upright Ten of Wands Health Meaning

upright ten wands

The upright Ten of Wands warns you to take action in a specific health reading, like now! Whether by choice, compulsion, or necessity, no one person can meet every need of others. Now is the time to assess and evaluate your lifestyle before carrying this burden causes you actual harm.

Overhaul your schedule, tell people what’s going on, and accept something may have to be sacrificed. You can do this in bite-size steps if you need to, but the days of self-neglect are very definitely over.

Reversed Ten of Wands Meaning

Hold on to your hat when the Ten of Wands shows up in the reverse position. Your tarot reading just got very edgy! While the upright version highlighted external pressures holding you back from fulfillment, in reverse, the spotlight shifts to you.

There’s no avoiding personal scrutiny, but if you hold onto these life burdens, it’s not because you are too lazy to change. This card suggests there’s some insecurity, fear, or stress trigger behind it.

It’s the moment to stand firm and face your demons. Even though that’s scary, the Ten of Wands is no death sentence. Being brave and asking for help is always the right move, even if that means making other people’s life difficult. Ultimately this card represents the end of the line – there’s only a brick wall ahead.

Reversed Ten of Wands Love Meaning

If your relationship is in trouble, it’s not the end. When this card shows up in a tarot love reading, it represents a severe imbalance. One half of your romantic partnership is hiding something, and it’s dragging you both under.

Take this opportunity to trust each other again, to reconnect. Don’t panic, as the reversed Ten of Wands isn’t particularly concerned with infidelity or any kind of cheating. It’s more about holding tight to concerns to protect your loved one.

If you are the guilty party, stop hoarding the burdens of life, and let your loved ones in. However, even if this card refers to someone you’re close to, you still have to address things. Be gentle but clear, and let them know you are ready to share their load.

Reversed Ten of Wands Career and Money Meaning

In reading about career and cash, this card is not bad at all. It represents the resolution of issues and problems you’ve struggled with and reassures you that these happy outcomes are very close by.

Your task is to take this positive energy and go with it. Suppose you are overspending and tackle your finances properly. That might mean making a budget or putting a stop to wasteful purchases, whatever suits your circumstances.

If work has been draining your time and energy, be critical about things. Are you working smartly? Perhaps you could delegate tasks, consider a new job, or even a career change to be the best outcome? You have all the clout here, so make the most of it.

Reversed Ten of Wands Health Meaning

reversed ten wands

What this card screams out in a health-related tarot reading is ‘time out. Nothing else could match the sincerity of the reversed Ten of Wands. Make no mistake; you are on the cusp of a breakdown, which could be physical, emotional, or even both.

You should consider this card as a red alert for your body and mind and do something to avoid a crisis. The solution is pretty simple – stop thinking of others before yourself. 

This might seem more straightforward in theory than practice, but you can do it in stages if you need to. Just do yourself a huge favor and get things rolling immediately.

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One thing’s for sure, the Ten of Wands is a dramatic tarot card to turn, and it’s perhaps one of the more demanding cards too. There are no half measures here; it’s all about facing your demons and opening your heart and mind. Despite that, it delivers opportunities that could be life-changing, for the better, of course. Whatever the Ten of Wands throws at you, there’s nothing you cannot manage.

Ten of Wands Tarot Card: FAQs

Question: Is the Ten of Wands a Yes or No Card? 

Answer: When asking a simple yes or no question, the answer is no. This negative response reflects the card’s central theme, of heavy burdens.

Question: What is the key strength shared by all Wand suit tarot cards?   

Answer: It’s difficult to choose just one, but the top contenders all reflect the sheer power and force behind all Wands; that is passion, an open mind, and the drive to achieve.

Question: is there any significance when the Ten of Wands appears with another Wand card in the same reading?

Answer: Depending on the layout style, the additional card or cards could represent anything standing in your way. They may provide valuable insight into what is blocking your progress.

Question: Does the figure in the Ten of Wands tarot card always represent the person having the reading?

Answer: No, it doesn’t automatically refer to them, although in a more extensive spread, it may do so at some points and then not at others. It largely depends on the context. In a simple 3-card reading, it’s more likely to represent the reader’s energy alone.

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