Ten (X) of Wands

Ten (X) of Wands

10 of Wands Upright


Home-Stretch, Nearly There, Nearly Home and Dry, Keep Your Head Down and Keep Going, One Final Push, Success is almost Yours, The End is in Sight, Overburdened, Over Extended, Weighed Down, Arduous Tasks, Taken on Too Much, Too Much on Your Plate, Doing The Lion’s Share, Being Pushed Too Far, Over-Taxed,  Doing it All Yourself, Unable to Delegate, Huge Weight on Your Shoulders, Over-Loaded, Immense Effort, Unable to See Clearly, Lost Focus, Lost Sight, Lost Your Way, Slow Progress, Blocks, Delays, Resistance, Exhaustion, Uphill Battle/Climb, The Longest Route, Prioritise, Challenging Times, Responsibilities, Assuming Responsibility,Taking On other’s Problems,  Demands, Sole Responsibility, Obligation, Duty, Commitments, Unable to Say No, Being Taken Advantage of or Taken for Granted, Being Saddled, Left Holding The Baby, Information Overload, Stress, Worries, Physical/Nervous Exhaustion, Pushing Yourself, Burnout, No Fun, Lack of Freedom/Spontaneity,  Working Overtime, Taking Your Work Home, Drudgery



When The Ten of Wands appears in your Reading, depending on position in Spread of course, it is quite obvious to tell what is going on and the Querant will see it too in the imagery. Here we see the culmination and consequences of too much energy, enthusiasm and activity beginning to take its toll. We have all been guilty of this at one stage or another and have vowed ‘never again’. However, this Card suggests Harvest Time when back-breaking work is required of us all if we want to reap the rewards of all our previous effort. Sometimes there is no way to avoid it, so it can be a case of under, over or through to get to where you are going with no shortcuts or fast tracking involved.

The Ten of Wands often appears when you are entering the final stages of a project, task or job.  The end is in sight but you are now entering the agonising home stretch when energy levels are down and enthusiasm for the project has been beaten out of you. Instead of the workload lightening, it has become heavier.  There are so many things that need to be sorted and arranged, especially those boring parts you would rather suck razor blades than do. These tasks are usually ones you just have to do yourself, because involving others at this stage would create further delays as you would have to spend time instructing them on what you need done, how, where and when. You might as well do it yourself.  Thing is, you are not very good at delegation anyway, and if you had learned how to delegate some of the less important tasks back in the beginning, you wouldn’t be under such pressure now.  You are tired, fatigued and fed up but the show must go on.  Every time you think you are nearly there, something else pops up and demands attention, creating delays or set-backs. Progress is slow now and it all seems like too much.  Close to burnout, you may be suffering from information overload now and are not able to think straight.   Will it ever be all over?

You may wonder why you ever bothered? Feeling riddled with stress and anxiety, you have paid a hefty price in your quest for success. You will have to rekindle the original passion you had for this project or task and draw your energy from that.  Massive effort and in-put is required of you now, but do keep in mind you are nearly there, and the rewards will be immense, and success better than you had ever hoped for. Now is not the time for quitting. Put your head down and your back into it for you will be home and dry before you know it. Then you can have a well-earned break and relax. However, bear in mind you have taken the hardest and most awkward approach, and at times have made life very difficult for yourself. You must learn from this. You need to plan things out better, prioritise and ask for help when you need it.  Save yourself for the most important tasks. Learn how to pace yourself and how to be patient. You are only one person after all.

When the Ten of Wands is drawn, it suggests that you are under immense pressure and are finding life a huge struggle. You are extremely busy with not a moment to catch your breath or take stock of what your are about. You seem to have a lot to deal with and are probably under considerable stress.  A lot is being asked of you at present or you are asking a lot of yourself. Life certainly feels like an uphill climb or battle right now, making it hard to get ahead or make progress.  You may be collapsing under a tonne of arduous tasks or projects that just have to be completed no matter how tired or fed up you might feel. It seems like everything has to be done, and all at the same time.  Many of these tasks have been ongoing, but they never seemed to cause so much work before.  They probably started out as simple things you got involved in, easily managed as such, but now they have grown out of proportion or multiplied and have to be dealt with, just when you don’t have the time for them.  Your mind may be on other, more interesting things which you would prefer to be doing, but here you are having to give your all and more, just to get them sorted. You would dearly love to walk away from them all but that is the last thing you should do.  This is unfinished business and even though it is weighing you down at the moment, it is best to deal with them now, rather than leave them hanging over you indefinitely.  Yes, they are blocking your way forward and all progress at the moment, but with a bit of effort and renewed determination, you should see an end to in the very near future. Put the necessary work in now and get it sorted. You then have to determine how you let yourself get into this situation. Who’s fault was it? Where does the responsibility lie?

The Ten of Wands in current times can often represent the uphill and desperate struggle for those who have been badly hit by the recession.  There may be a daily struggle to pay the mortgage, clear debts and bills which is almost breaking your back.  Look for the Five of Pentacles, Reversed Two, Reversed Four or Reversed Six which will indicate severe financial pressure. Multiple stress and worry might be sapping the life energy out of you and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. However, like so many others, you have no option but to keep soldiering on in the hope that things will improve in the future. However, swamped by so much burden and responsibility, you may find it hard to look any further than just getting through today, let alone looking to tomorrow or next week. You do have the stamina and resources to get through these hard times.

The Ten of Wands can suggest that you are shouldering many burdens. You may feel overloaded with commitments, obligations, duties and responsibilities.  You are probably pushing yourself too hard and are finding it hard to cope.  This is not like you at all and you are more than likely forcing yourself to keep going, making out that all is fine.  There is no let up though and you may be working harder than you have ever done and knowing you, harder than anyone else around you. You seem to be doing the Lion’s share of the work at present or feel that you have to take responsiblity for everything.  Others may be expecting too much of you and are adding to your load with their constant demands and requests. You have too much on your plate as it is so you will have to learn to say ‘no’ because until you do, people will keep dumping more and more on top of you, especially if you are not complaining about it. You see, it is not in you to say ‘no’ as that might be a sign of weakness. Your pride and being overly confident of your capabilities have you taking on things you really haven’t the time or energy for. You believe you can’t back out and hand them back ,or over to someone else, because you said you would do them, so you soldier on.

The Ten of Wands can suggest that someone has put a saddle on your back and will ride you to hell if they want.  They may see you as a workhorse and take advantage of your good nature and willingness to help. You may be given the hardest and messiest tasks to carry out, and because you are obliging and successfully complete them, more and more is then asked of you.  You may feel like you are on a treadmill, going round and round, faster and faster, but personally getting nowhere in the end.  There is probably a building resentment towards those who are putting you through this as they have cleverly manipulated the situation, allowing them to do little, while you work like a cart-horse.

Of course if anything goes wrong, you will have to take the sole blame, and therefore feel the burden of your responsibilities intensely right now.  You are worried and stressed about how you will be able to manage and what will happen if anything should go wrong.  It is all up to you now, no pressure of course! People do seem to have a habit of dumping all their problems on you, or at your doorstep, and it has to stop.  You are left to clean up all their disasters and mistakes with barely a thank you. This has all become a habit which must be broken. The pressure may be coming from any area in your life.  It could be work-related, a partner who asks too much or family and friends who expect too much.

Self-Care is essential at this stage for you are spreading yourself too thin and are quite frazzled by it all.  Outwardly you may be keeping up a pretence of being strong and enthusiastic but inside you could feel beaten and exhausted. You certainly cannot keep going on in this manner. Stress, tiredness and fatigue have become chronic and you may have lost the ability to relax. You may be close to burnout and feel like a physical and nervous wreck. You may have lost all the fight in you and energy levels could be very low. You don’t seem to know where you are going, have lost your focus or your way. Fatigue has resulted in you losing sight of , or faith in your original goals. Instead of the rewards you expected, you may feel trapped or now see it as a massive ball and chain you have to drag around with you.  You need a break and some rest to gain perspective as you can’t think straight at the moment. You have over-extended yourself and expected too much of your body.  It is time to prioritise and offload as much as you can.  Concentrate only on those areas that are the most important and relevant.  Everything else will have to take a back seat or just get dumped.  There are many around who would be delighted to take them of your plate, if you would only ask or let them know you have too much to cope with.  Don’t struggle on your own. Learn how to delegate and you will find your energy and enthusiasm soon returns.

The Ten of Wands also deals with deceit, concealment and falsities.  Therefore it is important to look beyond the outward facade as somebody may be pretending to be something or someone they are not.  Someone may be hiding something from you or try to get away with something without being noticed.  There might be sneaky behaviour going on around you.  Check all documents thoroughly as this Card often represents fraud and forgeries.

The Ten of Wands can also represent the physical act of moving home. You may be packing up all your belongings and relocating.  This is often a stressful and very trying time.

If related to relationships The Ten of Wands may suggest that you are taking the full responsibility for its continuing success. One partner makes all the effort while the other makes none.  You could be working hard all day and then have to come home to housework, cooking and screaming children, while your partner sails in the door and puts their feet up.  You are tired and frazzled with no time to yourself. In your relationship, things may be very different behind closed doors than they are in the open.  You may be concealing problems, incidents or issues from friends and families. Your partner may also be hiding something from you. Then again, your partner may have upped and gone, leaving you holding the baby and having to go it alone. Check the surrounding Cards for further insight.

There is a tendency also for one to take all the blame in a relationship should it fail. You could be guilty of being too busy with work or your business to have time for relationships, or to concentrate on the one you have. You may be very ambitious and chasing success at any cost, causing a lack of connection and intimacy in your relationship.

Your relationship may feel like hard work and effort rather than something you should be enjoying.  As a couple you may be carrying several burdens and finding it all a bit of a struggle. There may be worries over money, work, family or health and certainly you have much to deal with at present.  If you are both in this together then you should weather the storm and be confident that life will improve in the near future. Look to surrounding Cards to see where the Ten of Wands is coming from.

As a couple you may have decided to relocate and are packing up the home. You might be engaged in a self-build and are doing all the hard manual work yourself in your spare time.  This is certainly tough going and extremely tiring. However, all this heavy work will not go on forever, and when it is complete, you will be thrilled with the results of all your efforts.

Career related, you may be responsible for everything in work and don’t seem to have anyone to help you.  However, you may not trust anyone else to carry your responsibilities (Wands) as you fear that no one else is capable of doing the job right. You can find it hard to delegate and probably have a tendency to take your work home with you either physically or mentally.

The pressures of the workplace may be getting to you.  You may be finding it hard to keep up with the constant inflow of work, demands and deadlines.  You may be stressed and living on your nerves, and find it hard to relax or switch off when you go home or at the weekends. There is a danger you are heading to burnout or breakdown. You are no good to anyone or to yourself when you get to this stage as you cannot find solutions or think straight. Your work will suffer as a result, and this is the last thing you want, for you are so conscientious. You will have to speak to your those in charge and inform them of your difficulties, for they may not realise you are so burdened.  They may be more than happy to get someone to help you or redistribute the workload.  Taking a little time off might do you the world of good and help re-charge the batteries.

In work you may feel resentful, as more and more tasks, duties or responsibilities are dumped in your lap.  Your workload may have become unbearable. More and more is required of you but there may be no financial gain as a reward. In fact, during these times of recession you may be asked to do two people’s job and take a pay cut at the same time.  You may have to work extra hours or overtime for no pay. You may be carrying work colleagues, doing their work for them or covering up their mistakes.

If you are self-employed it can represent the heavy responsibility that weighs on you to make sure that every job is done and done well. You may have taken on too much in work and now feel burdened by the sheer tediousness of it all. Work has become boring and drudgery. You may feel very alone as you try to do everything yourself. This is the hard part of getting a business established and all business people go through this.  Being self-employed is great but there are many sacrifices to be made on the road to success.  Hard work and long hours may be required of you right now, but it will be worth it in the end.

Your business may be struggling and taking much longer to get established than you expected, leaving you thinking that you will never get there. However the appearance of this Card suggests that you are nearly there and now is not the time to give up. In hindsight, you probably have made things harder for yourself than you should have.  Impulsive decisions made along the way in your business may have delayed its development and success. You may have areas of your business that are not working, or indeed staff that are not pulling their weight. Serious weeding and offloading of dead wood is needed if your business is going to be successful in the long run. Instead of peddling away furiously, take a step back for you are too close to it all at the moment, and determine which are your most successful and profitable areas. Focus on these and let go of any areas that have been chronically weak and unproductive.  However, before you do that, check that the staff in charge of these areas are doing what they should.  Discover where the fault lies and sort it.  Your business will be tidier, less of a financial drain and easier to manage.

This Card can also suggest you do not want to retire and prefer to trojan on as there is plenty of life left in you yet.


10 of Wands Reversed


Off Loading/Taking on More, Delegation, Taking Matters in Hand, Overhauling, Radical Change, Learning To Say No, Compromising, Weeding, Cutting Out The Dead Wood,  Dumping, Reflecting, Learning/Not Learning from Mistakes,  Giving Up on a Dream or Ambition, Letting Go, Giving Up/Holding On,  Delays, Set Backs, No Reward after Immense Effort, Lack of Productivity, Insurmountable Problems ‘Flogging a Dead Horse’, Efforts being Stymied by Others,  Not Up To The Job, Not Strong Enough, No Staying Power, Falling at The Last Hurdle, Too Much, Information Overload, Last Minute Rush, Panic, Hysteria, Burnout, Exhaustion, Working 24/7, Nervouse Exhaustion, Breakdown, Collapse, Taking the Sole Blame/ Responsibility for Everything, Dut-Bound, Ball and Chain, Being Saddled, Taken Advantage Of, Resigned To Your Fate, Used, A Cross too Heavy to Bear, Hiding, Hidden Things, ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’, ‘Street Angel House Devil, Treachery, Duplicity, Pretence, Facades/Fronts, Moving Home, Clearing Out

When the Ten of Wands Reverses, for better or worse, you decide to do something about your situation.  You might stop to catch your breath and have the sudden realisation you have taken on too much and can’t possibly achieve what you thought you would.  You may have over-calculated or over-estimated your available time, energy, resources and abilities. The weight or burden you are carrying is to too heavy for you and you will never get anywhere unless you do something about it now. It represents a time when you have to give in and accept that delegation may be the only way and decide to take offers of help, or seek it.   You may decide to lay down or offload some of your duties and responsibilities onto the willingly shoulders of others.  It suggests a time to re-group your thoughts and find a more feasible approach to achieving your aims or goals.

This may involve you having to compromise on certain areas that may have held much importance for you before. It will be hard letting go of what you have become so intricately involved in but you must acknowledge that it or they have been holding you back and slowing your progress. Multi-tasking or being Multi-talented are both excellent attributes and abilities but they can lead to having your fingers stuck in too many pies all at the one time.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to be and do everything, be everywhere and anywhere and also be everything to everybody else aswell ,but it is not humanely possible to keep it up. Your intentions were indeed admirable but now a halt must be called when the Ten of Wands Reverses.

Just look at you! You are exhausted and worn out, living on nervous energy, with not a moment to yourself.  You now have to find a way to lighten the pressure and one of the first things you can do is start saying ‘no’ to any extra requests or demands on your time and energy right now. It is imperative that you take on nothing new until you have sorted out the heap of stuff you are dealing with at present.  You will have to go back to the Nine of Wands and have a good think about how you got yourself into your current situation for this has not happened overnight and that is for sure. Your current overstressed and overstretched dilemma has accumulated over much time. You have probably seen the warning signs coming for some time but chose to ignore them, thinking you could manage everything and all would be fine.  It is also likely others have tried to advise you of the long-term consequences of what you were getting into, but thought you knew better.

Once you have reviewed all your obligations, duties, responsibilities, tasks, commitments, demands, requests and promises made, you will have to decide what is really important and what is not. If you do choose to lighten your load, you will have to decide which of your Wands (tasks, commitments, duties etc.) are worth holding onto and which are not. If you decide to drop the less important ones, you must take the time to understand how you got stuck with them in the first place. It is likely that much of the weight you are carrying belongs to others, and therefore, should rightly be returned to them no matter what you promised.  It is a case of having to go back to people and tell them you ‘are sorry, but after giving considerable consideration to their situation, you believe you will not be able to give it the full attention it deserves. Therefore, it would be best if they did it themselves or get someone else to’.  You may not be liked for this but they will get over it.

You see, The Ten of Wands Reversed often points to a situation where someone is being taken advantage of by others.  These certain others, are quite happy to keep doing it because the person they are taking advantage of never complains.  They are always looking or asking for something and continually keep pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable. Before long, they feel it is their automatic right to expect immediate compliance or re-action from their willing victim.  Before long, habits become traditions before quickly turning into obligations and duties. If you have got into the habit of always cleaning your neighbours gutters when you do your own, they get used to it and then expect it of you. It can be very hard to get out of it without them feeling offended and you feeling awkward. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, and you were only too happy to oblige, but now it is expected of you, which leaves you feeling pressurised and resentful.  Some people just keep taking and taking once they are allowed to, especially when they get used to it.

When the Ten of Wands appears Reversed, it can carry a significant warning  that the need to lighten your load is becoming apparent and quite urgent. If you do not heed what your body is trying to communicate to you, then you may be heading for burn out and possibly physical or emotional breakdown.  Exhausted by the weight of your commitments and obligations, you may be denying your own personal needs. You could find yourself working 24/7 just to keep on top of things. You must find a way to release yourself from your oppressive circumstances.

This Card can suggest that you are flogging a dead horse and putting your all into it while getting no results.  You may be too stubborn to admit defeat or failure so keep on forcing the situation and peddling on. You are breaking your back and for no reward.  The job has become too much for you.  It may be time to say goodbye to a dream or ambition as it hasn’t worked out. It might be too complicated, too involved, too much money and too much work. No one else shares your vision as the problems are insurmountable. This will be a crushing blow for you.

As in the Upright, The Reversed Ten of Wands can suggest deceit, disguise and underhand behaviour.  Remember, this is a Stage Card, so look beyond the obvious. When the Card is in Reverse, it becomes more apparent the Figure is making a deliberate attempt to hide behind the screen of Wands.  This can suggest a front or facade of some sort.  Someone may be pretending to be someone or something they are not.  This Card has especially negative associations in the Reverse as there may be hidden agendas and intrigue.  There could be plotting and scheming going on right in front of you, hidden behind the smiles and sweetness of those you think friendly and benign.  Someone may have it in for and could be deliberately making life difficult for you. They may be putting up a resistance, objection or argument every time you attempt to make progress or get ahead.

Those you thought you could trust may have turned sour on you.  If any mistakes have been made or problems discovered, someone may offload the sole blame on you without a second thought, in order to save their own skin. There may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, appearing sweet and innocent on the outside, but behind the façade lies not so pretty a picture. This Card Reversed can suggest the presence of a ‘House Devil, Street Angel’ personality. Your partner may treat you very differently when in front of people then when you are behind closed doors. Look to surrounding Cards for signs of duplicity or deliberate treachery and betrayal.

Where Relationships are concerned, something may be hidden or concealed from you at the moment. Something may be going on that you are unaware of. Your partner may be holding something back from you. If the surrounding Cards give no clues, it is advisable to pull an extra one or two for further insight.

The Reversed Ten of Wands can suggest that something is wrong in your relationship but you bury your head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge it.  You may be in denial and maintain a business as normal attitude in the hope that it will all go away or sort itself out.  It likely won’t, so you will have to confront the issues sooner or later. You may have to accept that your relationship is going nowhere or that it all seems to much of a struggle. No matter what effort you put in, the results just aren’t there or enough.  You may feel very disappointed. Then again you may have eventually freed yourself from an unhealthy relationship. If so, it is imperative you understand how you got into it in the first place and how the relationship problems developed, otherwise you may find yourself in the same situation again.

In relationships you may have the tendency to dump your partner once it gets too serious.  You may lack staying-power and commitment. You might prefer to be a free agent or keep several casual partners on the go all at the one time.  You may decide to shirk your responsibilities by walking out or away when things get tough. You may sneak off, leaving your partner holding the baby and the bills.

This Reversed Ten of Wands can suggest a partner who blames you for everything that has gone wrong in your relationship. It can suggest that only one partner is making all the effort to maintain their relationship and carrying all the worry and responsibility for the success or failure of it. It may all seem like hard work and a constant uphill battle. You must ask yourself if your relationship is worth all the struggle? Time to look up, open your eyes, and take a good look at how weighed down you are by the whole lot, and determine whether its worth salvaging or saving. You may feel exhausted or worn out by chronic problems or issues in your relationship.  Burnt out and disheartened, you may not be able to see the wood for the trees or a light at the end of the tunnel.  It has all become too much and something will have to give.

When it comes to Work, you may have decided that enough is enough.  Your energy is scattered and dissipated leaving you highly stressed and incapable of finishing any of your tasks or projects.  Work begins to pile up or goes unfinished. People may be ranting and raving about wanting things done now or even yesterday as demands go overboard. Either you have no choice but to work flat-out, or someone is dumping more and more work in your lap.  I am not sure why you cannot say ‘no’ to all this extra pressure?  It could be related to the recession dilemma of cutbacks in staff, with the extra workload spread out to those who remaining, or then again, you may have to work double shifts or double jobs just to cover the basic bills. There is a possibility you could go into meltdown and throw a hysterical scene. You might dramatically walk out on your job, or are carried out after collapsing. Then again, you may decide to confront your boss about your excessive workload in the hope that some of the strain can be lifted from you.   There is definitely no joy or fulfillment in this work as you feel like an ox drawing a plough through a rough field. Then again, you may just put your head down and keep going. You might become resigned to your circumstances or trust the future will bring an upturn in your luck and a release from your predicament. It really comes down to how fatigued and exhausted you are at present. You will have to go back to The Nine of Wands and determine if you have the stamina to keep going and if it is worth it. It is very hard to see where you are going at this stage.

If a work project has failed, you might be feeling the weight of responsibility for its lack of success.  It may have been your idea. You possibly pushed or encouraged others into getting involved or onboard.  Now the finger of blame is pointed solely at you.

With the Ten of Wands Reversed, you might also be trying to finish too many things at the same time and need to prioritise.  Your to-do list is too long and needs to be sorted in order of importance and urgency. You will never get anything achieved if you try to rush at all of them together. It may be a sign you have let things get out of hand and control.  Could you have left everything to the last moment and now realise the enormity of the tasks you have to finish in only a short space of time?

Business-wise, you may be deciding to do something about your business or working conditions. Time to delegate or collapse from the sole pressure. You may be letting people go in work or restructuring your business in order for it to be more productive. You may be making a radical overhaul of your business. You might decide the effort is not worth it and sell the business, or the business may collapse just when you thought it was nearly there.   You might have decided to hand the daily running of your business over to sons or daughters. Taking a back seat or deciding to retire altogether will allow you more free time, and the rest you so badly need.

Unfortunately with the flip side of this Card comes the worrying tendency of failing to listen to good advice or learn from your mistakes. You might be continuing in the same old manner, doing things the way you always did them and wasting energy on products or areas of your business that are just not working.  You may also have delegated responsibilities to the wrong people. There is a possibility you do not have the stamina required to make your business a success. You may also refuse to retire and persist in keeping up the same pace you always did.  No one is going to tell you that you are getting older and need to slow down.  stubbornness and pride may have you standing your ground, trying to prove a point that no one is interested in. You may push yourself too far.

As the Wands also refers to travel this Card may suggest that you are packing up and moving home or location.


Wands  Cups   Swords   Pentacles

Ace of Wands   Two (II) of Wands   Three (III) of Wands    Four (IV) of Wands  Five (V) of Wands

Six (VI) of Wands  Seven (VII) of Wands  Eight (VIII) of Wands  Nine (IX) of Wands  Ten (X) of Wands

Back to 78 Cards – Brief Page

The 78 Cards – Detailed Study Version (Card Description, Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)

The 78 Cards – Shortened Version (Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)


Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn
Truly Teach Me Tarot Part I

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