The Four Tens – Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles
The Number 10 is seen as the end and also the beginning. The Number 10 has gone full circle and thus returns to the original state of 1 or in the case of Tarot, The Ace. This is because all numbers are born out of the Numbers 1 to 10 and all we need to learn is contained within this Number or a combination of its components. As 10 is reduced down to 1 by adding the digits 1+0=1 we close the door on a cycle of life while simultaneously opening the door on a new one. Out of death comes new life. In nature, the Cycle of the Four Seasons brings us the different stages of birth, life, harvest and death only to begin all over once more, on and on and on.
We are constantly passing through 10 Stages in our life. Some of these can be major, such as moving home, moving job, ending a relationship or deciding to have a baby. Even death itself can be seen as a 10 because depending upon personal belief, we pass from the end of a cycle of life and are born into the spirit world or into another incarnation. Then we have the constant 10’s in our daily life. The completion of a project before moving on to the next, the signing off on a contract or business deal, eventually getting to the bottom of the laundry basket before it fills up once again. Therefore 10’s can be seen as both simplistic or major depending on the circumstances surrounding it.
As we complete each Cycle or 10, we are expected to have learned something or gained experience. We are supposed to be much the wiser for our journey, which should enable us to be more confident and prepared when embarking on the next cycle. If not, our journeys would become meaningless and pointless. If you are entering a new relationship after ending a previous one, hopefully you will have learned a lot about yourself and your emotional needs that should positively influence your choice of new partner. On a simplistic level, a hobby of mine is making Boudoir Dolls and designing wonderful period costumes for them, painting their faces and styling their wigs. I have no professional training, and so have been teaching myself. As I work my way through the creation of each doll from Ace to Ten, I learn a lot and usually through my mistakes. Once the doll is complete I then move on to the next. As I complete each doll (stage 10), they are beginning to look better and better, and are also taking me less time to complete. I have learned some tricks of the trade along the way, and therefore am being a little bit more adventurous each time. This is because I have completed several stage 10’s and personally expect more and better of myself. I do have to start at Ace each time with the birth of the creative design for my new doll before scissors are even taken to cloth but I have been down this road or journey a few times now so I am prepared for the little pitfalls and errors that can happen if I am not careful. I am returning to The Ace each time but from a Higher Perspective and a deeper understanding of what is involved and demanded of me. The Four Tens in The Minor Arcana are the same. Once they have completed their Cycle from Ace to Ten, they once more find themselves at Ace but this time it is on a Higher Plane with a heightened sense of awareness and maturity.
The Four Tens in the Tarot represent the completion of the Lessons of the Suits and the beginning of a New Cycle with a set of circumstances born out of the previous cycle. The Tens are the culmination of the Elemental Energies as they act independently in the individual Suits. In the Ten, The Suits are expected to have realised the potential of their Elemental Gifts presented to them by Spirit in The Ace. They have fulfilled their mission or quest, for good or bad, and now must bear witness to it. Their harvest is in and has been weighed and measured. They must now take ownership of it and full responsibility for the outcome. They all started out in the Ace with equal potential, and most importantly, freedom of will, and the choice as to how best to use their Elemental Gift. They were given advice by Spirit but no hard and set rules were laid down. It really was very much up to them and they were left to their own devices.
The Four Suits quickly became quite predictable in their actions, emotions, thoughts and behaviour as they marched, ran, stumbled or crawled through each Stage and for certain we knew who to put our money on as they neared the finish post. In The Ten, they now have the Full Experience of their Suit and Elemental Energy behind them. Most I am sure would admit to being not fully equipped at times for situations or circumstances they found themselves in. This is because it is not possible to work with just one Element and be successful all round. As humans we aspire to have a good balance of all Four, the Gift of the Elements, the Tools of The Magician. Throughout the Minor Arcana we have seen incidents in certain Cards where more than one Element was being utilised to achieve the desired result, but other than that, they did try to operate as purely as possible. How have they fared?
The Wands show the result of too many challenges, too much action and not enough rest. However, their Ten also shows their blistering determination and amazing stamina. The Cups show the joy and happiness that love and family can bring along with a sense of inclusion of, and concern for the wider community. They show the results of following your Heart. The Swords show us how our thoughts and beliefs can eventually destroy us if no mental discipline is applied. The Pentacles show us the results of hard work and commitment manifesting in the material world.
So who won the Race? How you answer that question will mostly depend on your own personality and Elemental Influences. For me, I would like to think that they were all pretty close coming into the final straight until the Swords collapsed. The Cups, full of concern and compassion, stopped immediately to help their fallen comrade while The Wands and Pentacles kept going. I think The Wands were due to finish first, but became too cocky too soon by making a last-minute change of plan. Heading off on what they thought to be a short cut, resulted in bringing them home the hilly route, the toughest of all. Someone did try to stop them but they were off and gone before anyone could get to them. The Pentacles stuck to their original plan and never wavered. They crossed the finish line first, barely out of breath but immediately alerted the officials to inform them The Swords were down. The Pentacles then rushed back to help The Cups carry The Swords over the finish line. This gave The Cups second place and The Swords, third. The Wands came home eventually struggling up over the hills, cursing, swearing and definitely not in a good mood. Well, that is only my version of course.
On the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, The Four Tens reside in the 10th Sephira – Malkuth (Kingdom/Physical World). It represents the manifestation of all creation; life, ideas, form. Malkuth gives tangible form and density to all God’s Emanations and so completes the cycle as the seed is given birth and becomes manifest. This is the furthest Sephira from Kether (Source) but does not mean that it is un-spiritual.
The Four Pages of The Court Cards and The Four Tens of The Minor Arcana also reside here. The Seed of Elemental Potential Gifted by Spirit in The Ace has travelled through each 10 Stages or Spheres until it has being realised in the physical. The Energy or Emanation originated from the Source and will eventually make its way back to the Source to await Re-birth once more. The Cycle has been completed in The Ten. The Four Pages fittingly reside here, and like The Aces, hold the physical potential of their Suit in its immature state.
Astrologically – Corresponds with The Earth.
In The Major Arcana, The Four Tens correspond with Card Ten, The Wheel (X) of Fortune and also Card 19 (1+9=10) The Sun. The Wheel of Fortune teaches us the Lesson of Cycles and the constant movement of energy, situations and apparent luck. What goes around, comes around and consequences as a result of action taken. Once aboard The Wheel of Fortune (life), all the ups and downs of life are experienced, the gains and losses, happiness and sadness, strenghts and weaknesses, loves and hates, fears and courage. The Wheel of Fortune deals with fate and destiny and can be a hard one to pin down for it, like the Universe, is in constant motion. Some of the Suits may have believed they could control the movement of this Magical Wheel in an attempt to manipulate its power and Lady Luck but nothing can stop its constant rotation. It is as old as time itself and has been there long before us and will be there long after we are gone. We shall hop aboard it on countless occasions, in different shapes and forms, but we shall never be able to stop it. We should use our time wisely aboard The Wheel of Fortune and observe closely how it works. Then we can use it to our advantage. The Four Suits have each completed their Cycle on The Wheel, and if wise, will have observed and learned much.
The Sun (IX) Card brings manifestation into the physical and the birthing or re-birthing of new life and energy. It brings a creative explosion in its wake and for The Four Suits represents the culmination of their journey through The Minor Arcana with the eventually birthing or manifestation of their potential in the Ten. The Sun brings illumination, life and a time to celebrate and enjoy the rewards from all their effort and hard work.
Any Tens appearing in your Reading will suggest the end or beginning of a new Cycle. It very much depends on the Ten/s in question but they usually represent a bit of good luck with life turning out as you wished. They suggest goals reached, potential realised and hard work paying off. Change is also on the way when Tens appear and more than likely you are ready for it. If the Ten is a Sword, then the change may be quite harsh and initially perceived as bad luck, but in the long run is for the best.
Upright Tens represent a natural conclusion to a situation or circumstance, and should generally be viewed positively. It can represent a time when you have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed. All the work is done for the old Cycle and you are enthusiastically looking forward to the next.
Three or more Tens in a reading suggest contracts, legal documents or the purchase or sale of a home, car, or business. Also they represent a period of immense change in your life but the change should be good.
When Reversed, Tens can still be positive but there may be blocks to completing tasks or reaching goals. You may not be able to fully realise your potential. There is still work to do regardless of how exhausted you might feel. Reversed Tens often point to unfinished business and it will depend on which Ten and how many are present as to where the problem lies and how widespread it is. They may point to an eagerness to move on to fresh pasture and a new Cycle before completing the old. Impatience and frustration are often felt with Reversed Tens as you are not quite there yet.
Reversed Tens can also suggest change that is either unwelcome (check surrounding cards) are initially perceived as such. They do not bode well for business deals or the signing of contracts. Big sales or purchases may fall through. You may feel down on your luck or that the Universe is out to get you. It can be a sign that The Wheel of Fortune has begun her downward rotation and you are feeling the effects. Realise that this is only temporary so don’t excessively brood over it. Life should balance out again quite soon.
Now Click onto The Ten (X) of Wands, The Ten (X) of Cups, The Ten (X) of Swords and The Ten (X) of Pentacles or in the Sub Menu where you will find their Descriptions, Meanings both Upright and Reversed along with all their relevant Keywords. Alternatively click on the Images above.