Ten of Wands Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

Ten of Wands upright

Ten of Wands At A Glance

Keywords: Responsibility, overcoming burdens, unforeseen stress, obligation, overworked, lost focus, negative consequences, sense of duty
Season: Summer
Element: Fire (creativity, passion and will power)

Ten of Wands Tarot Card Description

The Ten of Wands is the tenth card in the suit of wands. In the original artwork of the Rider Waite Smith system of tarot the Ten of Wands shows a man carrying ten large wands over his shoulder. They are heavy and weigh him down, his back arches and his head bows under the strain of this task.

In this card the wands represent his responsibilities and obligations. Wands can be burned for fire creating warmth and food, or used to build shelter, so they are obviously a valuable resource that the man has acquired. However the sheer weight of maneuvering these is almost more than he can bear.

His clean expensive clothes and the sunny landscape juxtapose with his striking body language to clearly express the fact that this man is heavily burdened by and struggling to handle his responsibilities.

Ten of Wands Upright Meaning

In its upright position the Ten of Wands shows us the highs and lows of success and all the trappings that come with it.

It can suggest we are struggling under an immense burden that accompanies some form of success we have achieved and perhaps these burdens were unexpected whilst we were pursuing said success.

We often long for material possessions like money or other resources believing they will bring us happiness. However the Ten of Wands reminds us that these things often come with unknown consequences and could even burden us further, inadvertently pushing us away from the happiness we are seeking.

The Ten of Wands is a gentle warning that we should not pin all our hopes on a dream and forget to live in the moment. There is a balance to be achieved when seeking our goals and falling either side of this evokes either the upright or reversed aspects of the Ten of Wands.

“It's only lonely at the top if you forget all the people you met along the way and fail to acknowledge their contributions to your success.” - Harvey Mackay

Ten of Wands Reversed Meaning

Ten of Wands reversed

When the Ten of Wands presents itself to us reversed then it is an indicator that we have taken on too much of a particular burden ourselves. We may need to delegate some of the responsibilities to others we trust.

It can also suggest we are hoarding not only the responsibilities but the successes too.

This could appear for example like not sharing the credit or any rewards earned in a team. We are being asked to unbiasedly look at our situation and delegate both the good and bad parts out in equal measure.

Another meaning of the 10 of Wands that is a more positive and modern inclusion seen throughout many reputable tarot guidebooks is that possibly the burdened man we see featured in the card’s art is almost at the end of his journey carrying the wands and can soon put them down and rest his aching body.

This suggests that some burdens and hard times are temporary and will overcome them.

“Life is honored for its blessings despite its burdens.” - Matshona Dhliwayo

Ten of Wands: Yes or No

The Ten of Wands falls into the no category when answering simple yes/no binary questions.

It implies there is a lot more to the situation that we haven’t accounted for and it may not be worth the work we are considering investing once we are aware of the pitfalls in their entirety.

Let’s Break Down the Ten of Wands In Our Lives

How the Ten of Wands advice changes in answer to different styles of questions and life situations.

Ten of Wands In Love

Receiving the Ten of Wands in a love reading at first glance may not seem like a good thing but it is actually suggesting within our relationships (both platonic and romantic) we are successfully sharing any burdens and working well together.

It can also suggest this may be the solution if there are struggles in this area.

Reversed it could suggest that one person in the relationship is taking on too much. The Ten of Wands can indicate tasks and joint responsibilities are not being divided equally and someone in the relationship is feeling overly burdened.

Ten of Wands With Money

The Ten of Wands suggests that now could be a good time to reframe our thoughts around our work and the tasks we must do to earn money. We may be in need of a perspective shift.

The Ten of Wands asks us: is there a different way we can establish this task so we find it more enjoyable?

This is not always possible but sometimes it can serve to reduce the mental friction we feel around our least favorable tasks

Reversed the Ten of Wands gently warns us not to fall into the trap of the lifestyle creep. This is the phenomenon where an increase in earnings leads to an equal increase in spending.

Putting someone at potential financial risk even if they earn more money than they used to. We are being asked to check our finances and reduce our spending if we are starting to be affected in this way.

Ten of Wands At Work

The Ten of Wands in career readings foretells a steep learning curve for the reader. This could mean taking on new roles or responsibilities that have to be mastered to a high level very quickly.

We may feel like this is too difficult for us but we are being asked to power through it to the other side. This feeling is temporary and we will feel incredibly proud of ourselves once this is over.

Reversed the Ten of Wands denotes the tendency to micro-manage. This could be by us or we may fall victim to this behavior from someone else. The advice is to try and trust others and avoid repeating this behavior.

If this is being done to us we must clearly communicate our capability and stay strong.

Ten of Wands With Others

When we receive the Ten of Wands in answer to general questions about other people this card may be advising us to consider opening up to the possibility of accepting help from others.

Our pride will to serve us here so we must swallow it and try a new approach, listening to suggestions from others and sincerely contemplating them.

Reversed the Ten of Wands warns of people pleasing behavior that can lead to taking on too much. We may be tempted to try and uphold all the commitments we made in vain but this won’t be possible.

We have to be more realistic with the limits of our time and energy.

Ten of Wands With Self

The 10 of Wands regarding our internal self can point to our habit of placing unfair and unrealistic expectations upon ourselves and then subjecting ourselves to cruel and untrue inner-dialogue when we inevitably fail to do the impossible.

In some way we have accidentally set ourselves up to fail and feel shame and disappointment when we do. We are being asked to learn how to be kinder and more patient with ourselves

Reversed the Ten of Wands is similar but denotes a total lack of trust in our ability to handle our responsibilities on our own. Instead of setting ourselves up to fail as is the case in the upright meaning above.

We are unable to even try because we feel so inadequate. We have wrongly taught ourselves to fear trying and we are convinced of our failure when in reality we may have a good chance of success and it is only our thoughts stopping us.

Ten of Wands As Feelings

The Ten of Wands feels like receiving the absolute best we could have ever hoped for along with the unforeseen worst that is intrinsically linked with it.

There can be a lot of hope, joy and pride for achieving our goals but also disappointment with the reality versus our expectation.