Upright: Burden, responsibility, hard work, stress, achievement
Reversed: Taking on too much, avoiding responsibility

The Ten of Wands shows a man carrying a very heavy bundle of wands or sticks. He appears to be over-burdened with the weight, yet he knows he is not far away from the town he is walking towards. This card appears to indicate someone who has just finished a harvest and is struggling to bring the fruits of his labours to the local market.

The Tens in Tarot represent the completion of a cycle, and thus with the Ten of Wands, you have reached the end of a cycle after a period of struggle. You are finally reaping your rewards after investing a lot of hard work and effort. You have fulfilled a creative venture, realised a dream or accomplished a major goal, and now must deal with the consequences of that fulfilment.
However, the Ten of Wands suggests that even with the achievement of your goal, there comes with it great responsibilities and commitments. While you have reached a point of completion, you are becoming starkly aware that you must now carry on with the responsibilities you have laid out for yourself, in order to ensure ongoing success. The trouble is, however, that these responsibilities may become too much to bear and you are struggling to let go. It is a bit like the business owner who creates a flourishing business but who is unprepared to delegate some of his/her responsibilities to the staff, and ends up working 70-80 hours a week. The inspiration and creativity that was associated with the initial goal or vision rapidly disappears, and everything becomes hard work all too quickly. Thus, it is incredibly important to let go of or delegate some of your responsibilities in order to free you up to still enjoy life.
The Ten of Wands serves as a reminder of how much we take on in our lives and all the extra burdens and responsibilities we weigh ourselves down with. We take on so much, trying to do all the things that need to be done. Thus, this card asks you to stop and examine your current lifestyle or work. Assess which activities or tasks are really urgent or really important, particularly in relation to your broader goals. You may need to employ various time management or prioritisation methods in order to determine where best to spend your time and which tasks you can drop. Your goal needs to be greater efficiency, whilst also freeing yourself up for rest and relaxation when you need it.
This card can also mean that you are being oppressed by outside sources. You are over-worked, over-tired and over-stimulated. You have more on your plate than you can possibly handle and you have taken on too much at this point in time. In an effort to get to the finish line, you have found yourself overwhelmed with the extra responsibility and activity. You need to stop working so hard. If you cannot stop, then conserve your energy and pace yourself. When you are over-committed everything becomes a strain.

Upright, the Ten of Wands reflects that you have taken on a heavy burden. Reversed, the Ten of Wands indicates that you are unnecessarily holding on to this burden when you do not need to. If you are feeling weighed down by your present circumstances, look at different ways you can lighten the load. Can you delegate certain tasks and responsibilities? Are you worrying about matters that do not concern you or cannot be changed? Do not become a martyr and take on more than you can realistically handle.
If you are going through a challenging time, then the Ten of Wands reversed indicates that this time will soon pass and you will feel less of a burden weighing on your shoulders.
You may be actively identifying those activities that do not bring you any value in your life and you are starting to release yourself from these unnecessary responsibilities. You may even be going through a purging process, clearing out old clothes and selling old furniture, in order to de-clutter and simplify your life. You will benefit from better organisation and prioritisation at this time.
Sometimes, the reversed Ten of Wands indicates that you are avoiding responsibility and making it even more difficult for others who must take on your share. Thus, the saying, “You have made your bed, now lie in it,” is very appropriate for this card.



On the Ten of Wands, we see a bent figure trying to carry ten heavy poles. They are ranged so closely in front of him that he can’t even see where he’s going. Nothing exists for this man except his burdens and responsibilities. How true this is for so many today! We take on so much, trying to do all the things that need to be done. We think that if we can hang on until the weekend (or vacation, or end of the semester) then we can finally relax. The weekend comes, and the overload continues.

In readings, the Ten of Wands can be a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard. If your days are an endless round of duties and tasks, then you need to lighten up for the sake of your health and well-being. Cut back, and take on only those activities that give you pleasure. If you love your work, but it’s all-consuming, you may be too narrowly focused in one area. Balance your life with other interests.

The Ten of Wands can also stand for times when you have to assume the lion’s share of responsibility. You may be blamed or left holding the bag. On the other hand, you may have to step forward and take charge because you are the only one capable enough. Rightly or wrongly, the cleanup will fall to you.

The Ten of Wands indicates that your life is going to be tougher than usual for a time. You will have to fight uphill for every little gain. Each step will feel like a struggle. When you see this card, be kind to yourself. Lighten the load wherever you can, and let others help you. You don’t have to handle everything yourself.


General Meaning
This suit, most often called “Wands” and sometimes called “Rods” or “Staves,” represents initiative, ambition, drive and desire. This is the suit of enterprise and risk-taking.
The Ten of this suit represents an all-out effort, an obsessive commitment to a task which demands everything you’ve got. The person shown in decks with pictures is in no position to rest until he makes it inside the stout walls of the well-defended castle in the distance. If he fails, he will become prey for the highway robbers after dark.
It doesn’t matter that he’s overloaded and underfed. With this card, you have to do whatever it takes to get to completion — nothing can be allowed to interfere.

In the Advice Position
Rediscover the idealism and optimism of your youth to reinvigorate your vision.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Ten of Wands in this position advises you to remember the true, simple heart of your youth and all the idealism it held. Now may be the time to reach deep into yourself and identify your purest, most wholesome impulses. As you do this, allow your optimistic and honorable side to see what’s good about the world.
Look beyond the challenges, setbacks, disappointments and frustrations you tend to see so easily. As you reawaken your high minded inner child, you will refresh your daily life with a joyful purpose.


Ten of Wands Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Overburdened, overloaded, responsibilities, stress, problems, weight on shoulders, duty, drudgery, obligation, saddled, restricted, burn-out, uphill struggle, taken for granted, taking on too much, delays, struggle, resistance, lost your way, lost focus, major challenges, lack of fun/ spontaneity, keep going, end in sight.

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, the Ten of Wands represents a situation that started off as a good idea but has now become a burden. It signifies problems, responsibilities, being overburdened, overloaded and stressed. It indicates that you have a huge weight on your shoulders and you feeling obligated, saddled and restricted. This Minor Arcana card can signify being taken for granted, struggle, major challenges, drudgery and duty. It suggests that you have taken on too much and may be heading for burn out. This card does however also indicate that the end is insight and if you keep going you will be successful. It can also signify delays, losing your way, losing your focus and having an uphill struggle. It can indicate that the fun or spontaneity has gone out of your life.

In a health Tarot reading, the Ten of Wands indicates that stress or burdens are having a negative impact on your health and may be physically manifesting in illness or injuries. You need to take care of yourself first and foremost. You cannot look after anyone else if your own health fails, so make yourself a priority. It can also represent your body refusing to succumb to an illness

Love & Relationships
In a love Tarot spread, if you are in a relationship the Ten of Wands indicates that you are overloaded or overburdened by the relationship. You may feel as though your partner takes you for granted, you may be carrying the full weight of the relationship on your shoulders while your partner takes a back seat and you may feel saddled with all the stress and responsibility of the relationship. This Minor Arcana card indicates that the fun and spontaneity has gone out of the relationship and has been replaced by duty and obligation making every day an uphill struggle. If you are single, the Ten of Wands indicates that the fun has gone out of your love life. You may be stressed and overburdened to the point that you don’t have time for dating or meeting someone new and excitement has been replaced by drudgery. If you want love in your life you have to make time for it!

Money & Career
In a career Tarot spread, the Ten of Wands represent stress, burdens and being overloaded. You may have bitten off way more than you can chew when this card appears in your Tarot reading. You may have taken on new projects or tasks under the impression that they would be great for your career but you now realise that you have overloaded yourself with work. You’ve lost your enthusiasm and your ability to do the job well is affected. It’s leaving you drained, irritable and exhausted. You may need to negotiate with your boss and see if you can share out some of the work or if you are the boss, you will need to consider delegating or taking on some extra staff to lighten the load. In a financial Tarot reading, the Ten of Wands represents financial burdens and responsibilities. This Minor Arcana card may signify that you may be struggling to support yourself or your family on your salary and it’s causing you stress or that you have taken on too much in terms of debt and are now struggling to keep up the repayments. Whatever the issue, you now realise that you need to sit down and work out how to get yourself out from under this burden. Meeting with a professional financial advisor and thinking about restructuring your debt might help!

In a spiritual context, the Ten of Wands suggests that you have lost your way a little bit or lost your focus. You may feel you have gone off course on your spiritual path or that the stresses and burdens of your life have taken you away from your path. Know that your path is always there and you are always being guided back to it. If you feel you have strayed simply change direction, the universe will guide you back.
Ten of Wands Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Insurmountable problems, flogging a dead horse, duty-bound, resigned to fate, too much responsibility/ stress, cross too heavy to bear, collapse, breakdown, no stamina, not up to the challenge, working hard but getting nowhere, learning to say no, off-loading, dumping, shirking duties/responsibilities, letting go.

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, the Ten of Wands reversed represents having too much responsibility and stress or a cross that’s too heavy to bear. When reversed, this Minor Arcana card can signify insurmountable problems, flogging a dead horse and working hard but getting nowhere. It suggests that you are pushing yourself so far that you are on the brink of a collapse or a breakdown. It can also indicate being duty bound and resigned to your fate or having no stamina and not being up to the challenges you are facing. Alternatively, it can represent letting go, learning to say no, off-loading, dumping and shirking duties or responsibilities.

In a health Tarot reading, the Ten of Wands reversed indicates that you may be lessening the stress or burdens that were having a negative impact on your health which should see your symptoms improve. However, on the flip side it can be an indication that you have ignored these warning signs too much and are headed for a collapse or serious illness. Again if this applies to you, you must make yourself a priority!! It can also represent your body succumbing to an illness.

Love & Relationships
In a love Tarot spread, if you are in a relationship the Ten of Wands reversed can indicate that you are offloading some of your stresses and responsibilities thus leaving room for the fun and spontaneity to come back. Your partner may be taking on more duties and sharing burdens making you closer and more connected. It can also indicate one or both of you completely shirking your responsibilities. Alternately, it can indicate that you are so overloaded with duties and stresses that the relationship is on the brink if collapse. This reversed Minor Arcana card can be a bad omen as it can indicate that you are flogging a dead horse by pushing forward in your relationship and putting lots of work in but getting nowhere. If you are single, the Ten of Wands reversed suggests that you may be offloading your burdens and stress which will give you time for dating or meeting someone new and allow more fun, spontaneity and excitement into your life.

Money & Career
In a career Tarot spread, the Ten of Wands reversed can represent reducing burdens and responsibilities or crumbling under the pressure of excessive burdens. You may be finding ways to reduce your workload when this Minor Arcana card appears reversed in your Tarot reading. Perhaps you have delegated some of your work to colleagues or employees. Perhaps you have found a more efficient way of doing things. Whatever the case, this change has brought some balance to your work life and will be much more productive and healthy for you and your career in the long run. Alternatively, the Ten of Wands reversed can signify that you have definitely bitten off more than you can chew workwise. However, rather than accept this and find a way to correct it you are digging your heals in and pushing yourself to the point of collapse. You need to recognise the problem and take steps to get it under control and reduce your workload to a manageable level. In a financial Tarot reading, the Ten of Wands reversed can indicate that you have reduced your financial burdens or that excessive financial burdens are overwhelming you. It can indicate that you have somehow gotten your financial responsibilities back to a manageable level. Perhaps you have cut up your credit cards or arranged an easier repayment plan with your lenders. Whatever the case, this is a good move as it will reduce your anxiety and bring you balance in your life. Alternatively, this Minor Arcana card reversed may signify that your financial burdens are spiralling out of control you are beginning to cave under the pressure of it all. Making yourself ill with worry will not resolve the issue. You may need to seek financial advice from a professional to help you resolve the issue

In a spiritual context, the Ten of Wands reversed tells you that you must make time for yourself. You may think you are helping others by giving them every bit of energy you have but you are heading for a serious burn out. You must put yourself first or you will be no use to anyone.