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The Ten of Wands - Recognising Overload in the Tarot

Hit play below to listen to an audio lesson, or scroll down to read the lesson in text form.

The Ten of Wands is a card about recognising when you are overloaded.

To give you a bit of context whilst you reflect on your own relationship to the card, here are a few key things to know about the Ten of Wands:

The Ten of Wands is the rare tarot card that leaves very little to the imagination. A quick glance at this card - in the Rider Waite Smith version, anyway, tells you everything you need to know about its’ theme: overload. The sole image in the RWS version of the card is a figure, back bent and face pressed into a massive bushel of wands they are carrying. The wands are cumbersome, totally obscuring the figure’s sightline and potentially threatening to trip them, too. You can tell the load is heavy based on the figure’s stopped, bullish posture.

Simply put, this is a card about taking on too much. More than that, it’s a card about recognising when you’ve taken on too much of good things. The wands, after all, represent our passions, or creativity, and our spiritual pursuits. But even the things we care about - even the things that make us feel alive and excited - maybe because they make us feel alive and excited - can become a burden if we say yes to more than we can handle at any given time.

Rather than overwhelm you with additional symbols or potential interpretations, the card’s straightforward illustration gives you the chance to make this hard-to-admit realisation, and for that reason, I think it’s actually one of the most compassionate cards in the whole deck. It says what it means and it tells you what you need: less weight on your shoulders, viewer blocks to your vision. End of story.

In your tarot journal, you’re asked to reflect on what this card means to you, now, in this moment, and what actions and thoughts it inspires in you. As you journal, pay attention to what you’re personally picking up in the card, but also consider what the key theme in the card might be telling you. Where are you overloaded? How can you adjust the weight you’re carrying? Where do you need to flat-out lay something down by the side of the road and move on from it, no matter how hard that feels? What might you gain by reducing the weight you carry?

This mini-tarot lesson was brought to you by me, Chelsey Pippin Mizzi, founder of Pip Cards Tarot. I hope you gained a little context to help you continue reflecting on the card in your own way, and I’ll see you tomorrow for another mini-lesson.


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