The Ten of Wands


This is a one-card reading with the pulled card representing the present. The deck used is the Sharman-Caselli.

Notice how we have yet another Wand card *, as if the suit is haunting me, along with my current clients and all those who read this.

* other Wand cards: IV, Queen, IX, VIII, Page


  1. What is the purpose of this?
  2. Why is it happening?
  3. What is this suit, in particular, trying to say?



Think about the energy of the Wands and about what, in their journey, they are revealing:

β€’ travel
β€’ adventure
β€’ growth
β€’ venture
β€’ creative projects

Think about trees and wood and what they symbolise:

β€’ strength
β€’ grounding
β€’ permenance/endurance
β€’ stability
β€’ solitude
β€’ shelter/protection
β€’ connection _between above and below
β€’ life

Think about growth from beneath the ground, shoots emerging after winter, colour and life errupting from months of poverty. Think about giving birth to new things, creating out of nothing, building structures from hopes and dreams. Think about how the tree, after it has been turned into wood, can be used to build fires and make heat, comforting and protecting. Think about how this same wood can be used to make tools, weapons, vehicles, furniture, etc.


  1. What do trees mean to you?
  2. What does wood symbolise in your life and where does it feature?
  3. Where do you interact with, use them?
  4. What is their personality, their energy?

Exercise 1:

Imagine your favourite tree. Give it a face, a temperament, a personality and a character. Give it a name and an age. Give it a history and a background and a mini bio. Make it real, like a person. Pad it out, stuff it with details.


  1. What is this tree trying to tell you?
  2. What message can you take from it?

Exercise 2:

Imagine a loved piece of wood: an item, an object, a piece of furniture… Give it a face, a temperament, a personality and a character. Give it a name and an age. Give it a history and a background and a mini bio. Make it real, like a person. Pad it out, stuff it with details.


  1. Where does the energy and essence of it feature in your life?
  2. What does it, as a substance, mean to you?

Perhaps you have a favourite table that you sit at to work, read or eat? Perhaps you have a chair that you have cherished since childhood? Perhaps you have a fixation with collecting wooden animals, boxes, pencils, etc? Wood is everywhere but maybe you don’t see it.

I’m sitting at a wooden table now, one of several in a cafΓ© I like. I sit at this table or one similar to it most days. It’s where I go to study and write. And yet today is the first day I have noticed it’s height, width, colour, texture; the first time I have truely honoured it. It’s a lovely table: simple, solid and elegant. I feel comfortable and safe sitting behind it. For me, it represents interaction, grounding, security, connection and sustenance. When I sit here I am welcomed, waited upon, protected and part of something bigger than myself.


  1. What about you?
  2. What are your stories?

The Wands are typically associated with our hopes, goals, dreams, etc. Twinned with passion, hard work, creativity, ambition, growth on a personal level and adventure. In other words, they are all about challenge, both facing and overcoming, and learning when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’.

The ten of wands, especially, draws our attention to this, showing us a man who has said ‘yes’ far too much and who perhaps doesn’t know the meaning of ‘no’. Because of this, he is tired and no longer wishes to keep travelling.

How do you feature in this story? That is what is relevant here.



Like all cards, the Ten of Wands is two-sided. And, depending on how you read it and how it is pulled, it means very different things.

On the flip-side of the positive aspects already mentioned: aspects related to the whole suit; those below are purely related to the Ten of Wands and this card and character’s particular journey.

Specific Ten of Wands themes:

β€’ burden
β€’ struggle
β€’ exhaustion
β€’ overextention
β€’ overwhelm

If you are doing or feeling any of the above (or similar), then you are over-doing and pushing in the opposite direction to wellbeing. Be careful, therefore, of what you commit to: whether it’s shouldering all of the labour, working overtime, assuming another’s responsibility or taking on an external debt.

Make sure you make time to relax, see friends, take a walk, exercise, watch television, read, go to the cinema, etc. Things that fill you back up. This is important: you need these things for perspective so that you and others who know you can keep you on track. Very often the danger when we are wearing ourselves thin, is not that we are trapped into something that is inescapable or beyond our control to fix, but that we are unaware or unable to see/realise the situation we are in until it is far too late to A) do anything about it, or B) halt it in its tracks and we have, as a result, crashed or imploded.



We will now look at the card as a picture and independent from the suit, stepping inside the landscape and the characters to unpack the full meaning of what we are:

  1. endevouring to do
  2. attempting to avoid

The Ten of Wands shows us a man travelling through the desert with a heavy load on his back, much like as if he were a donkey. It is too much for one individual to be carrying alone and he is noticeably struggling. He has been travelling for a long time, lots of lonely months, and although there have been companions, mentors, employees… ultimately, the responsibility and task are his alone. And, because this is a journey without a specific end – there is a ‘B Point‘ with an attached desired outcome but no actual date upon which it will or must be accomplished – this is hard.

Observing, we can imagine the sweat on his brow, the perspiration on his body, the blisters on this hands and feet. We can see how weary he looks and how stooped. But even though he longs to lay down everything that was once wonderful but which has now become a blight and rest a little while before picking up and walking on, he cannot: something inside compels him to continue and he is helpless to retaliate.

It _the something that compells from inside_ is the:

β€’ tyrant
β€’ jailor
β€’ punisher
β€’ people-pleaser
β€’ performer
β€’ perfectionist
β€’ helper
β€’ healer
β€’ servant
β€’ good child

* pick the one or ones that apply to you

The man plods on, uncomplaining and compliant: feet sinking, legs resisting, heart sad. He is familiar with this sensation of being alone and of having too many things to contend with. He has felt like this his entire life, as if there is a hole inside that nothing in the world can fill – no person, substance, thing, activity – and looking to counter it, he has always said ‘yes’ when asked for help and never really said ‘no’: to do so would be to risk alienating those he needs in his life, those whose love he depends upon. He does not trust that without his generousity and openness of heart, they would still be there.

To his rear, there is a gecko/lizard – which some consider to be a salamander. And, while I would ideally like to embrace the positive energy of this creature: its message of new life, its symbolism of rebirth and renewed energy; I don’t feel guided to do so here.

To me, the gecko is more like a gremlin, whispering putdowns, muttering negatives, criticising and judging; convincing us that we aren’t old enough, good enough, clever enough or experienced enough to do the thing we desire most in the world to do. It is the reason why the man cannot stop, not even for a minute: for if he relaxes his grip, slows his pace, breaks with his steady plod… the gremlin will start screaming
…until he is entirely drained of all that remains of his inner strength and energy and thus unable to summon the will to get up and resume.

In my mind, I see him with a long, slender whip or a hot, fiery poker beating the man into submission like he is a horse or a slave.

It _the gecko/lizard_ is your:

β€’ ego
β€’ inner critic
β€’ shadow
β€’ internalised:
  β€“ partner
  β€“ boss
  β€“ mother
  β€“ father
  β€“ colleague
  β€“ friend
β€’ nemesis

* pick the one or ones that apply to you

Returning to the desert that forms the backdrop for this card, we are presented with a landscape that is dry and exposed: no shade, shelter, water or cloud cover. It is not a hospitable environment and cannot be survived, not without due care and careful planning ahead – none of which the man is able to do.

If he could, he would:

  • never have agreed to take on so much
  • stopped before:
    • his arms became full
    • he had more than he could comfortably manage
    • he started losing things that were important to hold onto

    However, despite this, he has and is still doing well. It is not a landscape for the faint-hearted. He has proved his worth. He has faced and overcome many challenges. He has done better than others in his situation might have done. Clearly, he is deserving of the rewards. It is the personal cost that’s alarming.

    It _the desert_ is the backdrop for your:

    β€’ work
    β€’ business
    β€’ home life
    β€’ love life
    β€’ family

    * pick the one or ones that apply to you

    In the distance, there is a lonely castle set upon a hill: lonely because there is nothing else for miles around. This is ‘Point B’ and although he doesn’t yet know what lies there or why it is so important that he reaches it: the man knows that it is a vital part of what he has started and fundamental to the story of his life. He has sacrificed much to get here and is prepared to sacrifice more still: whatever it takes; his dreams are that important and he believes in them that much.

    Think about the castle and what, with your ‘wands/sticks’, you are hoping to achieve.

    Think about what you envisage happening when you arrive.


    1. How will you feel?
    2. What will you see?
    3. What will you gain?
    4. What will be different from now?
    5. What will no longer be a burden?



    This card is a message to focus on the goal and to be mindful of the initial intention/challenge. It is also a memo to check and monitor your inner resources and repoint if you have gone off course.


    1. How much energy do you have right now?
    2. Do you feel like you are overextending, burning yourself at both ends?
    3. Do parts of your body ache?
    4. Is your heart cracked or broken?
    5. Is there a sadness inside you that feels like it’s coming from your soul?

    These are all important pointers towards things on inside that are no longer correctly aligned, allerting us to potential disaster before it descends.

    Perhaps you have developed a rash? Perhaps you have persistent headaches? Perhaps your left foot hurts or else your stomach is cramped? Maybe you feel tired? Maybe you feel depressed? Maybe you can no longer sleep? Whatever the case: if there is something emotional or a physical clinging to your being, something that wasn’t previously there, this is the reminder and the time to check it out.

    Don’t wait until crisis hits. Don’t wait until you are incapacitated and/or crumble. Act now and avoid detriment.



    Go back to the start. Recall what you intended. Run through it again to make sure you are clear. Check in to confirm that you are still on track, still striving in the right direction… If you are not, this is the time to modify and alter. It’s not a cause for concern; just a message to revise and repoint so as to avoid things like:

    β€’ stress
    β€’ strain
    β€’ anxiety
    β€’ exhaustion
    β€’ low spirits and energy

    Think about the reward waiting for you and how good reaching it will feel. Think about what you have had to overcome in order to arrive. Think about the lessons, experiences and people you have met along the way. Think about how much you have grown and how much you have healed. Take away the positive message of this card and focus on realigning and improving and taking more care of you. It is a message of self-love, gently alerting you to an area of lack.

    Accept the invitation to come home to yourself and you will reap the rewards when you step inside. Sometimes overexertion, exhaustion, illness due to overwork or stress, burnout and mental collapse are the ugly packages concealing the greatest gifts.



    You have read this article and found these cards today because they are meant to guide you. Honour yourself with the permission and freedom to really appreciate that.

    This means reading through the article again from the very beginning and taking the time to record not just your answers to the questions posed but also your thoughts around and in response, paying particular attention to how you feel inside, what you are currently thinking, any memories that came up and/or people you were reminded of.

    Then, looking back over these notes and the card on a regular basis to check in, using this disciplined exercise as your motivation to implement the necessary modifications and changes in your life.

    To do this:

    1. Write down the answers to all of the questions in this article, then think about how those answers apply to you.
    2. Do your own reading of the cards and compare your answers to the questions in the article to your reading of the cards.
    3. Make a list of the main points, those that strike you as important.
    4. Check back in with your notes, first daily and then weekly, to inspire change and healing in your life.
    5. Ask yourself where you need healing, help, balance and love, then commit to spending half an hour each day towards working to achieve this.


    If this article has stirred things up for you or made you realise there are things in your life you would like to resolve, please feel free to visit my contact page or email me me to discuss both these and the possibility of our working together in the future.

    Or, to book an appointment directly, see my contact page.


    To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

    To keep up to date with my progress and receive love and light in your inbox, send me your email address.

    β€’ Ask me a question or book an appointment
    β€’ Buy remedies, healing aides and helpful accessories
    β€’ Check out my Etsy shop Lemon Rose Petals πŸ‹ to see what else I do

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.