Ten of Wands Tarot Card Meaning.

The pips cards of the Minor Arcana go up to ten, just like playing cards. The Tens cards represent the conclusion of each of the suits’ storylines. The suit of Wands, which deals with creativity and attributes ruled by the element of Fire, doesn’t exactly have a happy ending.

The Ten of Wands represents being overloaded, overcommitted, and struggling under a heavy burden.

About Ten of Wands

  • Keywords: Burden, stress, struggle, challenges, the need to persevere
  • Keywords (Reversed): Breaking down, running away, shirking your duties, easing some stress
  • Yes or No: No
  • Yes or No (Reversed): No
  • Element: Fire
  • Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius

The Rider-Waite-Smith tarot depicts the Ten of Wands as a man, hunched over from the weight of ten wands. He has his head down, so all he can see is the ground beneath him and the wands in his arms. We can’t see his facial expression, but, based on his posture, he doesn’t appear to be very happy or comfortable with his load.

Unfortunately for him, he also seems to be missing out on his surroundings. The background of this card shows a clear blue sky, a town, a field, and lots of lush, green trees. There are no clouds, mountains, or other symbols of trouble.

Ten of Wands Tarot Card.

This suggests that the man’s struggles are entirely self-created — if he wasn’t carrying all of these wands, he’d be able to enjoy the peace and abundance around him. Since he’s burdened himself with trying to carry ten of them at once, all he can do is hunch over, heft them up, and try not to stumble as he makes his way forward.

The town may be the man’s ultimate goal. This shows that he’s very nearly at the end of his journey. Does he have the strength to continue without dropping anything?

See also: Check out Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot decks here.

Ten of Wands Meaning (Upright)

In a general spread, the Ten of Wands represents a burden. It’s likely that you’re going through something that started out positive, but has turned out to be more than you bargained for.

You might be carrying on in the hope that things improve, or simply out of obligation.

The good news is, you’re nearly at the end of your struggle. You’ve made it this far, and there isn’t much farther to go.

Ten of Wands Meaning (Reversed)

When you see the Ten of Wands reversed in a general reading, it indicates that you’re on the verge of collapse. You may feel that you’re straining, but not really making any progress.

You also might be near the end of having to carry this burden, but lack the strength to continue. As a result, this card can sometimes represent letting go and dropping your responsibilities.

In other contexts, it may symbolize easing some of the weight off of your shoulders.

See also: Check out alternate Tarot decks here.

Ten of Wands Meaning – Love & Relationships (Upright)

For love and relationship spreads, the Ten of Wands upright represents feeling burdened by a relationship. You may have started out happy, with the best of intentions, and come to find out that you now stay out of a feeling of obligation rather than love.

You might feel tied to your partner by financial dependence, mutual assets, or children. You may also be the only person putting effort into your relationship, and feel that you’re carrying the weight of everyone else’s needs.

For single people, this card can symbolize being too overcommitted to other things to pursue a relationship right now. You might be bogged down by work, school, volunteer commitments, or family obligations to start dating.

Ten of Wands Meaning – Love & Relationships (Reversed)

If the Ten of Wands pops up reversed in a love and relationship spread, it can represent sharing some responsibilities with your partner. Usually, this is when one partner has been dealing with everything for too long, and things finally achieve a more equitable split.

Sometimes, this happens because one person begins neglecting their responsibilities, forcing the other partner to take notice and start helping out.

In other contexts, it can indicate that the relationship is a hair’s breadth from breaking up. One partner can only be the responsible party for so long. Once they tire out, what’s left to keep things going?

For single people, this card is usually a good sign. It can represent freeing yourself of some of your responsibilities, which will allow you to have a more robust social life.

See also: Check out the current top 100 Best-Selling Tarot books in the USA here.

Ten of Wands Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Upright)

In business and career readings, the Ten of Wands is crunch time. It’s what happens when businesses are short-staffed, the fiscal year is almost over, or it’s holiday season.

You may be feeling as if you’re supporting the entire company yourself, with little to no help. It can be tough to take time off, since there might not be anyone else you can trust to do your job. Hold on a little longer — this won’t last forever.

In some contexts, it can represent taking on projects or accepting promotions that seem like a good idea in the early stages, but turn out to be more demanding than you expected.

Financially, this card represents money struggles. You might be fighting to pay off all of your bills on a small income, or struggle to cover all of your family’s expenses.

Ten of Wands Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Reversed)

When reversed in a career and business reading, the Ten of Wands can hint at a bit of breathing room. You may be able to spread some of your responsibilities around, which will allow you to relax a little.

On the other hand, this card can also indicate that you’ve taken on too much and are refusing to acknowledge this or ask for help.

You might be pushing yourself to exhaustion, which won’t be good for you (or the quality of your work). It’s time to learn how to better balance your obligations before you collapse.

In a money spread, the Ten of Wands reversed is a mixed bag. On one hand, it can represent the easing of some financial burdens. On the other, it can also indicate that your finances are on the brink of collapse. Look to the surrounding cards for more context and advice.

Ten of Wands: Yes or No?

In a one-card, “Yes or No” reading, the Ten of Wands is a “No.” This is a card that’s all about weariness, burdens, and struggling onward. Chances are, you’re asking a question about something you need a reprieve from — unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely just yet. Whatever answer you’re hoping for, this card won’t give it to you.

Reversed, it’s still a “No.” The Ten of Wands is one of those cards whose meaning doesn’t change radically from its upright to its reversed orientation, so it’s interpretation in a “Yes or No” reading doesn’t change either.


The Ten of Wands is the final numbered card in the suit of Wands. It’s the end of this cycle, and the conclusion of the story. Even if it isn’t a very pleasant story, this card has important lessons and advice to give.


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