10 Of Wands - The Weight Of Responsibility

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2 years ago

The 10 of Wands tarot card represent carrying a heavy burden, being overloaded, or taking on too much responsibility. It can feel like you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, but the good news is....you're only a few steps from the finish line! You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and all the hard work and effort you've put in will soon pay off.

Wands, rods, or staves are one of 4 suits in the Minor Arcana, and correspond with the suit of clubs in a traditional playing card deck. The suit of wands is associated with the element fire of theĀ 4 elements and represent a fiery intensity and inner drive to succeed. There is a strong masculine characteristic to this suit, which means competition and courage will be obvious in many Wand tarot readings. A desire to be heard, acknowledged, and praised all correspond to the suit of wands in tarot.

10 Of Wands Meaning & Description

In the 10 of Wands we see a young man laboring to carry a large bundle of sticks to a nearby town, assumedly his destination. The way he trudges toward town carrying the wands look like a real struggle. It almost seems as if he's having to walk uphill, or wading through thick mud, despite the ground being flat and level. There's no doubt that the man knows there's only a short distance left, and I bet he's keeping the town constantly in his field of vision to help him press on.

Smith Waite Tarot Deck

There's something interesting about the 10 of Wands that I'm having difficulty trying to understand. On each of the 10 wands, there are 3 small branches or sprouts or leaves growing off of them. The number 10 symbolizes the completion of a cycle, or coming to the end and beginning the new. The number 3 is universal, and also reflect a triad of beginning, middle, and end. I wrote about the significance of the 3, 6, and 9 numbers here in extensive detail.

I just don't know how to make sense of it when it comes to the wands and the sprouts. Do the wands represent the heavy burden that's about to be relieved once he reaches town, and the sprouts/leaves symbolize the coming reward he will soon receive? For the amount of effort that was put into completing this task, will he receive a reward that's 3x greater?

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and feelings about what the sprouts/leaves mean to you. What do you see or feel when you look at the wands? What areas of the 10 of Wands stuck out to you that I overlooked? Let's have a conversation! :D

10 Of Wands Keywords


  • Struggle

  • Responsibility

  • Burden

  • Overloaded

  • Challenge

  • Obligation

  • Willpower

  • Stress

  • Determination

  • Discomfort


  • Overworked

  • Burn Out

  • Spread Too Thin

  • Over Extended

  • Biting Off More Then You Can Chew

  • Release

  • Letting Go

  • Breakdown

  • Treading Water

  • Inability To Delegate

10 Of Wands Upright

Dreaming Way Tarot Deck

The 10 of Wands upright can indicate that you've got quite a bit on your plate, and the additional responsibility is beginning to weigh you down. The extra workload and expectations that have been placed on you (by others, or yourself) are wearing you down, and are starting to affect the other areas of your life. The weight and struggle you could be experiencing with the 10 of Wands upright is only bearable because it will be over soon! You know you're just a few feet from gold and you're effort will soon be rewarded.....just a little more digging. Stay focused on your goal and keep it at the front of your mind. This is what will give you the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Be aware of exactly what you're signing up for before saying "yes" to everyone that asks for help, or needs a favor. The increased work and heavy burden may be self inflicted if you can't learn to say no and prioritize your time and energy. Decide what's most important, and make that your main objective. There is a difference between being effective, and being efficient. There's no need to create additional work or tasks for yourself for the sake of being 'busy' or preoccupied. Stay focused on your goal and seeing it to fruition. Once you've reached your destination you can cast off the weight you feel from the heavy workload and responsibility you've taken upon yourself.

There's something to keep in mind regarding the 'weight' of the burden being carried in the 10 of Wands upright. Once the young man reaches town and can finally put down the large bundle of wands to take a rest, he stills need to sell or distribute them. Often times when we take on greater responsibility and reach our destination it leads to further responsibility of managing and maintaining that position. Purchasing a home means taking care of the yard and maintaining the house. Getting a promotion means additional pay but further attention to detail and greater responsibility. Finding a partner means companionship but requires the necessary effort of maintaining harmony in the relationship. Understand that there's more to oversee and manage once we've "arrived".

10 Of Wands Reversed

New Palladini Tarot Deck

The weight and burden found in the 10 of Wands reversed is like a literal ball and chain around your ankle. A monkey on your back that serves no other purpose than making life difficult and arduous. The 10 of Wands upright represent a necessary burden or responsibility that you recognize has to be done, and pushes you closer to your goal. This type of 'weight' is actually lighting a fire under your butt, driving you forward, and keeping you on track.

The 10 of Wands reversed present an internal struggle, or a trauma your holding onto and just can't let go. You could be purposefully taking on more work and responsibility in order to distract yourself from the real problem. You may be experiencing emotional fatigue right now while you hold this weight inside without an outlet. Reach out to a best friend, relative, mentor or partner who you trust. The Queen of Pentacles I wrote about a few days earlier would be a PERFECT example. This person would be more than happy to listen and help carry some of that 'weight'.

Don't view asking for help as being a burden someone else, and prevent you from seeking assistance. I rarely bring up things that are bothering me or have a deep impact in my life for this exact reason. I fear of being a burden to someone I care about, because I view myself or my problems as unimportant. Your problems aren't any less important than mine or anyone else's, no matter who you are. If it's important to you, then it's important! George Herbert said: "None knows the weight of another's burden.". Allow someone to help shoulder and share a bit of the weight before you burnout or implode.

10 Of Wands Love

Mystic Mondays Tarot Deck

You've got a lot on your mind, and maybe a heavy heart when receiving the 10 of Wands love card in a reading. If you're in a relationship this can look like being taken for granted, or taken advantage of. You and your partner aren't on the same wavelength and you could be feeling like the things you say just fall on deaf ears. It might feel like you're the one holding the relationship together, carrying all of the weight and responsibility.

Your partner should be someone you can rely on and who will help shoulder some of that weight. A partnership consists of two people working together for a shared purpose or goal. Identify what's making you feel like the relationship is so heavy and difficult, then have an open and honest discussion with your other person. They will be sure to understand, and it will further strengthen and solidify the relationship!

Being single and receiving the 10 of Wands love card suggest that you have plenty on your mind at the moment, but love and romance are being pushed to the side. You may be feeling overwhelmed by the pressures and responsibility you've taken on, leaving little or no time to pursue a love interest. There may also be a sense of 'unworthiness' or lack of confidence about finding a potential partner because of the 'baggage' you think you'd be bringing into a new relationship. If you don't love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?!??! You're only a few steps away from 'town' (potential partner), but you need to unload the weight of any limiting beliefs and doubt you have about yourself or finding love.

10 Of Wands Money

Morgan Greer Tarot Deck

The 10 of Wands money meaning is pretty tough all around. Whether it's work or finances, you may be feeling like the walls are closing in. When looking at the 10 of Wands in a career sense it can look like climbing the ladder and taking on more and more work and responsibility.

When you started this work you were unencumbered and excited about the journey, but over time you started picking up a 'wand' here and there. All of a sudden you realize you've got 10 wands (high work load, management responsibility, additional hours at work) on your back, and the weight is becoming unbearable. It's time to speak up and ask for some help! Speak with your boss about delegating some of the responsibility, or find other coworkers who would be willing to help carry some of the workload. Not only will this relieve some of the pressure you feel, but it will make you more effective on the tasks that are really important!

Are you feeling trapped by mounting debt or biting off more than you can chew with car, home, student loan payments, or maxed out credit cards? The 10 of Wands money meaning indicate a financial burden that's causing a tremendous amount of stress and frustration. Sit down and take a deep dive into your budget, identifying areas of 'excess' and ways of cutting down frivolous expenses. This will begin to ease your mind and get you back on track. Consider reaching out to a financial professional, or asking someone you know with wise money management skills to help. Their advice can help you come up with new ideas to unburden yourself from this financial constraint.


What do you think about the 10 Of Wands? Are you carrying a burden that's slowing you down or making life difficult? How do you manage additional responsibility without burning out? Do you see the finish line in front of you, or do you feel like you're never going to 'arrive'? Let's talk about it!

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