Ten of Wands Tarot Card Meaning

When the Ten of Wands is pulled, the implication is that a vast amount of responsibility has been thrust onto you, albeit voluntary or otherwise. This can happen if you are trying to achieve certain goals and may hinder you in the long run. The Ten of Wands can impact all areas of your life and must be dealt with swiftly.

Illustration Credit: Raphael Arar

Element: Fire

Planet: Saturn

Astrological Sign: Sagittarius

Key Dates: December 13 through December 21

Visual Elements and Symbolism

In the Rider-Waite deck, the Ten of Wands depicts a haggard man on a journey to a village that is a good distance away. We get a sense of how far the man still has left to travel as the size of the village is vastly smaller than the size of the man, indicating that the village is far off. Under normal circumstances, the man would be able to get to the village fairly easily, without the journey taking its toll on the man. However, the Ten of Wands shows the man is being hindered by the ten awkwardly shaped wands he is holding. These wands are also depicted as being held in front of the man, rather than to the side or on his back. This is significant because the wands can obstruct his vision, making it harder for him to see his end goal. Despite the negative connotations, there is hope as the man is still standing and persevering.

The Ten of Wands Card as a Person

The Ten of Wands typifies someone who is highly dedicated to achieving their goals, though they can have a tendency towards perfectionism and biting off a bit more than they can chew. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for this person to be considered the go-to person by others, especially family, as they are often putting their own needs on the back burner in order to take care of others.

This person may not realize they are taking on the world because it serves as a distraction from addressing their own needs. Eventually, this can lead to the person experiencing burnout, either in their career or their personal relationships. There comes a point in time when the Ten of Wands person must learn to set healthy boundaries so that they can rediscover themselves and achieve true happiness. Failure to do so can have a direct impact on the person’s physical and mental well-being.


The Ten of Wands Upright

As the picture of the man on the card indicates, an upright Ten of Wands suggests an overwhelming number of responsibilities, causing someone to be so engrossed in doing for others that they fail to reach their own goals.

Love and Relationships

Lately, you feel like you and your significant other have been drifting apart. You’ve spread yourself so thin taking on other people’s problems that you haven’t had the time, nor the energy, to devote to your relationship. Before throwing the towel in and calling it quits, you can still turn things around. Commit to having at least one date night each week with your partner and rediscover all of the reasons why you fell in love with them.

If you find yourself thinking that you don’t have time for a significant other and choose a single life, chances are you have taken on too many responsibilities and may be avoiding relationships altogether. Humans are meant for deep, personal connections with other humans so take some “you time” and explore new possibilities.


Like most of us, when you chose your career path you did it based on some desire for the job. At this point, you may find yourself second-guessing your career, or having negative feelings about it. Before making any major decisions about a new career, consider whether or not you have taken on more than what you are actually responsible for.

Now is the time to start setting boundaries at work. You are only responsible for your own tasks and when you can focus on those, you’ll be able to excel in your role and rediscover why you chose the career you have.


Feeling like you can barely make ends meet can be stressful and cause lots of unnecessary anxiety. Take some time to go over your finances. Creating a budget can help you see exactly where your hard-earned money is going and even show you some areas that you can cut back on. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that monetary wealth and the accumulation of material things will not make you any happier. The flashing moment of joy you get from spending money is merely temporary and not a solution.


All of the responsibilities and commitments you’ve taken on are beginning to have an effect on your health. Stress and anxiety can lead to poor sleeping and eating habits. Long-term, this can cause you to develop some very serious diseases and even shorten your life span. While setting healthy boundaries is the first step in reducing your perceived responsibilities, you should also be sure to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Taking a walk outside when the weather is nice can help provide much-needed exercise, especially if your career is more sedentary.


The Ten of Wands Reversed

The Ten of Wands reversed shows that you are experiencing a period of procrastination and little to no motivation. You’ve gone from actively being engaged in your responsibilities to avoiding them and putting them off.

Love and Relationships

You’ve been struggling to stay connected to your partner. More often than not, you feel like you are two totally different people and that you are misunderstood. You may even find it difficult to be in the same room as your partner.

Now is the time to really evaluate the relationship. Talk to your partner about your feelings and see if a healthy resolution can be reached. Be prepared to close this chapter of your life if it’s what is best for all involved.


You feel burnt out in your career and may be looking for a change. If you are in a position to delegate some of your duties, do so. In order to feel good about your career, it’s important to feel successful. You can only do that when you are performing at your best.


Your financial situation is beginning to spiral out of control. You’ve likely used a good bit of credit cards and racked up some heavy debt. On one hand, you want to be able to enjoy the things you work hard for, but the stress you’ve allowed yourself to be under lately is taking its toll. You’re using frivolous spending on material things to feel better. While you may feel better at the moment, you’re contributing to your anxiety. Now is a good time to evaluate your goals and take proactive steps to make them happen.


It’s easy to feel that you don’t have time for doctor appointments and other forms of self-care, however, neglecting your health will only lead to serious problems down the road. You’re already experiencing anxiety and probable poor sleep. It is imperative that you make time to address both your physical and mental well-being.


Your Past, Present, and Future

Seeing the Ten of Wands in the past position signifies difficulties in accomplishing things you wanted to do. You’ve allowed negative thoughts and self-doubt, and possibly even some childhood trauma to prevent you from accomplishing your goals. Remember, your past does not define your future. You still have time to make positive changes.

A present Ten of Wands speaks on feelings of being stuck and unable to move forward. The only way to propel yourself to the next step is to try doing things differently. Einstein once said that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

A future Ten of Wands is warning you of self-sabotage. The actions, or inactions, you are taking now directly impact your future. Take a step back and look at where you want to be ten years down the road and whether or not your current actions support that.

Important Card Combinations

As a minor echo card of the Judgement, Wheel of Fortune, and Fool cards, the Ten of Wands signifies plentitude.

Ten of Wands and Judgement

Unfortunately, you have some heavy responsibilities that can’t be changed right now. The combination of the Ten of Wands and Judgement means that this period will last for a while. Take precautions to protect your physical and mental health during this period.

Ten of Wands and Wheel of Fortune

Finally, positive change is coming. Savor this period in your life. Remember, you can only experience the good by going through the bad.

Ten of Wands and Fool

You’ve been struggling with an issue for quite some time. Luckily, this period is coming to an end as you realize that the issue was never really an issue to begin with. When we choose to focus on the negative aspects of a situation, we often lose sight of the positive.

Ten of Wands: Yes, or No?

The Ten of Wands represents heavy burdens, deep struggles, and chaotic feelings. It can have serious impacts on all aspects of your life.

Your only answer is an emphatic no.