I like to call the 10 of Wands "Groundhog Day". The same dynamic has been playing out over and over, with no change in sight.
A figure wearing tan tights, brown boots, and an orange tunic carries ten long staves. Their head is bowed, their back is bent under the weight of this burden. They have their back to the viewer and appear to be walking towards a house in the distance. Beside the house is a ploughed field. Trees and green grass surround the house and field. The sky is a clear blue.
Yes/No upright: No
Yes/No reversed: Yes
Amplified by: Page of Wands
Amplifier for: Page of Wands
Zodiac/Element: Saturn in Sagittarius
Dates: 13 December to 21 December
Traditional name: Oppression
Traditional meaning: A card of many significances, and some of the readings cannot be harmonized. I set aside that which connects it with honour and good faith. The chief meaning is oppression simply, but it is also fortune, gain, any kind of success, and then it is the oppression of these things. It is also a card of false-seeming, disguise, perfidy. The place which the figure is approaching may suffer from the rods that he carries. Success is stultified if the Nine of Swords follows, and if it is a question of a lawsuit, there will be certain loss. Reversed: Contrarieties, difficulties, intrigues, and their analogies.
TarotCraft Upright Meaning
The 10 of Wands in the Rider-Waite deck is a stage card. As with all the stage cards, it's helpful to think about how you need to "act" or what part you need to play to achieve the optimal outcome.
(What is a stage card? Look at the bottom area of the card. There is a flat platform with a narrow double line at the back. The character in the card carrying the staves stands on this platform. The rest of the picture looks like the backdrop of a theatre.)
You might be acting the part of a martyr or be afflicted with false reasoning (or dealing with someone who is). Perhaps you think you need to be all things to all people, do everything yourself, or that perfection must be achieved at any cost.
Self-punishment can be indicated, or someone going not just the extra mile but the extra ten miles. All while carrying a burden instead of putting it down, taking it in smaller loads, or asking for help.
I like to call this card "Groundhog Day", with the same dynamic playing out over and over and over, expecting things to change, but nothing does.
This is an amplifier card for the Page/Princess cards generally, but specifically for the Page of Wands. An amplifier card is a card that underscores the meaning of the cards it is related to. If the 10 of Wands and the Page of Wands come up in a reading, in addition to its own meaning, it's letting you know that the Page of Wands has a very important message.
One of the titles of this card is Lord of Oppression. The astrological correspondence is Saturn in Sagittarius. This combination indicates focusing on something with all your might until it's completed, which is a two-edged sword. You can be so focused on what you are aiming for that you don't see alternatives, or you don't pick up the signs that you need to put down the burden, or even backtrack and try a different way.
Saturn brings limitation and restriction, so it's worth asking yourself if you have unnecessarily limited your options or face the fact that you are dealing with restrictions out of your control. This correspondence also brings a focus on facts and education, so don't forget to check in with your emotions and spiritual needs, too.
TarotCraft Reversed Meaning
In questions of luck, law, or love, a loss is indicated. You are also advised to be wary of deception. People may not be as they appear. Expect false friends and those who would delight in your destruction to be around you. You're not paranoid if they really are out to get you.
When negatively aspected or reversed, the 10 of Wands can indicate deliberate cruelty, malice and enmity. If this card appears after success has been achieved, it can mean a regression or reversal of that good fortune.
TarotCraft Gift, Invitation, and Challenge
You have the focus and stamina to achieve your goals right now. The end is in sight so press on!
You are being invited to consider a different way of doing things. Your efforts to date have not given you the results you want, so go back to the drawing board and look for other options.
As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Even though you are facing difficulties and may not get the big win you are hoping for in the short term, it’s worth regrouping and finding a new way to tackle the problem at hand.
Go forward to Lesson 203.00 Introduction to The Suite of Cups
Go back to Lesson 202.09 - The 9 of Wands