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The 10 of Wands Burden

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DJP  DJP is offline
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The 10 of Wands Burden


Hi,

I recently noticed how the figure in the 10 of Wands is carrying their load in THE most inefficient way possible. The same load, slung over a shoulder at a point of balance, would hardly be a burden to carry.

I can vouch for this through spending a number of years hauling stuff around a small holding.

Anyway, thought it was interesting.

Peace.
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This is an interesting observation! I tend to read the card as feeling overburdened with whatever knowledge has been learned, not necessarily actually being overburdened. Lots of things feel overwhelmingly difficult when they could be handled better. It's all about perception, and learning how to handle something that may be difficult to carry. Sometimes that knowledge may need to be put aside, other times it just needs to be properly processed (put on the shoulder, as you mentioned, instead of trying to awkwardly grasp it all).
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Hi barefootlife,

Thanks for the reply, I found it to be very insightful. Keeping the wands in mind, I suppose the card could also be a sign of using our energy (be it physical, emotional or spiritual) inefficiently, signaling a need to rebalance in some way.

But I agree with you completely on the perception angle.

Thanks again,
Dev.
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I think that after the stressful, bruising state of the 9 of Wands, the figure is still too tired to think clearly. He knows he has so many things left to do, so many goals he still has to accomplish (like in the Frost poem - but I have promises to keep / and miles to go before I sleep) that he just trudges on, expending as much force as he can just to finish the d*mn thing so he can finally rest.

And maybe that's one of the points of the 10 of Wands, that precisely because you're weary and unproductive, you may want to take a step back and rest a bit. When you feel recharged and your clarity of mind comes back, analyze the situation at hand and how you were responding to it and hopefully you'd be able to formulate a better way to tackle it. In the end, your improved efficiency would pay for the time you spent resting, and you'd end up fresher, more vital than if you didn't.
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The thing that has always struck me about this version of the card is that the man is holding the bundle of staves in front of him, so he can't really see the path ahead, or even where his next step will land. He's close to the destination and senses that he has to keep trudging forward, but I'm never really confident he's going to get there by the most direct route or in the shortest amount of time. This uncertainty may give weight to the sense of oppression ascribed to this card in some systems: overbearing force or energy (which Crowley considered "self-devouring") working at odds to one's material self-interest. I sometimes see it as a card of unremitting drudgery or blunted initiative rather than imminent relief.
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EmpyreanKnight,

Yes, that rings true, the card does have a feeling of exhausted stumbling to it.

I often forget to look at the unfolding story aspect of the minor arcana suits, so thanks for reminding me of this great tool of exploration.

Barleywine,

The drudgery angle definitely seems more prominent than imminent relief. And drudgery has to be atrociously bad for keeping energy flowing, and in the right direction.

I think EmpyreanKnight could be right, with the blindness being related to exhausted stumbling.... haven't we all been there at some point?

But it does make me wonder why wands and swords (masculine?) seem to have much harsher 10s than cups and pentacles (feminine?) ?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJP View Post
EmpyreanKnight,

Yes, that rings true, the card does have a feeling of exhausted stumbling to it.

I often forget to look at the unfolding story aspect of the minor arcana suits, so thanks for reminding me of this great tool of exploration.

Barleywine,

The drudgery angle definitely seems more prominent than imminent relief. And drudgery has to be atrociously bad for keeping energy flowing, and in the right direction.

I think EmpyreanKnight could be right, with the blindness being related to exhausted stumbling.... haven't we all been there at some point?

But it does make me wonder why wands and swords (masculine?) seem to have much harsher 10s than cups and pentacles (feminine?) ?
Possibly because the Tens represent the complete enervation of the elemental energy, which is harder for the active suits to embrace than the more passive suits, which are already part-way there much sooner? I recall that Pythagoras considered Ten a "perfect" number, but esoterically it also represents extreme departure from the purity and simplicity of the monad (Ace).
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His left foot is blocked by a rail. He is not going anywhere.

He seems trying to hide behind the fan of wands? Or he is caged in.
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Barleywine,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
Possibly because the Tens represent the complete enervation of the elemental energy, which is harder for the active suits to embrace than the more passive suits, which are already part-way there much sooner? I recall that Pythagoras considered Ten a "perfect" number, but esoterically it also represents extreme departure from the purity and simplicity of the monad (Ace).
Y'know, I'm not sure how to respond to this at the moment. But I will chew it over, thanks.

Hi foolMoon,

Is that a rail? I assumed a background detail. But if it is..... then surely a tumble is coming soon? Thanks for the input.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJP View Post
Hi foolMoon,

Is that a rail? I assumed a background detail. But if it is..... then surely a tumble is coming soon? Thanks for the input.
Hi DJP

When I saw the card this morning, it struck my mind that the line in front of his left foot might be a rail, which prevent him going forward as it seemed he couldn't possibly going forward with his visions all screened off by the heavy 10 of wands in front of him.

Depending on what card is next to it, he might escape from the moment of tumble, or fall, I would imagine.

Thank you for your interesting question - often questions are more important than answers in Tarot I feel
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