Exploring the Ten of Wands

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Ten of Wands and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.

Introduction of the Card


The Ten of Wands is card number 31 in the deck and the tenth card of the Wands Suit in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.

Card Examples

L-w10Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.

My Analysis of These Cards

Here the cards are each different but they all share a similar feel. In the Mythic Tarot, the man looks like he’s buried under the burning wands and is very much troubled in his thoughts. In the Dragon Tarot, the dragon isn’t buried but is very much overtaxed by its thoughts. Meanwhile in the Universal Tarot, the man is struggling with the burden of his rods. I’m not sure he can even see where he’s going in that image. And in the Tarot of Dreams, it looks like the guy has just crumpled up in fear of being crushed by the wands bearing down on him. They all look overburdened, overtaxed, and overwhelmed in these cards.

Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

What this Card Means to Me

Whether we have taken on too much, been put upon by others, or a project of ours just simply got too big, this cards represents those moments of stress and maybe even hyper focus.

If it’s stress then these are the times when we begin to feel overburdened, overtaxed, overextended, and overwhelmed. If it’s hyper focus then we need to step back and run a self-assessment here. It’s too easy to burn ourselves out when we hyper focus without even realizing we’re doing it.

The stories I find myself relating to the easiest with in regards to this card are the ones about parents and parenthood. As parents we often forget that we cannot pour from an empty cup and need to perform self-care in order to be good parents. We’re not being selfish, rotten, or bad when we set that burden down long enough to rest and recharge. This is something we must do in order to remain well enough to be good parents.

The keyword I choose for this card is: OVERWHELMED.

Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.

I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!

Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

3 thoughts on “Exploring the Ten of Wands

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