Card Meanings Rider-Waite The Tens


The tens are resolution, the end result . The keywords here are

  • 10 of Wands- burden
  • 10 of Cups- fulfillment
  • 10 of pentacles- satisfaction
  • 10 of swords- destruction


Going Deeper

10 of Wands

The 10 of  wands represents the feeling of “keep on keeping on”- the need to get a job done, despite potential reward or outcome, simply because the job itself needs to be done. Sometimes it feels like a burden. Hard work for the sake of it. There is always a reason for the hard work even if it isn’t apparent. Responsibilities and duties are also represented by this card. Best case scenario is a determination to achieve. It’s knowing that the effort is worth it.

In relationship readings the 10 of wands still indicates hard work. Sometimes it’s about the work that needs to be done on relationships like counselling or discussions and negotiations. Sometimes its work interfering with the relationship, like long hours or exhaustion compromising the integrity of the relationship. Choosing work over relationships.

In negative spread positions the 10 of wands expresses the worst of burdens- feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. Feeling alone with unavoidable duties that cannot be relieved. It can also be taking on too much, being overwhelmed with responsibilities or commitments.

As a person the 10 of wands represents someone who prioritises work over everything else, or someone who feels responsible for everything.

10 of Cups

The 10 of Cups is always a welcome sight. It is happiness, success and fulfilment. Joy and the end of a long journey. There is always a feeling of having “made it” when this card appears. This feeling is often temporary because real life keeps going on and new challenges arise. This is the “newly wed” feeling. It’s still worth celebrating because it’s what we aim for- being happy instead of being merely content.

In relationship readings it is, not surprisingly, a great card to see. It suggests the right person at the right time, the happy conclusion of any journey and a happy and successful love. This is ultimately the best card to have as the outcome to a relationship question and you can rest assured that no matter what obstacles you have to surmount to get there they will be worth it if this is the outcome.

In negative spread positions it is still worth having though it does suggest that an attachment to a “happy ending” may be blinding you to the reality of the situation. At it’s worst it suggests that this is as good as you can imagine for yourself, feeling like this is as good as it gets even if the reality of the situation is quite awful.

As a person the 10 of Cups suggests a happy and fulfilled person who can make the most of whatever situation they are in, one who always looks on the bright side or one who has achieved what they have set out to do.

10 of Pentacles

This card is also success but in a more practical sense. Rather then blissful happy love it is a more long standing contentment. The sort of happiness you get from years of companionship and camaraderie. It also suggests passing down or sharing knowledge gained. Help from family or well established friends. It is living a full life and enjoying your belongings and life as it is.

In relationship readings it suggests a wealthy or at least comfortable marriage/ partnership. Financial stability arising from your combined assets or ability to accumulate. It suggests being looked after and a dollar value being placed on what the relationship can achieve.

In negative spread positions it suggests a mercenary marriage or a  gold digger. Marrying the money instead of the person. It can, at it’s worst, suggest that family interference is affecting a love relationship, for example when the family does not approve of your choice of love. Or someone who is overly attached to their family and chooses them over their love partner. It can also suggest being trapped in a relationship because of fear of the financial repercussions.

As a person the 10 of Pentacles is someone well established in their career and life and who is comfortable with their financial position (not necessarily wealthy just happy with where they are at). It suggests an older person who has a wealth of knowledge to share and who is willing to share it (whether or not they are asked).

10 of Swords

Probably everyone’s least favourite card to see. The 10 of swords is as bad as it gets. Ruin, destruction, betrayal. There aren’t a lot of nice things to say about this card. It’s rock bottom. It’s not just about giving up but about having all your options taken away from you. At it’s worst its someone or circumstances kicking you while you are down. The only ray of light here is that this is it- they can’t do any worse to you now.

In relationship readings it is betrayal and the end. Consider a relationship with this card as the outcome as dead and buried. It is possible to bring a relationship back from this point, but it is really really hard work and you’d need to ask yourself if it was truly worth it.

In negative spread positions the 10 of swords is at it’s worst so take extra care with your safety. In positive spread positions it can indicate the ultimate in pessimism- seeing the worst in others or situations when there is no need to. It can also be fear of something bad happening. “Worst case scenario” thinking.

As a person the 10 of swords is either the ultimate “poor me”, someone who simply will not heal or move on from past hurts or the worst kind of betrayer, someone who actually goes out of their way cause hurt and pain.


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