Lots Of Irons

Juggling many responsibilities seems to be the norm for many of us. After all, we’re supposed to be fulfilling lots of roles — professional, familial, etc. The Tarot has a card for that. The 10 of Wands. The picture shows a guy carrying a bunch of wands (10, to be exact) down the road, away from the viewer. Take a look at the picture.10w

The usual meaning given this card is generosity, if well positioned, versus burdened, if not. How many times have we shown what looked like generosity when it actually seemed a burden? You know, gracious on the outside; resentful on the inside. Happens often enough, I’d guess, when we have a split between our inner and outer manifestations in response to a situation. For instance, “Sure I’d be happy to help you carry your sofabed down the stairs,” versus “Oh, man, what have I gotten myself into?”

When it is looked at carefully, this dichotomy seems a natural interpretation for the card. In the Tarot, tens are related to the sphere of manifestation (Malkuth) on the Tree of Life. This sphere is the material world, plain and simple. However, Wands are associated with the most abstract of the elements, Fire. Combine the two and it’s small wonder that there is this split in the meanings of the card. It’s like the universe is coming at this situation from two directions at once.

I think that one lesson to be drawn from this card is to be in integrity. When being generous, be generous. If burdened, see what has been done to bring this about. Misplaced or insincere generosity, perhaps? Is there a way to feel generous for one’s ability to accept the burdens that come along? Maybe this card even helps us learn when to say “No.”