While the Nines mark peak moments and contemplation, the tens complete the suit with a brooding restless energy.
This energy is heaviest in the two active suits Wands and Swords, whereas in the passive Cups and Pentacles all looks happy and positive on the surface.
Looking deeper, change is in the air. Whether the scene is positive or challenging, transition and movement are inevitable.
Ten symbolises completion as reflected in the ten commandments found in the Old Testament and the ten Sephirot on the Kabbalah Tree of Life.
The metric measurement system is based on ten, and time is measured in decades (ten years) and centuries (10 x 10 years).
In the Tarot, Ten is linked to the Wheel of Fortune, indicating a continuous cycle, ending and new beginning.
The numbers 1 and 0 are also linked to the Magician and the Fool suggesting infinite potential.
In a reading, the Tens can indicate the need for closure or necessary change.
Other meanings include:
Completion of a cycle, result, regeneration, release, responsibility, consolidation; new direction or re-commitment; purpose.
A classic 10-card tarot spread is the Celtic Cross, and many different versions of it can be found on the internet.
Ten of Wands – burden, difficulties, responsibilities, oppression
Esoteric Title: The Lord of Oppression
Astrological Attribution: Saturn in Sagittarius – in the Major Arcana, Saturn is linked to The World – carrying the world on your shoulders; change is required to create balance
Interpretation: awareness of self-limitations; bogged down; discipline and self-reliance create suffering; sense of duty; not sharing responsibilities; not delegating, trying to do it all on your own; lack of resources, feeling overwhelmed but carrying on
Man supporting building on his shoulders – heavy weight, burden
Surrounding fire – urgency of situation to free himself of oppression, precarious situation
Red / orange colours – element fire, high energy
Ten of Cups – emotional contentment, harmony, fulfilment, wholeness, optimism
Esoteric Title: The Lord of Perfected Success
Astrological Attribution: Mars in Pisces – happy families, or are they? Something may be brooding underneath the surface; dormant volcano; beware of challenging times ahead;
Interpretation: feeling blissful and at ease; content with yourself and present situation; as good as it gets; commitment; feeling secure; close-knit family; count your blessings; gratitude
Swans – linked to Pisces (also see Knight of Cups)
Water – feelings and emotions
Lake – calm water
Signets – responsibility, unconditional love
Flowers in water – happiness, beauty
Ten of Swords – ending, exhaustion, resignation, failure, disillusion
Esoteric Title: The Lord of Ruin
Astrological Attribution: Sun in Gemini – new beginning, new life, new opportunity, birth, resilience, survivor spirit, looking at the bright side.
Interpretation: drawing a line, close the chapter, it can’t get any worse; devastated; ruin; shattered (dreams); giving up; acknowledging it’s the end of a situation, time to take a new direction.
Graveyard – endings, finality
Sunrise – new beginning, new dawn
Church ruin – something broken
Castle in distance – new goal, direction, possibilities
Ten of Pentacles – permanence, tradition, family, prosperity, wealth, establishment
Esoteric Title: The Lord of Wealth
Astrological Attribution: Mercury in Virgo – good organisational skills, nurturing a network of friends/ family / support, being established as an influencer / speaker / advisor, clever with money and long-term investments
Interpretation: investing time and energy to gain in the long-term; family heirlooms, inheritance, financial security, family support; legacy; status, privilege
Fireplace – warmth, luxury
Seasonal decorations – family gathering for festivities; traditional celebration; timing of card is winter
The decorations on display also symbolise values and aspirations with regards to money, home, family and work
You can view all images of the Tarot of Quotes in the Gallery.