Tens — New Cycle
Mastery / Wholeness / Overburden / Defeat
Descendants of The Wheel of Fortune, pulling a ten is either a sign of good luck, or an omen for bad fortune.
Overview of the Tens
I think of the tens as a capacitor in electronics. A capacitor is built of two parallel plates facing each other, one building a positive force-field, the other a negative force-field. When the fields get big enough they touch. When they touch a spark of electricity is produced thus neutralizing the fields and reducing them to nothing. The force fields then have to build their energy back for another spark to occur.
After this long journey through all the numbers we’ve built up this great and powerful “force-field”. Upon completion (neutralization), we get what we were after (the spark), and have to start all over again. The only difference between that analogy and what the Tarot refer to when starting over is that the new cycle is built on top of what you have learned. So it is not (necessarily) starting over from scratch. The tens foreshadow taking a new path, one more difficult or just different from the last.
“As the aces were the pure, elemental spark of the suit, the tens are the element of the suit complete, both physical and spiritual. These cards are about what completes that turn of the wheel, getting it back to ‘1’ and yet carrying with it all that it has experienced through those other numbers on its way round the circle.” 3
Comparing and Contrasting the Tens
The Ten of Pentacles and Ten of Cups are indicative of completion. For the Pentacles, to know a skill from the inside-out, means you are capable of becoming a professor or professional in the talent. The Cups are about those “perfect” relationships where everyone fits together and knows how to work cooperatively, even if they don’t get along on every level. The whole picture comes together and suddenly matters related to these cards become relatively trivial matters. The Ten of Wands and Ten of Swords look at this from the other perspective: what I am not capable of, what I could not achieve. The Wands are about being overburdened and taking on too much, whereas the Swords are about being pushed to the edge—into a mental rut. With the Wands, you are overwhelmed by external forces with other people or environments pressing down on you all at once. The Swords are focusing more on the belief in yourself and how you fair through the situation overall. Wands are more of external influences, Swords are more of internal influences.