YET another card thats just , comically appropriate to have been sitting out on my desk over the holiday over which it sat there ... one thing the tarot is constantly trying to show me is you gotta have kind of a sense of humor about this stuff . you set em up and the tarot is gonna knock em down . anyway
ten of wands ... the Colman Smith drawing has a guy with a bent back , carrying a big unweildy bundle of sticks toward a town on the horizon . side note , i always kind of wondered about the specific shape of the bundle ... like it doesnt really look like a bunch of sticks , it looks like a weird ... fan shape , with this really small point near the bottom where they all cross over each other ... what the heck is that shape ? is it like , a known signifier to her that means something in context ? its one of the cards that really makes me wonder how much stuff is in her drawings thats not in waite's book . so but this dude is schlepping his sticks home , and it sucks , theyre really heavy and stuff , and so basically "youre the dude and you have too many sticks," and the sticks are responsibilities , or a mature creative project , or whatever you want . stuff you're carrying . often its read like ... youre carrying enough , or too much even , or that its time to put down some stuff . its the end of the journey of the wands , the suit of elemental fire , the "spark of life," starting with inspiration , creative impulse , and moving through the whole life cycle of the art process to here , the "its done" moment , when its time to let go , quit tweaking , drop the brush , let the piece live on its own .
all the tens are kind of "ending/beginning" cards - a combination of a 1 and a 0 , the end of one cycle and the pause before the next . the X card in the major arcana is the wheel of fortune , with mirrored echoes on either side at XX (the last judgement) and 0 (the fool) . finality , liminality , cyclic nature ... now we're getting to why this was such a funny card to have out for new years . its a bit on the nose , to be honest , but thats kinda tarot ... it can be pretty blunt , which is one of the things i like so much about it . i like how it applies to the year digits too , like 2020 was a "zero in the ones place" year , just like all the cards we just mentioned , technically the last year in the "decade" starting with 2011 (a unit i'll call the "pedant's decade.") another side note , i was just talking with a friend about this - remember how around this time year ago everyone was talking about the new decade so much ? like for a couple months "2020" had this whole other significance ... and it feels so forgotten and distant now . in a way i kind of feel like the pedants were on to something , like , i definitely feel more like im in tune with what the next decade has in store now than i did this time last year . altho i also know im still carrying some of that stuff from last year , plans and expectations and hopes , hurriedly tucked away in early springtime , just until things blow over ...
i think a lot of us can relate to the idea of leaving this year with a burden ... some heavier than others . its funny the way this comes around again and again ... like researching this post one of the things i found was a blog post from around new years 2016 , of somebody being like "woof, what a year, am i right ???" the same way im doing right now . i dont know , i wanna be clear here that im absolutely not trying to say anybody is "responsible for their own suffering" at the hands of a violent state , in a collapsing climate , in a global pandemic leveraged to kill . the ten of wands is about burdens you take upon yourself , and thats fully insufficient to describe what many are leaving this year with . but still , improbably , we're standing at the beginning of a new year ... kind of , in that weird arbitrary disembodied way of the gregorian calendar . if that can be some kind of opportunity , to put a button on anything that might need buttoning , to put some sticks down ... idunno , i'll take it . here's looking forward , finally , to a new decade