The burden of productivity: The Ten of Wands

It looks like I’ve been on a roll in getting cards I’ve drawn before during my Daily Draw — first the Three of Cups, then the Ten of Pentacles, and now this? But drawing cards you’ve used before means that now you can really look at them and think about what they mean, without the influences of surrounding cards.


The Ten of Wands shows a page — or a young man, anyway — approaching the center of town. He’s hunched over, carrying ten wands, all in bloom, in his arms — and they’re so long and heavy that it’s taking all he has to carry them. And the thing is, he can’t even see! He’s too busy carrying the wands to see where he’s going. Perhaps he can’t even peek through them to notice that he’s going too far.

My gut feel is that the Ten of Wands represents being in a creative situation but feeling stuck precisely because of how many choices they are. Too much freedom for you to execute a plan means the onus is on you, after all; if you can’t get it right you have no one to blame but yourself!

It’s like a client coming into a meeting before a major pitch, giving you the most basic brief, then setting you free. On one hand: Unbridled creativity! The chance to try new forms of media! Experimentation with form and tone of voice! But also — if you miss the mark, you miss completely. And they’ll shake their head at your presentation, see you out, and once you return you’ll sigh and plunk your head on your desk, defeated.

The Ten of Wands’ keywords are overextending, burdens, and struggle. You might be working too hard on one project — too much responsibility on your shoulders, whether you volunteered or not — or you might simply be putting all your focus on your job, to the point that you see yourself as your job, that you introduce yourself, “Hi, I’m Vera, and I work in advertising.” I’m guilty of that, personally; I do it mostly because I’m proud, but it isn’t good to define yourself solely by your contributions to the workforce, or to only be able to talk about work when you see someone again for the first time. They don’t want to know about your workplace. They want to know how you are. And that means everything about you.

The Ten of Wands means that life will be more difficult for a while — but you can’t go on that way forever. Be kind to yourself. You need to rest, not because you need to perform at your best, but because you need it. Don’t let life push you around. Put those Wands down, take a rest, then stretch and pick them up again. But only one at a time. Or put them in a knapsack and compartmentalize. Because you’re more than what you do. You always have been.

Daily draw for December 25, Friday (Christmas Day!), drawn at 7:15AM.


Listening to the cards: An interview with the Waite-Smith deck

When I woke up this morning and reached for my cards, it took me a moment to realize that I had nothing to ask them.

Yesterday was my day of crisis — or, more accurately, the other day was, and only yesterday did I understand how to deal with it. (I also realize part of the reason I was so cranky may have been that my time of the month had arrived that same day, and god, it’s the most uncomfortable feeling.) Today, however, I woke up feeling, if not refreshed, clear-headed. So what was I supposed to do?

I looked through Beth’s blog posts on spreads to try, looking for something that didn’t require me to have any big question, and found one: a spread for interviewing your deck. I’ve always raised my eyebrows at the idea of interviewing a deck — what does it have to tell you, really? — but considering the fact the Waite-Smith deck is so new, and I’m handling it with kid gloves, maybe this is what I need to make it feel like it’s mine.

The deck interview tarot spread:
1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
2. What are your strengths as a deck?
3. What are your limits as a deck?
4. What are you here to teach me?
5. How can I best learn and collaborate with you?
6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

Here goes:

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