The four Tens are very special cards. Tarot has, as one of its components, numerology. In most systems of numerology, there is no actual Ten, there is only One through Nine.
The Tens, then, are both the beginning of a cycle and the end of a cycle. They relate to both the Magician and the Wheel of Fortune. We can see both those energies in these four cards.
There is a world of difference between the devastation of the Ten of Swords and the happily-ever-after of the Ten of Cups. Each Ten can be the ending of a story, but not every story has a happy ending.
The Tens can also talk about the situation into which we are born, or placed. Where we go from there is up to us.
The Tens provide a frame of reference for the Court of the Minor Arcana. If the Ten is the end of the chapter, the Page provides the lesson, and the next steps.
We can also see the Court as Higher Power, and humanity. Then the Tens become the beginning of our earthly journey.
There are a few things to think about with each of the Tens, perhaps beyond the traditional key words and interpretations.
The Ten of Swords pictures a sun, either rising or setting. Either way, a new day will come. Remember, too, that the Swords that do the damage are often simply thoughts or words that we allow to devastate us.
The Ten of Pentacles relates to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. It is associated with real estate, and with our heritage, our ancestors and our legacy.
The Ten of Cups can be happy for now or happy ever after. Either way, it describes a happy family filled with love.
The Ten of Wands may indicate a labor of love, an entrepreneurial effort or a difficult burden to carry. In any case, the outcome is likely to be successful, even though the effort is huge.
When you see the Tens in a tarot reading, take the time to squeeze as much meaning and insight as you can out of them. There’s plenty there!