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How to Read the Tens Tarot Cards

Learn how to read the Tens tarot cards from expert Ellen Goldberg, M.A. in this Howcast video.


Hello, I'm Ellen Goldberg, and I welcome you to a tarot moment from the School of Oracles. In this segment we're gonna look at an overview of the tens of each of the suits of the Minor Arcana. The tens are a comeuppance of the suit. They belong to Malkuth and they are a reflection right back, they're the very bottom of the tree of life and they reflect back to the aces life on planet Earth. The tens are alternately easy and difficult in their meanings, just like life is right here on our planet. We start with what Dion Fortune calls the most spiritual of all the tens, the Lord of Oppression. Because the spiritual will sometimes seem corrosive and difficult on the outer plain when really they're teaching us a very important lesson. Sometimes, in order to make the ascent, because Malkuth, the Kingdom, is the place of the turn-around where we start our ascent up the tree and you need to gather pressure in order to make a leap. The Lord of Opression has a nickname, it's called the Big Squeeze. The Big Squeeze is when life becomes so pressure-full and intense that there's nowhere else to go but inward and upward. He's carrying these wands of his own volition. The astrological attribution of this card is Saturn in the sign of Sagittarius. Saturn, the Karmic teacher, and the sign of the completion of the great work, and here is the pressure we need in order to make that leap. On the higher polarity know that you don't have to carry the burden alone. You can ask for spiritual help in the burden.

It's also learning to pressures that the Big Squeeze is applied to you and we know that there is an awful lot of responsibility, but you can manage it. On the lower polarity, one doesn't handle it very well at all and perhaps you are crushed by it. Perhaps there has been so much that someone has taken on, they thought it would make them happy, and they've taken on all the wrong things and they're feeling the burden of it way too heavily. The ten of Cups, well this is one of the most beautiful cards in the deck. It's Mars in Pisces, which one might think is a very odd astrological attribution, such a fiery planet in the sign that is oceanic. Pisces, the fish. Normally we would say Mars is not very well placed in Pisces, but here in a spiritual sense it is because it's-, Mars is the Kundalini and Pisces is spiritual and it's the raising of the Mars force for spiritual creativity. We see the rainbow of hope. We see a couple, our old friends the self-conscious and the subconscious are joined together. Think of them not as one-two people, but as one person, because together the two arms raised as such, are making a magical sign called the sign of Typhon which means "materialize." And it shows how the projection of a complete idea can become materialized in your life. This card says raise the Kundalini, use creative visualization, project your idea outward because it promises fulfillment and happiness of the entire heart. On the lower polarity it may be that you're living the good life but you're really not getting anything from it. It doesn't include spirituality so it's the good life for whatever it's worth or perhaps the whole meaning of life has eluded you and you've missed the point. The ten of Swords is called the Lord of Ruin and it's astrological attribution is the Sun in Gemini. This card is often misunderstood by people who take it as a card of disaster, maybe a card of violence, and yet that might appear on it's lower polarity. Remember, these cards were created by two people who were members of the Order of the Golden Dawn, and here in this card we see a golden dawn appearing after a dark night is passing. And notice the hand gesture of the person lying on the ground. That hand gesture is the same gesture that the hierophant uses. What you see is not all there is. There is a mystery here. This card is the dawning of awakening. It is the shadow that is laid to rest here and this is a card of consciousness dawning and dealing after-, with a higher state of being after the dark night has passed. Certainly the swords appear to be going right up the spine and awaking the Chakras. There's a mystery in loss.

Some of it leads to a new cycle and is necessary and I think the loss on the higher polarity is the loss of your illusions and having met the dweller on the threshold very successfully. On the lower polarity, anything bad that anyone has ever said about this card applies. It is the logic of lunatics. It is the mind run wild. It is ruin and whatever you're reading about is going to meet a very difficult state. The last card in the entire series of the small cards of the Minor Arcana is the ten of Pentacles. And so you see that they've drawn it in a very special way. It's called the Lord of Wealth. The Lord of Wealth-being sometimes, the Lord of Wealth is it's more official term and it is Mercury in Virgo. Another placement where they say Mercury is exalted. Notice the ten pentacles are arranged exactly as the Tree of life. Here we have everything and all of the characters together. There is such well-being. There is the hermit, the wise old man of meaning, there is the man and the woman that we have seen, the emperor and the empress, the magician or high priestess, but there they are along with the wisdom child. Notice the two dogs. Dogs are a symbol of spirit, of Logos. And the hermit, he has his hand on the head of one of the dogs while the child has his hand on the tail of the other. It's the beginning and the end. This card represents complete existence.

There's a very strange part of this card that I'd like to point out. Look in this section, just along the side. It's in black-and-white and bordered by a checkerboard. It's another dimension. The card is mentioning that tangential to our dimensions other dimensions exist side-by-side. So really it is a complete picture of planet Earth. On the higher polarity wealth, well-being, telling us to use your money well and not for mere accumulation, share it. But certainly it talks about the home and family and things turning out very well. On the lower polarity there's hoarding and avarice. Things don't go so well and perhaps the wealth is lost. On behalf of the School of Oracles I thank you for being with me. Bye for now.

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