10 of Wands: Lay Your Burdens Down
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2004-10
"As though sprung from nowhere, moods, feelings, desires, worries, and even thoughts incontinently rise up in a meaningless jumble. The only successful way of rendering the disturbances inoperative is to enter into friendly relations with whatever appears on the scene, to accustom oneself to it, to look at it equably, and at last grow weary of looking."
We are all painfully aware at times that life can make us weary. I am sure the we have all experienced the hardship of having to keep on going even when we weren't sure where we were going. We have all carried our burdens of hardship, oppression, sorrow, financial worry and the disappointments of misplaced loyalty and obligation. Somedays it is hard to just put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes all we really want is to put our head on someone's shoulder and have a rest.
The 10 of Wands is typically depicted with a man oppressed by the backbreaking, shoulder wrenching weight of the 10 Wands that he is struggling to carry. These wands represent our emotional load and burdens. Emotions are a very real and active energy in all of our lives and we all struggle to integrate our emotions with our intellect and spirit. Intellectually and spiritually we can understand what is happening to us but often our understanding of the weight of our emotional burdens is elusive. We are able to achieve and maintain intellectual and spiritual detachment from the issues which are weighing us down but we are much more subjective when it comes to our emotions and our reactions to the stresses in our lives.
We know we are carrying a heavy burden but it is emotionally heavy because our energies aren't flowing. There has been a build up and accumulation of both positive and negative emotions. Sometimes we are burdened with potential that we haven't been able to actualize or unresolved anger and sorrow. There are very few problems in life that we will face that other people haven't had to face as well but, the way we choose to face and deal with these problems can be very different from one individual to another. Sometimes the load we are carrying is very much one we have chosen to carry but we don't know how to put it down, we just know that we are weary and we want to rest.
The process of laying down these burdens requires some personal thought and conscious effort. You have to consider what you are consciously aware of that has created this load. Are you carrying defeating thoughts and ideas that no longer work? Are you carrying an excess burden of caring for someone? Are you carrying a torch for a relationship from the past that impacted you? Are you worried about your weight? Extra weight is often there for emotional protection and not enough is a sign of wishing to be invisible. Are you more concerned with being considerate of other people's emotions and feelings than what you are thinking and feeling? Are your actions and reactions appropriate to the situation you have found yourself in? Are you talking problem or are you talking solution? Are there issues that are beyond your range of personal power to resolve or aid in resolution?
How many attempts have you made at dealing with these issues? Do you want to lay your burdens down or are your burdens giving your life meaning? Are you worried about carrying problems from the past into your future? Are you willing and able to make changes? Is negativity outweighing positivity in your life? Is change realistically possible? Do you feel misunderstood, unappreciated and unacknowledged? How many of your worries and concerns are enforced on you? How many are there by your choice? What is preventing you from laying down your burdens? Are you able to say "No" in a clear and effective manner? Do you have good information? Are you carring a misplaced burden of blame and doubt? How long are you prepared to persevere? Are you grieving? Is it success that is burdening you or fear of failure?
These are difficult and challenging issues and require us to be painfully honest with ourselves without inflicting blunt force trauma. The best part about this process is that our creative energy is fully charged and alive, we just have to tap into this potential and get the energy flowing in a constructive way. I highly recommend writing everything down, rant it out, take all the papers outside, make a circle of salt, say a nice prayer and burn them - what a great feeling of release watching it all go up in smoke.
These aren't issues of what is right or wrong or what is good or bad. What is gone past is gone past and can't be changed only how we are thinking about can be altered. It can take years to lose the emotional impact of the past and there are somethings that we will never lose the emotional impact of. Don't take on unnecessary burdens that break your back and your spirit. Always remember, wise people eat when they are hungry, drink when they are thirsty and sleep when they are tired.