Deirdre of the Sorrows - Ten of Wands


If ever there were a card hinting at the fact you may be taking on more than you can handle right now, this would be it.
Whether this is because assistance has not been sought, or whether there is no help available would be open to debate, and could be answered in conjunction with other cards within the reading.
Here we see a lone woman working long into the evening. The work undertaken would have been very physical and demanding. She is in the process of carrying her last sack to its resting place against one of the staffs. The other 9 staffs already have sacks resting against them. Half the field has been ploughed, the other half yet to be worked over. A small dog is sitting by the final staff, a small bowl by its side. This could show the dog has been with her throughout the day, otherwise, why would it need to have a bowl of water at the ready.
On her dress we see a bee in flight, symbolising how busy she has been.
The cottage in the background is lit from within.

Deirdre has already described the energy of this card with eloquence, to the extent there is not a lot I can add. It is certainly interesting to see that the main character portrayed is a woman. Although we have come a long way towards receiving equal opportunities and equal pay to men, there are still professions whereby women have to still prove themselves in a way men don’t have to. Quite often this challenge is taken on with dignity and silence. This will have particular relevance in careers where physical or mental strength are required. Could this be one possible reason why she has not sought help in harvesting the potatoes? As Deirdre has said, there is a light on in the cottage behind indicating somebody else was home. On the other hand, could it show a sort of ‘role reversal’? Is the female undertaking tasks usually associated with men, with the male of the house undertaking house hold chores? If you believe this is applicable, how does that relate to your situation? Are the parties involved happy within the role they are taking on?

It could be an indication of pride or ego though. A situation where you feel you have to prove a point. If this is the case, it would not be within your character to even consider asking for help. Should this apply to you, be aware that you could be making a rod for your own back. The more you take on, the more likely it is that others will assume you are happy to do this. Before long, you may find you have taken on too much, to the extent you can no longer cope. Learning to say no at this late stage may be more problematic than if you had refused tasks earlier in the day. If we carry on in silence, there could be an automatic assumption that we are coping okay.

Looking at the card from a positive angle, we can see here woes are nearly over. Her hard work is about to come to an end as he looks to place her final sack. Therefore if you have felt things have got on top of you of late, you may find there will shortly be a period of respite.

With regards the wee terrier, there is no doubt he has been faithful to his mistress. He has a tiny heart on his collar. This could show he would not have deserted her, and was willing keep her company throughout the day.
If looking at his role more laterally, it could show that someone is prepared to watch another hard at work, and is either unwilling or unable to share the workload. If it is someone you care about emotionally, you may have taken a back seat in order to let them learn for themselves.


This was my card yesterday.
Since I have started studying this deck and working exclusively with it, I find it resonates very much with my lifestyle. I don't see anything negative at all in the card since it really pretty much describes my daily life as a single part-time mom with pets around me. I am used to doing things alone and at weird hours ;)

This card looks like another busy day, a good one since much work has been done, with the faithful and soothing presence of the little dog. When my kids are at Dad's, I am alone with the pets here, well, I am not *alone* thanks to them.

Yet it is also true I have a tendency to rely too much on myself only and have difficulties in asking for help. This card gave food for thought in that department. I have been working on this lately, the fact that I committed myself to this study group is a sign I need others' input as well as mine. I read Deirdre's book, I read your additions, Davina and I am learning.

Funnily enough, the fact that there is light in the cottage doesn't mean to me the lady has a partner inside. Once again, based on my experience, I just see it as a proof of the ordinary multitasking of women. Maybe there are children in the cottage, maybe she needed to go inside at one moment to cook or do the laundry or something else, maybe she needed to warm the cottage for the night in advance otherwise it is too cold. Heh, you know what? Yes, that's it: multitasking and careful! She knew the work would last long and that she might have to do the last bit in the semi darkness so she put some lights on in the cottage to find her way home more easily. I do that sometimes in the winter when I go out and know I will come back when it is dark (it gets dark pretty early here in the winter). The lit cottage also shows she has a comfy warm place to go back to and rest in once the hard work is done.