Tarot and Mental Health – 10 of Wands

To continue our theme, this week we have the 10 of Wands.

Tarot is constantly reminding us of choice, and this card is one we really need to listen to when it comes up.

We see a person from behind. They are alone, and overburdened with the weight of all they carry.

They stoically trudge along their path towards the town ahead.

It is so much work.

There’s a meme floating around social media to the effect of hyper independence is a trauma response.

And that’s true.

When we learned at some point that we are literally the only one we can count on, hyper independence is born.

It doesn’t go away when circumstances change. It doesn’t care if you’re now surrounded by people that want to love and nurture you.

It became part of your Shadow. Unfortunately, it’s a socially acceptable manifestation.

I do see this card come up often for people who struggle under the burden of hyper independence, so let’s talk a little about it.

What does hyper independence look like?

Well, like you’re carrying the weight of absolutely everything that needs to get done; and you’ve slapped on your smile for good measure lest anyone think you can’t handle it all – or worse – think you’re complaining.

It looks like refusing to ask for help because you “should” be able to do it all.

It looks like being afraid to ask for help because you don’t want anyone to think you’re weak and needy.

It looks like not wanting to delegate anything to anyone, because they’ll just do it wrong (that one’s got a nifty side of perfectionism to go along with it).

This all leads to things like lack of sleep, irritability, reduced serotonin (one of your happy chemicals), increased cortisol (one of your stress hormones), dysregulated adrenals, bursts of anger, frustration, and just general discontent.

At the end of the day, this is a choice we make.

We choose to carry all these heavy burdens out of fear. 

Fear we won’t live up to someone else’s expectations. Fear we’ll let people down. Fear we’ll let ourselves down.

But here’s the thing, we are humans. We are capable of only so much on our own.

As the African proverb goes: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Humans were not designed for this bootstrapping, rugged individualism bullshit. 

We were designed to work together. We were designed to need each other. To help each other.

That’s how our species has survived.

When we get the 10 of Wands in a reading, tarot is telling us it’s time to unburden ourselves.

It’s ok to not be superhuman. It’s ok to need help and ask for it. 

You should be surrounded by people who can and will give you that help; without a side of guilt or sanctimony to go with it.

If you are truly unable to ask for help because the people surrounding you do not support you (and they aren’t children), it’s time to take stock of who gets your valuable time and energy.

We all deserve to be loved and supported. The relationships in our lives should be a give and take. There should be a balance.

If you can’t count on the people in your life, why are they there?

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