We must always keep in mind that fire is, at its basest level, a force of destruction. And when you wield the power of fire for long enough, you are going to get burned, as inevitably as the fire will spend its fuel and be reduced to a few glowing embers. The wise rule and well-used power of the previous cards have gone out of control and have become tyranny; the desire to succeed and the determination to go forward with your head held high has left, and now you must stumble or crawl. In a more Qabalistic sense, the energy has been detatched from its spiritual source and has become corrupt.
However, sometimes this process shown in the Ten of Wands is a lesson that you must learn. Responsibility is a great character-builder, and by bearing physical burdens you often find that emotional burdens will fall away. You will lose your ego when you ask for help, and you will lose your limitations as you reach and surpass them. But you also have to learn when enough is enough, and when it is time to get out from under your burdens. When your creativity starts to suffer it may never regain its original dimensions again, and once creativity is gone, the will is next to go.
Sometimes the Ten of Wands is a good card to appear, because it can indicate where you are spinning your wheels and wasting your energy. It is often a sign that, no matter how long you stick to a task, victory is unlikely or even impossible. In these circumstances the best advice is to simply walk away. Leaving responsibilities unfinished is not a notion that appears to coalesce with the overall morality of the Wands suit, but sometimes doing what you have to do is far more necessary than doing what you'd like to do. So go out there, do what you have to do, and hopefully you can get a little closer to those things that you want to do.Copyright 2000 James Rioux