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Saturday, 25 May 2013

Nothing either good or bad...

Anna K Tarot, US Games 2013
Today's card comes from the mass market edition of the Anna K Tarot, US Games 2013. I have had the 1st edition self-published version since 2009, and I also owned the 2nd edition self-published deck, but traded that one as I did not particularly like the card stock. I was so pleased that a mass market version of this deck came out, so that many other people can have the chance to own a copy of this charming and highly readable deck.

Ten of Rods does accurately reflect my mood this morning. I didn't sleep well or long last night, and I've got up feeling quite heavy, dragged down, and weary. I have no idea why I feel this way, and probably the figure in the card doesn't, either. The Golden Dawn meaning of Ten of Rods is 'Oppression.' Because the Rods (or Wands) suit is the suit of action, the thing that oppresses here has more to do with tasks or actions than thoughts, feelings or responsibilities (swords, cups and coins, respectively). So in a reading, I would see this as being oppressed either by having too many things to do, too many irons in the fire (the Rods are the Fire suit, after all), or by feeling overwhelmed by an action or actions that need doing. If the thought of doing something (or the obligation to do something) fills you with anxiety or dread, I would say that is a Ten of Rods moment. It's the action that is the cause of the anxiety.

If we study the image, we see the figure huddling against the wall, shielding himself against a higgledy-piggedly array of thin rods of wood leaning at awkward angles. It's true they look like they could fall over on him, but on the other hand, they look as if they're light enough to bounce off him without hurting him much. He's also surrounded by stone walls, but the wall he's facing is low and open, and there's a door behind him as well. While he crouches on a dirt patch, the scene behind him shows a green, hilly landscape and blue skies, though there are some dark clouds. So the walls, dirt, wands and storm clouds speak of oppression, but the doors, green land and blue sky speak of a larger picture of freedom. It seems to me that his feeling of being oppressed by these wands is all in his head. If he were to stand up, the wands would fall about and land harmlessly on the ground, and he could walk out toward the green hills while the black storm clouds scud away off over the horizon.

It's so easy for people to say dismissively that all our problems are in our head...but when it's your head with the problems, it's not so easy to dismiss! 'You have no idea how big your head is,' says Lon Milo DuQuette, and he's right. And as Hamlet says to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (when they protest that Denmark is not a prison to them, when Hamlet calls Denmark 'one o' the worst' dungeons in the world): 'Why then, 'tis none to you;  for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison.' If we see the rods leaning against the wall as our prison, it is our prison. Why doesn't he just stand up and leave? Because he doesn't think he can. Why doesn't she just delegate some of that stuff to others? Because she doesn't think she can. Why doesn't he tell that person to go to hell? Because he doesn't think he can. These are all actions that the person in question feels overburdened by, to the point that they are paralyzed and unable to do anything, and this burden has become so wearisome for them that they just feel like giving up.

The Ten of Rods doesn't mean there's no hope, but that you might feel at the end of your tether with regard to doing something. Either too many responsibilities piled on you, OR the overwhelmed feeling attached to just one big thing which you dread until it's magnified times ten! The Ten of Rods could also indicate an old problem that has been ongoing for so long that it's built up over time until you've actually cornered yourself with it, like the figure in the card.

At some point, you'll have to do something. What will it be? You can't crouch in abject fear forever.

Right, now hubby and I, with a friend of mine and her hubby-to-be, are off to Milton Keynes for the day. We're shopping, they're going to a collector show. :)


  1. I do like that quote about nothing being good or bad :) And yet, there is something more substantial to this than to the Ten of Swords, maybe. There are actually things we're supposed to do, demands being made on us, whether by others or ourselves...

    Hope you enjoy shopping in Milton Keynes - what's the collector show for?

    1. Yes, and this is the great burden of obligation, and the question of what exactly we 'must' do in this life.I suppose I lean more toward interpreting it as thoughts about doing things we dread because I don't have that many actual responsibilities in my life. No kids at home, no elderly parents to take care of, no high pressure job, so on and so forth. I very rarely feel I have more to do than I can handle, except for stuff I've put pressure on myself to do.

      In Milton Keynes I managed to buy one top, eat a veggie wrap, and decide not to buy a bottle of perfume. :) For me this was a productive day's shopping. My friends and I had a good time. (Friend's hubby-to-be decided to tag along with us, even though he was quite bored most of the time.) The collector show is Collectormania Milton Keynes, a movie memorabilia show.

    2. Funny, you choose a low responsibility life, yet still put pressure on yourself about stuff... We humans are pretty daft sometimes ;)

      Glad you had a good time shopping. I think I'd have been more interested in the movie memorabilia :D Not a big fan of shopping...