Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- 10 of Wands-Oppression & The Wild Wood Tarot- Ten of Bows-Responsibility
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- 10 of Wands-Oppression & The Wild Wood Tarot- Ten of Bows-Responsibility

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Tarot-10 of Wands: Oppression and the Wild Wood Tarot-Ten of Bows-Responsibility:


Culminating, completed Force; completing the similar force of the nines.

Astrologically, this tarot card represents Saturn in the constellation of Sagittarius, amplifying the destructive power of  Saturn with the swiftness of Sagittarius.

Qabalistically, the Tarot 10 of Wands is symbolic of the influence of  Malkuth (Kingdom of Earth) in Atziluth (World of Pure Spirit) leading to material force selfishly applied. Pure Spirit is Pure Mind, and as many of us know Pure Mind is without empathy, so force is applied without concern over "collateral damage". Hence, discernment is one of the reasons our Spirit operates through a human body, for to learn empathy for the living one must be alive. This is witnessed as your Spirit applies force ( "will to force"-Emotion), it can feel sensually how that force applied to thought impacts a living organism, i.e. it's very own physical presence. This takes time/space and a sensual connection that the physical being supplies to the Spirit Being. All of which is necessary for Spirit to master the creation of self-image masterpieces.

Think of your self-conscious (small ego) as the pilot of a jet aircraft. The windscreen is there, since the Pilot needs to see what is up close, so your "shortsightedness" has a purpose, but the pilot is also "far seeing" with the aid of a radar scope, as the Radar will warn the pilot of far off-unseen obstacles, allowing the pilot the freedom to avoid them before crashing into them. This radar scope is the Collective Unconscious of our Soul; The Far Seeing Intuitional Psyche of our "Whole Mind" (Holy Spirit). Hence, we must keep open communication between our self-conscious-shortsightedness and our Unconscious-"farsightedness" so that we can operate the human being, by freely avoiding the "train wrecks" of life, before they happen. Hence, the language of Tarot.

Therefore, the 10 of Wands represents a necessary physical restraint, and Spiritual oversight. Also,  a kind of self-oppression happens when force is used and nothing else but force-all the time, soon we live only in the Stresses of Force overly applied and everything becomes a threat.  Like the old saying goes," When one has only a hammer, everything becomes a nail". With only shortsightedness, there is a stopping-up of emotional force, in the slower vibrating body, causing anxiety attacks, and rage. So oppress force/emotion only when building a "thought form", for all flowing energy must be contained to form. In this case, the Mind is the vessel of containment.

The Qabalistic Thoth Tarot, the 10 of Wands, is called Lord of Oppression, because of  Saturn in Sagittarius. There are Angels attributed to the Decan, Reyayel and Avamel.
Angels are really another angle of evolutionary Intelligence...but one we are not subservient to as we are the "unruled", rather than the ruled. The Whole of us (the invisible 99.6% and the Visible.4%) is called the "Divine Child" and or Son/Sun of God. The Angels are servants to the Law, as well as anthropomorphize images of the Law, while we, the Homo-Sapiens, can break "the law" with the freedom of choice that our observation of perspective gives us. For as we perceive ourselves to be; becomes our life energy-in-motion.  Since in terms of the One Energy, the Law is Love....we can "fall" out of love by our identity choices. Thus, angels are rules of the Divine Creative, who cannot imagine themselves otherwise. Humankind is ruled by his/her own freedom to chose self identity,...a very painful burden to those who don't rule themselves . We don't bow down to Angels, we talk to them face to face, as any other part of the Collective family of the One Energy, for we are the God-Mind, seeing things up close. [Hu is Mandarin for-God and Man comes from the Hindu Manas, meaning Mind]. Just remember, when something is observed, it is changed by being observered.This is called the Simulation Hypothesis in quantum physics.

Since the power of our observation, changes the observed, the ancient Greeks called us Daemons,(God Men- the Children of Angel and human mating) because , as stated, by our own perspectives and observation, we can change reality (The Simulation Hypothesis of Quantum Physics)....No other manifestation of the Divine, on earth can do that! So ,when the Hierophant within says to you,"If you wish to speak to me, you must stand" this is not just a statement of "tough love", it is also a statement of equality...we are made of all the power that ever was or will be...now!  As "demi urges", and/or "simulated gods", we have the ability to Simulate the Self, in any identity hypothesis we can conceive of and weakness, is nothing more than an imagined phenomina brought on by fearing pain.

Simulation hypothesis
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The simulation hypothesis contends that reality is in fact a simulation (most likely a computer simulation), of which we, the simulants, are totally unaware. Some versions rely on the development of simulated reality, a fictional technology. The hypothesis has been a central plot device of many science fiction stories and films.There is a long philosophical and scientific history to the underlying thesis that reality is an illusion. This skeptical hypothesis can be dated as far back as Indian philosophy of Maya (illusion).

 As stated: The 10 OF WANDS-Oppression; is Malkuth in Aziluth and is the influence of Malkuth in the world of  Pure Spirit. Where upon the destructive powers of Saturn/Time (Geburah-Severity) are amplified by the swiftness of Sagittarius, leading to selfishly applied material force, and often cruelly so. In the art of the Thoth 10 of wands,the suggestion of the crude club like wands, and the Dorjes (Tibetan spear- like symbols of Thunderbolts) suggests, cruelty, malice, overbearing force and energy,even injustice.

However, one must understand that a certain amount of energy must be oppressed at all times, for form to exist. Energy must be contained in a "Thought Form" before it can become manifest. Therefore there is a certain responsibility when handling the creative power of energy in motion.  Hence, too much oppression of energy-in-motion (emotion) leads too disaster Like electricity, Water or Fire, energy resists this oppression, and will "slip its bonds" at any sign of weakening. Sometimes destructively so.
The Wild Wood Tarot-Ten of Bows-Responsibility, focuses on the challenges of dealing with responsibility. Here a long craftsman, struggles up a steap mountain path, carring a heavy burden of 10 unfinsihed bow staves, towards an encampment of hunters. For if one is going to create, one also has to deal with the effect of their creation. Here, one must peddle their craft, and go through the often difficult task of delivering the "goods".  Hence, what good are the best crafted bow staves in the world, if one doesn't put forth the action to deliver them to ones that need them?
 The Challenge of Responsibility, often brings the need for inner fortitude, stamina and determination. Here, the burden maybe cumbersome and difficult, but it benefits more than oneself, their family or even the greater good of a society. Creativity is indeed oppressed in the daily toil, but not for long, if one is determined to carry on.

Often the oppression of our own ability to act, is because of our own self-perspective, most of us tend to be more cruel to ourselves than to others, because we often fear ourselves being "wrong" more than others which is just another extension of the "fear of pain" that causes a great inner tension. We can escape this cycle of tension becoming destruction if we understand that  the oppression we feel, is often the Mind being told by the Inner Self, that it is time to change perspectives and act. We feel oppression so we can identify it by slowing down so our "far sight" can see it before we crash into our own "short sighted" mountains. Once seen, we need to act.

Often, by taking things too seriously, we fail to use the power of mirth, that cracks the veneer of perspective, so that we can see beyond our self made prison of "I can't" or "I fear". Truth being, "I Can't", usually means "I am afraid to" and/or "I don't want to"
; because as we all know as spirit, with impassioned focus, we can accomplish anything. There is a  beautiful side of "freedom of choice", and that is, we are free to outwardly simulate or inner spirit, anyway we choose.  So remember this, we use "thought" to oppress energy, for creation's sake----including our own, but eventually, because change is the only constant in this energy Universe, that oppression will end, by natural law or by our willingness to advance perspective and release our creations to the outter world. Energy will free itself, and move. There is a difference between those who repress emotion and those who express it freely.  One  will eventually experience a catastrophic release, and become a "train wreck", while the other freely changes perspectives, and thus catastrophe is avoided.

Those who are freely changing their perspectives, will find that the once feared end we call death, is merely a movement towards another perspective, a transformation of life and will experience what the Tibetan's call "reincarnation", which is simply expanding and liberating one's personality by change of perspective. By fearing an end, you have one, by not fearing and end, you consciously experience transformation.

Remembering that the Qabalistic Tree of Life is a simulation of invisible light evolving into visible light, and therefore becoming more "condensed". Hence, the number 10 in the Tarot of Hermetic Qabalah, refers to Malkuth, the lowest Sephira on the Tree of Life and because of its almost crystalline vibration, is dependent on, but seems cut off from, the other levels of the Tree.This vibration is slower than the rest so that it seems veiled from the other levels as our perspective of self is the lowest possible vibration sight of "I" and/or the most condensed Self Awareness of Mind, where visible light simulates the "intent" of the Psyche.
Because of this seeming detachment, the Force (Fire-Spirit) is in its lowest-slowest possible vibration and seems to have "dumbed down" the Higher Spiritual influences. We already know  that this sluggishness can be sped up by "upping" our vibration through meditation, skrying of the tarot cards and prana -yama breathing as well as kundalini work. With diligence, we can break through this caul- like barrier of Saturnine sluggishness and  open our minds to higher levels of energy-consciousness, such as the Son of God consciousness of Tiphareth.

As implied in the 10 of Wands-oppression, the Force is now blind and in its most violent state without any modifying influences. Like a drawn bow, there must be a release of the tension on the bowstaff, or something will break; either the bow or the archer will be injured. Hence, the background flames of illustrated on the Thoth card,  have run wild and represent Fire in its most destructive aspect.
Sagittarius, "The Archer", represents the qualities of spirituality, swiftness, light, and being both elusive, and luminous. On the other hand, Saturn is material, slow, heavy, obstinate, and as obscure as Time. This combination causes great antipathy.

 As Crowley pointed out, in his Book of Thoth, the Thoth Tarot 8 of Wands is depicted  within the Thoth 10, showing the great power of fire, but the 8 wands have lost all symbolism of nobility. Their ends seem more like claws representing raw predation without the  intelligence and authority that is shown in past Wand cards. The 2 central wands which are shown as a pair of Djores (Tibetan symbols for "thunderbolts")  are lengthened into bars that oppress the Power.

If we know anything about steam, you can get more power from it by adding more heat and pressure. This requires an oppressive container that is strong enough to hold it; such as a pressure cooker or boiler. Hence, the need for Will Power to up the emotions, but only within a Strong Self Identity, so one doesn't explode.   However, too much heat in a weak self identity and the container/self consciousness, violently explodes. Thus, there is the caveat of caution implied, of the 10 of Wands about "hold and release"!

This  Card  can also represent perverted sex energy-and/or passion. The whole symbolism of this card suggests oppression and repression. It can be stupid and obstinate cruelty from which there is no escape. This is the symbolism of Passion going Mad under oppression.This card is cautioning us that if we don't allow our passions to create in a balance flow of Self-Love, we'll end ourselves violently. Therefore, to put our passions into creating oppressive self identity, self rejection, self- loathing, denial, etc ends badly and in the extremes we have seen the results as people go on shooting sprees. This is survival mind that has not understood anything beyond its dull purpose, its "lust of result", and will devour itself in the conflagrations it has evoked; in other words, the pressure cooker explodes. So to repeat: Like a pressure cooker, if the right amount of water (emotion), pressure , oppression and fire (Spirit-life force or sex energy) are applied, the creation will be born well and good; if too much pressure is applied to unmovable conditions, you'll blow up the kitchen! This card represents the "moment of tension" before the release or explosion !

What is forgotten here, is that Will is spirit, and our will is now perverted by fear, into instinctual survival mode. We are not of this evolution, we are from the Fire/Stars, and as an old Stellar evolution commonly called Spirit. Hence, Our Will-To-Be is far too powerful to be given to the control of the  animal mind; for it's foundation is Fear, while Spirit's is Love-of-Other, for it is a cooperating collective of I AM. To subject a powerful-Fiery Will to force, to cruel thoughts of rejection, fear, and self hate (all of which is transferred by the survival mind as "others") will consume and destroy the one who contains them.


So when the 10 of Wands or Ten of Bows card is thrown in a divination:

  • It looks really bad for the querent, but that is not always so, for it will blow outward, and not last long.
  • Sure, for the moment it is "Oppressed Sex Energy", which often means that our creative Passion is in jail to the wants and wills of peers, or the mundane need for income, but as we know, that won't last long as the Personality, which is a dynamic motion, explodes into action!
  • Now this effect can be deviant and become cruelty or malice towards others; so it is best to warn the querent that they must stop their self repression, and create a new motion, doing what they are inside ; or if it shows in the reading that someone or something, is responsible for the oppression, they must leave, and change !
  • There is an overbearing strength being placed on the personality that will make it fight for its survival, precipitating revenge and injustice in the process. Usually, this is will applied to selfish and material ends.
  • That in 10 weeks or 10 months the oppressive use of force maybe lifted or a way out may be seen and revised goals will become apparent.


  • There is a kind of gain, fortune and success meaning to this card, as it shows that force must be oppressed in-order to create form; boundaries must be drawn for a form to exist.
  • With that in mind, this card then suggests that enough force has been applied so sit back and let the dusts settle, allowing a clear view of the results.
  • Which is good to know, because a kind of emotional and/or mental burnout is just over the horizon.
  • To emphasize this state of heavy handedness, Crowley designed the normally beautiful wands, to look like crude clubs, held together by a pair of Dorjes (Tibetan symbols of Thunderbolts) as Fiery Force applied (Emotional Passion).  Fire (electric) is the Qabalistic Form of Spirit flowing.

So if the 10 of Wands or Ten of Bows is ill dignified, as in, surrounded by negative cards, it suggests, ill will, lying, malice,slander, envy, obstinacy, swiftness in evil and even violence as a form of sexuality.

  •  Cruelty and malice towards others is implied. 
  • Oppression of sex-energy due to fear of rejection causing impotency, which leads to self devaluation is also a danger here.  
  • There is over-bearing strength, revenge and injustice. 
  • Cruel, overbearing energy applied only to selfish and material ends.  
  • Because of great selfishness at the beginning, there is failure in a matter, and the opposition's too strong to be controlled.  
  • If ill dignified, there are all manners of, ill will, lying, levity as a distraction, malice, slander, envy, obstinacy, swiftness in evil.


When well-dignified by the accompanying cards, there is also:


  •  Generosity, self-sacrifice, and disinterestedness implied.


We also must remember that sometimes we must hold back our passions, in order to develop a proper plan for constructive purposes. This too is an oppression, but it is controlled and will be released to swift LOVING construction and life expansion. Such as Tantric , Qabalistic, and Gnostic training teaches us to do. Not always are Volcanoes destructive, many islands owe their lives to them! 


  • The lesson here is to control one's Passions with Intelligent Love, knowing when and where to express them in order to expand and liberate life around them and their or other personality from past supposed limitations. Limited thinking is a form of oppressive behavior!

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