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What I See:

Gaian-Tarot-Ten-WaterThis is one of my favorite cards. Typically, the image shows a man and a woman overlooking a couple of children playing. It has always given me a sense of happily-ever-after (or at least for right now). This image is more primal to me. We have the salmon who swim downstream to the ocean just to struggle upstream to lay their eggs in the same spot they hatched only to die. We see that here. We have the living salmon in the water and the decaying ones on the bank. This makes me think of a Billy Ray Cyrus song, one line in particular, “All gave some and some gave all.” I definitely get a sense of trying one’s best.

General Water element/Cups suit:

Please refer back to the Ace of Water

Light (upright) Reading:

You are feeling balance within the cycle of life.

  • Keywords: Unity, Domestic Harmony, Optimism, or Wholeness.

Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:

Beware of feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to ask for help.

  • Keywords: Delinquent Behavior, Impermanence, Smothering, or Overflowing Emotions.


Perhaps a play on the descent and return of the salmon cycle? Or even a story with that at its center. How about a visit to fish ladder? Or a dam? Perhaps your hero/ine works for Fish and Wildlife.

How about a generational story? Or returning to one’s roots?

For you horror folks, how about a serial killer? I don’t know about you, but that kind of looks like a body dump site to me.

  • Ten Themes: Transition, Transformation, or Endings and Beginnings.

As I mentioned above, traditionally, this is a card of home and family. Perhaps, Home Sweet Home is your theme. How about a marriage? A family with young children?

How about a promise? Or a goal?


You have given your best.

  • Suit Archetype/Feudal Class: Clergy and Priestly class.

Additionally, look up one of the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) for personality traits.

For more information on the Tens in general, please refer back to the Ten of Fire.

Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide