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What I See:

Gaian-Tarot-Ten-EarthI see a lot in this image. We have a nurse stump/log which speaks to the endings and beginnings theme of the tens. A tree falls and as it decays it gives new life to moss and ferns and fungi and tree seedlings.

I get a sense of journey’s end whether you look at the physical or symbolic. It even looks like the man is walking toward the light. “Light at the end of the tunnel” anyone? Or, on the spiritual side, “going into the light.”

I have mixed feelings about the man being alone. On one hand, it looks like he’s out on a peaceful afternoon stroll through the woods. On the other, I wonder where his family and friends are. I want to step up next to him, linking my arm through his, and ask him to tell me a story as we walk along the path.

General Earth element/Pentacles suit:

Please refer back to the Ace of Earth.

Light (upright) Reading:

Past wisdom shines new light on your life.

  • Keywords: Tradition, Comfort, Abundance, or Inheritance.

Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:

Beware of feeling trapped, or seeing the glass half empty.

  • Keywords: Family Troubles, Suffocating Traditions, Dependence, or Excessive Materialism.


How about a storyteller? An elder passing on his history to the next generation? Perhaps, a first-time grandparent holding that grandchild (or great-grandchild!) for the first time. Or maybe, a grandparent caring for/raising a grandchild? A governess or nanny?

Maybe retirement? An ending to working for a living and a beginning to living for a living.

It’s hard to look at this image and not think about an end of life. Transitioning from the physical plane to the spiritual or metaphysical. Perhaps a ghost story, or life-after-death tale.

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

Typically, this card shows three generations of a family. According to Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner, “The Ten of Pentacles suggests the richness of family life.” Perhaps a tale of inheritance, whether monies or wisdom or experience or values or beliefs. Perhaps a story around a family tradition.


Passing our knowledge to the next generation.

  • Suit Archetype/Feudal Class: Merchants, Business, and Professional class.

Additionally, look up one of the Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) 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