"Four hands upholding 8 wands crossed as before. A fifth hand at foot of card holding two crossed wands upright which traverse the junction of the others. Above and below the symbols Saturn and Sagittarius. Flames issue therefrom.
"Cruel and overbearing force and energy, but applied only to selfish and material ends. Sometimes shows failure in a matter, and the opposition too strong to be controlled arising from the person's too great selfishness at the beginning. Ill-will, levity, lying, malice, slander, envy, obstinacy, swiftness in evil, if ill-dignified. Also generosity, self-sacrifice, and disinterestedness when well-dignified.
"Malkuth of Yod. (Cruelty, malice, revenge and injustice.) Therein rule Reyayel and Avamel."
The Ten of Wands is Malkuth in Atziluth. It is the Kingdom in the Archetypal World of Pure Spirit. Malkuth is the completion of the Tree of Life. It is the visible Universe (the Earth herself), the physical World in which we live. The current of energy which begins in Kether and which descends the Tree in a Lightning Bolt is grounded and manifested here. Malkuth has much in common with Kether, and it is said that Malkuth is the Kether of another Tree, and vice versa. It is the beginning of one world and the completion of another. The Tens in each suit consequently indicate the completion of a Force whether for good or ill. The matter in question has been definitely determined.
The Ten of Wands is the completion of the suit of Fire. Here in Malkuth the Fiery Spirit energy of the King Scale is cut off from its source. It has become a blind, violent Force without direction or modification. Saturn in Sagittarius is a detriment here, because the slow, heavy, yet destructive energies of Saturn are like a lead ball, falling and crushing the swift energies of Sagittarius. The Powers of opposition and suppression are the result. This is Fire in its worst aspect ... leading to material Force which is selfishly and cruelly carried out.
In this card the Fire colors are predominant as usual. The five hands of the preceding card now hold the double Wands of Oppression and Cruelty. The background color is yellow, the color of Malkuth in the scale of Atziluth. Here the color represents an influx of the energy of Aleph, Air. And like the Fool card, the Ten of Wands alludes to the beginning of a current of energy, as well as the end of one.
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.