And so we reach the last of the pip cards. We have traced the development of the germ of an idea through its stages of exploration and investigation, past the concretion of ideas, and watched it begin to manifest into life. 10s are about that process. You'll notice that if you add 1+ 0 you get 1 - the beginning, again. Really, this number sums up the realization of our thoughts, actions, plans and, even, our mistakes. It is in 10 that we recognize whatever it was that we have been living and working towards.
Of course, you might see that this end result does not necessarily have to be positive - it is simply the final manifestation of whatever has held our thoughts for the past days, months or years. Ten years ago, in a period where my ordinary job took up most of my time, I found myself jamming in my esoteric studies between the most urgent of my other commitments. I found this experience highly unsatisfactory, and began to resent the fact that I had no time to explore subjects which stimulated and excited me. One particular day, I found myself reaching a peak of frustration and anger and, putting aside the work I was supposed to be doing, I sat and thought for a while what it might be like to actually earn my living by using my esoteric knowledge and skills. At the time, the idea was simply a pipe dream. I never really deliberately attempted to work towards the concept, because I always felt it was a hopelessly impossible dream. And yet here I am working in my chosen field.
There is a saying that nothing has as much power as an idea whose time has come.
To me, this is a clear example of the way in which particular types of idea can take root in the subconscious, and gradually work their way out onto the surface until they become reality. There was no point at which I said 'Well, I'm going to gather together everything I know, and project it into daily life until I have created an opportunity to work full-time on esoteric subjects.' Yet from that particular day, onwards, each step I have taken has brought me inexorably closer to the point I have reached today.
It is this subliminal process that is really important in the study of the Tarot. This is the function of the True Will. It will subtly alter events and your reactions to them until it has moved you into a position from which you can more readily fulfill your life plan.
Yet, as we have stressed again and again, it is the recognition of our innermost dreams, hopes and ambitions that we must struggle to achieve - for in this way, we can use the invisible forces that surround us to help us to shape our lives in more desirable and acceptable patterns. I think my experience is probably fairly unusual in that it seems that, at times, some greater force than my conscious self has had a hand in the shaping of my destiny; but nonetheless, that greater force could easily have been my own Higher Self.
10 is about the recognition that you have completed a stage in your life. You have now manifested exactly what you have been aiming for (and this must be taken to include the subconscious strivings of our deepest needs).
The number 10 really sums this up. We see the circle of completion in the nought, and the 1 with which we started in the first place. You can also see that when you reach the position of the 10 you could be considered to be beginning all over again in a slightly different way - because when you add the numbers together you come up with the initiatory 1 again.
All the 10s in a Tarot deck have a natural affinity with The Fool (0), the Magician (1) and Fortune (X). You can see, if you take the inner meanings of each of these cards, that the Fool corresponds with initiating the original idea, the Magician deals with your ability to materialize what you think of, and Fortune suggests that, having manifested it, you must keep your balance and continue to develop.
In a sense you might say that 10 not only marks the point of realization, but also the next idea or concept. It is beginning and end all in the one number.
In fact, the 10s of the suits carry this idea through into interpretation. Each of the 10s represents the culmination of the Suit, for better or worse.