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ace of wands tarot catd marseilles deck
marseilles deck

Wands represent that elusive life 'force' which is our creativity and self-expression, its the joy we find in love, in the arts, in business - as opposed to merely doing a job. Its why we get up, what we do with our time when we get to choose.  In terms of character, wands represent the type known as 'expressive' - the performers, the creatives, artists, artisans, writers and promoters, people who things they enjoy doing. Its also lovers, but the physically inclined rather than the purely romantic - that ace takes no prisoners and leaves little to the imagination, symbollically speaking!

Wands represent the element FIRE. This associates them with the signs
Aries, Leo & Sagittarius. See the minor arcana page for details of all the associations.

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king of wands tarot card marseilles deck queen of wands knight of wands page of wands ace of wands tarot card
author's Spanish deck
ace of wands tarot catd marseilles deck 2 wands 3 wands 4 wands
five wands 6 of wands tarot card

7 wands

8 wands 9 wands 10 wands
Ace of Wands

Aces are potential and new beginnings. This is the initial burst of creativity and outpouring of energy that energizes a project and inspires people to greatness. This is the spark that starts the fire, and though it cannot tell us whether the fire will burn brightly or fizzle out, its power remains. Its force is very unpredictable, and it often cannot be controlled, at times raging out of control until it burns itself out. This is pretty much the standard idea of this Ace - energy/potential/oomph. The imagery is pretty graphic in most decks and leaves little room for doubt about what it represents - our strongest drives and urges - the real zest for life - lust for life... As the coming influence, it shows you moving into a mode where you are more than likely to be carried away with whatever it is that tickles your ivories - and that could be ANYTHING. The imagery is one thing, but that’s just to get the message across - the object of your ‘lust’ could be playing a musical instrument, writing a book, painting a picture, running a marathon - or the girl/guy next door/at work/down the pub... You could be aiming yourself at satisfying your strongest urges - could be, because Aces represent potential and require you to act in order to do something about what may otherwise remain a fantasy, an unfulfilled dream. Carpe Diem.

2 of Wands
2s are antithesis – something becomes possible or requires attention and before you act on it you think of an alternative – here intuition helps in decisions but it's intuition which is firmly located in the power base that is your own strength of character, built from experience.

3 of Wands
Wands represent our vital energy, our motivation, our get up and go. The 3s all show synthesis, a positive sense of direction gained from hard earned experience and in the case of the 3 of Wands there is a revitalizing edge of determination to make use of what has been learned. The card has good connotations for working relationships, also for issues where health has been a concern, but it is especially strong in indicating a renewed sense of purpose and direction in the person for whom the reading is being carried out.

Four of Wands
4's represent foundations – here your personal values are set. The card is directly linked to The Emperor, and as wands, with the expansiveness and ambition which the Emperor works methodically and strategically towards. As a card it can be viewed as a positive ‘building block’, a solid start can be built upon.

Five of Wands
Fives are linked with The Hierophant, the major card that represents the status quo, the way things ‘should be’, with doing the right thing’, and with higher learning which, traditionally, has an adversarial element. Knowledge is not a stagnant pool but one constantly refreshed by new enquiry and new ideas. Introducing these is a combative process, one of ‘positive conflict’, if such a term can be used for the process of argument and debate through which our understanding of the world and its wonders - often little more than a consensual agreement - grows. All the 5s represent this process of positive argument and discussion towards greater understanding and the Wands, representing our vital energy, have a 5 which could divert that energy to relatively trivial issues. This does not mean that they are a negative experience - quite the contrary. This card offers the opportunity of ‘creative conflict’ - of achieving an understanding through the process of exchanging arguments and points of view, but is the restlessness and temporary instability of the situation worth it?

Six of Wands
Harmony, and adaptation are signified by the 6s – here, a successful outcome is indicated by successfully following your own formula towards achieving creative, career or business goals. Wands are about zest, lust, fun all the things we do to celebrate the joy of life - interests, hobbies, joining groups and societies, working for ourselves, writing, painting, acting, dancing, love affairs. This card of change signifies bringing this area of your life into focus.

Seven of Wands
Surprises are the stock in trade of 7s. Related to the Chariot, they refer to issues where control is a central theme. Its a difficult principle as both too much and not enough can create problems, drawing the line between being in control and being controlling is actually quite impossible - simply because there is no line that can be drawn. The extent to which you have control of yourself and the control you have over situations you are in can be wildly different - an exemplary driver exercising maximum skill and care can be taken out by an out of control driver surprising him on a bend. 7s indicate issues where control becomes central and response is called for - the 7 of Wands, in terms of surprises, suggests competition and unexpected adversaries.

Eight of Wands
8s are linked to Justice, which is an interesting card. There is, of course, no such thing in the natural world - it is entirely a social concept, held together by a consensus about what is right and fair. Wisdom, though often held to be lacking in the laws we create, is an essential ingredient nonetheless and its often necessary to take time over a decision both in making it and in assessing the result of it. Wands represent vital energy and with 8s being essentially reactionary in nature, a response to change rather than an initiating factor, this indicates a very purposeful burst of energy towards a very clear goal - quite like a sprint to the finish. The 8 of Wands at its simplest suggests that something which has been vacillating this way and that for some time will be pressed to a conclusion - one way, the other or a compromise, the time for vacillation is over. It will refer directly to a relationship or a partnership, or a creative process, and will create the drive to resolve it finally, as one thing or another, removing uncertainty. In terms of classical Tarot associations this is often an exchange of letters.

Nine of Wands
9s are concerned with good fortune, often that element of luck that helps you past the final obstacle. They always indicate imminence - ‘nearly there’. The luck which the Tarot speaks of is not the turn of a card or the roll of a dice, Tarot believes in your making your own luck: a simple football analogy for this - there are star strikers who can be ‘invisible’ for much of the game but pounce unerringly on the match winning opportunity to score; most of us though are life’s average players, but if we put ourselves in the right place often enough and take a shot at every half chance we imagine, usually missing - the more often we do this, the closer we get to the next time that we hit the target. Here, such ‘luck’ is held in reserve, including a strong will to succeed. You possess 'Aladdin's lamp' – the power to unleash an inner, personal genie to make your ambitions and wishes a reality – with this comes great responsibility... And another story - life is packed with tales of people granted three wishes by magical creatures. Invariably, the first two wishes result in disaster because the ‘lucky’ person hasn’t thought them through. Instead of making a 3rd wish to clear up the disasters of the first 2, the lucky person gets crafty and asks instead for 3 more wishes... Its a simple morality tale - the magical creature is nothing more or less than our own enlightened self, the reason for the failure is that we don’t know what we really want. Win the lottery - simple, nice house, nice car, long holiday, treat friends and family. But house - where? And after the holiday, what do we do with ourselves? Successful people invariably know what they want, though not always what they need.

Ten of Wands
10's represent completion and the passing of influences, leaving you primed for new experiences, ready for other challenges. You should have learned something along the way or you may find yourself repeating the exercise soon. Whilst coins and cups leave something almost tangible, both swords and wands can take something from you.
The 10 Wands represents an opportunity to 'stick or twist' – you have reached the point which you set out to reach, now you can sit there or you can move on to new things. But taking on too much can take a toll - Setbacks and losses could follow – is it time you took things easier? Learned to delegate? Or to specialise? Or simply to be more selective?

This card raises questions about the use of your precious energy and represents quite an ‘expense’ if things don’t work out - on the other hand, that expense could be worthwhile if the experience settles things finally, on e way or the other - it leaves the question - at the expense of what? 10s are invariably positive in allowing you to move on, whatever the outcome, so not playing this card could leave you forever a little stuck. Whether it is worthwhile or not is something you will almost certainly know already

Page of Wands
Pages announce things, very often in the form of letters or eMails, even telephone calls - they bring invitations, confirmations and, with Wands, its invariably good news. In many ways this card shows the spark of ‘new life’: The Page of Wands represents the brief creative spark that comes to you, suddenly and unexpectedly, and that starts you down the road of a new creative vision. Your life will never be the same once he comes into it. Wands are fire, your native element and its highly unlikely that the opportunity he brings will displease. The other association with the Page of Wands is further education, learning new skills, this being directly linked to that spark of creative ignition. In the same way, this card has a special association with issues of procreation and can be indicative of planning & starting a family, of, conceiving a child

Knight of Wands

Any event that enters your life quickly and unexpectedly is generally ruled and predicted by the Knight of Wands. The card often represents the coming or going of an important matter, and you can rest assured that these comings and going will be swift ones, no matter what the matter involved. It also augurs speedy changes of residence, which may not be advisable but which are sometimes necessary. Sometimes it shows that an important person will be either leaving your life or coming into it.  When this card shows energy within yourself that you have to bring to the surface, doing so shouldn't be very difficult. In fact, keeping it in may be harder than letting it out, so you probably shouldn't attempt to fight it at all! Your confidence levels will rise to the surface and you'll feel ready to take on the world. Tackle any and all challenges that come into your path, and always be ready to help others who lack your determination and exuberance.

Queen of Wands
Wands represent the element Fire and its association with creativity and zest for life. The court cards stand apart from the association with events and directions that the rest of the minor cards have and are more indicative of mood and identity. The Queens represent the life skills more associated with the feminine side and are supportive of socialising and problem solving, acting cooperatively, intuitively and giving nurture. As a female card, drawn by a female questioner it strongly indicates a focus on the self in relation to the issues surrounding the card.
The Queen of Wands is the most competitive and energetic of the four. She has a lot of energy to burn and favours socialising and competitive interests, together with anything artistic and creative, especially in relation to work interests or in creating an atmosphere at home. The energy used by this Queen can vanish quickly unless she is receiving constant positive feedback in which case she can truly glow and run on and on like the Duracell bunny.

King of Wands
He enjoys the rush of adrenalin that solving a difficult problem can induce. He not only dispels his own fear but that of others, by assuring them that they can succeed. He is not all talk, though; when the going gets tough no one hangs in there longer than he does. He has a deep and innate respect for other people, and his compassion extends farther than most people would expect. His faults emerge from his strengths. Most of the time he does not show enough restraint to know when assistance is not needed or wanted. He can sometimes make things even worse by doing what he thinks is the right thing - and he always thinks that what he is doing is the right thing. Most of the time his high sense of ethics proves him right, but in those few times where he is on the wrong side of the argument, he can do more harm than good. His vision is one of an ideal reality, and his vision is that humanity might always be better than it is.. If there is a cause you wish to support, but you are unsure of your position, you may proceed with the knowledge that your base of power is strong. Take your responsibilities seriously, think of new ways to do things, and never stop believing in yourself.

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© Jeremy Rogers 2007 Document made with Nvu