In the traditional Tarot there are 22 Major arcana cards and the minor arcana is divided into 4 suits. Wands (Staffs in some decks), Cups, Swords, and Pentacles (coins). Often in Tarot spreads there will be an abundance of one particular suit. This adds to the meaning of your reading as that particular suit will also lend insight into things the questioner should consider.
The wands represent passion, initiative, and ideas – that first spark you get that elicits excitement and anticipation. The suit of Wands is the suit of fire and as such it represents enthusiasm, passionate thoughts, ideas buzzing etc. In a course of events, it represents the planning stages or initial hint of what is taking shape.
In the Tarot there is a natural progression through the suits with the wands being ideas and initiative, the cups being feelings and intuition or how you feel about the ideas/plans you have. You've moved beyond the inkling or thought and now are starting to feel or gain some insight into what may develop. This is followed by swords being the action cards where you work to manifest your ideas/goals. Finally, the pentacles represent the culmination of the other stages where you discover rewards or consequences for your actions, or lack thereof.
When wands show up in abundance and they are all or mostly upright, it speaks of being busy, alive with ideas and innovation, in the midst of a planning stage where you are also feeling optimistic about the future. Upright wands in abundance can represent someone who is an ideas person, they start off with passion but sometimes require the assistance of others to keep them on target or to encourage them to take action on their ideas.
If your spread features a lot of Wand reversals it may be time to reconsider your ideas and plans. Perhaps what you think you want is not really in your best interests at this time. You may also find that you are so stuck on an idea that you are not opening up to all the possibilities and potential that surround you. Wands speak of great opportunities and an abundance of energy, reversed however they speak of limitations and loss of passion/excitement.
Often these cards will come up reversed when we are not looking for new ways to experience growth or not challenging ourselves enough. They come up reversed around things that have stagnated or are not progressing. They can also point to a bad idea or even poor timing when it comes to plans.
In future posts I will cover the individual cards in greater detail and you will be able to see how the suit meanings and card meanings coincide quite well. Seeing a lot of wands lately? Great! Use that passion and energy to create a solid plan rather than act impulsively. Are they reversed? Perhaps it's time to consider some new ideas or do something to re-spark your passion and initiative. Wands are part of the drive that leads to strong actions – if you are feeling only “so so” about your goals, you are probably pursuing the wrong path.
Quick Reference (These traits are quite general and will depend on the context of other cards around them etc.)
Positive Traits Associated with Wands
passion, ideas, clever thought, good humor, initiative, planning, charm, charisma, attracting others who will help you.
Challenges Associated with Wands
impulsiveness, impatience, self-centeredness, laziness, “settling” - path of least resistance, difficulty finishing what one starts.
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