The Ace of Wands
When you cast your eyes upon the Ace of Wands they are met with a hand that reaches from the clouds, grasping at a wand that is still developing. Depicting a perfect scene of opportunity and spiritual offering towards growth and personal development. The leaves floating from the wand are often said to represent the changing of the seasons and how mankind comes into wisdom with experience.
In some renditions of the card, mountains and are shown behind the beckoning hand, suggesting that both challenges and the time they take to occur will be a factor. In some renditions of the Raider-White tarot deck, all of the cards in the Wand suit are said to represent the element of fire which is responsible for predicting creativity and will.
The most common symbols associated with the Ace of Wands are clouds, rivers, and mountains. The Ace of Wands typically signifies the changes in our life path, whether they need to be made or are inevitable.
Clouds represent the unknown elements in life. In short, the things that inspire legends, mysteries, and spark our curiosity the most. As most renditions include the reaching hand, which serves as a symbol of mankind’s will to uncover truth and disperse the clouds which veil our eyes.
Rivers imply one core idea: motion. From the flow of our emotions to the direction of ours thoughts, the river suggests that it is time to consider where our current life path is taking us.
The mountains represent challenges, with heavy mounds of rock taking our psyche’s to the limit. As you climb a mountain, you’re getting closer to the highest point and such, the mountain from the Ace of Wands represent the challenges we must overcome to achieve our goals- the highest point.
Upright, the Ace of Wands represents energy and ambition which can be taken as a sign that action is required. Whether you’ve got a new lover or a new job, this is the time to act.
Reversed this card tells you that you need to change an aspect of your life, and certain circumstances are preventing you from being able to. When this meaning appears, it’s time to think about change (though it may take awhile).
The Two of Wands
The strong figure in the image upon the Two of Wands is holding a small version of Earth, and stands calmly looking out on his great accomplishments with a beautiful terrain stretching out before him. Perhaps he thinks of his next adventure, or simply is taken aback by all he has accomplished. Dressed in bright garb, he is a perfect image of the positive approach to living life. Irregardless of purpose, the man on this card is holding the hold world in his hands- a power that should not be taken lightly.
As the 19th century progressed, many renditions of the figure standing in the image have been altered. However, the impression of his strength and power have remained congruent with his meaning: Find the courage to walk a new path.
Generally speaking, all versions of Rider-Waite include a figure of man, holding a globe in his hand, looking off in to the distance. As a whole, he represents an image of power. However, each element of the image has it’s own purpose.
The globe resembles all that is within his capability, which is everything. In his hand he holds every opportunity he needs to succeed and every chance he has to fail. Meaning that within your hands, you have every answer you need and the key is to use your ambition.
The distant landscape, lays the possible life paths he can take before him. This landscape also suggests that there is huge possibility in life, and that another horizon can always be reached. In short, the rolling water and lush landscapes encompass life’s experiences, both small and large.
His extravagant dress suggests that he is readily available for any adventure that comes his way. His passion for the journey is endless, and represents how each of us should never fear the journey but embrace the many changes that come with pursing a better future.
Upright, the Two of Wands has taken the inspiration from the Ace of Wands and is ready to set out on a path towards success. At this point, whatever you’re looking to develop can be done. You have made a plan and are ready to follow through. With this comes the suggestion that your long term goals may come into question and you may be required to take risks. However, fear not as this cards appearing upright signifies that you have all the tools you need to consider.
Reversed, the two of Wands tells you that you ignored the Ace of Wand’s calling for thought. You may have plenty of ideas but have failed to make any realistic plans to accomplish them. Additionally, this card suggests that it’s time to take a look at your long term goals. Do you need to change your environment? Now is the time to overcome whatever roadblock you have run in to.
The Three of Wands
In the depiction of the Three of Wands, a single man stands on the edge of a cliff staring distantly over the waters and furthermore, to the far-away mountains. The man sees all that surrounds him and is aware that the journey will be both rewarding and challenging. His garb is often red, to represent a royal and knowing air that encompasses him. Three tall wands surround him and are shoved deeply into the ground, symbolizing the commitment he must make to pursue his future.
The large majority of Rider-Waite tarot decks display a man in large garb, with three wands firmly in the ground he is standing upon. However, the Spanish tarot deck displays 3 wands (or Batons) crossing each other.
The majority of versions of this card show a calm onlooker facing the sea with his eyes set towards the future. All versions display the three wands, planted firmly into the ground without a chance of movement.
The man symbolizes the thought of the journey, the inner contemplation your mind commands in order to come terms with embarking, or continuing on with a journey. Whether he be excited by new opportunities on his journey, or is ready to take a risk and start a new venture.
The wands surrounding him represent the commitment he has made to his journey. They are a perfect reflection of a stable ground to move forward from.
As the body of water and mountains are present once more, it’s safe to assume their meaning contains each of the possibilities, opportunities, and obstacles that may come your way as you embark on your new sense of self.
When the Three of Wands appear upright, your adventures are far on there way and even more opportunities will be brought to your consideration to maximize the goodwill coming your way. You will be greeted with many chances to expand your horizons and have become comfortable with breaking out of what you know. As the man knows that he is committed, you probably already know what you need to do.
Reversed, the Three of Wands can leave a pretty sour taste in your mouth. When the Three of Wands appears reversed, it signifies that you have are trying to accomplish something that you do not have the tools to complete. Adversely, it can also be taken as a sign that you are becoming engrossed in worry that your plans may fall through.
The Four of Wands
The Four of Wands displays a form of celebration, with people dancing amongst a wreath of lush grapes and peaches that are tied to four beautifully adorned wands that sore high above the happy dancers. In the background stands a large castle, signifying that the kingdom has come upon a great surplus or is celebrating a great hero in their community.
The canopy featured on the Four of Wands is noted to be that of a Jewish wedding canopy (or chuppah) and expresses that a great time of success and satisfaction has occurred through personal growth, reaching your goals, or expanding your horizons.
Key symbols to take from the Four of Wands revolve around success. Celebrations of happiness, new beginnings, and pleasure are all associated with this card from the Rider-Waite tarot.
The Four of Wands is unique in the fact that all the wands seems to stand on their own and begin to create a structure, which up until this point has not been a quality of the Wands. As a symbol of what has been overcome, they stand strong to signify that your challenges that have paid off and you are now stable or growing.
The people symbolize a great togetherness, as it is apparent in other cards that the figures on the Wands suite are known to be alone. With this, it can be determined that you and your loved ones will be celebrated your success and ready for a plentiful harvest. Whether the harvest be financial, mentally, or emotionally, all signs point to a better time.
In the upright position, the Four of Wands is a sign that you’re life is harmonious and your home life is stable. The four wands can be taken as a balance within the elements. This is the perfect time to get together with your family as this card often predicts a birth, engagement, or milestone of success in your life or family’s life. It serves as a reminder that there is always encouragement and happiness to be found after the turmoils that come with a new and exciting challenge. It may be easier for you bury a past mistake, or to flourish amongst your newfound success.
Reversed, the Four of Wands warns of dark energy. They may be a fight in your home or a breakdown of communication throughout your life. Altogether, when this card appears reversed it can be assumed that the person is suffering an unstable environment. Whether in your love life, work life, or home life, the Four of Wands reversed warns that there are many factors which will make the upcoming events in your life very taxing.
The Five of Wands
Five men wave their wands around without regard for each other upon the image of the Five of Wands. It seems as if they are in the middle of a conflict, fighting it our for better or for worse. However, if a closer look is taken it is made clear that no man s actually hurting another man, nor does any one person have the intent to hurt another. Each man wears a different garb to symbolize the various cultures of which they hail from.
Though the Five of Wands is generally recognized as a time of anxiety, pressure, and conflict, in early European days many took the Five of Wands as a sign that they would earn gold in their conquest against opposing nations. Irregardless, the card was never be taken lightly
There are five key words that come alone with the Five of Wands. Anxiety, conflict, disagreement, strife, and struggle. Perhaps you and a loved one are fighting, or you are coming into difficulties with your co-workers. Either way, the plight of the Five of Wands should not be taken lightly.
The men featured on the card represent other individuals you may come into disagreement with. You may feel that your opinion is undervalued, or simply that no one will take the time to listen to you. However, each man has his own force which is made apparent by the wands.
The wands each man wields show the power that each individual has in any given situation. Whether that be for good or evil, gain or loss. The choice to hurt another is not entirely in their hands, but they wild the capability to fight against your goals and ideas. It is important to take into consideration the forces which you may be dealings with.
Upright, the Five of Wands presents a challenge to your common life. You may be enduring a conflict, or feel the tension rising in a certain situation. At times, it seems that there is very little progress to be made. Additionally, this position can also lean to the thought that a group of people are all working towards the same end goal but that no process is being made in achieving it. Regardless, your solution should always be to push towards a positive environment and to work constructively with the people around you to come a solution. Though it can be painful, be open to resolution and the idea that you may need to make some sacrifices.
Reversed, the Five of Wands is telling you that you have avoided conflict and change far too often. Doing so can add a lot of stress to your life and bring emotional unrest. It is best to confront conflict and refuse to allow concerns to become underlying issues. If you feel that this does not fit your plight, the Five of Wands can also signify that you have made just confronted the unrest that has developed in your life. You may have recently come to terms with changes you need to make and must known focus your mind towards new possibilities and opportunities.
The Six of Wands
The man who sits atop the horse on the Six of Wands wears a wreath around his head while being surrounded by the faces of happy, cheering people. His white stead represents a perfect image of strength and pure intention. The people who surround him cheer his achievements and wish for everyone to rejoice under his accomplishments. The wands appear in unity and the man who sits upon the horse raises his wand especially high. the adorned wreath a symbol os his pride.
Though tarot has existed before Rider-Waite, there are few versions that show anything but the man who rests upon this golden steed. However, various versions hail pride to their culture by depicting his figure with their nation’s garb.
The words that rise to mind when the Six of Wands appear are triumph, reward, and recognition. This can hardly be argued by the appearance of the card, and as it is the next step from the Five of Wands where tragedy is far too present.
Perhaps the greatest symbol is the man atop the horse, who has completed his adventure and can show off what he has done to his peers. If you have accomplished something in your life, now is the time to be joyful. Your loved ones will surround you and cheer along.
The five wands display unity, and everyone is given their chance to shine and enjoy the prosperity that has been wrought by this man’s adventure. This is a show of public recognition, and to you it means that your family and all that surround you will be touched by the goals you have reached and the obstacles that you have overcome.
The horse which he rides upon, shows the strength that he has used in order to overcome those obstacles. Which translates to the skills you may have had to utilize when coming to realize your own life path.
Upright the Six of Wands is entirely about success and recognition. You’ve achieved your goals and impressed all of your peers, furthermore your success is so pure that you are not held hostage by criticism. You should take the Six of Wands as even more positive reinforcement in who you are and what you have done. Adversely, if you have been basking in your reward a bit too long the Six of Wands may suggest that your egotism could come to an unhealthy point.
When the Six of Wands appears in a reading reversed, you are at the furthest point. You are not being warned of arrogance, but being told that you have had a fall from grace. You feel depressed or lack self-esteem and the Six of Wands is reversed to tell you that you are better off finding a new path. Maybe you are trying to achieve too many things at once, or are discouraged by the success you once had.
The Seven of Wands
The man on the Seven of Wands has a look of utter discourse on his face, and struggles against people who want his success and status. He frantically and fiercely defends himself and those who are attacking him and struggles to keep his footing. He worries that someone will try to claim all that he has worked for, and fears that his status will be retracted from him.
Interestingly enough, in certain versions of the Rider-Waite Seven of Wands the man who struggles is featured to be wearing two different shoes. Experts suggests that this furthers the idea of the man not knowing where he stands, but in a more political manor. He is unsure of where his loyalties rest.
The concepts that come to mind for a reader when the Seven of Wands appears is courage, long-term goals, and perseverance. As the man struggles, it is made clear that he may be threatened. This symbolizes the nature of human beings and their success because in addition to reaching our goals, we must work hard to maintain what we have learned.
The wands themselves represent the threat and opposition that comes with success. Regardless of what we do, there will be people in life who challenge who we are and try to take what we have. In order to respond, we must find the courage to act positively and prompt even though we may feel vulnerable.
Upright, the Seven of Wands foretells a struggle after the initial fulfillment of attaining a goal. However, this is not the struggle to remain successful but to remain at the top of your class. The competition is close, and you must continually prove yourself. Additionally, the Seven of Wands can warn of bump in success, a challenge that slows down the process. Regardless, the Seven of Wands aims to teach us that though we won;t win everything, it’s incredibly important to try for success and be courageous in our endeavors.
When the Seven of Wands appears reversed, it’s meaning becomes more of an internal struggle with yourself. You may feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, or have failed to take opportunities that have come before you. You may be self critical, and the Seven of Wands reversed means that you need to build your self-confidence and take more time to understand what your purpose is. Adversely, the appearance of the reversed Seven of Wands can also indicate that you have been to territorial and are taking the task of keeping your status much too far.
Raider White Tarot Guide