Wands / Staves

Wands represent the element of Fire, which is our energy. Here, we see the various ways our vitality influences the events in our lives. This is our life force and its activity, initiative, passion, inspiration, drive, will. Its shadows may present as impulsivity, rashness, indecisiveness, taking risks, hyperactivity, and such.

Wands may also represent the identities we adopt. This is where issues of identity and ego are most revealed, as well as the expressions of jealousy and other shadows of ego identification. The invitations and lessons we confront here ask us to honor our inner flame. Are we ready to step into a new role?

Historically, the four suits were associated with the four classes of society, and Wands or Staves (as clubs) represented the peasantry. In modern classist or Marxist tarot, this translates to the proletariat – labor and the working class, as well as artists and other makers.

If we consider the four humours of the body and temperament as in Galen’s time, Wands or Staves correlated with Yellow Bile and were therefore choleric — energetic and ambitious but easily angered and dominating (hence a “fiery” temperament). As Jung’s cognitive functions go, the suit of Wands corresponds to Intuition, which is more figurative than literal ‘big picture’ thinking. Unconstrained by the restrictions of what is, in favor of more imaginative ideas and possibilities.

Ace of Wands:
reach up and grab the energy available to you

Two of Wands
take the initiative to explore outside of yourself

Three of Wands
assimilate and expand

Four of Wands
take a break from the activity

Five of Wands
establish order out of discord

Six of Wands
take pride in victory

Seven of Wands
stand firm against adversaries

Eight of Wands
trust that things are moving swiftly, now

Nine of Wands
rest where you can in order to persevere

Ten of Wands
ask for help or delegate where you can

Page of Wands
explore your inner fire

Knight of Wands
just do it

Queen of Wands
harness your will and direct it

King of Wands
take your vision out into the world

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