The fastest-moving suit in the deck and one associated with passion, creation, and ambition, this suit urges us to make space for our biggest, brightest, most powerful dreams to tap into the things that inspire and motivate us. And as exciting as it can be to throw our full selves into the things that we hope to achieve, the suit of wands also carries warnings about friction, destruction, and burnout.
Read on to learn more about how we can understand these Tarot cards in readings and some of the lessons we take from this passionate and brilliant suit.
Tarot Wands Basics
The suit of wands is one of four suits in the Minor Arcana and includes numbered cards that go from ace to ten and four court cards. These cards are connected to the astrological element of Fire, meaning that this suit is also linked to the three Fire zodiac signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
Each of the four Minor Arcana suits is associated with an aspect of our humanity.
Wands represent the soul, while swords represent the mind, cups represent the heart, and pentacles represent the body. Wands help us understand the things that drive us, the urges and instincts that motivate us, the pursuits and desires that give our life shape and meaning.
As well as Fire and the soul, the suit of wands also explores passion, attraction, motivation, sensuality, artistic endeavors, instincts, creativity, exploration, expansion, and adventure.
Just like the astrological element of Fire, it’s here that we dig deep into the desires of our deepest and truest selves. We seek the richest sense of authenticity, work to understand what inspires us, and build something that feels reflective of our greatest passions. As we move through the suit of wands, we follow a burst of energy and creativity from that initial flash of inspiration to building, collaboration, friction and frustration, new beginnings, independence, and eventually to an abundance of Fire or a sensation of burnout.
Fire can be difficult to control, and in learning to balance it with other elements, sometimes we find that it takes over, overwhelming us with its intensity.
When working with the suit of wands, keep in mind that these cards may be speaking to a creative project, an artistic dream, or a passionate interest that has been demanding more of your time.
How do you decide what to focus on? When do you trust your instincts? How do you recognize when an idea is worth your time and energy, and when do you allow yourself to step back and look more closely at your work?
The pips (or numbered cards) in the suit of wands show us many ways to think about this energy, from finding joy and a sense of empowerment through what we are building to guarding our energy and not letting our natural Fire overtake us. There are moments when we are called to action, and asked to take courage.
But there are also moments when we are asked to step back from movement and assess our choices, consider ways to slow down and be cautious about how we are spending our energy.
On the other hand, the court cards represent individuals learning how to utilize the energy of the wands best.
The page is a child and student, someone who is just beginning their journey with passion and excitement; the knight is an adolescent, eager to prove their talent and skill with confident actions; the queen is a master and ruler who teaches others how to use this element internally, and the king is a master and ruler who teaches others how to use this element externally.
These cards can represent the querent, a person in the querent’s life, or can offer advice on how to harness the energy of the suit of wands for themselves.
The Suit of Wands: Tarot Card Descriptions
Below, I offer some simple interpretations of each of the fourteen cards in the suit of wands. You can combine these with your own research or intuitive ideas to develop a personal, powerful understanding of each of these cards, but this will give you a place to begin.
Ace of Wands
Ace of Wands: A flash of inspiration, a brand new idea or goal that captivates and excites. A creative seed, a new journey, an invitation to begin something brilliant and authentic. The full potential of Fire, the soul, and the suit of wands.
2 of Wands
2 of Wands: A moment of planning before action, a chance to consider bigger goals and broader ambitions. Choosing how to proceed. Listening to our instincts, honoring our intentions, digging into the details of what we hope to build. Making sure that our vision is clear.
3 of Wands
3 of Wands: Movement with foresight, action backed by intention. Seeing our future beginning to manifest, taking steps towards something big. Bringing others into our work collaboratively, accepting new ideas, brainstorming, and sharing the excitement. Exciting change is coming.
4 of Wands
4 of Wands: Harmony, joy, celebration. Creative energy flowing, solid foundations to build upon, a clear and beautiful vision of all that is ahead. Measurable progress. Being grounded in our work, knowing that we are on a solid path, and understanding what we are to do next.
5 of Wands
5 of Wands: Complications, loss of direction, a sense of internal or external friction. Energy is being pulled in too many different places, and uncertainty about where we are in the process. Creating conflict to distract ourselves from the bigger work. Struggling to find our way.
6 of Wands
6 of Wands: Victory, achievement, a major milestone. Pride and power, confidence in where we are, a renewed sense of purpose and joy in the work that we are doing. A sense of success is partnered with the knowledge that there is more to accomplish.
7 of Wands
7 of Wands: Courage, independence, standing up for our vision and ideals. Protecting the self and our work from those who don’t understand or respect it. Being willing to stand alone, to defend what we have accomplished. Personal strength.
8 of Wands
8 of Wands: Rapid movement, momentum, action, and power. Obstacles being cleared, joyful creation, freedom of movement. A new sense of power, a rich belief in the self. The knowledge that we are creating something beautiful.
9 of Wands
9 of Wands: Tension between being almost done and almost wiped out. Resilience and persistence, pushing ourselves to the limit, a finish line within sight. One final challenge before achievement.
10 of Wands
10 of Wands: Completion, but at a cost. Being overburdened, exhausted, burned out. Too many projects without the energy to complete or organize them. The stability may or may not be permanent.
Page of Wands
Page of Wands: A child of Fire with passion, creativity, and an abundance of ideas. Someone unafraid to break the rules, go their own way, and challenge norms—courageous, independent, adventurous.
Knight of Wands
Knight of Wands: An adolescent of Fire with powerful charisma and a need to prove themselves to the world. Inspiring, expressive, and easily distracted, someone who loves starting things but may not always remember to finish them. Gets others energized, loves to travel, and discover new ideas.
Queen of Wands
Queen of Wands: A ruler of Fire who knows the depth of their vision and creativity, someone passionate and powerful, who inspires and motivates. This trailblazer has no fear of what the world thinks of them and believes completely in creating. Unique, determined, loyal.
King of Wands
King of Wands: A ruler of Fire who leads by example, one who gathers others to their cause, gives shape to brilliant projects, and teaches others to do the same. Unafraid of challenges, willing to stand up for their beliefs, independent, and bursting with Fire. Confident, intentional, ambitious.
Working With Wands
Within the suit of wands, we find some of the highest highs and lowest lows in the minor arcana, as the ways that we harness and utilize creative energy can be intensely personal.
The fire that dwells within us sometimes acts as tiny sparks and other times as an intoxicating blaze, and no matter where in that process we are, the Tarot can help us understand our own brilliance more clearly.
Which cards in the suit of wands feel the most relatable to you? Which gives you a sense of power or satisfaction, and which feels frustrating, confusing, or limiting? How does Fire interact with the other elements in the Tarot? What have you learned about your own creative process in working with these cards?
Related article: Everything You Need to Know About Swords in the Tarot