A man walks forward, bent over and carrying a bundle of ten staves. His head is downward and tucked into the bundle. A villa and farmed land are in the distance.
Heavy burdens and overwhelming responsibilities. The subject literally feels that he has the weight of the world on his back. He’s staggering along, shouldering the burden, but he’s lost sight of his long term goals and any real meaning in his life.
Reversed: The subject may be approaching a time when she can lay her burdens down but it may not be in a pleasant context. Possible loss of a job, demotion, or simply giving up and walking away.
EXAMPLES: The workaholic. Someone who is consumed by his job, not because he loves his work, but because he’s lost any sense of his true self and joy in life.
Taking care of family to the exclusion of taking care of yourself.
A man stands in front of a virtual wall of staves, clutching a staff in his hands. He has been wounded and his arm and head are bandaged. He appears to be staring off to the side with a worried, cautious look on his face.
The subject has obviously been beaten up by life. He or she may still be standing but there are some pretty serious wounds. The main message here is to just hold your position and be prepared for further attacks. Do NOT seek out further battles, pick fights, or even get into arguments right now. Hold still and wait to heal.
Reversed: Things could get worse. The subject could lose her job or position in life. The stress from the psychological wounds may lead to physical illness.
EXAMPLES: Think of a boxer on the ropes. He’s absorbed too many punches and he’s just trying to hold out until the bell rings and he can make it back to his corner.
So called, “friends,” who insist on continuing an argument long after you’ve had enough of it.
Eight staves appear to be flying through the air, descending toward earth. A peaceful river valley lies in the background.
New ideas and inspirations are literally flying into the subjects life and consciousness. Perhaps new associates, friends, or business relations which are novel and help to move the subject to greater heights and fresh horizons. On a mundane level, there is a possibility of air travel associated with the subjects employment.
Reversed: This is not the time to try out new or untested ideas. Stay grounded on familiar territory and don’t take risks. Travel plans may be canceled.
EXAMPLES: New, cool friends who turn you on to ways of thinking and feeling that you’ve never experienced before.
Meditating and suddenly seeing beyond what you always thought was reality.
A man stands on top of a rising or hillock, a staff held crosswise in his hands in a defensive position. Six staves seems to wave in the air just beneath him and he wears an expression of concern and watchfulness.
A card of battles and a constant state of conflict. The key to note with this card is that – while under siege – the subject still holds the high ground and will probably triumph. Tactically, it is important for the subject to remember that he or she is outnumbered and it’s best to deal with one problem or person at a time rather than attempt to take them all on at once.
Reversed – There are just too many opponents or problems for the time being. Disengage from conflict and deal with what you can or you must.
EXAMPLES: A boss or supervisor who is under constant criticism from superiors and rebellion from employees. The misery of having to constantly fight just to hold your position.
Sharing a house with roommates who are constantly criticizing you.
A man rides a horse through a crowd. He is robed in purple, wears a laurel crown and carries a stave which is topped with another crown of laurel. Five people stand aside as he rides by, each one clutching a staff of their own.
A card of victory and success. Of the multiple people battling in the five of wands, this person has emerged victorious and holds the dominant position. The cloak he wears signifies authority and command and he is definitely in charge. The laurel crowns tell us that he has won legitimate honors and recognition. This card can indicate victory in a legal battle or show that the subject’s ideas and view points have launched him or her into a position of authority. Promotions may be indicated.
Reversed: Approach any conflict with extreme caution. The subject is not in a position of strength and will lose if he engages in a fight. Walk away and live to fight another day.
EXAMPLES: Winner. Think of a person who has used her wits, skill, knowledge and persuasion to emerge as the head of the pack.
Winning an election.
Five men, crowded together, hold wands aloft. At first glance this appears to be five people engaged in a fight with staves, a scene right out of the old Robin Hood movies. Upon closer examination, however, it’s apparent that they are holding the staves one handed rather than in a two handed fighting stance and don’t even seem to be looking at each other. Indeed, the placement of the wands suggests that they are very close to constructing a pentacle with them.
Difficult negotiations, conflict, struggle, competing ideas fighting for ascendancy. This is a shift from the previous cards because it shows a group effort, several people working on putting ideas or projects into effect and having strong differences of opinions. They are literally trying to construct something new by joining their separate ideas together. There will be a tough period to get through but you can still expect a positive outcome at the end.
Reversed: Walk away from the negotiations, let passions calm down and try again later. Emotions are getting in the way of ideas and this project isn’t going to work right now.
EXAMPLES: A large committee or work group composed of people who have wildly different approaches to solving problems and very different ways of thinking.
A commune where the members are working together but have very different philosophies about life.
Four staves are planted in the ground and flowers, leaves and fruit are woven together and hanging from their tops. In the background a couple dances joyously in front of a castle, waving bouquets over their heads as they dance. A few individuals on the left are engaged in conversation, seemingly oblivious to the celebration taking place next to them.
A card of celebration, happiness and union. The idea that sprang forth in the Ace of Wands has been successfully brought into being and it’s time to celebrate. On a different level, the four wands very much resemble both a wedding gazebo and a gate and this card may indicate two people starting a new life together. It may be a private arrangement of living together that even family members don’t know about. Alternatively it may show a well earned vacation after a period of intensely hard work.
Reversed: Delays and difficulties. Troublesome details are preventing the completion of a project and celebrations and rest must be put off for the time being. A romantic relationship may be going through a rough patch that’s causing second thoughts about living EXAMPLES: Two people who are madly in love and celebrating life with all of their hearts and souls.
A man wearing a red and green cloak and a circlet around his head stands on a hill or cliff staring out at ships traversing a bay. He grasps one staff in his right hand and two other staffs are planted firmly in the ground behind him. The sea is placid and emits a golden glow.
The abstract idea or intuition of the Ace of Wands has been brought into being in the material world and is bringing rewards to the subject. He or she is sending this creativity out into the world and sharing it with others, as represented by the ships setting sail in the harbor. This individual has his back turned and this may indicate a person who is totally absorbed in his ventures to the exclusion of his social life. On a mundane level, your job may require that you do some traveling.
Reversed: The world may not be ready to accept your new and novel ideas at this time. Wait until another time or at least slow walk the venture you’re trying to launch.
Examples: Someone who has worked his or her butt off and is seeing returns on the project. Think of a person in development and research who has spent hundreds of hours meticulously assembling a product and it’s finally off of the ground and working great.
Publishing a book and seeing the sales continue to go up.
An individual draped in a purple cloak stands atop a parapet holding a staff in his left hand and a globe of the world in his right hand. A second staff is bolted firmly to the stone wall of the castle. The vista stretching out before him appears to be a quiet village next to a bay.
On the most simplistic level, a decision is being made, perhaps about travel or a real estate deal. The subject may be contemplating relocating. On a deeper level, this is about how to bring the idea in the Ace of Wands into being in the material world. The royal purple of the cloak shows that this is a person who is firmly in command of the process and the wand fastened to the wall shows that he or she is well grounded emotionally and intellectually.
Reversed: Delays and hassles in real estate deals or moving. Perhaps a new venture that is running into unexpected difficulties. May indicate that the subject needs to delay putting ideas or ventures into effect.
EXAMPLES: Someone who is very rational and balanced and is carefully moving a project forward step by step. This is the planner, the detail person who makes things happen.
Designing a complex web site to promote your business.