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 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.