Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.
Overview of the Ace of Wands
The Ace of Wands is considered the luckiest card in tarot—think of it as a lucky four-leaf clover. This card is arguably the starter card and is the first card of the Suit of Wands. This suit also represents the first element in Western astrology—fire.
The Ace of Wands represents the power to get anything you want. It is a sign of more money, better relationships, better health, and a longer life. This card is also called The Ace of Clubs or The Ace of Batons. It is the initiation card to the teachings of fire and free will. It is the spark behind everything—the catalyst behind the big bang. I hope what you're reading excites you. This card encourages you to look at the origin of the Universe, the origin of yourself, and even the possibility of a god's birth.
It All Starts With Fire
The highly influential Greek philosopher Heraclitus believed "fire is the arche." What does that mean? He believed fire was the beginning, the source of everything, and the ultimate underlying source. He believed this fundamental element gave rise to the others.
His philosophy stems from the question of why are humans warm? From this question he pondered the building blocks of our reality.
Some believe Heraclitus meant fire as a metaphor for Logos as the source of all things. Logos is the principle of order and knowledge.
Here is a quote from the ancient philosopher:
"This world, which is the same for all, no one of gods or men has made. But it always was and will be: an ever-living fire, with measures of it kindling, and measures going out." — from Clement Miscellanies 5.103.3
Luck, inspiration, growth, potential, opportunities, the beginning, prosperity, good things to come, improved health, higher knowledge, gateway to understanding, passion.
Lack of direction, running out of time, running out of supplies, distractions, constricted movement, delays, blank space, an emerging idea, depletion, unkempt, indistinct.
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Ace of Wands shows a hand holding a blossoming wand. The hand extends out of a cloud, which is an image that is repeated in all Ace cards.
The hand reaches out as if to offer a new opportunity. In the background there is a grassland and a castle. The castle could be yours if you take the Ace of Wands. You'll have to commit to the offer if you want its rewards.
The rolling hills in the background represent the challenges you'll face along your journey. With enough stamina, you'll climb up those hills and gain new perspective.
What Is the Suit of Wands?
Since this is the first card of the Suit of Wands, I thought it would be helpful to define the Suit itself.
Read More From Exemplore
The Suit is one of four suits that make up the Minor Arcana. The other suits are: the Suit of Pentacles, the Suit of Swords, and the Suit of Cups. Each suit contains fourteen cards: an ace, two through ten, and four court cards (the page, the knight, the queen, and the king).
The Wands represent fire. Fire is associated with the actions of free will and is related to the powers of vitality. Fire is where you get energy, creativity, and ambition.
Fire plays with the ideas of both creation and destruction. The Suit looks into how you treat your free will and how you can master it. You must embrace your free will if you want to accomplish anything. You must also keep it in check and not give into impulses and temptations.
Young and Free
Wands often represent a young or energetic person. Wand cards often represent one of the three fire-based Sun signs in Western astrology. This includes Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
How Tarot Works
Tarot is meant to teach you about self-care. It encourages you to align with your Higher Self, to seek wisdom, and to create better relationships with virtues. Follow the lessons of the cards, and you'll better navigate the circumstances of your life. Tarot simply is 78 cards that are based on 78 archetypes that occur in most people's lives.
Reading cards is simply trying to understand the symbols on them and learning about the trials people go through. Think of it as a way to organize all the possibilities you could run into and the lessons you need to learn.
Physical Manifestation (The Body)
Head, Heart, Thighs
Neck/Throat, Chest, Legs/Shins
Arms & Shoulders, Belly, Ankles
Hands, Root Chakra (Spine Base), Feet
Mars, Sun, Jupiter
Mercury, Venus, Saturn
Mercury, Venus, Uranus
Moon, Pluto, Neptune
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Gemini, Aquarius, Libra
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Dragon, Monkey, Rat
Snake, Rooster, Ox
Horse, Dog, Tiger
Goat, Pig, Rabbit
Yin and Yang
Harry Potter Houses
Poker Card Equivalents
Upright Ace of Wands
When the Ace of Wands arrives, things are about to get interesting. There will be things that happen in your favor. Remember: the Ace of Wands replicates the energy that started the whole universe. It allows for possibilities and opportunities.
The opening of the Universe was the most fortunate event of all time. The manifestation of the Universe gives you the freedom and room to express your life.
This card is your four-leaf clover. It means you have power. The real question is what will you do with that power? Will you use it for good or evil?
An Invitation to Be Decisive
The Ace of Wands motivates you to pick a path. It encourages you to make bold moves. Don't be afraid of risks! If you want to thrive, you'll have to get out of your shell. Dance with your life—don't put it on pause.
The wands and swords in tarot are considered action-oriented cards, while the pentacles and cups are considered resource-oriented cards. The wands encourage you to fight for your values, for your destiny, and for truth. If you're not careful with your free will, you could become arrogant. Greed is the vice of pentacles, lust is the vice of cups, and pride is the vice of wands.
A Reminder to Follow Your Heart
This card is an invitation to listen to your heart and suggests you take time to grow your empathy. Caring about others is what should inspire you. This reminds you that what is important is for the world to be a better place and that you should strive to be collaborative, not competitive.
When you find work that's meaningful you'll come alive. You need to work and be connected to a group of people that helps our world to become more of a paradise. The Ace of Wands promises fortune, but only if you give to the world. It's easy to take from the world, but this selfishness has consequences.
A Clear Yes
The Ace of Wands translates to a giant YES! The sprouting wand and fertile landscape is indicative of positivity. This "yes" might not be in the way you want it, but the Universe is working to bring you to your highest good. This sometimes might conflict with your personal desires. No one on this planet has mastered their free will to 100%, and not every desire you have is good for you.
Embrace Your Energy!
Now is the time to embrace your energy. You should ask yourself each morning how you're going to use your energy. The Ace of Wands encourages you to go. Stop trying to plan out every detail, and trust that the Universe will take you where you need to be. The Suit of Wands can be in direct conflict with the Suit of Pentacles, and you may feel like you have to follow one suit or the other. Remember that they both have different pros, cons, and rewards.
Listen to your gut. If something feels right then go with it. If you have experts on your side then you're on the right track.
Once you've built up momentum, move. Don't try to sit and hold onto momentum forever. You're built to move just as the Universe is designed to move and not just sit still.
A Sign of Beginnings
The Ace of Wands is the beginning. It's the seed, and so results might not be seen for a very long time. One day the spark will grow into a mighty flame, but until then you must do what you can to maximize the promise that has been given to you.
Seize the day when it comes to new beginnings. If you simply hide the seed and ignore it, you won't reap the rewards.
The Ace of Wands appears to those who are ready to have personal or spiritual growth. You may be encouraged to explore your creative side or to take on new classes. Enroll yourself in school if there is something you desire to explore. Trust that your path will bring you to your goal.
Ask yourself the question: "What do I desire?"
Reversed Ace of Wands
Consider it a blank slate when this card shows up in the reversed position. It is a sign that no potential or energy has moved onto the scene and that you're currently at rest. You're only living in your dreams and not participating in real life.
Perhaps there are multiple universes. Some are created by a god and some aren't. The reversed Ace of Wands is a space where energy is blocked and no momentum has formed.
The reversed Ace of Wands does hint that there is luck to be found. You're just not looking in the right place or it hasn't been unlocked yet. For some reason, things are on pause. Know that you can't force things to go ahead of their time.
A Sign of Possible Self-Sabotage
This card could be a sign that you are hindering your progress through your uncertainties. Perhaps you're putting your foot on the brakes instead of the gas. Sometimes we do need to look around us to think about possibilities before ultimately committing to a path. Other times, we let things go or surrender. Perhaps at this juncture, we are too afraid to trust life.
Make Time for Introspection and Creativity
Sometimes it's a good idea to hold onto a dream in private. You may prefer to hold onto it in secret to nurture it before it stands in the light and the scrutiny of others. Many of the most beautiful creative breakthroughs come from alone time.
Perhaps you need to step away from the crowd to reconnect with your energy and to help bring out your full potential.
Are You Having Difficulty Finding Your Purpose?
The reversed Ace of Wands indicates you might be struggling to find a purpose in life. Perhaps you're stuck in an existential stupor and something has sapped your energy, and in a sense, your faith.
Being in this space actually makes you highly influential. You're looking for something to spark you, and you're not being particularly picky. This could easily lead to some bad decisions.
To remedy your stagnation, first focus on what makes you feel passionate. You're not going to address a goal until it motivates you. Contemplate what it is you aspire to be. What do you wish to see happen in your lifetime?
Combing through these thoughts can be really hard. I suggest talk therapy to help you get to the root of your desire. I also suggest self-care: sleep at a regular time, eat well, reduce stress, and exercise.
It's very hard to figure out what you desire if you have so many things competing for your attention. Curb the distractions. Put your phone in a drawer and walk away. Stop watching TV. Get outside and walk in nature. You must listen to the rawest part of yourself, and this can be hard to do. The part of you that wants to aspire might be angry at you for prioritizing other things that are mere distractions.
Think about it. Who did you want to become when you were younger? A writer? A doctor? A charitable do-gooder? What's stopping you?
Don't Let Delays Control You
You can control some of the delays in your life, but you must first remove distractions. Don't mock momentum that's slow. Believe in your future even if your present is stagnant. Remember that timing is key, and you can't force things ahead of their time.
Meditation can help you visualize your future and your desire. Your unique passion is where your skills lie and is where you can find motivation. A real dream isn't one that dies easily, and you'll keep fighting for it despite the setbacks.
Fire is the starting element. Know it deeply and the other elements will appear. Before you can have the responsibilities of physical manifestation, thoughts, and emotions . . . you must have free will. This card is a reminder to begin with your desire.
- Bakalis, Nikolaos (2005). Handbook of Greek Philosophy: From Thales to the Stoics: Analysis and Fragments. Trafford Publishing. pp. 26–45 under Heraclitus. ISBN 978-1-4120-4843-9.
- Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (2nd ed): Heraclitus, 1999.
- Fairbanks, Arthur (1898). The First Philosophers of Greece. New York: Scribner.
- Gray, Eden (1879) The Tarot Revealed: A Modern Guide to Reading Tarot Cards, ISBN 978-0-451-09510-7 p. 13.
- Ivtzan, I (2007). "Tarot Cards: A Literature Review and Evaluation of Psychic versus Psychological Explanations". Journal of Parapsychology: 139–140.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence