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The Eight of Wands in Tarot and How to Read It

Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.

The Eight of Wands suggests rapid movement. There is a lot of potential up in the air. If you play your cards right, what you truly want could be manifested.

The Eight of Wands suggests rapid movement. There is a lot of potential up in the air. If you play your cards right, what you truly want could be manifested.

The Eight of Wands

I associate the Eight of Wands with rapid movement. This is something that happens to you suddenly or unexpectedly, and it usually manifests as a decisive yes or no. Think of it as a whole bunch of arrows in the sky that have to land somewhere—all that energy can't just stay up in the air. If you direct that energy appropriately, you'll be happy with the results.

When you see the Eight of Wands, you should think of action, swiftness, and speed. In the Seven of Wands, a man is shown defending a village during a surprise ambush. Following that attack, the Eight of Wands shows an array of weapons in the air. It's chaotic. It's dangerous. And we know there will be a decisive end.

The Suit of Wands often deals with new information and ideas. This card is associated with unexpected news and fast-paced conversations. It could also represent technological advances and the Information Age. People are impatient, they demand instant results, and they're constantly looking for new ideas/content.

This card is about speed and instinct. It could be a sign that you're comfortable rolling the dice or putting things up to chance. Perhaps you want to try your luck. This card could represent someone who gambles or lives life on the edge.

Sagittarius Energy

This card is ruled by the energy of Sagittarius. Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius, which is the mutable sign of fire. Jupiter is seen as the planet of luck, while Sagittarius is the sign of spontaneity, wildness, and freedom.

Card Alignments

Upright

Haste, journey, air travel, speed, motion, end to a delay, swiftness, action, movement, energetic, alignment, change, rapid, sudden, unexpected, gambling, chaos, playing with fate.

Reversed

Delays, setbacks, slow recovery, missed deadline, resisting change, internal alignment, frustration, staggered, anticipation, holding back, tensions, deception.

In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Eight of Wands shows eight wands up in the air. They're sprouting, which indicates growth, potential, and manifestation.

In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Eight of Wands shows eight wands up in the air. They're sprouting, which indicates growth, potential, and manifestation.

Card Description

In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Eight of Wands card shows eight wands sailing across the sky. The wands are sprouting and moving at a high rate of speed. The sky is clear and blue. There is a beautiful river in the background. It's a pleasant time of day, and the scenery is lovely. The card indicates positive results and balance.

Reviewing the Suit of Wands

The Suit of Wands represents the element of fire. Fire is associated with free will, energy, creativity, and inspiration. Fire is the first element of the zodiac, which starts with Aries. The other two fire signs are Leo and Sagittarius.

Fire is said to be the first element of the universe and all the other elements came from it. Wands are associated with taking risks, ambition, action, and exploration. The suit starts with the seed of an idea.

  • Ace of Wands: The seed of an idea.
  • Two of Wands: The manifestation of a plan. You're planning from the comfort of your home.
  • Three of Wands: The first steps of a plan are put into action. You've left the comfort of your home to travel and champion your idea.
  • Four of Wands: The first real milestone has successfully been reached. (The card is associated with newlyweds, weddings, and celebrations.)
  • Five of Wands: A conflict has taken place over whose idea is best. The Five of Wands is seen as a battle. It's unclear what will be the outcome of the battle.
  • Six of Wands: Victory has taken place. A conclusion has been reached since the events of the Five of Wands. A public celebration takes place to honor those who won the battle.
  • Seven of Wands: A surprise attack has occurred. The attack came following the public celebration of the victors. The enemies are fighting to gain back territory. The victors must defend their idea or community at all costs. You need a strong defense to outwit a strong attack.
  • Eight of Wands: A rapid and diverse attack from far away. The attack is powerful. Concentrating on your idea from the Ace of Wands will result in its full manifestation.

Tarot Suits

CategoryWandsPentaclesSwordsCups

Element

Fire

Earth

Air

Water

Represents

Free will

Physical Manifestation (The Body)

Thoughts

Emotions

Color

Red

Green

Yellow

Blue

Animals

Land Mammals

Reptiles

Birds

Fish

Music

Percussion

Brass

Woodwinds

Strings

Numbers

1, 5, 9

2, 6, 10

3, 7, 11

4, 8, 12

The Body

Head, Heart, Thighs

Throat/Neck, Chest, Legs/Shins

Arms & Shoulders, Belly, Ankles

Hands, Root Chakra (Spine Base), Feet

Ruling Planets

Mars, Sun, Jupiter

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

Mercury, Venus, Uranus

Moon, Pluto, Neptune

Seasons

Summer

Spring

Winter

Fall

Four Humors

Yellow Bile

Black Bile

Blood

Phlegm

Western Astrology

Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Chinese Zodiac

Dragon, Monkey, Rat

Snake, Rooster, Ox

Horse, Dog, Tiger

Sheep, Pig, Rabbit

Yin and Yang

Yang

Yin

Yang

Yin

Court Cards

Knight

Page

King

Queen

Poker Equivalents

Clubs

Diamonds

Spades

Hearts

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Read More From Exemplore

The Eight of Wands is powerful. You've basically put all your ideas and hopes into one concerted effort. All of this energy could result in what you want, or it could turn the tide on stagnation and give you real progress.

The Eight of Wands is powerful. You've basically put all your ideas and hopes into one concerted effort. All of this energy could result in what you want, or it could turn the tide on stagnation and give you real progress.

Upright Eight of Wands

I see this card as an affirmative answer. It screams yes in the upright position and no in the reversed position. Why do I feel that way?

I see so much pressure in the image. Everything that goes up in the air codifies into a cohesive answer. I see it as a fast-moving yes. Because there are so many wands, it means there is a great deal of potential.

Flying by Plane

The card is about air travel. You're on a plane, and you're going to reach your destination. The card also means that you're traveling over a large distance to reach your conclusion. This is an attack that's from afar, not right next to you. You're thinking like an archer, not a sword fighter. Air travel can be sneaky. You can subvert expectations. You can also hurt several opponents at once with arrows, whereas with a sword you're usually concentrating on one opponent at a time.

A Great Deal of Energy

The card is robustly enthusiastic and is the antithesis of the sedentary lifestyle. It is a symbol that a lot has been tossed up and thrown into the air. There is an element of danger and risk as you've basically taken all your ideas and thrown them into the sky to test their validity.

If this card were to describe a person, it would be someone who can't sit still and constantly needs something to inspire them. They could be addicted to exercise or could be a daredevil.

Battle Tactics

When I see this card, I think of a battle. Two sides are closing in on each other and one side starts throwing things into the air. Arrows haphazardly go everywhere and there are casualties. If the defending side is smart, they'll make a shield wall or use some other tactic to protect themselves from the projectiles. Resources will be used, squandered, and tossed to the side.

Battles often use up supplies. This card isn't about conservation.

Finally Making Progress

The card hints that there will be some quick movements. If you've been waiting a long time for something to happen, you can expect progress in the near future. I see this card as an affirmation: expect results, expect change, expect excitement.

Sometimes change can be frustrating or unwanted. It's best to go with the flow. Don't be stubborn—resisting change will make things harder for you. It's not always easy to accept, but change can be good for you.

Stay Off the Brakes and Hit the Gas

This card is about hitting the gas and accelerating to your next destination. Something is moving quickly from point A to point B. The card might make you consider your upcoming travel plans. If you have a typical 9 to 5 full-time job and you haven't used up all your PTO for the end of the year, now is a good time to schedule a vacation.

Know What You Want

This card is a sign that it might be time to focus on your intentions. Look back at the Ace of Wands if you're uncertain about what idea you want to manifest. Putting a great deal of energy into something you don't really want to manifest is going to feel like a big waste of time, so know what you want before you commit to something.

Haste Makes Waste

Be forewarned: something that happens rapidly doesn't necessarily mean it will congeal. Things that are done hastily are often done poorly. Hopefully, you have been practicing what you need and honing your instincts so that things fall in your favor.

Make sure you complete one task before moving to the next one. Studies show that multitasking is more like distracted-tasking. You're not necessarily doing a great job if you're getting multiple things done. Be attentive with each task.

Strike While the Iron Is Hot

This card could be a suggestion that you want to get in on the action while it's hot. Don't try to jump on board after the fact. If you see a stock skyrocket one day, don't expect that trend to stay the same.

The Eight of Wands is busy. There is a lot of action taking place. If you use all this energy intelligently, you'll outmaneuver your opposition.

The Eight of Wands is busy. There is a lot of action taking place. If you use all this energy intelligently, you'll outmaneuver your opposition.

Reversed Eight of Wands

You're charging ahead with a plan, but you should probably slow down and consider what you're doing. All the energy you're putting into your work might backfire and slap you in the face. You're putting in a lot of energy, but you're not going anywhere—like a hamster on a wheel.

A reversed Eight of Wands could be a sign that you're trying to do a lot right now and perhaps got behind on your tasks. You could be overwhelmed and trying to juggle too many things. However, rushing into things without a clear plan can result in madness, and you likely won't like the results.

Sometimes we quickly move from deadline to deadline because of the pressure to get stuff done. This can be fun adrenaline-wise, but it often results in a sloppy job. Stop chasing after the next shiny object and instead commit to something and learn every facet of it. Switching focus too often will make it hard to get anything done.

Resistance Is Futile

The reversed Eight of Wands warns you that you're resisting change too much. You're afraid of younger generations and their ideas. You hate when your routine is disturbed and can't handle surprise attacks. You refuse to adjust and tell people to flow around you. This makes you stodgy, which could cause you to struggle to move forward. Think of a person trying to walk uphill in a muddy stream.

Those who resist change will hold onto ideas that no longer serve them. They're stuck in the past. They avoid opportunities because they don't want to transform. They want society to reach a stasis—this isn't reasonable. Society will continue to change.

Mercury Retrograde

The card also marks significant delays. It's the essence of a Mercury retrograde. It could be a sign that you will experience troubles with travel and communication. Nothing appears to function the way it should and you could get exasperated by this. The more things don't go your way the more furious you become. If so, you need to consider your alignment and make adjustments. Getting stuck in a rut won't serve you.

Conservation Tactic

Align your resources and manage them in an effective manner. Your enemies might just toss everything into the air. They're aggressively attacking you by depleting their resources and spontaneously coming at you. If you hold onto what you have, you can control the land. Use your weapons slowly but surely, so you can outlast the enemy.

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

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