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The King 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 King of Wands is a serious card. It represents a leader who is in an important position. They must use the powers of their free will and logic to serve the needs of the people.

The King of Wands is a serious card. It represents a leader who is in an important position. They must use the powers of their free will and logic to serve the needs of the people.

The King of Fire and Air

The King of Wands blends together the powers of fire and air. The Suit of Wands is associated with the element of fire, while all King cards are associated with the element of air.

Each suit is dedicated to a particular element:

  • Wands = Fire
  • Pentacles = Earth
  • Swords = Air
  • Cups = Water

On top of that, the court cards have special powers that the numbered cards don't. The court cards have the power to hold more than one element:

  • Pages = Earth
  • Knights = Fire
  • Queens = Water
  • Kings = Air

If you put all of this together, it means the King of Wands has the power to make anything possible. He has an almost unmatched intelligence, and he can manifest desire in others.

This is a fierce leader that is very similar to the Emperor card in the Major Arcana.

Card Alignments


Authority figure, financial gain, excellent reputation, honesty, trustworthiness, vision, professional, natural-born leader, entrepreneur, honor, courage, strength, power.


Meditation, impulsiveness, haste, ruthlessness, high expectations, greed, lust, pride, moody, arrogance, big ego, jealously, intensity, devilry, impish, menace, confrontational.

The crown weighs heavy on the head of the King of Wands. The throne can feel cold and detached. The scepter is a lightning rod of communication to the people.

The crown weighs heavy on the head of the King of Wands. The throne can feel cold and detached. The scepter is a lightning rod of communication to the people.

Card Description

In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the King of Wands card shows a crowned figure sitting on a throne. He rests his hand on a tall staff with green buds. The staff is his scepter. He has the power to make his thoughts known across the land, and his words have a far-reaching impact.

The Court Cards and Their Powers

All of the Suit of Wands court cards are blessed (or cursed) with magical powers. The Suit of Wands cards often depict battles or confrontations. The numbered cards have weapons that are ordinary, like swords, spears, and arrows. The court cards have magical weapons.

The Page of Wands carries the Staff of Power. He is like Moses in the Bible with the staff that can turn water into blood. The Knight of Wands carries a flaming sword; it's a magical sword that can cast fireballs. The Knight is in rank with Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan.

The Queen of Wands has a staff that can heal others or summon beasts to her side. She has the power to influence, inspire, and create enthusiasm. She also has the power of nourishing others and raising beasts. She draws salamanders, phoenixes, and lions to her side.

The King of Wands has the Staff of Time. He can speed things up in his kingdom or slow them down. He can stop projects altogether, or he can give permission to get things started. He is the author of timelines.

The Colors He Wears

The King of Wands wears a red robe that reaches down to his feet and green shoes. He wears a cape with a green portion around his chest and a yellow part that flows to the floor. He has yellow sleeve ends. He wears a crown of pure gold, and his hair is red.

The King represents a medley of elements. Red represents fire and is the most prominent color on his front side. His hair is flaming red, like an Aries, but he is crowned with yellow, the color of air. His backside is dominated by the color yellow.

Green represents earth. He uses the earth element to blend fire and air. Fire is his conscious, and air is his subconscious.

The King doesn't wear blue. Blue is in the background, indicating he is distant from his emotions. He doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve. He is a strategist, not a caregiver.

Creatures on the Card

The King of Wands' throne is adorned with lions and salamanders. Both animals are associated with the element of fire. Salamanders indicate he has mastery over fire, hence mastery over his free will. He doesn't cave to his impulses or temptations. He has an excellent reputation because he keeps these things in check.

Lions relate to courage and strength and are associated with the astrological sign Leo. Leo is also said to be the king of the three fire signs. Aries is the warrior, and Sagittarius is the scholar or wanderer.

A small black salamander sits on the platform where the throne rests. The salamander represents the King's subconscious. The King and the black salamander face the same direction, indicating that he is in sync with his subconscious. The King is in a good alignment with himself.

The Page of Wands and the King of Wands

If the Page of Wands represents a messiah or Moses-like character, then the reversed King of Wands represents the Pharaoh who wouldn't let the Jews leave Egypt.

The reversed King of Wands has a hardened heart. He is stubborn to a point that others suffer needlessly. Only God himself could turn a stubborn heart upright.

It is possible for a Page to turn the tide against an unruly King. Even if one court card might have a higher number or more power, it doesn't mean the weaker card can't find a way to outwit them.

Tarot Suits



Free Will

Physical Manifestation (The Body)



















1, 5, 9

2, 6, 10

3, 7, 11

4, 8, 12


Land Mammals









Body Representations

Head, Heart, Thighs

Throat/Neck, Chest, Legs/Shins

Arms & Shoulders, Belly, Ankles

Hands, Root Chakra (Spine Base), Feet

Four Humors

Yellow Bile

Black Bile








Ruling Planets

Mars, Sun, Jupiter

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

Mercury, Venus, Uranus

Moon, Pluto, Neptune

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





Court Cards





Poker Equivalents





The King of Wands is entrusted with the power of time. He has the ability to push things forward or to stop them altogether.

The King of Wands is entrusted with the power of time. He has the ability to push things forward or to stop them altogether.

The Upright King of Wands

The King of Wands is someone who is in a very high position in society. He is highly influential, and he has many people in his cabinet. People serve him and follow his commands. People would die for this man and his vision.

This isn't an ordinary leader by any stretch of the imagination. He has a powerful mind and heart and combines the energies of Aries and Leo. He has extraordinary instincts and can outwit his opposition with ease. He spends his time on a throne rather than on a battlefield. The pen is his weapon. By his decrees, a zeitgeist is established.

He is a chivalrous medieval king like Richard the Lionheart or King Arthur of legend and lore. He is beloved by his kingdom. Of course, the card doesn't have to represent a monarch. It can refer to any leader who is in power.

But remember the cautionary advice from Spider-man: "With great power comes great responsibility." The King cannot simply slack off or have a fun little holiday. His work is constant and overwhelming. People depend on him and his aides. If he doesn't respect the crown on his head, calamity will surely befall his domain.

A Champion of Others

This visionary leader is empathetic and reads people well. He understands the issues people face. He knows how to bring people together to target a common goal. He has an incredible amount of charisma. It is difficult to dislike someone like this.

To become the King of Wands, you must be committed to your ideas and dreams. You must go out into the world to cultivate your skills and gain social experience. You must learn to be empathetic and in tune with others. You must be a leader, and you must know when to follow others and let them lead.

When you have leveled up your skills enough, and you have proven that you have a generous and caring heart, then you can take the crown of the King of Wands. At that point, you are prepared for the hardships to come. You have proven that you know how to strategize your time and how to succeed.

Just remember, the crown is a heavy burden. Many are attracted to the crown, but many can't handle the weight.

The King of Wands is ready to listen to your woes. Make your plea heard. If the King can know your pains then he can do something about it.

The King of Wands is ready to listen to your woes. Make your plea heard. If the King can know your pains then he can do something about it.

King of Wands Reversed

The reversed King of Wands indicates you are destined for a leadership role; however, you're not ready to wear the crown. You're essentially Prince Charles. The crown may skip you if it so decides. This card encourages you to seek meditation. You need to get in better alignment with your personal beliefs if you want to move forward.

The card indicates you have underdeveloped skills and potentially underdeveloped character traits. This means you are very likely to make poor decisions while under the crown. You don't have enough knowledge or experience to strategize in a way that's effective for the majority. Your bad character traits could also spell disaster and on a really scary level.

No one wants an arrogant fool on the throne. If the top person in charge is inept, it will cause economic breakdowns, famine, supply shortages, and a drop in important numbers (like education and health). The reversed King of Wands is an idiot who can actually do real harm to the planet.

You could make the argument that all the businesses ignoring climate change concerns are essentially acting like the reversed King of Wands. This will result in unprecedented issues. So the question is . . . how do you get the reversed King of Wands to flip into the upright position?

The reversed King of Wands wants to be feared. The upright King of Wands wants to be loved. The two Kings are diametrically opposed. The reversed King seeks to expand his territory by force, while the upright King of Wands is a peacemaker.

In a Love Reading

The two positions for this card are so radically different that I've split them up.

Upright King

This King is one of the best potential suitors you could possibly find. He has a solid reputation in his community and he loves others with his whole body and mind. He is successful, social, and a dreamer.

The King has maturity. He is a visionary who will map out the next few years of his life with his partner. He will teach his children how to be successful and caring members of society. This is a man who needs constant praise from his spouse. He wants compliments and reassuring touches. He has a protective streak and will fight for your honor. And he loves everything about you.

Reversed King

I have one word for you: run. This King is quite possibly the worst person you could ever date. This is a full-blown narcissist with an ego bigger than Texas.

You're essentially Princess Diana, and you're getting mistreated by heir-to-the-throne, Prince Charles. He neglects you, so he can be with his supposed "true love."

The reversed King of Wands is emotionally abusive. He is inexperienced, and yet he thinks he is hot stuff. He despises the world. He demands that people worship him and that they pay their respects to him. He aligns himself with bad friends, bad ideas, and bad habits.

Seriously, if you know someone with qualities like these, don't date them. Forget their handsome features or other charms. Things won't end well.

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