Featured Card: Eight of Wands

When I first started this blog, I had a “Card of the Week” feature that was not weekly and didn’t last long. This “Featured Cards” feature is the sequel to that. I promise no regularity but lots of longevity. Let’s examine the Eight of Wands.

Wands are Fire

VIII WandsWands are the suit of elemental fire. They represent the level of the soul closest to the divine source, called Chiah (חיה) in Qabalah. This part of the soul, the most difficult for us to reach, is said to have direct knowledge of the divine light. Fire is also tied to the Qabalistic World of Emanation, Atzilut (אצילות).

This association can make Wands difficult to deal with. They can be volatile and unpredictable. Many Wands encapsulate both creation and destruction. This can make them excellent builders, such as you see in the Two and Three of Wands, or indicators of danger, such as the Five, Seven, and Nine. Along with the Swords, this makes the Wands one of the suits that it’s hard to get really excited about. Just remember that without the difficulties and triumphs of fire, you don’t get any of the other elements. Everything stems from these cards.

Eights Overcome Obstacles

Get out of jail free with the VIII Wands


Eights are all about overcoming the obstacles laid out by the Sevens.1 I usually interpret the Eight of Wands as a solution that seems to come out of nowhere. It’s the “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

Getting an automatic solution to something that afflicts you might seem like a great boon. It comes with an element of mystery, though. How did this happen and why? Though the old aphorism tells us to never look a gift horse in the mouth, Tarot cards usually conceal deeper meanings. With the Eight of Wands, it’s important to part the veil and have a look behind the scenes. Since fire cards usually deal with your volatile, unpredictable parts, this card’s seemingly free gift probably comes with a price. When you lay out the entire Wands suit side by side, you can see that the price of the Eight of Wands is reflected in the difficulties you must face in the Nine of Wands.

Be Thankful and Prepared

The Eight of Wands really tells you to be thankful when a chance comes along to right a wrong. But don’t rest on your laurels expecting it to happen over and over. Many times when things just seem to fall into place, it’s actually the result of lots of hard work that you’ve already done. If it’s not the result of past work, then it’s a precursor of future work. Enjoy your success and be thankful for it, but be prepared for the trials yet to come.

  1. Looking at the Eight of Swords as overcoming obstacles seems a little weird, but we will talk about that in a different post. 

One Comment

Arnemancy : Card of the Week: Eight of Cups

[…] Eights can be seen as cards of practicality and balance. In this card, the traveler retreats from the cups. He doesn’t engage with them, and instead is doing hard work. He treks up the hill, abandoning whatever emotional issue he was dealing with. Avoiding an issue isn’t always the best or most permanent option, but sometimes it’s a necessary one. […]


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