Daily Archives: March 30, 2011

Eight of Wands: Swiftness

Thoth – Rider-Waite

Swiftness: Rapid/Unexpected Changes/News, Fall, and Speed

The Eight of Wands. Swiftness. News. Changes. Speed. Conclusion. Fall. The unexpected. Sudden action. The Eight of Wands corresponds to the Sefirot of Hod, which represents intellect, structure, and weakness – as a response to the degenerate nature of Netzach. The inherent structure of the suit of Wands is actually not very structured; Wands are associated with fire, which is itself not inherently ordered. As such, the ‘order’ and ‘structure’ of fire and Wands is inherently fleeting (unless one’s power and passion blaze on for a long while), and passes by swiftly. The Eight of Wands represents this swiftness and the sudden change that can result from the energy of the suit. In the Naples Arrangement, 8 corresponds to Knowledge and Thought; it is the consciousness of the nature of Wands that define this card, and why its swiftness and speed come to the fore.

The aspect of ‘weakness’ appears in the Eight of Wands in the form of fall; one who is passionate but uses up their energy swiftly will burn out early and will fade rapidly, going from someone to no one in a short span of time. In a similar vein, the Eight also then can represent conclusions, and the end of a period in one’s life. However, it is important to remember that these periods are not major, and the falls are not large – some of the Major Arcana hold those spots in reserve.

The Eight also is a reaction to the nature of Valour; the fall again shows itself, as one falls from grace and valour, and speed as well; the reaction to a perceived flaw in the nature of Wands will be swift, sudden, passionate, and grandiose; leading to a possible conclusion or sudden, unexpected change. In the vein of unexpected change, the Eight of Wands also represents news, particularly surprising news; this news could either be good or bad, but it will certainly be a change.

The Rider-Waite art shows eight wands falling from the sky to the earth, demonstrating motion (likely swift, as they’re falling), and very clearly the idea of a fall. The remind me of arrows in many ways, travelling swiftly from one place to another, like sudden, unexpected news. The Thoth illustration shows eight zig-zagging, energetic wands all emanating from a central point, illustrating the idea of spreading news. Above the wands is a rainbow, which is a representation of the cards role as a messenger.

In a reading, the Eight of Wands generally indicates a sudden change, piece of surprising news, or a fall from grace. It can also ask you to examine your current actions and whether or not a rapid change in direction is necessary, or to be wary of things that might bring you down. It can also advise you to act quickly to seize the day. Reversed, this card indicates that the swift energies of sudden change are present, but are blocked; is something holding you back from making said change? Are you denying the truth of something you’ve heard just because it came out of the blue? Are you trying to stave off a sudden change you feel is coming?

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


Seven of Wands: Valour

Thoth – Rider-Waite

Valour: Individual Glory, Courage, and Defiance

The Seven of Wands. Valour. Courage. Defiance. Aggression. Glory. Individualism. Everyone for themselves. The Seven of Wands corresponds to the Sefirot Netzach: weakness, the degenerate, creativity. Anarchy. Like Geburah, Netzach has a sense of chaos surrounding it, but not the random chaos of first motion; it is ordered, degenerate chaos. The energy of the suit of Wands is frayed as it leaves Tiphareth and approaches Netzach, changing form. As such, the energy seen in Netzach is a distorted, twisted, degenerate form of the energy seen in Tiphareth; the anarchy of unity. In the Naples Arrangement, 7 corresponds to Bliss – in some ways in the sense of rapture and reveling in the quality of being, and lustful abandon.

When one takes the elements and qualities of the suit of Wands and uses and displays it with abandon, one reaches Valour. Valour in itself is not always a bad thing, and many might consider it very similar to Victory and Virtue; but there are key differences. Virtue is a set of passive characteristics, that others see in you without overly much action on your part. Valour is a set of active characteristics, its adjectives placed on you for your bold actions. Victory is triumph as a group, where the preceding elements of Fire come together. Valour has much of this energy, but is instead focused on the individual, not the group. The pride one has as a result of the Six of Wands is the result of group action. As such, the energy Valour represents is the more selfish, degenerate form of the triumph and acclaim of Victory.

As such, Valour represents courage, defiance, standing up for what you believe in (passionately), aggression, and glory (glory is different from pride in that pride is what you have in yourself; it measures self-confidence and assurance, while glory is how others perceive you, and measure your esteem in the eyes of others) – but in the sense of you as an individual. The group is not important to the concept of valour; only the individual. This fraying of the energy manifests itself also in that instead of one unified triumphant group, one has many glorious and brave individuals, and creates an environment of competition, like was seen in Strife (though this competition is not as negative as seen by Strife) – everyone for himself. Let the most valorous man win.

The art on the Rider-Waite card emphasizes this cards aspect of defiance; a man is holding a wand defensively, seemingly fending off attackers from below. He holds the high ground, and keeps fast to his position. He has conviction. The Thoth artwork  is very similar to the art on the Six of Wands; the same grid of Wands is shown, but the steady flames of the Six have been replaced by small, short bursts – like the passionate short bursts of flame that represent passionate individuals who do not rely on others. Additionally, on top of the grid is a seventh wand, seemingly ablaze and about to consume itself, and dividing the grid as well. This serves as a warning; the valorous individual (the burning wand) will take down not only himself, but will divide others too.

In a reading, the Seven of Wands indicates the need to examine your individual sense of pride and possibly arrogance, or acting courageously and temporarily taking the glorious path forward. It can also ask you to consider what your strong beliefs are, and to find where you stand and hold your point. Reversed, this card asks whether or not there is enough individualism in you; have you been so subsumed in a group that you have no real individual identity? Have you been hiding? Is it time for you to step forward and use your courage?

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Uncategorized