8 of Wands

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The 8 of Wands is a harbinger of change and transformation. The card’s energy is characterised by flux, flow and movement and helps propel your forward towards your plans and goals.

When the 8 of Wands shows up in Tarot readings, it means that the current situation isn’t static, but rapidly shifting and changing. Transformation is happening around you, as well as within you. You are in alignment with your sense of purpose and direction, and so the actions you take at this time seem blessed and results materialise easily. The upright Eight of Wands Tarot card is almost always a good omen.

The reversed Eight of Wands, on the other hand, can be an indiction of bad timing and missed opportunities. The revered card asks you to examine what is holding you back or keeping your energy from expanding and unfolding. While some obstacles and setbacks are decidedly external in nature, many limitations are imposed from within or can be solved by tapping into the inner fire inherent to the Eight of Wands.

What the Wands mean in Tarot

The Tarot’s Minor Arcana is divided into four suits, one for each of the four elements the make up the natural world.

The suit of Swords is connected to the air, the suit of Pentacles to earth, the suit of Cups to water and the suit of Wands to fire.

Fire, in the metaphorical language of the Tarot, signifies passion, drive, ambition, life force and energy. Each Tarot card in the Minor Arcana suit of Wands deals with these forces and energies, each card reflecting a different aspect of the fire element and its connotations.

Numerological number 8 in Tarot

Numerological, the number 8 carries connotations of wealth, abundance and flow. These traits of the number 8 carry through into the 8s of the Tarot.

In the 8 of Swords, the positive flow of the number 8 energy is blocked and restrained – the card’s main character is blindfolded and hogtied in a circle of swords. The key, of course, is the the swords exist only in her mind; there are no real limitations holding her back.

In the 8 of Pentacles, the energy of the number 8 comes to positive expression as the figure in the card is labouring over the creation of golden pentacles. He is literally creating his fortune with patience, diligence and skill.

In the 8 of Cups, we see a person breaking free from a stagnant or unfulfilling situation. He is turning his back on the 8 golden chalices stacked in the foreground and is walking away, accepting the loss and the lessons, but ultimately leaving an untenable station behind and actively seeking change.

Finally, we have the Eight of Wands Minor Arcana Tarot card, which promises positive change, forward movement and a drive towards lofty goals and ambitions.

Surrounding cards

All of the Tarot cards exist in context and relation to each other, and their progression tell a story. To understand a particular Tarot card better, it always helps to look at it in relation and contrast to the Tarot cards that precede and follow it.

7 of Wands

The card immediately preceding the Eight of Wands is the 7 of Wands, a card representing challenges and obstacles, and the tenacity required to overcome them.

In the 7 of Wands, the passionate forward drive of the fire energy contained within the wands suit is met with resistance, challenges and opposition. There is a sense of fighting uphill. The Eight of Wands, on the other hand, is what awaits on the other side of pushing through that resistance and those challenges – being in flow, with the metaphysical winds blowing in your sails and accelerating your progress.

9 of Wands

The 9 of Wands follows after the Eight of Wands. Here, flow is once again interrupted by seemingly insurmountable barriers, but instead of fighting and pushing against the obstacles as he was doing in the 7 of Wands, the figure in the 9 of Wands is weary and battle worn, unsure for a moment of his own strength.

In relation to these two surrounding cards from the suit of Wands, the positivity and possibility inherent to the Eight of Wands becomes all the more apparent. Having the Eight of Wands show up in a Tarot reading is like hitting upon a pocket of positive energy and momentum – when a positive wave of energy like that appears in your life, it is up to you to ride it for all it is worth.

8 of Wands Tarot card description

Eight of Wands Minor Arcana Tarot card images tend to differ from Tarot deck to Tarot deck, but in most cases, the card includes the essential symbols and details found in the classic Rider-Waite Tarot. These are the symbols we will be examining here.

The wands

The imagery in the 8 of Wands Tarot card is simple and clear. In the foreground we see eight wands flying through the air, all moving in the same direction.

The eight wands, of course, are symbolic of fire and its many connotations; passion, drive, ambition, goals, desires.

But the wand in itself is also a symbol of magical potency and the ability to manifest and create. In the Magician Major Arcana card we have an example of the wand in use. Here, the young Magician is wielding his wand much like a magical conductor’s baton, using it to direct powerful cosmic forces.

The wands depicted in the Eight of Wands Tarot card are large and fertile, sprouting fresh green shoots, tangible signs of the desire to manifest and create.

The landscape

The landscape in the Eight of Wands Minor Arcana Tarot card is verdant and peaceful. We see green rolling hills and a placid lake, a rather idyllic scenery. The landscape suggest a sense of harmony and fertility, underscoring the card’s positive connotations.

8 of Wands Tarot card meanings

Every Tarot card contains a plethora of meanings and possible interpretations, and the Eight of Wands Minor Arcana card is no exception. Here are some of the most common and prominent Eight of Wands Tarot card meanings.

Action

The Eight of Wands is a very action-driven card. The energy of the card is decidedly moving forward and kicking anything that has been progressing at a slow and steady pace into high gear.

When it appears in Tarot readings, it is an indication that you are acting on your inspirations and are making moves towards the manifestation of your various dreams and desires.

Flow and alignment

When the Eight of Wands Tarot card appears in its upright position in a Tarot reading, it is an indication that you are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.

You are moving in the right direction, and the universe is seemingly taking note of your efforts and is helping you along by opening various doors for you and bringing a flow of opportunities your way.

Gaining momentum

The Eight of Wands is often a sign of gaining momentum. Momentum is created when small, singular steps or actions in the right direction accumulate and begin to accelerate, like a snowball rolling downhill and rapidly increasing in size.

Every positive action you are taking at this time coalesces with synchronicity, and as a result you are making quick progress.

Rapid change

A key meaning of the Eight of Wands card is change. The energies, conditions, circumstances and relationships in your life are shifting and moving, carrying or pushing you forwards.

Change can be experienced as overwhelming and uncomfortable, but the Eight of Wands hints at the sense of excitement and thrill that positive growth and change brings.

Movement, travel, relocation, shifts, progression

The energy of the upright Eight of Wands Tarot card is in flux and in flow.

Whether literal or metaphysical, the 8 of Wands always means movement and travel. Sometimes this can relate to a geographical relocation or journey such as a business trip, and at other times it can signify major inner shift and developments.

Unfinished business

When the Eight of Wands Tarot card comes up in a Tarot spread, it can be a sign of unfinished business or an incomplete project.

Sometimes, you need to find closure or to take something to the finish line before you are able to move on, and the Eight of Wands can be an indication that you have left a door open that needs to be closed.

Unexpected opportunities

The eight fertile, flowering wands in the Eight of Wands signify opportunity.

When the Eight of Wands comes up in a Tarot reading, they indicate that you are in a place in life that is abundant in possibility and opportunity. Sometimes, you simply have to attune your perception to noticing them. Not all opportunities are clearly stated invitations. Sometimes, opportunity is simply a door left ajar. A bold email or walking up to the right person to introduce yourself at an event can be the difference between a life-changing new relationship, an unexpected career change, or everything in your life remaining as it is.

Reversed 8 of Wands Tarot card meanings

When the Eight of Wands shows up in its reversed position in Tarot readings, its positive energy and flow are blocked and distorted. Here are some of the most prominent meanings of the Eight of Wands reversed.

Inaction

The Eight of Wands reversed can be a sign of inaction and inertia.

Whether you are lacking the energy, the motivation or the desire to move forward, the fact remains that you are not moving. In other words, you are experiencing a slump, and the reversed Eight of Wands can serve as reminder to rouse yourself and begin taking action to reclaim your life.

Resisting change

When the Eight of Wands reversed comes up in a Tarot reading, it might indicate a resistance to change.

Change is natural and necessary, and the resistance to change is always rooted in a fear of the unknown, or a fear of the impermanence that is a natural part of life. Out of fear of losing what you already have, you are cloning onto your current circumstances for dear life. It is time to question your attitude, and ask yourself why don’t believe that you can have, do and be anything more than you are right now. Is this really the pinnacle of what your life could be?

Standstills, feeling stuck

A key meaning of the Eight of Wands Tarot card is standstill. There is an energy of stagnation, and of stuck energy. Whichever way you approach it or look it, things just aren’t budging or progressing. Ask yourself, what is keeping you stuck, locked or blocked?

Remember, sometimes rapid change cannot happen, but slow progress can almost always be made.

Delays

The Eight of Wands Tarot card is a sign of external delays or even setbacks. These are often beyond your control. They key here is that although waiting might seem like your only option, there are always other ways and avenues than the ones you have latched onto with all of your energy and focus. Start looking for unorthodox, unexpected ways and solutions. Be assured that they are there, when you stop waiting and start looking.

Frustration

Stuck energy naturally leads to frustration, and this is yet another possible Eight of Wands Tarot card meaning.

You might be experiencing frustration as a result of your own inaction, or as a result of externally-imposed delays and setbacks. Either way, frustration is disempowering, and the only way to alleviate it is to realign with your goals and to start taking proactive steps towards them. If the direct route is blocked, find another way.

Misalignment

Misalignment is a key reversed Eight of Wands card meaning.

You might be pouring your energy, time and efforts into a fruitless pursuit or relationship, where your commitment and care are not being reciprocated.

There is a mismatch between the energy you are putting in and the energy you are receiving in return. It might be time to ask yourself, is this the right place, the right job, the right relationship? Are further investments of time and effort going to bear fruit?

Losing momentum

The Eight of Wands reversed is often a sign of slowing down and losing momentum. There is a sense of falling out of step and losing the rhythm. Once this crucial sense of forward drive and momentum have been lost, a lot of time can potentially be lost to flailing while trying to recover that elusive red thread.

Missed opportunities

When you are not in alignment, you are not in flow. As a result, any progress you make is extremely slow, and you might find the path to your goals littered with missed opportunities. Some of them might be only near-misses. Still, you have got to stop and ask yourself why it is that you consistently keep showing up just too late to take advantage of business deals or other opportunities. Is it that you are not paying adequate attention? Are you really showing up with your full energy and effort, or are you self-sabotaging while telling yourself that you gave it your best shot?

Examples of what the 8 of Wands means in Tarot readings

The Eight of Wands card has multiple layers and facets of meaning. Which ones are relevant in any particular Tarot reading is always going to depend on a number of moving parts – the individual Tarot reader’s take on the c are, as well as any surrounding cards in the Tarot spread all have a bearing on how the Eight of Wands is interpreted.

Keeping this in mind, here are some examples of how the Eight of Wands Tarot card might be interpreted in the context of different readings.

What the 8 of Wands card means when it signifies you in a Tarot reading

Upright

When the Eight of Wands appears in a Tarot spread in a position that indicates you and where you are at, it means that you are in flow and in flux.

Most likely, you are undergoing a period of personal transformation and rapid changes. Whether you are changing career tracks or taking action on some momentous personal decision, your life is not going to remain the same. You are shedding old skins and growing new talons.

People around you may be triggered by your growth and progress, and may advise you to stay put where you are. Most likely, they mean well and as they express their own fear and concerns. Don’t let the limiting beliefs of others hold you back or limit what you can do or become.

Reversed

Here, the Eight of Wands reversed is a sign that your personal evolution and energy are stuck in a rut.

You are feeling frustrated and unfulfilled, and you are living below your potential. You have a strong desire to break through your inner barriers – as well as external limitations – but so far, you are staying put. You may have internalised limiting beliefs, scarcity mindsets or a low opinion of yourself and your capabilities.

The good news is that the Eight of wands shows unequivocally that your passion, drive and ambition are there – you have a lot of fire in you. Uncovering it and setting it free may take a bit of work but is absolutely doable. Start there.

What the 8 of Wands means in a love Tarot reading

Upright

In the context of love and romance, the key meanings of the Eight of Wands Tarot card are progress, change and development in a positive direction.

This is encouraging news, as you can expect the pursuit of a new love interest to go well, or a new level of to unfold within your existing relationship. The Eight of Wands Tarot cards is a sign of exciting times, adventure, exploration and discovery in the romantic realm. Ultimately, your explorations are part of your self-discovery process. Go with the flow and surrender to the adventure.

Reversed

The Eight of Wands reversed is a precarious omen when it comes to love and romance. There is a sense of passion being blocked or hindered.

Perhaps your advances are being met with rejection, or you and your partner are simply not seeing eye when it comes to the future of your romance. You might be wanting things to progress between you, while the other person is holding back.

What the 8 of Wands means in a career Tarot reading

Upright

The upright Eight of Wands is promising news in relation to work and career.

You are in a positive and empowered place – several doors of opportunity are open to you. If you have recently started a new venture, project or job, you are already beginning to see progress and results. In fact, growth and expansion are likely accelerating and happening at dizzying speed. Go with the flow, and be ready to take quick action on unexpected opportunities. Exciting times!

Reversed

The Eight of Wands reversed is bad news in a career context.

You may have been moving or growing at a faster pace than you can sustain. Conversely, you might be experiencing a lack of motivation and momentum.

What the 8 of Wands means in a financial Tarot reading

Upright

When the Eight of Wands card shows up in a Tarot reading about money, it is an indication of progress, growth and expansion.

The Eight of Wands often appears when you have been working long and hard at finalising a project or getting a business off the ground, and you are finally beginning to see the very first results of your efforts.

Priming the well and setting up the channels is the most nerve-racking and time-consuming phase of building any career, business or other source of income. When it finally begins to trickle, the downpour may not be far behind. The Eight of Wands could be an indication that your financial trickle is about to turn into a flow – it certainly has the potential to.

Reversed

The reversed Eight of Wands carries negative connotations in money matters.

At best, your financial situation is stuck and your resources are limited. At worse, debts are mounting and you are feeling out of control and powerless to get yourself out of the financial trap you are in. The key point here is that you do have the fortitude and the ability to get your finances under control, whether this means cutting up your credit cards or manoeuvring yourself onto a more lucrative career path, or both.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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