Exploring the Eight of Wands

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Eight of Wands and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.

Introduction of the Card


The Eight of Wands is card number 29 in the deck and the eighth card of the Wands Suit in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.

Card Examples

L-w8L-w8aNotice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.

My Analysis of These Cards

All of these cards, except the traditional style of tarot cards, clearly conveys swift motion to me. I had to read a description of the imagery on the Biddy site to understand that’s what the picture intended to show. To me it looks like it’s just sticks in the air doing nothing, but okay.

At least in the Tarot of Dreams the wands are in the air with the birds, suggesting that they are moving either at the same speed as, or faster than, the birds. Like someone hurled them out there. I don’t know much about sailboats, but I wouldn’t call one going as fast as a dolphin slow. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t see dragons lazing about in the air. They move at a clip in my head.

I don’t know, this card has always bothered me. It has always felt like the picture in most cards was leaving something out. For some reason that I couldn’t put my finger on, the Deviant Moon card felt right. I guess because it brought with it an air of finality that I sensed needed to be there. I just couldn’t pin point why.

Why did it always feel to me that these rods were just suspended in the air and not actually moving – like in slow motion, when adrenaline cranks up and you see things in this insane detail? Why does this card feel like that to me? None of the other cards feel like that even though I know they are all technically snapshot images. But this one feels like a suspension of time. Like they’re just hanging there, chilling out. It was always dumb to me and ultimately I decided it boiled down to the difficulties in illustrating swiftness. It happens.

Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • NEWS

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

What this Card Means to Me

I will now share will you sections from Barbara Moore’s book for the Gilded Tarot on this card that caught my attention recently that finally resolved for me what was missing:

Already set in motion, how the wands will land is already determined.


Be aware of the dangers of interfering. By altering the movement of one of the wands, the others, because of their proximity to each other, will be affected. The connections are intricate and you may not be able to see the larger ramifications of your actions.

So yes, it is about swift action and quick news, but even if you are able to see it coming in on the way it doesn’t mean you should do something about it. This is where that adrenaline fueled time suspension thing comes into play. Just because you can see it and have the capacity to interfere, doesn’t mean you should. Those karmic rods are in place for a reason. As tempting as it may be, sometimes it’s better to let the chips fall where they may and allow sleeping dogs lie.

If you must get involved and interfere with the placement of those rods, be sure you know exactly what you’re doing and why. Once done, you won’t have time to take it back, or make corrections. So make sure it’s what you really want and be careful of what you wish for.

The key phrase I choose for this card is: KARMIC ACTION.

Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.

I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!

Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Illustrator), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015
Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza © 2014
Mystic Dreamer Tarot by Heidi Darras (Artist) and Barbara Moore (Author) © 2012
Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot by US Game Systems © 2003
Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti (Illustrator) and Barbara Moore (Author) © 2012

2 thoughts on “Exploring the Eight of Wands

  1. Pingback: Exploring Emotions with Eight of Wands | The Art of Chaos

  2. Pingback: Exploring Character with Eight of Wands – The Art of Chaos

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