ACE OF WANDS you will die

Placement: The Minor Arcana


A castle sits on a hill in the distance. A creek winds itself out past a spinney of trees. A single enormous hand, many times greater than the castle, pokes out from a cloud in a grey sky. It proudly wields a single bulbous stick. The disembodied hand or enormous hand-shape creature, (let us not fall prey to the error of humanormativity) shakes the stick, defoliating it.

In many early decks, there is no hand. This suit occasionally goes by other names.**


Right side up:

Aces in Tarot are the purest and strongest cards in each of their respective suits. The Ace of Wands is about taking the first steps in a bold new direction and in a way that requires your personal creativity, willpower, and figurative fire. Literal fire can be indicated as well, so long as the fire itself is the bold new direction of your choice. Your choice may not be safe or even well-informed, but it will be bold.

In your work life, maybe you have begun or will soon begin, a new project or a new job or a new promotion. You have the opportunity to receive the baton from a superior, or to take a torch for yourself to light your own way. Watch that the creative sparks from your lit torch do not catch your hair and clothing on fire.

In your love life, you may find yourself briefly satisfied with some much-needed alone time while using your imagination as a way of manifesting or increasing personal physical effects.

In some more literal interpretations of the Ace of Wands, a godly hand many times bigger than a castle will bring the largest possible tree trunk into the physical realm via a cloud in the sky and will bludgeon you and your community like the much-abused plastic creatures in a midway Whack-A-Mole game. You must decide whether to be thankful for being present at such an historic event, or petrified by fear. The latter is by far the most sane.


Upside down:

Reversed, the Ace of Wands represents pretension, as well as time wasted on frivolities. Perhaps you began a new project or job or position but this doesn’t make you a god. No, you do not know everything, and the overflowing creative life force adorning your handiwork will not make you immune to much-needed advice. Your senses are clouded over by your own engorged sense of importance.

You ought to especially pay attention to those things outside your own momentary needs when a single enormous hand, many times greater than a castle, pokes out from a cloud and then knocks you and your entire community away like a golf ball on a tee. The main difference here between this doomsday scenario and the doomsday scenario implied by Ace of Wands rightside up, is that the stick is facing down this time. Whack-A-Mole vs golf.


*Please do not sue me. This version is far more effective than the beautifully gilded public domain Cary-Yale Visconti Tarot card*** I originally used for this post.

**In the Cary-Yale Visconti Tarot, the suit is called Arrows. Although they perform the same function in tarot, never confuse wands for clubs or arrows in the physical world. They are completely different weapons.


Ace of Wands


Classic Ace of Wands deaths:

  • Bludgeoning
  • Knocked into the sky
  • Having the effects of a virility drug last for more than four hours and then not bothering to visit a hospital. This possible death applies to only half the population, but we at S.A.U.C.E. strive for inclusivity. In fact, we pat ourselves on the back for remembering such things.

Added June 15, 2016