Eight wands protrude from the left of the card. A dwelling on top of a hill is depicted to the rear, a river meandering in front of it.
One of the more abstract cards of the Rider Waite Tarot is the Eight of Wands. The wands are zipping through the air, almost as if someone had thrown them.
Wands in the Tarot are associated with fire and creativity, the spark of the imagination. As the wands in this card are sloping downwards, it would appear like they came from heaven. Curiously, there is no character depicted in the Eight of Wands, reinforcing the suggestion that this card is all about our mental creativity rather than anything physical.
Now is a time of progress for us. After the battles and difficulties of the previous cards, we finally find it easy to follow our path. Barriers will fall away. We will figure out ways to get around nearly everything that was blocking us before. We can see where we are going and how we are going to get there. Everything is running according to plan and difficulties are few and far between.
Even so, there is a hidden suggestion in this card that we should not delay – while things are going good we should maximize it to our advantage. It is a time of making hay while the sun shines. The eight wands will soon fall to the ground and it would be a shame to have wasted such an opportunity.
The Eight of Wands reversed transforms the ‘flying wands’ into eight wands that form a barrier towards our goal. In contrast to its upright meaning, we suddenly find ourselves at an impasse. The wands, being concerned more with mental activity rather than physical, suggests that our ‘barrier’ is mental. The Eight of Wands reversed would be a perfect card to suggest ‘writers block’ or when we have run out of ideas.
We know we should be progressing towards the dwelling in the far off distance but we cannot figure out a path to get us there. It can be a frustrating time, particularly if progress up to now has been a hard slog.
We can take solace in the knowledge that this time will pass. Just like the ‘flying’ wands in the upright Eight of Wands, the reversed wands will fall to the ground too allowing us to move forward once again.