Scroll Top

What is the Meaning of the Ace of Wands?

Enlightenment Tarot Ace of Wands

The Ace of Wands stands for intention on the spiritual level (wands), i.e., cosmic intention. Ace of Wands upright: Initiative. Ace of Wands reversed: Not applicable.

The Aces of Wands invites us to listen to cosmic intention – the universe– and what the universe has in store for us.

The Tree of Life with Tarot cards

The Ace of Wands represents the highest faculty of consciousness on the Tree of Life (Kether/Intention) and in a Tarot deck. Hence, the Ace of Wands stands for initiations and beginnings, like the beginning of an adventure, an enterprise, a disruptive innovation, a relationship (which is also an adventure), or the conception of a child, behind which is the intention of a soul to be born.

The Ace of Wands invites us to align ourselves to cosmic intention and not get in the way of an emerging series life-changing events.

Ace of Wands symbolism

The Ace of Wands or Cosmic Intention Tarot card (minor arcana)

In the picture, the hand of the universe holds a single, fiery wand.

The fire symbolizes intention.

The cloud is the cloud upon the sanctuary, which hides the invisible realms of the world from our eyes.

The five Psychological Core Meanings of the Ace of Wands

We derive the psychological meanings of Tarot cards from their position on the Tree of Life.

According to the Enlightenment Tarot framework, the Ace of Wands represents Kether of Tiphareth, the sphere of intention on the intentional-spiritual level of human expression.

The Tree of Life with Tarot cards

As you can see, we are dealing with the highest sphere of the spiritual level of human expression, hence, the title cosmic intention. Psychologically, the Ace of Wands signifies internal beginnings and initiations.

Every Tarot card represents a faculty or power of consciousness. We can use faculties of consciousness constructively and destructively, which produce either a fortunate or an adverse internal experience or state of mind. Hence, every Tarot card has five core meanings. The five core meanings of the Ace of Wands are:

  1. Faculty of consciousness: Cosmic Intention
  2. Positive use: Initiative
  3. Negative use: None*
  4. Favorable internal experience: Immersion
  5. Adverse internal experience: None*

* In the context of ageless wisdom, cosmic intention is always auspicious. Cosmic intention can be life-changing and disruptive, but these kinds of disruptions are always for the better. What about getting ready for a leap of faith?

Reflective Questions

If the Ace of Wands appears in your spread, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What may the universe want from me?
  • What purpose do I have to fulfill in this incarnation?
  • Am I ready for a leap of faith and go on an adventure?
  • Do I want to be a part of something bigger and meaningful?

Summary

The Ace of Wands indicates the universe is preparing an adventure for you. Brace yourself and get ready for a leap of faith.

Where Do Tarot Card Meanings actually Come From?

The meanings of Tarot cards come from various sources. The most common are:

  • The position of the Tarot cards on the Tree of Life
  • Astrological correspondences (signs, planets, & houses)
  • The symbolism of Tarot cards
  • Intuition
  • Meanings that pertain to fortune telling

Most of the Tarot card meanings you can google are astrological correspondences and go back to the Golden Dawn and Arthur Edward Waite. Astrological meanings dominate right now because Astrology is a divination tool and favors fortune-telling. But these meanings are unsuitable for (psychological) Tarot readings.

If you are interested in an overview of the astrological correspondences, you can download a high-resolution chart by subscribing to the Enlightenment Tarot.

Tarot card meanings are a bit of a mess since the meanings that pertain to their position on the Tree of Life are mixed up with astrological correspondences, symbolic interpretations, and fortune-telling connotations. That’s tedious to memorize. Further, tarotists’ opinions, knowledge, and linguistic backgrounds shaped some of these interpretations. Last but not least, many meanings are fuzzy, contradictory, and overlap. If you want to understand why they overlap, read the article How to Deal With the Overlapping Meanings of Tarot cards

The meanings of the Enlightenment Tarot are based on an objective, holistic framework: the Tree of Life and the four levels of human expression. The resulting meanings are transparent and logical, and hence, easier to memorize.

What do Various Tarotists have to Say about the Meaning of the Ace of Wands?

Before we examine the Enlightenment Tarot framework, let’s explore what different tarotists said about the Ace of Wands.

Traditionally, tarotists consider the astrological significances of Tarot cards. The Ace of Wands represents the first triplicity of the zodiac: Aries, Taurus, and Gemini.

What Paul Foster Case Said About the Meanings of the Ace of Wands

Paul Foster Case offers the keyword initiative and initiation, which are great attributes of the Ace of Wands. 

From the idea of initiation, he derives at the following secondary meanings: the principle of beginning, initiation, inception of an enterprise or activity

From the idea of intention, he derives at the following secondary meanings: natural as opposed to invoking force, strength, vigor, vitality, the force of concentrated will, concentrated power, and energy

These are all valid meanings, however, they dilute the core idea of the Ace of Wands. 

What Arthur Edward Waite Said About the Meanings of the Ace of Wands

Usually, Tarot cards picture the positive use of the power of consciousness they represent. The minor arcana of the Rider-Waite Tarot picture positive and negative applications. This carries some risk. Negative imagery offers a negative suggestion to the querent’s ego and subconsciousness, which may lead to a negative manifestation down the line. That’s why the Enlightenment Tarot uses geometrical arrangements of wand, cup, sword, and pentacles for the minor arcana as well as positive, psychological titles.

According to Arthur Edward Waite, the Ace of Wands has the following auspicious meanings: creation, invention, enterprise, principle, beginning, source, origin, and the virility which is behind these, as well as the starting point of enterprises, and a sign of birth.

As you can see, he derives these meanings from the position of the Ace of Wands on the Tree of Life, which stands for intention and beginnings. But his terminology is not entirely accurate. For example, creation is a matter of the suit of cups. A sign of birth is a bit off too — a sign of pregnancy would be more accurate. 

Arthur also gives the meanings of money, fortune, inheritance, and family. The first three are consequences of an enterprise, the latter is a consequence of a birth. Since the Ace of Wands signifies just beginnings, which are just promises. 

Arthur offers the following inauspicious meanings: calamities of all kinds, fall, decadence, ruin, perdition, to perish, and clouded joy. He derived at those by finding the opposites of the auspicious meanings. 

These inauspicious meanings are questionable, since ageless wisdom considers cosmic intention as unconditionally auspicious. Maybe Edward considered that spiritual intention disrupts worldly ambitions. This is true, but worldly ambitions don’t belong to this level. They belong to Malkuth, which is nineteen spheres away.

What Etteilla Said About the Meaning of the Ace of Wands

Etteilla, a French occultist and the first known professional tarotist, gives the auspicious meaning of birth and the inauspicious meaning of bankruptcy. He concurs, more or less, with Arthur Edward Waite’s findings. 

What Papus Said About the Meaning of the Ace of Wands

Papus, another French occultist and founder of the Martinist Order, concurs with Arthur as well, and offers the meaning of commencement of an enterprise

What Gregor Mather Said About the Meaning of the Ace of Wands

MacGregor Mather, the founder of the Golden Dawn, offers the auspicious meanings of birth, commencement, beginning, origin, and source. No surprise here. 

Gregor gives the inauspicious meanings of persecution, pursuits, violence, exaction, cruelty, and tyranny. I suppose he arrived at these meanings by considering the ill-use of intention and will-power, i.e. tyranny and the effects thereof. This is questionable, since we are on the spiritual level of human expression, which is unconditionally auspicious.  

What Mme. Le Normand Said About the Meaning of the Ace of Wands

Mme. Le Normand was a famous fortune teller during the Napoleonic era and invented the Lenormand deck.

She gives the meanings of engagement, happy marriage, riches, broken engagement, and separation of lovers.

This takes the position of the Ace of Wands on the Tree of Life into consideration, but it’s more on the fortune telling side. So, no comment.

What Mme. Le Marchand Said About the Meaning of the Ace of Wands

Mme. Le Marchand, a 19t century celebrated Parisian fortune teller, thought the Ace of Wands indicates the querent will become a widower, will marry a young widow, and have ten children. Or vice versa. 

This is on the fortune telling side too. So, no comment.

The Psychological Framework of the Enlightenment Tarot

Every Tarot card represents a faculty of consciousness. We can use a faculty of consciousness constructively and destructively. This produces favorable and adverse experiences.

We can express faculties of consciousness on four levels:

  • The spiritual level (wands/fire/intention)
  • The creative-feely level (cups/water/imagination)
  • The intellectual level (swords/air/intelligence)
  • The bodily level (pentacles/earth/bodily action)

The four tools on the magician’s table symbolize these four levels:

  • The wand (spiritual)
  • The cup (creative-feely)
  • The sword (intellectual)
  • The pentagram (bodily)
The Magician or Attention Tarot card

These tools correspond to the four so-called elements: fire, water, air, and earth.
For this reason, the Enlightenment Tarot wands are made of fire, the cups of water, and the pents of earth. Unfortunately, it is not possible to illustrate something made of air, since it would be invisible. For that reason, all swords are made of crystal and transparent.

The Enlightenment Tarot derives its meaning from the Tree of Life and the four levels of human expression. This is an objective, holistic framework that reveals the psychological imports of Tarot cards and their faculties of consciousness. Read more about this framework in the article The Psychological Framework of the Enlightenment Tarot.

The Enlightenment Tarot project attempts to rediscover the original meanings of the Tarot cards that pertain to their position on the Tree of Life. These meanings are simple, clear, and easy to memorize.

Do you want to Learn more About The Enlightenment Tarot?

If you want to delve deep into the psychological meanings of Tarot cards, read the book Tarot of Life.

If you are curious about how the Enlightenment Tarot came about, read this article.

If you are interested in learning how to perform psychological Tarot readings, subscribe to receive a free copy of a guide on how to perform psychological Tarot readings.

If you are looking for a psychological Tarot deck, you came to the right place. The Enlightenment Tarot deck derives the cards’ meanings from a holistic and transparent framework that is easy to learn and memorize. All major and minor arcana carry psychological titles, and the court cards display psychological profiles. Have a look at the Enlightenment Tarot deck here.

#Ace of Wands #Ace of Wands meaning #Ace of Wands Tarot interpretation #Ace of Wands upright #Ace of Wands reversed #Ace of Wands symbolism #Ace of Wands spiritual significance #Ace of Wands in Tarot spreads #Ace of Wands energy and inspiration