About Four of Wands
Meaning in Tarot
With its bold messages of triumph and victory, the six of wands Tarot card meaning also hints admonishment at losing sight of our vision in the midst of our successes.
Clearly, we’ve ascended the conflicting din expressed in the five of rods, and mounted a sure-footed campaign. Further, that campaign is met with the support from the majority, and the card indicates our cause (along with our confidence) is greatly bolstered as we swagger into our purpose in full pomp and regalia.
Some keywords marching from the six of wands Tarot card meaning:
The six of wands reflects this kind of cocky scenario with its use of specific imagery. I’ll touch on these symbolic images in the symbol section below, but to elaborate:
The horse makes its first appearance in the Chariot card. From that point on, the horse always heeds the fevered battle cries from the charioteer calling for action, response, and high-speed drive. But more importantly, the horse is a magnificently intelligent beast and arguably the single most influential contributor in mankind’s civilization. Why? Because of a unique companionship required between man and nature to facilitate results, productivity, and forward motion. The horse invites us to consider this concept of facilitation and partnership as we dwell on the six of wands Tarot card meaning in our readings.
I love the subtle use of “eye-language” in this card. In the Rider version (far right in the card trio above) you can’t mistake the hint of disdain in the horse’s sideways glance at his rider. I can almost hear the horse saying “I can’t believe these people are cheering for this putz.” In other renditions, we can ponder the eyes of the rider which are usually shown half open or half concealed. We get the sense of knowing only half the story of the hero’s ascent to this victorious celebration. If the eyes are indeed the messengers of the soul, we have to ask ourselves: Can we keep our eyes affixed on the nobility of our cause without succumbing to the trappings of fame and adoration? Or, is the rider shading his eyes because of compromises in integrity on the way to achievement?
Note the right hand (symbolic of action) firmly grips one of the six rods. This is iconic of acting on a singular creative idea. Which is fine, we’ve worked our way through the suit of wands to come to this singular focus. But what’s the left (passive, intuitive) hand doing? It’s left ominously understated and often not depicted at all in many decks. The Waite version shows the left hand leading the horse, which would be counter-intuitive (an active hand would be used for navigation, and the intuitive hand would lend faith to see creative passions to their reality). When the left hand is omitted from imagery altogether we have real problems. It suggests neglect in factoring in the intangibles of faith and belief in reaching our goals.
Am I picking at petty details? Perhaps. And I don’t want to demean the obvious message of triumph in the card. However, these details will come to bear relevance in future cards as we see a possible backfire in the seven of rods.
In short, the six of wands encourages our exuberance as we meet with support and accolades in our creative vision. We’ll just want to be aware of potential diverging thoughts in our readings so we may return our horse back to our “true north” if the occasion merits.
More symbolism parading in the six of wands Tarot card meaning:
Horse: Featured on all the knight cards of the Tarot, the horse symbol meanings deal with strength, motion, action, and vitality. Linked in many ancient traditions with the four elements (each leg of the horse representing fire, water, earth, air) the horse is also a strong spiritual symbol and an emblem of incorporating all the elements to maintain an equal, powerful balance with all things in the universe. This is evident in the “either/or” nature of the knights. In a more mundane sense, the horse is pre-dispositioned to have a charging nature. In a reading, this gives us pause to consider where we are charging to and why. In the six of wands, we may also be “sitting on our high horse,” placing pride too high on our list of priorities. More about horse symbolism here.
Wreath: Typically wreaths of laurel are depicted on cards suggesting accomplishment or choosing high ideals over trivialities. Wreaths have long been a symbol of victory ever since the first ancient games upon mount Olympus where the victor was crowned in laurels (hence the term “resting on his laurels” comes when one relies on his/her credentials rather than further drive/action). A sweet-smelling laurel wreath is also a symbol of protection, peace, and purification and is associated with the god Apollo. It is a message that the favor of the Gods is upon us and that we shall be the victor in this stage of our lives. More about symbolic wreath meaning here.
Armor: Only in certain deck versions (like the Morgan-Greer shown in the center of the card trio above), the symbolic meanings of armor deal with protection, preparation, and strength. Most Tarot deck renditions depict all the knights in full armor (knights typically represents action and strength). The armor indicates a need to protect ourselves when engaging in activities referenced in a reading. More about armor meaning in Tarot here.
Questions to illuminate our understanding of the six of wands Tarot card meaning:
- What is my guiding force?
- Can I maturely handle public acclaim and success?
- Now that I’ve reached a zenith, what’s my next step?
- Am I recognizing partnerships that have facilitated my success?
- Am I prepared for the responsibility this public success and exposure implies?
- Positive recognition from others is great, but am I still letting my inner voice take the lead in my decisions?