The Ace of Swords

The Ace of Swords - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing beginnings; the Ace of Swords is associated with the seed of thought, an idea or a concept emerging and taking form. Our awareness is raised, and our conscious effort commences. It is difficult to prevent undesirable thoughts from taking root, and unfortunately these thoughts spread like weeds in a garden, once rooted a conscious effort is needed to mitigate their influence.

In the upright state the Ace of Swords calls upon us to make this conscious effort, this requires forethought and planning. This is the foundation stage where we should consider our ideas and give them as much detail to it as we can. It can be hard to consider confronting negative thoughts in particular as a good idea, you may prefer to repress those ideas but doing so will not remove them from your unconscious mind. Repression is akin to cutting the weed above the ground, the roots remain unseen. It is only through exploration of thought that you can remove uncertainty, and understand just how deep those roots go.

In the inverted state the Ace of Swords warns against stagnation and complacency, to entertain ideas without investing effort into them to give them form will otherwise lead to fleeting thoughts that lead nowhere, threats will go unnoticed and potential will go wasted.

The King of Cups

The King of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing the paternal nature; the King of Cups finds balance in obligation and discipline. Our love for others and devotion to them, and our self-love and devotion to the self, are kept in equilibrium here. The King of Cups portends stability and authority over the domain of emotions and feelings.

In the upright state the King of Cups promises clarity and resolution with a particular focus on our future role as an authority on these matters to whom others will turn for advice and counsel. The King finds balance between wisdom learned and the dispensation of that wisdom. The King knows when to speak and when to reserve judgement, recognising in others the difference between what they want and what they need.

In the inverted state the King of Cups represents a warning not to intervene when called; others will often seek counsel not out of the desire for clarity but out of the desire to delegate responsibility for their actions, seeking confirmation of their intent so that any repercussion can be attributed to that confirmation not to their decision, or to blame failure on your disapproval and lack of belief within them where you denied their intentions. Be careful of the wisdom you dispense and recognise when to allow others to make their own mistakes.

The Queen of Cups

The Queen of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing the maternal nature; the Queen of Cups represents self-love and devotion. Our life experience gained, our knowledge practiced, our wisdom spread; the Queen of Cups represents the connection to the self, and the devotion to nurturing our spirit so that we may tend to others.

In the upright state the Queen of Cups emphasises the need to continue to invest in our own lives; whilst we may love and be loved by others, and whilst we may cultivate fruitful relationships with others, we cannot nurture without tending to our own nature first.

In the inverted state the Queen of Cups represents an imbalance in this relationship, an undue or unearned obligation to others which has left us in the debt of others’ expectations that we cannot fulfil for we have not taken the time to nurture the self.

The Knight of Cups

The Knight of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing discipline; the Knight of Cups represents the application of knowledge. What we have learned from reflecting upon ourselves and our past relationships should inform our sense of self and shape the future path we take. The Knight of Cups calls upon us to apply what we know with commitment and devotion.

In the upright state the Knight of Cups represents opportunity for further development, presenting us with the chance to return to the Ace of Cups in the pursuit of new relationships, or to remain in solitude and contemplation.

In the inverted state the Knight of Cups represents control and rigidity defined by an external force, our sense of direction is restricted and the paths forward that we can take are limited. In the inverted state the Knight of Cups is a call to consider whether movement is the best option or whether we should put greater emphasis on our emotional independence.

The Page of Cups

The Page of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing study; the Page of Cups is associated with our reflection and admiration of the emotional connections we form with others. The Page of Cups is a sign that something can be learned from every experience and a prompt to regard our past relationships to determine how they came to be and what we can learn about them and ourselves in the process of understanding.

In the upright state the Page of Cups calls upon us to look back not in anger, but to consider all relationships we have had as serving a purpose; even those which may have ended in conflict can teach us something about ourselves or about others, or how we interact with others.

In the inverted state the Page of Cups represents the missing element; when we regard our past relationships in the pursuit of learning we should ask what was missing. In an effort to understand why a relationship worked or did not, it may not be that we find the answer in what happened, but rather in what did not.

The 10 of Cups

The 10 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing completion; the 10 of Cups is associated with the culmination of our relationship with quiet comfort and security; the point of silence has been reached where you can sit in silence in one another’s company without a feeling of awkwardness. The 10 of Cups portends to faith and trust being cemented in our relationship bringing us to an almost dogmatic point of renewed clarity and assurance.

In the upright state the 10 of Cups represents a fulfilling relationship that delivers upon what was promised and holds potential for so much more. The 10 of Cups represents the endurance of this relationship beyond test.

In the inverted state the 10 of Cups represents a relationship that reaches a point of acceptance, its form may not be what was anticipated but nevertheless its shortcomings are accepted by those involved. Our focus here becomes whether this is enough or if our time should once again be drawn to a close.

The 9 of Cups

The 9 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing anticipation; the 9 of Cups portends a period of calm once more with little or no movement. This period if it endures within a relationship could represent a life lived together, whilst without a relationship it can represent the anticipation of new opportunities to begin again, either with the same relationship or with another anew.

In the upright state the 9 of Cups represents a period without power or influence; this period will be marked by a relationship that you have devoted all that you can to ensure it succeeds with no action left but to bear witness and find out if it was enough.

In the inverted state the 9 of Cups represents dread, an expectation of negativity, perhaps the anticipation of the relationship coming to an end, or anxiety, or insecurity in the strength of the relationship leading to our anticipation of future conflict, i.e., the calm before the storm.

The 8 of Cups

The 8 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing urgency; the 8 of Cups portends risk and the element of chance. Unforeseen change is the most likely outcome of this card’s appearance with a particular focus on the rapidity with which we will need to respond to this change.

In the upright state the 8 of Cups sees the opportunity for change portended by the 7 of Cups now become a reality and with it our immediate challenge becomes adapting to this newfound landscape. The 8 of Cups is the card most often associated with a parting of ways and the end of a relationship, not as the result of conflict but as a result of departure in pursuit of disparate priorities and irreconcilable differences, this is the moment where relationships can either be made or broken; for a relationship to survive this divergence concession must be made and desires sacrificed this may mean committing to pursuing desires that are not our own.

In the inverted state the 8 of Cups represents our denial and continued desire to hold onto the relationship for what it was, rather than what it has become. This disparity will ultimately put distance between us emotionally and physically from the relationship as our expectations and reality become increasingly divergent.

The 7 of Cups

The 7 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing reinvention; the 7 of Cups represents the possibility of forward movement and the myriad of directions that we could take. This card as it pertains to relationships represents the unity, agreement, and act of living together, not in the sense of cohabitation in the literal sense but rather in terms of living your life and sharing that experience with another. Where this direction was depicted within the 6 of Cups as the result of conflict, ultimately influenced by it, the 7 of Cups in turn represents direction with clarity. The choices we now make are no longer shaped by conflict and its resolution but by desire and aspiration.

In the upright state the 7 of Cups represents the opportunity to share moments of happiness, joy, and prosperity. The element of reinvention here portends to the changing nature of our relationships, the growth and reinforcement we attain through shared experiences. These experiences may be transformative and could lead our relationship to enter into new territories we had not considered. Flexibility is essential here in order to embrace the pace of change that will follow.

In the inverted state the 7 of Cups represents complacency and the comfort we find in our relationship descending to a point where we take our relationship for granted. The inverted 7 of Cups therefore stands as a warning not to make assumptions but to renew your efforts to maintain the relationship as you did when it was first formed.

The 6 of Cups

The 6 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing transience and movement; the 6 of Cups represents an alternative outcome, either arrived from the 4 of Cups preceding, or as the result of the conflict in the 5 of Cups; in both cases the end result is the same whichever path led us here. The 6 of Cups represents the transformation of the forward progress of our relationship.

In the upright state the 6 of Cups represents renewed potential, new opportunities and growth in our relationship. Our connection deepens and a new level of comfort and security is achieved.

In the inverted state the 6 of Cups represents sacrifices made to maintain our relationship, compromise and concessions are to be made. Further reinforcing our commitment to the relationship and our determination for it to succeed.

The 5 of Cups

The 5 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing conflict; the 5 of Cups is associated with the possible result of our reflection, where our relationships have broken down, perhaps beyond repair. In the future position within Tarot spreads this can be a sign of conflict to come in our relationships, it does not necessarily mean that conflict will end in breakdown but rather that the illusion of harmony is to be shattered and the conflict laid bare, this will transform the relationship reshaping it into something new that we must then consider; relationships can be strengthened or they can fall apart in this period of tumult.

In the upright state the 5 of Cups represents difference of opinions, conflicting priorities, differing beliefs, and an inability to resolve disputes using old logic and reason. The 5 of Cups portends change and disruption, it is up to us how we navigate that period of turmoil.

In the inverted state the 5 of Cups once again represents stagnation, what might not cause conflict outright may otherwise cause movement and progress in the relationship to grind to a halt. This can be interpreted as different visions for the future with no way to resolve those into one common shared vision, influences that pull in opposing directions resulting in a complete lack of movement.

In the Rider-Waite deck, a lone figure shrouded in a black robe stands looking down at 3 cups which have been spilled with 2 more which stand resolute in his wake. This depiction represents the destructive element of conflict, the connection formed by the 3 of Cups has literally been lost, and the surviving potential to reconstruct and rebuild mirrors the 2 of Cups. The 5 of Cups ultimately portends to a crossroads where a decision will have to be made, reflecting on the 4 of Cups which emphasised preparation, the 5 of Cups represents ultimatum, what we may not have acted upon as a result of our contemplation we may now be forced to do so.

In self-reflection the 5 of Cups serves as a prompt to consider the negative elements that you may have failed to remove and revaluate your methods to mitigate those negative influences. As with creativity, once again, positive influences here do not need to be addressed - problems need to be solved, solutions do not.

This conflict can either be internal or external in nature; where the conflict arises from an internal struggle it is often the case that our shyness, social anxiety, and apprehension are the root of our inability to connect, or our inability to resolve differences between our viewpoint and that of the focus of our connection. When engaging with others, most people are not great at small talk; those that appear well versed are often relying on a greater attention to detail, and retaining past experiences, with a focus on common ground and shared interests. This can be recognised in others by patterns of conversation, always starting conversations from a specific topic or past event for instance.

You can create the potential for conversation by being more open and expressive about the things you like and find interesting. Overcoming your shyness or the reluctance to share motivated by past negative experiences can be difficult but the emphasis here should be on recognising that past experiences are not always reliable as templates to frame our expectations of future interactions. You are not the same person that you were 10 years ago, and neither are the people you attempt to interact with; relying on experiences from that time to shape expectations of the reactions of others is counterproductive.

Ask yourself “What is holding me back?” and “How can I make myself more approachable?” consider if particular past experiences are determining the answers to these questions. When this relates specifically to resolving conflict between our emotions and our feelings, the question instead turns to whether or not you are recognising your own negative emotions and whether or not you are expressing those. Ask yourself “Have I showed them how I am feeling?” strong relationships are built on effective communication, being able to express your feelings both positive and negative is important to be able to resolve conflict. You can’t expect others to be able to read your mind or to read your emotions with accuracy, you need to assume that others know primarily what you choose to tell them, and let their actions shape your understanding of their awareness beyond what you communicate. Everyone has different past experiences and others may be surprised by the experiences that you have had; if you choose not to share these experiences then do not create expectations of others to react as if they were already aware of them.

The 4 of Cups

The 4 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing stability, the 4 of Cups is associated with a stillness and cessation of movement. This is the point in the relationship where the honeymoon period has ended and the reality of the relationship is manifest. The 4 of Cups emphasises reflection and a moment of respite in solitude.

In the upright state the 4 of Cups calls upon us to look at our relationship with clarity, to see the connection we have formed and to see the relationship for what it is, not what we dreamt it to be. In facing this reality, we will find the answer whether we wish to pursue the relationship further or not. It is easy to fall in love with the idea of someone, much harder to recognise when the reality does not align to that vision and sobering to accept the divergence.

In the inverted state the 4 of Cups represents a lack of solitude, which portends a relationship that has become too demanding. Stability in our relationships depends upon our ability to exist independently as well as collectively. This lack of independence is a sign of co-dependence which often portends conflict, and eventual breakdown when one party is unable to fulfil the needs of the other.

The 3 of Cups

The 3 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing connection; the 3 of Cups is associated with the reinforcement of our relationship with bindings and obligations. Hope and optimism are often associated with this card in particular with an emphasis on celebration and potential.

In the upright state the 3 of Cups represents a willingness to embark on a great journey, an openness and comfort, or sense of fulfilment. This card essentially represents the honeymoon period of any relationship, where connection flows, and harmony is nurtured, the relationship grows during this period and the connection deepens. The 3 of Cups usually portends a happy period in your life.

In the inverted state the 3 of Cups represents a warning not to close down or withhold emotions out of fear. The 3 of Cups emphasises hope, and there is no hope in fear. In the inverted state it is a prompt to focus on the opportunities to grow the relationship and to reflect on the obstructions you are creating to that growth.

The 2 of Cups

The 2 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing balance; the 2 of Cups is associated with the foundation of a relationship forming, this will be built upon over time. This can also be interpreted as an act of commitment, either in the literal sense representing a marriage or union, or in the metaphorical sense interpreted as a promise or engagement.

In the upright state the 2 of Cups represents a relationship progressing to the next level, what was opportunity in the Ace of Cups becomes reality with the 2 of Cups. The Ace for example could represent a date with a new love interest, and the 2 of Cups would represent a relationship emerging from the connection that was formed.

In the inverted state the 2 of Cups can represent the frustration that a path to progress is not forthcoming, this could be a sign that the relationship will not go further, or it could be a sign that more effort is needed to harvest the potential the relationship holds, for example the desire for a relationship with a new love interest might go unfulfilled.

The Ace of Cups

The Ace of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing beginnings; the Ace of Cups is associated with the formation of new relationships and connections, these can be entirely novel or they can be existing relationships that had long been dormant, extant, or thought of as extinguished entirely.

In the upright state the Ace of Cups portends a new meeting of hearts, a new emotional connection to be formed. This new connection will have opportunities for growth but also bring with it a transformation and a change of outlook. The relationships this card portends to are not fleeting, they will endure for some time, perhaps a lifetime or perhaps only for a season, in any case they will endure for longer than one meeting, they represent someone or something that is going to be involved with our life going forward.

In the inverted state the Ace of Cups portends the renewal of a long dormant relationship, or the slate of an existing relationship being wiped clean and both sides agreeing to start over this could be the result of conflict resolution, or revelations that have fundamentally changed the nature of your relationship necessitating a return to square one.

The King of Wands

The King of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing the paternal nature; the King of Wands represents the finality of creation with the embodiment of the burden of service and the responsibility of governance. The King of Wands represents our ownership of our creative output and the obligation we create within ourselves when releasing this creativity into the world. We become King of the domain we created and serve as the authority for those who enter into it.

In the upright state the King of Wands represents the sacrifice of self-interest and in many ways the death of the author; we are called upon to recognise which elements of our creation still fall within our domain, and release those that fall beyond it. Knowing what we can control and influence is the focus here.

In the inverted state the King of Wands represents our attempt to govern that which cannot be governed. The King of Wands represents the extension of our authority beyond our domain and the futility or potential repercussions of that action. The focus here is not to overreach and to rein back our ambitions; an inverted King of Wands is often a sign of our inability to recognise the death of the author, dismissing the life of its own that our creation has taken on, fuelled by the arrogant desire to remain in complete control, refusing to let go.

The Queen of Wands

The Queen of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing the maternal nature; the Queen of Wands represents our instinct to nurture others and protect them. Where the Knight of Wands represents the position of authority gained through wisdom that has been attained, the Queen of Wands represents a position of authority gained from obligation and devotion. A Squire, or Page in medieval times served a Knight by choice in recognition of their status, a child however is bound to its mother by birth, beyond choice this connection can never be broken.

In the upright state the Queen of Wands represents our attention turning away from what we have created, instead focusing on the act of bestowing this creativity on others. The Queen is outward looking, forward thinking, and proactive in her nature.

In the inverted state the Queen of Wands represents our attention turned inward, reflecting upon our strengths and weaknesses in an attempt to recognise the limitations of our power and influence. Knowing what we are capable of allows us to have the greatest impact that we can.

The Knight of Wands

The Knight of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing discipline; the Knight of Wands represents the application of knowledge, and the combination of knowledge and experience which together produce wisdom. The Knight of Wands emphasises iteration and evolution, and the effort to guide others who would seek to follow in their footsteps.

In the upright state the Knight of Wands represents the embodiment of wisdom and the utility of our creative output. Skill, development, and training, are the focus for the Knight of Wands and serve as our prompt not to abandon our creative achievements upon completion, but to continue to use them and find utility within them. If ever there was a card to represent the call to recycle past creations, it would be the Knight of Wands.

In the inverted state the Knight of Wands represents the shortcomings of what we have created, the awareness of limitation in application. Whilst the creative process is objectively complete, the evolution of the creative output is not. What we have created can serve as the foundation of future creative endeavours that serve to iterate over our designs.

In the Rider-Waite deck the Knight of Wands rides on a horse wearing a yellow robe adorned with reptilian creatures; the symbolism of these creatures reflects the Reptilian Brain which is said to be driven by repetition and ritual, spurred on by instinct and impulse with emotional desires and their influence minimised. The reptiles depicted on their robes attempt to eat their own tails, an act which if achieved would create an Ouroboros, a symbol of reiteration and recursion, representing the evolution of the creative process.

Finally, three pyramids can be seen in the distance behind them representing the material essence or legacy of the creative process; our creative output will often persist and the utility therein may be found and adopted by generations to come.

In self-reflection the Knight of Wands serves as a prompt to consider the sources of wisdom and knowledge at your disposal and the example they set for you to follow. This is an opportunity to look to those who have already achieved what you seek and reflect on how they did it and identify the routine and mannerisms needed to do the same for yourself.

At this point you have gained your own experience, no longer the amateur, you stand aside those of achievement, treat them as equals and exchange your ideas. Recognise the strengths you have identified and the weaknesses you that have held you back or constrained your vision. Ask yourself “What do I need to work on?” and “What did they do differently?” when comparing your outcome to others, identify what you can learn from their experience to combine with your own.

The Page of Wands

The Page of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing study; the Page of Wands represents our attempts to research, reflect, and understand what has been achieved, what can be learned, and how we can plan for the future.

In the upright state the Page of Wands asks us to look back objectively at what we have created and reflect on the process as a whole, to consider what can be learned. We are asked to consider if we were to undertake such an endeavour again what would we do differently and what would we do the same.

In the inverted state the focus shifts from our creative process to the creative output itself. Instead of examining the means of production we examine the product. We are asked to be objective once more and consider what we have produced and whether it has merit or value, what flaws does it contain and what perfections.

The 10 of Wands

The 10 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing completion; the 10 of Wands represents the reaping of reward. Our efforts are complete, the final element has been acquired, and our creative endeavour yields the rewards we sought. The number 10 represents a return to parity, and the restoration of stability, calmness, and clarity of mind.

In the upright state the 10 of Wands prompts us to take the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our labour. The path is complete, the investment returned, and our enjoyment of the moment is our focus.

In the inverted state the 10 of Wands represents disappointment and criticism, and our inability to recognise when to stop. Our job is complete yet we may not feel this to be the case, we may still feel there is more we could do and more we could achieve particularly if we fail to recognise the original vision, we set out to realise because it does not look exactly as we had imagined; the 10 of Wands in the inverted state asks us to consider the inability to resolve these lingering elements as new journeys, not as part of this endeavour. Draw a line under what has been achieved, and if your vision has expanded then consider your new perspective as a separate journey for which the present serves as inspiration.

The 9 of Wands

The 9 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing anticipation; with the investment already made the 9 of Wands represents our anticipation of fulfilment and reward for the efforts we have made. Parity is disturbed with this odd numbered card and balance is sought, the arrival of a new element to restore parity is the focus here.

In the upright state the 9 of Wands represents vigilance and the counsel to remain observant; although we may perceive that the hard work has already been done and that our path should be simple going forward, we are advised to maintain our work ethic not to rest on our laurels until we see our efforts through to completion.

In the inverted state the 9 of Wands represents patience and the need to maintain composure. Whilst we wait for the element of completion, we must maintain what we have created so far. Where the upright state emphasises the need to continue seeking opportunity to move forward, our focus in the inverted state is to defend against elements that could derail or undermine the progress made so far, this is not an act of stagnation as it is not an idle effort, but rather one that will require a lot of energy to maintain what has been achieved. For example, when we reach our fitness goals, to abandon the routine of exercise will erode the gains we have made, maintenance is essential to preserve what we have achieved, even if we make no effort to go beyond that achievement.

The 8 of Wands

The 8 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing urgency; the 8 of Wands is a card that prompts us once again to return to momentum and forward motion. The restoration of parity brings forth a renewal of effort in our approach. Where the 7 of Wands represents our moment of respite and reflection, the 8 of Wands is our prompt not to lose ourselves in nostalgia and the narcissism found in the act of admiration of our past endeavours.

In the upright state the 8 of Wands is a sign to move on, you already possess all that you need within yourself to achieve your goal, or all that can be achieved at this point, maintaining momentum is essential as the only true failure is the failure to try. Even if you doubt your abilities, the act of creation in itself will feed creativity in turn, just as you rise from slumber and stupor, your consciousness elevates and your awareness grows the more effort you put into creating movement.

In the inverted state the 8 of Wands represents sudden change; where the upright state focuses on the internal state and how it relates to the wider world, the inverted state focuses on the wider world as an external factor and how it influences our internal state. This sudden change will impact our creative process and we will need to move beyond it in order to maintain momentum.

The 7 of Wands

The 7 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing reinvention; the 7 of Wands represents our need to adapt and be flexible in our approach. No human is blessed with a foresight that can foresee every eventuality, it is an inevitability that new information will come to light, new experiences will be had, and new wisdom will be gained as we walk through our path in life. To hold onto the plans that we created in the beginning with rigidity is to deny the value of this experience and prevent ourselves from evolving as spiritual beings.

In the upright state the 7 of Wands asks us to consider a change in our approach, it does not necessarily require us to start over from scratch but rather to take our original vision and revisit it with fresh eyes, knowing now what we have learned. We often say to ourselves “If I knew then what I know now” in reference to the decisions we made in our past, with these words often spoken in the shadow of regret but we forget to remind ourselves that the commitments we once made that we still hold onto are not only a memory they are a legacy, whether we are still bound by that legacy is a choice, albeit one that may be difficult to change. Regardless, to embrace our growth we need to be able to accept that our priorities shift, our vision clarifies, and our direction can and often will change.

In the inverted state the 7 of Wands asks us to consider what has been built so far, and revaluate whether or not we have met our original vision by a different interpretation. For example, if we set out with the desire to write a book but never manage to achieve this goal explicitly, but in the process write enough content that could fill a book, reconsider whether your objective was in fact met, in other words, consider whether you have written more than the measure of a book in your mind even if you never decided to publish it in the end. It is often the rigidity of our vision that determines our failure rather than reality.

The 6 of Wands

The 6 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing transience and movement; the 6 of Wands moves beyond conflict to maintain forward momentum. Drawing our focus away from the efforts we have committed thus far our attention instead is drawn once more to our objective and the direction we seek. The 6 of Wands is an opportunity to return to the creative endeavour at hand and consider where we want to go next and what it is that we ultimately want to achieve. Forward momentum is the emphasis here no matter how significant that movement is whether it be a small step or a giant leap, the important element is the act of moving.

In the upright state the 6 of Wands asks us to consider the options at our disposal and measure their merit ultimately choosing one to pursue. The objective here is not to find a single action to achieve our goal but simply to move closer to that goal, the objective is to avoid stagnation and stasis.

In the inverted state the 6 of Wands represents indecision with regards to our next action, this could be the result of an abundance of choice, or the result of a lack of choice. In either scenario if no choice can be decided upon with logic and reason, then one must be chosen by chance alone. To remain in place without forward momentum is to achieve inaction which prevents creation. As a reminder, chance in a Spiritual context represents deference to a higher power, allowing that power to make the decision for us.

The 5 of Wands

The 5 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing conflict; the 5 of Wands as depicted on a regular deck of cards is often drawn as an X shape here that symbolism is echoed. As wands are often seen as manipulating the other domains of the Tarot, the 5 of Wands in representing conflict is not limited to the domain of Creation alone it can incorporate the other domains, but crucially, in doing so the emphasis is the impact upon our creativity and action that this conflict causes and the impact that our actions have in turn.

In the upright state the 5 of Wands represents the connection between our objective in our creative endeavour and the reality that we have to work within. It may be that our creative endeavour is the source of this conflict, or it may be that the existing reality has put in place a structure or power dynamic that is challenged by our creative endeavour and the conflict therefore results from the disruption. In either case the 5 of Wands is a warning that our creative endeavour will be disrupted by external forces and that we should prepare for this accordingly.

In the inverted state this focus shifts from the external to the internal, instead of our creative endeavour causing disruption or being disrupted by external forces, it is instead the source of disruption this represents an internal conflict, where our own actions are complicating our endeavour. This can be a sign that we are holding ourselves back unnecessarily or that our focus needs to shift to be able to recognise the obstruction we have created, in situations such as this there is often an underlying emotion such as fear or attachment that impedes our progress.

The 4 of Wands

The 4 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing stability; where the 3 of Wands represented the strength of connection, the 4 of Wands represents the endurance of that connection through stability and maintenance. The four corners of a square represent the room beneath which a triangular roof is set. It is within this room that we dwell in our moments of idleness. Again, drawing from mathematical symbolism, the number 4 represents parity or evenness being restored once more it is this balance that must form the foundation upon which we will build.

In the upright state the 4 of Wands represents the growth of our creative endeavours in a steady and sustainable manner; this can represent a new period of calm in our lives after a period of turmoil or a period of rapid change. This could also be interpreted as the period of time after a connection has been made where things flow most freely albeit at a pace with which we may not be content, we must therefore remind ourselves that steady progress is preferred over potential instability.

In the inverted state the 4 of Wands represents stagnation, a lack of growth where it is desired. Where stability is prized for its security, a prolonged period of stagnation without renewal can be destructive or can portend to a period of disruption that may be on the horizon as yet unseen, the emphasis here is to ensure that slow and steady progress does not lead to stasis.

The 3 of Wands

The 3 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing connection; the number three is found throughout the Universe not just in occult traditions but in the halls of academia and the cathedrals of science. The triangle is the strongest geometric shape known to man and is incorporated into everything from our roads and bridges, to the roofs above our heads. The symbolism of triangles representing balance is further present in the mathematical formulae that exist for calculating the speed, distance, and time, or for calculating density, mass, and volume, as examples the triplicate nature of interconnection can be seen throughout the natural world.

In the upright state the 3 of Wands asks us to form connections in our creative endeavours. This could be potential collaborations with others, drawing upon the knowledge and experience of those who have gone before us, reaching out for help and advice, or by seeking out potential opportunities to turn creative ideas into creative practices allowing us to put the theory we have already studied into action.

In the inverted state the 3 of Wands represents the internal connections that we can form, by drawing on past experiences, looking to our past successes and failures and reflecting upon what we learned from those experiences which we can connect to our present experience and help us inform the plans we make for the future and our approach to achieve our goals.

The 2 of Wands

The 2 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing balance; the number two represents the mathematical concept of parity, or evenness. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, for every Cause, there is an Effect, and for every state of being there is an inverted state. It is held in spiritual practice that nothing is given for free, there is always a price. This mirrors the law of Physics where energy cannot be created nor destroyed it can only be transferred from one form into another, and the nature of causality once more.

In the upright state the 2 of Wands draws our attention to the cost of our actions and the resources we employ in our creative endeavours. When setting out on a new creative endeavour it is easy to get lost in the sea of potential that swells with opportunity beneath us, we need to refine our goals with realistic objectives. This requires us to reflect on the resources we have available and draw from those.

In the inverted state the 2 of Wands represents an initial imbalance that will be rectified in time. The advice here is to be mindful of the initial investment being higher than we anticipated and the potential return seeming illusive at first. Faith in our own endeavours and the confidence needed to commit to them and pay the price needed is the key focus here.

The Ace of Wands

The Ace of Wands - name - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Aces represent beginnings as the first card in any suit; the ace can also be considered the most valuable card for their potential and their purity. An ace represents clarity and freedom from obstruction, much like the Fool within the Major Arcana it represents the beginning of our journey in this case the beginning of our creative endeavour, the contrast when compared to the Fool however is that the Fool embodies ignorance, the fixed nature of the domains of the Minor Arcana removes the element of ignorance by directing our focus to one particular element or area of our lives.

In the upright state this card represents creative opportunities, new paths that will open to us, new things to try, new experiences to be had, or new places to visit with a particular focus on the element of potential.

In the inverted state this card represents a return to square one, familiar territories will be retrodden with eyes anew, a fresh approach or new direction will open up from an old starting point, in all of these scenarios the emphasis is on new opportunities that are still distinct in their own right but use past experience as their foundations.

XXI - The World

XXI - The World - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

The final card of the Major Arcana, the World represents completion and totality, the ending of all endings and beginning of all beginnings. As one journey ends and a new one begins, we let go of all that has been achieved and embrace our newfound power and the evolution of the spirit.

In the upright state the World is a sign that you have done all you are expected to do, and that you are now ready to move on and embrace a new journey. The World represents closure, and progress, letting go of our burdens and moving forward.

In the inverted state the World represents that which is missing, imperfect and incomplete. The inverted World calls upon us to embrace serenity and accept what we cannot change, to let go and accept a new life in its absence. For us to be able to move forward and begin a new life we must let go of everything we associate with the old one.