The Eight of Wands


 
INTRODUCTION:

This reading uses two cards _pulled from the Sharman Caselli deck, with the first dealt representing your current situation: what is going on in your life right now, your drive and focus; and the second what is crossing you: situations, people, energies, etc…

Essentially, where you are heading and what is preventing you from achievening it:

  1. First Dealt: Eight of Wands
  2. Second Dealt: Judgement

 

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OVERVIEW: THE SUIT OF WANDS

The Suit of Wands cards represent fire and primal energy. They are rooted in passion, hard work and adventure. Their focus is on creativity, momentum, action, activity, ambition, expansion, inspiration, intution, spitiriality and determination. They are about taking your ideas and making them real, picking up the tiny seeds of thought you have planted and releasing them into the world – like shooting bullets, like firing arrows.

Wands people and people with the Wands energy in their lives _whether temporarily or indefinitely, discover, push limits, excel, pour energy into and win. They fully believe and they give it their all. They love challenges, are feisty and fiery, thrive on conflict (and will sometimes seek it out). They willing throw themselves into new projects and ventures and will keep going for as long as they are engaged. Because of this, they can be erratic and unreliable: stopping to start the next ‘big thing’, abandoning mid-flow… They hate to be confined and rarely work in an office. They thrive when they are in charge. They make great leaders but find it hard to delegate (which can lose them authority and respect and even land them in trouble). They are passionate and exciting but hard to be in a relationship with, this is because they need a lot of space and freedom and can fall out of love as easily as they fell in. They are best, therefore, when paired with their own kind, who can at least understand where they are coming from when they blow hot and cold and not take things quite so personally.

As cards, Wands act as a mirror for our desires, symbolising a dream or a goal that we wish to materialise.

Take a moment now to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What gets you excited?
  2. What wakes you up in the morning with the desire to get out of bed?
  3. What do you:
  4.          – spend your free time doing?
             – give away for free?
             – research?
             – investigate?
             – invest in?

 
These are your wands, the very things that make you tick; things that, were they taken away, would wound you.

My wands, in no particular order, are:

  1. Being of service
  2. Spending time and working with animals
  3. Forming and fortifying new friendships
  4. Reading
  5. Writing
  6. Drawing, painting
  7. Knitting, sewing
  8. Making things by hand *
  9. Talking to the people I see everyday:
  10.          – neighbours
             – shop assistants
             – cashiers
             – market stall owners
             – barristers
             – bank tellers
             – homeopaths
             – naturapaths
             – physios
             – hairdressers
             – beauty practitioners
             – gym staff
             – doctors
             – vets

 
* things that I make include, fimo unicorns, origami doves, scented soy candles, greetings cards, gluten-free cakes, gemstone jewelery; embroidered handkerchiefs, napkins and birds; knitted hand-warmers and hats; inside gardens, outside gardens and seasonal altars…
 
I would and do do all of these things for free.

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OVERVIEW: THE MAJOR ARCANA

The Major Arcana, to which the Judgement card belongs, form the foundation of the Tarot deck. There are twenty-two in total, numbered from 0-21, each representing part of the path to spiritual self-awareness and the various stages we pass through and experience as we search for greater meaning and understanding in our lives. Along this journey we encounter challenges, face adversity, perform labours, make hard decisions and fight opposing forces, each step bringing us closer to the things we truly want: inner peace, personal freedom and enlightenment. As such, they hold deeply meaningful lessons which, if we honour and use them, can help to heal, inspire and guide us along our way.

The Judgement card is number twenty: XX, 20. Dealt the right way up, it represents accountability, confrontation, absolution, resolution, resurrection and rebirth – the activity of leaving the past behind and moving into the light.

Reversed it symbolises self-doubt, self-criticism, self-loathing and self-scrutiny (which essentially means the inaction/inactivity of listening to ghosts from the past and of allowing the continuation of the hold they still have over us – things that prevent both us and our lives from moving forwards and have done so for as long as we can remember).

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IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:

We will now look at each of the cards as a picture, independent from the arcana and suit, stepping inside the landscape to unpack the full meaning of what we are:

  1. endevouring to do
  2. attempting to avoid

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UNPICKING _THE EIGHT OF WANDS:

The Eight of Wands depicts a man with a bow in posession of eight wands, seven of which are airborne. Looking, we can see that one remains, although even as we watch it, too, is being released.

The man is in the desert, standing beneath the hot sun. The surrounding landscape is arid and dry. The overhanging sky, bleached. The time is around noon and, depending on how long he stays, he can easily be home by dark if he tries. His pursuit, the reason he is out here in the first place, is one of valour, his actions charged with desire and intent. He stands with confidence: grounded, present, fully in the moment and totally engaged; the only hint of hesitation in his right foot, which, if it is not providing further balance, could be pulling away. Rather than escaping, running or returning after an absence of many days,months,years… I sense that he has slipped out to attend to a task and, upon finishing, will return to whence he came. Unlike in other cards – like Judgement, for example – he is not resisting or attempting to deny; he is looking ahead and making plans. Having woken from a long sleep in which he drifted and dithered, making up excuses for ‘why not now’: he is full of energy and drive. The danger, though, is that perhaps he is too keen, treating his wands like burning hot cakes instead of precious offspring.

Think about the wands that you have in the air at the moment and the feelings you have around them:

  1. Are you, like the Eight of Wands, simply overly excited: eager to release what would otherwise be burning a hole in your pocket?
  2. Are you practicing for what will later become the real thing?
  3. Are you aiming at something you fear and wish to annihilate?

Think about the changes going on in your life and your attitude towards them:

Do you feel:

  • excited
  • energised
  • hopeful
  • determined
  • inspired
  • motivated
    Or do you feel:

    • fearful
    • resistent
    • reluctant

     
    We are comfortably into the suit now and have come a long way since our humble one-like beginnings. Along ‘this way’, we have figured out what it is we want and what we need in order to achieve it, determining where our strengths and weaknesses are and what we need to release and heal * and begun to put it out there. We are moving forwards, we have cleared the path, everything is flowing freely… There are no physical blocks that we cannot either step around or remove, for we have dealt with most things that injure and inhibit us already: quit a job, left a partner, severed ties with unhealthy people, places and relationships, etc. We are proceeding rapidly: faster than before: faster, perhaps, than we are comfortable with. We are busy but in a good way.

    * If we are not healing and if we are not happy _and I would guess if you have found this particular card reading and if you are still reading it, especially this bit… that you are not, it is because the Judgement card crosses both the present and the future, blocking what lies ahead and holding you back. Once you deal with this, with the contents of the coffins, your coffins, you will be free to embrace the full energy and potential of the Eight of Wands and on your way to success and mental and physical freedom. Embrace the cards, answer the questions, do the homework and make the images into your phone or tablet wallpaper so that you can spend some time with them each day. The more you get to know the cards and how they relate to you: the more you can shift and transform your life.

    The Eight of Wands invites you to embrace action and activity, loosening the usual control and need for certainty to allow for spontaneity and adventure. It’s driving message is to dive in and trust: in the flow, in the natural order, in the journey that is unique to you.

    Like stepping onto a rollercoaster: to truely benefit from the ride, you must first surrender to that which is outside of you and unknown.

    Take a moment to zoom in on the creature _lizard, gecko, salamander, baby dragon… in the bottom right-hand corner:

    1. If he were a stone weighing you down, what would he represent?
    2. If he were a weight pulling, holding you back, who would he be?
    3. If he were a gremlin, highlighting your weaknesses and undermining your confidence, what would he be saying to you?
    4. What negative words do you allow into your head just as you are getting ready to start something new?
    5. What always stops you from pursing your dreams?

     
    These are things you need to consider.

    *

    UNPICKING _JUDGEMENT:

    As I said earlier, the Judgement card is number twenty out of the twenty-two Major Arcana cards. Sitting in-between the Sun and the World, it tells us that we have already successfully opened up the space for power and light to enter into our lives and are on our way to attaining the future of our dreams _as soon as we attend to a bit of important housekeeping, that is.

    To start this process, look at what you judge:

    • in yourself
    • in others

     
    Look at how you respond, react and report:

    • situations
    • experinces
    • settings
    • locations

     
    Ask yourself:

    • Where do I hate?
    • What do I criticise and condemn?
    • What annoys me about others?
    • Where do I lack patience?

     
    These are your ‘red flags‘, indicitive of the things (or similar) you have disowned within yourself.

    1. Maybe you lose patience with people who take their time or who stand before you in a queue talking?
    2. Perhaps you criticise those who eat junkfood, are overweight, fail to exercise and who take little care in their appearance?
    3. Or else you hate those who exhibit aggressive behaviour: road rage, supermarket impatience, pedestrian intollerance and yet do the very same yourself?

     
    The things that we dislike in others are a reflection of the things we dislike in ourselves, our shadow parts, and unless we are already emotionally and psychologically aware, actively analysing our thoughts and our feelings, processing our experiences, clearing the discharge from our reactions and responses… we are likely to be completely unaware of them. This is why therapy, self-help, energy healing and spiritual development are so helpful because they shine light into dark areas, illuminating what would otherwise remain unknown or concealed.

    Take a closer look at the card now. The Judgement card depicts three naked people standing inside three plain coffins with open lids. Above, there is an angel with a horn, floating in mid-air. A white flag flaps gently in the breeze. In response to the horn, the people are waking: standing, rising up; arms extended, begging…The angel is a messenger, declaring, proclaiming, announcing… the start of things to come, the end of things as they are; a birth, a new beginning or a death? In the background the sea is calm and the sky, aside from a few clouds, is clear.

    Look at the people and how desperate they look. Look at the dark space beneath them, yawning, like a mouth. See how they long to escape, leaving behind the limitation and confinement which has become their lives. The angel’s arrival is a blessing to them, waking them from a magical sleep in which they have been unaware of all that they lack. Without the veil of denial and deception covering their eyes, they can see the world as it is: huge, timeless, onmipotent, ever-changing; indifferent and wonderous. They can see that it is people and events that have hurt them and that they have hurt themselves, not the world: the world just is. And if the sun can rise again at the start of each day, beginning afresh without the attachment to the memory of yesterday: so can they. This is what the flag is announcing as it waves and snaps, the cross, emblazoned across its centre, denoting a return to balance. But red, reminiscent of blood: there is a necessary sacrifice of a Christly-kind, which, afterwards, in the white of the cloth, will become clean.

    Consider also The Red Cross and its focus on healing. Red is about bandages and wounds, spilling blood, warning and danger. It is also, for women, about mensturation and the shedding of what is not needed.

    The apprearance of this card in a reading (this reading, in particular) suggests that it is time to step forwards and take charge, even if that means some hard choices. Judgement calls you to attention, demands your presence, confronts you with ghosts, skeletons, dark undersides and cobwebs… In an otherwise empty sea – a vast cobalt platea where, above at least, all is calm – Judgement releases all of the things you would usually try to avoid. When you see this card in a reading, especially when it is reversed, it may be time to reassess your life and to live differently, listening to your needs, doing for yourself for once, valueing yourself first.

    1. So, what do we do about Judgement and how can we move forwards?
    2. How can we embrace the full potential of the Eight of Wands, bringing more of what we want into our life?

     
    Judgement invites you to:

    • contemplate and take stock
    • review and reassess
    • look back and see what you have learned
      •  
        As I have mentioned already, the Judgement card in this spread is reversed. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean finding the courage and strength to take an honest look at your life, going back over painful events and experineces, some of which may have been truely traumatic and which may traumatise you still, unpicking them until you understand why they happened and how they were able to, and how you can avoid them ever happening again.

        1. Perhaps you gravitate towards empty and unavailable relationships where all you do is give; friendships where there is no reciprocal listening?
        2. Perhaps you work too hard for a tyrannical boss in an environment where there is no thanks?
        3. Perhaps you entertain addictive behaviours, self-defeatist thoughts, spiral from high to low?
        4. Perhaps you simply don’t love yourself enough and this is evident throughout your life?

         
        It is important that you learn from your previous mistakes, that is the key theme here. Take some time to absorb these facts in order to release yourself yourself from the downward energy and the cycle of repetion.

        Judgement is about:

        • personal forgiveness
        • finding it within yourself to cleanse and release your sins
        • cutting the connection with your past and stepping outwards into the light

         
        You have lived too long in shadow, focussed too heavily on helping others shine, hidden your true thoughts, desires and feelings in order to fit in. Only it hasn’t made you happy and it hasn’t won you the companionship, love or life you want to lead.

        Remember, always, that you are in control. Take back your power and pour it inside.

        ~

        SUMMARY:

        Wands are fueled by primal energy and are rooted in dreams and desires. They are all about activity, adventure and taking your ideas and making them real. Like a seed, each represents a goal that needs planting. What gets you excited, wakes you up, do you do even without prompt or payment? These are your seeds, plant them.

        The Eight of Wands invites you to embrace action and adventure, to pursue your dreams with passion and conviction. In order to do this, you need to loosen the control that currently rules you and allow for a little uncertainty in your life. Dive in, trust in the flow, let the journey that is unique to you happen.

        The Major Arcana form the foundation of the tarot deck, representing the path to spiritual self-awareness and the challenges we face as we move towards inner peace, personal freedom and enlightenment. Each one holds a deeply meaningful lesson, which, if used correctly, can help to heal, inspire and guide us as we continue to grow and evolve.

        Number twenty, the Judgement card sits between the Sun and the World. It shows us that we have opened up the space for love and light to enter our lives and are on our way to attaining the future of our dreams. It represents accountability, absolution, resurrection and rebirth and is about confronting the past, releasing our demons and moving forwards. Reversed it represents imprisonment, confinement, guilt and shame and the inactivity of self-destructive behaviour. It tells us that certain things are stopping us from getting what we want and that, maybe, they always have. It also tells us what we need to do in order to get unstuck. The key to moving forwards, to our wands reaching our desired goals which we stretch towards and shoot at but never achieve, is acknowledging, accepting, forgiving and releasing, setting the past and its skeletons free. In valueing yourself enough to put yourself first before others, you regain your power, siultaneously sending out a message to others that you are not to be disrespected, dismissed or denied. Embracing Judgement marks the end of the old and the beginning of the new. What it offers can be incredibly healing if you are prepared to journey with it.

        ~

        CONCLUSION:

        • Respect yourself and others will respect you
        • Love yourself and others will be more kind
        • Forgive yourself and your world will be transformed
        • Devote yourself to the path of emotional healing and spiritual development and you will be filled with light

         
        Now is the time to let go:

        • of the past
        • of the old feelings
        • of the resentments and judgements

         
        …for only then will you be able to truely be free.

        ~

        HOMEWORK:

        You have read this article and found these cards today because they are meant to guide you. Honour yourself with the permission and freedom to really appreciate that.

        This means: reading through the article again from the beginning and taking the time to record your thoughts; then, looking back over these notes and the card on a regular basis to check in, using this disciplined exercise as your motivation to implement the necessary modifications and changes in your life.

        To do this:

        1. Write down the answers to all of the questions in this article, then think about how those answers apply to you.
        2. Do your own reading of the cards and compare your answers to the questions in the article to your reading of the cards.
        3. Make a list of the main points, those that strike you as important.
        4. Check back in with your notes, first daily and then weekly, to inspire change and healing in your life.
        5. Ask yourself where you need healing, where you need help, where you need balance and where you need love, then commit to spending half an hour each day towards working to achieve this.

        ~

        If this article has stirred things up for you or made you realise there are things in your life you would like to resolve, please feel free to visit my contact page or email me me to discuss both these and the possibility of our working together in the future. I work both face-to-face and remotely using Skype.

        Or, to book an appointment directly, see my contact page.

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