Great things are not done by impulse,
but by a series of small things brought together.
— Vincent Van Gogh
One of the simplest images that Pixie Smith created for the Waite deck, the Eight of Wands has no people, animals, or celestial bodies. We only see eight staves flying through the blue sky. Below, there are open lands, a river, and far away, a dwelling of some sort. The Wands are about desire, passion, and creativity, as well as the transformation that the element of Fire brings.
As Tarot author Gail Fairfield reminds us, the Eights in the Tarot are about organizing and orderliness. Imagine for a moment what it took to set flight to these eight big staffs that we see in the card. Was it a coordinated volley, set loose by a team? Was it a nearly superhuman effort by one person?
In either case, to marshal and organize the passionate, fiery Wands is no small feat. But as Arthur Waite interpreted this card, “That which they signify is at hand; it may be even on the threshold.” So whatever the goal is, lying just beyond the edge of the illustration, the staves are now falling towards it, and will soon hit their mark.
This week’s card indicates that we are crossing an important threshold. Although we are still in the process, an outcome is becoming clear. Is this about the U.S. Democratic primary race? Or perhaps it is illuminating for us the energy of the New Moon and Beltane. For this is the magical time when we are invited to plant and nurture our heart’s desires, knowing we have from now until the final harvest at the other magical doorway, Samhain, to grow our dreams.
The Eight of Wands is traditionally a card of hope, of delays being resolved, or else good news coming. Perhaps you are embarking upon a new love affair (Waite also called this card “the arrows of love”). Maybe you are making important travel plans, or you’re focusing on the final push for an important creative project.
Although things are in motion and still “up in the air,” the finish is coming up fast. If you have been clear about your goals, and have avoided scattering your energy, a swift, successful outcome is practically guaranteed.