Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week, May 3-9, 2021: Three of Wands

Any idea can be a great idea if you think differently, dream big, and commit to seeing it realized.
Richard Branson

This week, as the season of Beltane begins to unfurl in all its glory, and the Moon wanes in Her final quarter, we have a faithful, frequent friend returning. Welcome back to the Three of Wands.

In the story of the fiery, magical Wands suit, the Three naturally follows the Two of Wands, which would have indicated a time of deciding.

In the Three, the figure has already launched his project, and his will is now in motion. With a calm confidence, in the golden light, he waits for the arrival of the success he has earned, as the ships sail by below.

In the times of these sailing ships, commercial enterprises were a gigantic risk, incredibly expensive, and an investment that could take years to realize – sometimes years without a single word of progress. Yet if their ships returned safely home, the owners stood to gain enormous wealth and power.

Here, our merchant is observing the result of his fruitful manifestation. Power fairly throbs within this dazzling card. Not surprising, since the resemblance to a back-turned Magician is surely more than coincidence.

The Three of Wands offers a message about the importance of planning, tenacity, and patience, if we want big results.

Threes and Fire

All of the Tarot suit Threes are facets of the Major Arcana Three – The Empress.

It’s not surprising, then, that in the Qabala Tree of Life, this card is a component of Binah, the uppermost feminine element in the top triad, and indicates potentiality as the Mother of Form.

Its meaning is Understanding and is also associated with the Queens of the Tarot.

Threes are more generally about movement and change, synthesis and manifestation, and fertile possibilities coming to fruition, reinforcing its connection to The Empress.

And, as mentioned, the element associated with the Wands is Fire, which rules the qualities of creativity, action, magic, growth, and passion.

Arthur Waite describes this card saying, “Here we see a calm, stately personage, with his back turned, looking from a cliff’s edge at the ships passing over the sea. Three staves are planted in the ground, and he leans slightly on one of them.”

A Pause to Plan

This first full week of May kicks off with a waning quarter Moon in mentally adept Aquarius. Interesting that the Four of Wands’ last visit was during the Aquarius New Moon this year.

Annie Heese at Café Astrology enlightens us:

On Monday afternoon, the Sun in Taurus forms a square with the Moon in Aquarius. This Last Quarter Moon phase points to a small crisis of consciousness.

After basking in the awareness symbolized by the full light of the Moon at the time of last week’s Full Moon, we arrive at a point where we need to sort out what works for us–and what doesn’t–in preparation for next week’s New Moon, when something new is born once again.

This is not the best time to start a major project, as the decreasing light of the Moon symbolizes a descent into unconsciousness.

It’s time to begin finishing up the details of that which was conceived at the last New Moon. It’s a time to consider our revelations, what they mean to us, and what can be done.

As a surprisingly contemplative card in the otherwise action-oriented suit of Wands, this, then, is a time for you to  experience the sweet energy of transition and attainment, and observe how what you have planned is now coming home to you. Good fortune and fulfillment make a perfect vantage point for planning the future.

And the always brilliant Lorna Bevan echoes this theme in her assessment of the coming month, calling this week a time of Course Correction:

May is going to bring a potent Buddha New Moon, Jupiter exiting Aquarius for Pisces, a total lunar eclipse and both Saturn and Mercury turning retrograde. Knowing that time-line shifts are inevitable, make the very most of this week to take stock and do a course correction.

What better place to do so than standing on a sunny hillside, framed by the magical doorway of Wands, and gazing at the vessels of your intentions and plans?

Dreams Launched and Returned

With Wands, we are not really talking about a merchant’s material riches on those ships a-sailing. The focus is not on the goods within, but how we wield our power. This is about how we manifest our desires through energy and will.

This week, be looking for results that are the culmination of your prior planning and foresight. And, preparing for next week’s New Moon, consider how plans made at this time will pay off for you later. Are you willing to wait patiently for the outcome you desire? How might your passion and creativity contribute towards a better future?

When success is in sight, instead of prematurely pouncing upon it, or, more commonly, already turning towards the next thing, this is an opportunity to pause.

This happy anticipation can be a quiet space in the midst of all our doing. This is the Understanding, where inspiration and spiritual replenishment occur.

May we all dream big this week, and then focus our commitment, to ensure that those dreams sail with the surety of our highest expectations.

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  • May 3, 2021, 3:59 pm nofixedstars

    i don’t know why, but it came to me that this card might, at times, remind us to take stock of our blessings and feel gratitude for what has gone well for us. i feel that today (at least for me) the reading might be a nudge to think what i enjoy already and would like more of in future in my life; a moment of feeling quiet satisfaction for what i have achieved, what has gone right. maybe for me i need to know how i want to feel before i can lean into creating something new. and i can easily imagine this chap’s sense of relief, and relaxation, and a happy anticipation of abundance, as those ships return safely to harbour.

  • May 4, 2021, 1:12 pm Beth

    Absolutely, Ann! I love emphasizing the importance of gratitude to the meaning of this. Thank you!