The Eight of Wands is the 8th tarot card in the Minor Arcana suit of Wands and visually represents the process of change, movement, and transformation. Something has been set in motion—an idea, a project, a desire—and this card depicts the unfolding of its arrival in space and time.

The Eight of Wands is associated with the element of fire and the first decan of the Sagittarius zodiac sign (0-9 degrees) in astrology. This card resonates with the exploratory energy of this sign and the desire to expand beyond known horizons and familiar territories. The wands are also a visual echo of the centaur’s bow and arrow, the glyph for Sagittarius. This decan is ruled by Mercury and, therefore, ties into the themes of communication, messages, and unexpected news.

Where the key meanings of the tarot deck’s Major Arcana focus on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like the Eight of Wands explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future.

Eight of Wands Keywords

Upright Keywords

Reversed Keywords

swift movement, rapid progress, incoming arrival, messages received, taking quick action

unresolved queries, messages lost in translation, delayed news, fear of change

Description of the Eight of Wands Tarot Card

The 8s in the Minor Arcana depict (in various ways) the need for action, growth, and change. The struggle for dominance in the Seven of Wands has seemingly been resolved, and we now encounter the wands in mid-air. In the Rider Waite Smith deck, this is one of the only Minor Arcana cards that doesn’t feature the illustration of a figure, which emphasizes its focus on the energy of desire in action.

This card depicts a seemingly straightforward scene: eight wands, or staves, moving through the air with precision and speed against a pastoral landscape. Their downward tilt suggests they are close to hitting their intended target and speaks to this card as describing the impending arrival of news or information.

Because the wands are headed for earth, this draws upon the themes of the element of earth in the tarot, which is symbolized by the suit of Pentacles. The grounding energy of earth mixes with the passionate energy of fire, producing the possibility of inspired ideas taking form in the material world. It speaks to the anticipation of seeing our desires, ideas, and projects find a tangible form in reality.

Eight of Wands Upright Meaning

The seed of the new idea, which was planted in the Ace of Wands, is now unfolding and moving rapidly toward its intended end. This card signals that what you have desired to bring to life is on its way, and you can expect to receive news, information, or clues about its arrival shortly. There is the sense that rapid progress and momentum are building, and you should trust that what you’ve set in motion has taken flight.

The upright Eight of Wands can symbolize an opportunity that must be acted on quickly and decisively. The energy is swift and transitory, and if you can meet the moment with empowered action, you can ride the current of momentum forward. This requires a deep trust that events are unfolding in accordance with your greatest good and that this surge of momentum will expand your possibilities and horizons.

The Eight of Wands can often signify that news, messages, opportunities, and exchanges are imminent. If you have been looking for a solution to a long-standing problem, this card can signify that clarity is on the way. It can symbolize receiving a long-awaited response and a general influx of messages and communications.

Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)

Within the context of a relationship, an Eight of Wands in the upright position can signify a rush of new energy and that the plans you’ve created together can gain momentum and begin to materialize. There may be changes on the horizon, such as relocating, traveling for vacation, or for work. It’s an encouragement to go with the flow of where life is taking you and embrace new opportunities.

A love reading with an upright Eight of Wands can also symbolize a flurry of activity and communications within your romantic life. You may be receiving many invitations, messages, and communications in general from romantic interests. It can be a signal to set your sights on exactly what you desire because when you aim your arrow of love, it can hit its intended target with rapid ease.

Love/relationships upright keywords

Career/finance upright keywords

plans materializing, relocating or traveling, influx of messages and communications, decisive action

positive news, an array of messages, positive feedback for your work, seizing opportunities

Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)

The Eight of Wands can signify that positive changes and important news relating to your work or career are imminent. It can represent receiving long-awaited news or an array of messages relating to new opportunities. If you’ve been putting in the hard work to achieve a goal or dream, it can represent finally starting to see the fruits of your labor and receiving positive responses to your work.

When the Eight of Wands appears upright, it’s an encouragement to seize the day and take action toward your goal. There may be a welcome but fleeting opportunity available to you, and if you act decisively, you can grab hold of it. You may have the opportunity to take a business trip or travel while working remotely. It cautions against procrastination, second-guessing, or allowing self-doubt to stand in your way or to steal your positive energy.

Eight of Wands Reversed Meaning

In the reverse position of a tarot spread, the Eight of Wands means you’re experiencing a time of stalled momentum, delays, and unresolved issues. If this card appears in response to a specific question, it can indicate that the matter is still resolving itself and that a clear resolution is not yet available. It can symbolize messages lost in translation, miscommunications, stagnation, or logistical setbacks.

If this card appears in the reverse, it can signify that you may need to rethink your approach or your plan of action. If there are delays, it may be a signal that some aspect of your project needs to be reworked. When you’ve reviewed the details of your plans and communications, you can resume forward movement with greater clarity.

The reversed Eight of Wands can also signal that you are in the midst of rapid change and are feeling destabilized or anxious about this process. There may be many different and competing priorities, and the general busyness of life may feel overwhelming. If you are able, take a moment to pause, slow down, let go of any unnecessary stresses, and allow yourself a moment of peace amidst the chaos.

Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)

In a tarot reading, the Eight of Wands reversed can symbolize feeling anxious about communications (or miscommunications) with romantic interests. You could be waiting for a response, wondering why the message hasn’t arrived yet, or nervously worrying about the speed and rate of communications. This card is a reminder to try and find your center so that you may approach the matter from a grounded and calm place.

The reversed Eight of Wands can also symbolize a feeling of distracted energy, inconsistent communication, and busyness within the context of a relationship. There may be many different demands pulling on you or your partner, which makes it difficult to prioritize quality time. This card suggests that slowing down and making time for connection can help to restore balance within your relationship.

Love/relationships reversed keywords

Career/finance reversed keywords

anxiety about communication, waiting for messages, distracted energy or busyness, needing to pause and ground oneself

delays in communications, overwhelmed by demands of work, too many irons in the fire, need to pause and slow down

Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)

The reversed Eight of Wands can signify that you are experiencing delays in communications with others regarding your work projects. You could be awaiting a response concerning unfinished business, or be confused by miscommunications. If you can exercise patience during this period of slowness, you’ll receive the clarity you need in due time.

This card can also signal that you are overwhelmed with the demands of your work or have too many irons in the fire. If your mind is on overdrive as you try to juggle many competing priorities, this card suggests giving yourself a break or a moment of pause. You may be flying through your tasks and projects at a frantic pace, which is causing your energy to become ungrounded and unfocused.