3 of Wands | Weekly Tarot Card Pt 4: Symbols

~ 3 of Wands Symbolism ~

This is the fourth installment of the 3 of Wands: Weekly Tarot Card. You can read the first three installments in the following links:

3 of Wands Symbolism

Hopefully after going over the element and number of the 3 of Wands yesterday, you spent some time considering what these things mean to you and your own application to the 3 of Wands.

Today we’re going to look at the common symbolism and imagery found in the 3 of Wands in traditional decks.

Color: Green, Orange, Yellow


Green is the color of abundance. It’s the color we associate with earth, and thus wealth and health. It’s also the color of the Heart Chakra. These aspects in the 3 of Wands insinuate success.


In the Thoth Tarot the main color used is orange, and this is because it corresponds with Wands, just as red does. These are the colors we associate with Fire, and Fire is the element of the Wands. It indicates our passions and goals. You can read more about fire in yesterday’s post.


Yellow is a good omen in the Tarot. In the Rider-Waite deck, the figure looks out over eh water that is yellow, which represents successful possibilities.

Astrology: Sun and Aries

The Sun is the planet of the Self. It represents the core of us, and thus, our passions and drive. There is an ember within each of us that burns brighter under certain circumstance, and those circumstances are what help us to reveal our True Will. If you’re an artist, it’s putting the brush to canvas (or whatever your medium), if you’re athletic it’s getting in the pool or running (etc.)—it’s your authentic self.

The Sun rule Aries, and Aries represents the beginning of the zodiac, and can be those bursts of energy we need to charge into a new project or a new level.


The sea in the card represents opportunity and expansion. The ships seen on it are merchant ships, and thus, the figure in the card is considering their future in their path. Not because they need to, but because they now can afford to.


Note the figure in most depictions of the 3 of Wands.

The figure in most cards is facing away from the reader and looking out to sea, looking toward their future. They usually have two wands behind them and hold on to the 1 on wand.

What does this posturing mean to you? Do you see any significance in this? Take some time to consider why this figure was chosen to be portrayed facing in this way, and share what you think in the comments.

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Decks Used

The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.

Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’

Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.

Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.

Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.

The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.

Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.


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