The Four of Wands describes success upon reaching the end of the pathway which was set forth previously. The path has been walked, the goal achieved and wholeness attained; the stability of the spiritual will is achieved through this accomplishment. In this there is a spiritual marriage of sorts – the union of dream with reality, and the harmony that makes it so.
This card may be read in two ways. The first is the indication that you are approaching a success, or have something you must complete in order to walk through the gates and into the next stage of your journey. On the other hand, it may indicate that you have already experienced this success. With your work done, and your plan successful, the fire within has been settled and there is a momentary peace for celebration.
The Four of Wands is an endeavor which has achieved success, and indicates both the stages directly before, and directly after completing a goal. The goals you’ve been striving towards and the work you’ve been doing are all now coming to a point of completed success. You may still have some things to do to reach a total success, or perhaps you’ve just reached that point and are ready to celebrate; you know which one it is. In this, the card holds the energy of celebration, rest after labor, completion of cycles, and divine perfection.
In this card, a patch is seen having reached the castle from his vision in the previous card – the purpose which came through his heart. On the center of the castle is an emblem with four wands crossing each other within a circle. On each wand is a dove on one end, and a ram on the other – these represent Venus and Aries, whom form a sacred duality of the divine masculine and feminine in harmony with each other. The circle itself describes the coming together of opposing forces in a harmonious way, and the continuous flow of experience in this regard.
Whether your success was within an endeavor that was established long ago or just recently embarked upon, it is time to reflect upon the work that you’ve accomplished so far, and rest after all of your hard work. Take this time to look upon the creations you’ve brought into this world, old and new. We always need time to replenish ourselves and observe our creations, and then use that information in creating new experiences.
The numerology of four applies stability to each element across the board, and so for wands this stability implies a solidification of efforts towards living our dreams. Once success has been achieved, allow yourself to feel satisfied with all you’ve created; take some time to celebrate, and enjoy the feeling that you’ve done well.
Remember to also observe others in your life, and see where they are at on their journeys. Not only might you represent the patch who walks through the gateway, but you might also embody the spirit of the cheering characters on the top of the castle. The card reminds us that we’re all in this together, and you can give all of your love and support to your friends and family who have stepped up and completed their own cycles – everybody loves to be recognized for their efforts and accomplishments.
The reverse of the Four of Wands revolves around the opposite of a success, which is a failure. In this, it may appear in several forms, such as potentially taking on more than we could handle in a project, or beginning new projects before completing them. Further, this reversal may speak towards what will lead towards further failures, such as if we found ourselves celebrating such as this card suggests, we might actually be celebrating before we’ve finished our effort, or even celebrated too long after completing the project, and losing sight of the bigger picture.
Communication can play a big part in this – if there is a breakdown in communication, success can become difficult to achieve. On an internal sense, it might even be the lack of feeling complete or whole within oneself.
To turn this reversed card upright, simply slow down – look at what needs completing, and where you might be moving too fast. Observe if you are working too hard or not working hard enough, and take the action required to bring yourself back into balance. Finish what needs to be finished first, get centered with the purpose in your heart, and move forward as the bright light that you are! This may look like stopping to get your communication in order, if there are others that are involved in whatever it is that you are having trouble completing. With everyone on the same page, or you alone being mindful of where you are at, you can bring your project to completion – which will bring you to new levels of inner peace.
The Book of Thoth
The Golden Dawn
The Tarot Handbook