Ace of Wands

Ace of Wands meanings

The commencement of an action. The sprouting of a seed, or germ of an idea. The nature of the action depend on cards around the Ace of Wands

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Image of the Ace of Wands Minor tarot card in the Rider-Waite deck
Ace of Wands – Rider-Waite

A hand issuing from a cloud grasps a stout wand or club.

Creation, invention, enterprise, the powers which result in these; principle, beginning, source; birth, family, origin, and in a sense the virility which is behind them; the starting point of enterprises; according to another account, money, fortune, inheritance.

Additional Meanings: Calamities of all kinds.


Fall, decadence, ruin, perdition, to perish; also a certain clouded joy.

Additional Meanings: A sign of birth.

Book of Thoth: Ace of Wands

Image of The Ace of Wands Minor tarot card in the Book of Thoth deck

This card represents the essence of the element of Fire in its inception. It is a solar-phallic outburst of flame from which spring lightnings in every direction.

These flames are Yods, arranged in the form of the Tree of Life. (For Yod, see Atu IX supra.)

It is the primordial Energy of the Divine manifesting in Matter, at so early a stage that it is not yet definitely formulated as Will.

The Ace of Wands is the beginning or seed of Fire, so that not even Will has formed.

More information

Golden Dawn – The Radix of the Powers of Fire

Natural force, strength, and energy are available for use


Birth, Commencement, Beginning, Origin, Source.


Persecution, Pursuit, Violence, Vexation, Cruelty, Tyranny.


Ace of Wands by Etteilla
Ace of Wands by Etteilla

Birth, Beginning. Nativity, Origin, Creation. Source, Principle, Primacy, New. Extraction, Race, Family, Station, House, Lineage, Posterity, Circumstance, Cause, Reason, First, First Fruits.


Fall, Cascade, Decadence, Decline, Wasting Away, Weakening, Dissipation, Collapse, Bankruptcy, Ruin, Destruction, Pulling Down, Damage, Devastation. Mistake, Error, Misunderstanding, Despondency, Exhaustion, Discouragement. Perdition, Abyss, Chasm, Precipice. Perish, Descend, Wane, Demean Yourself. Depths.


Birth, source, principle, beginning, origin, cause, reason, creation, invention. Some say also: family, but this is probably to be taken as ‘family-descent,’ or parentage or origin of the family, which is a different idea. Reversed: Fall, perdition, decadence, decline, ruin, etc.
The element of Air on the First house or ascendant has of course to do with birth and beginning, because it is the coming through of the message from above to the regions of the physical plane; the ascendant indeed is the synthesised appearance of the heavens at the beginning of … whatever it may be, and so this card signifies on one hand the inflow of light from above into the world of matter and fact, which can have several meanings. On the other hand, seen from the side of light itself, it is the ‘fall in matter’ and the decline of the higher, as well as the enlightening of the lower. The cards of the airy element have always and in every instance a double meaning and not only in the sense of right and reversed, but a meaning on two sides. And apparently this has been wrongly introduced as ‘right’ or ‘reversed’ in some cases. So the ace of wands will represent the effect of suddenness, of the incidental, even accidental, showing some appearances of the planet Uranus. It denotes something that is making its appearance all of a sudden; a sort of manifestation, creation such as the birth of a child. This, by the way, is generally considered to be a joy for the parents, etc., but may not be for the soul, which has to accept once more the limitations of life in a body of earth. And this is the two-sidedness of the significance.
Birth, beginning, innovation, creation initiative, impulse, origin, principle, source, cause reason, parentage, handing over of a message, news revelation, initiation. On the other hand come the meanings derived from fall, decline, descent, depreciation, profanation, etc. But it means that which will happen once only and which cannot be taken back.

Paul Foster-Case – Initiative

The triangle is black, but radiant, symbolizing the Radiant Darkness or Potential Energy in which all beginning, symbolized by the white, dotted circle, concentrates itself. The white circle symbolizes Kether, the Hebrew idea of the number 1, called the Crown, or Primal Will. Another symbol shows the circle, Unity, the Spiritual Triad or Triangle, and the Square of the Lower Quaternary, indicating that the card represents the life-power in man. Behind the Ace (which symbolizes the concentration of Spiritual Fire for works of creation) is a sun rising over the horizon of the waters of creation, and this sun also suggests the dawn, or beginning of a matter. Astrologically the Ace of Wands governs the quarter of the Heavens from Aries 0 to the last degree of Gemini.

Time period

March 21st to June 20th, inclusive.

Occult title

The Root of the Powers of Fire.


Natural, as opposed to invoked, force. Strength, force, vigor, vitality, and particularly the force of concentrated Will. The principle, or beginning of an enterprise.

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Article Name
Ace of Wands tarot meanings - beginning of action
The Ace of Wands shows the commencement of an action. The sprouting of a seed, or germ of an idea. Primordial energy about to manifest.

2 thoughts on “Ace of Wands”

  1. I love your new site. It would be most helpful to have a next button at the top & bottom of these “meanings of the Tarot” pages so we could click thru instead of having to go back to the menu and find our way to the next card. Just for the tarot meanings pages since there are so many cards. Just a thought.

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