Three of Wands Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretations
The 3 of Wands is the organiser who relies on their connections, and the ability to communicate with others, to get things done. For example, a night out with friends, or a party, needs someone to take the initiative, gather consensus on time, date and venue and then make sure that everyone is informed and all the necessary bookings are made. As the Suit of Wands, and the element of Fire, deals with energy, passion, home, community and work that example must be taken into context. In the work place the 3 of Wands could be referring to the marketing of products or the logistics of shipping to retailers or customers. Project management requires excellent communication skills, diplomacy and the ability to motivate and inspire others to come together in harmony and get things done.
In numerology the number 3 is the expressive communicator which is highly creative, as seen in the 3 Of Pentacles. The number 3 also represents the feminine virtue of nurturing as seen in the The Empress and social gatherings as seen in the 3 Of Cups. The negative attributes of the number 3 are childish irresponsibility, lack of discipline, being directionless, scattering energy, having no focus and attention seeking. The 3 of Wands is a good card but it should also be taken as a warning, with the 3 Of Swords kept in mind, that success and happiness are not guaranteed. This card indicates that work needs doing and there maybe consequences if the 3 is allowed to express it's negative side.
Pamela C. Smith's 3 of Wands in the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck depicts a man standing on a hill over looking a sea with 3 ships passing by. This, according to her co-author Arthur E. Waite, is a merchant who has sent his products off to be sold and is now waiting for his ships to return. Tarot comes from a time before telegraph wires, even the RWS deck was created when long distance communication was mainly by ship. The 3 ships may well be heading for 3 or more different ports. There's a lot of communication in this symbolism which would be the equivalent today of writing one or more emails and sending them to not just one person but groups of people. There's a need to express plans, ideas and creative thoughts and see what comes back. If all the work and preparations have been done well enough, and luck is on the merchant's side, then success is assured. The artist placed 2 wands on the right, in the future, of the merchant and 1 wand on the left in the past. This was probably to remind us, through numerology, of the need for someone to take the initiative to get this project going by the single wand in the past position, which references the Ace of Wands. The 2 wands in the future position represents the diplomacy required once those ships reach their destinations in making fair trade and strengthening distant bonds.
The 3 of Wands, 3 of Rods or 3 of Batons is a card of creativity in the home or work place through social engagement. The element here is Fire which relates to home, community, work, energy, passion and drive. The aspects of the number 3 in numerology are the joy, expressiveness, communication, social gatherings and creativity. This card can point to working with others being creative in the home or work place which should be a successful and happy venture.
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THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT
By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)
A calm, stately personage, with his back turned, looking from a cliff's edge at ships passing over the sea. Three staves are planted in the ground, and he leans slightly on one of them. Divinatory Meanings: He symbolizes established strength, enterprise, effort, trade, commerce, discovery; those are his ships, bearing his merchandise, which are sailing over the sea. The card also signifies able co-operation in business, as if the successful merchant prince were looking from his side towards yours with a view to help you. Reversed: The end of troubles, suspension or cessation of adversity, toil and disappointment.
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