Alchemical STudy Group - Eight of Staffs


In this card a man is cutting staffs. There are seven staffs still standing alight, one has already been chopped down.

In the LWB this card is called 'The Woodcutter' and represents cutting back, simplifying, focusing. In the original book Place says that "You can achieve a better balance in your life by trimming and cutting back".

This is an interesting card, quite different from how I'm used to seeing it portrayed. In this card perhaps our passions and energies have got away from us a bit. Now it is time to try and work out what really is important and get rid of that which drains us.


(from the book)

A workman diligently chops back staffs to get them in balance. Perhaps he will be practical and use the cut wood.

Tarot wisdom: You can achieve a better balance in your life by trimming and cutting back. Don't try to take on too much work. Re-evaluate, assess what is important and what is expendable. Use your energy wisely. The message also suggests prudence and practicality. The worker in the image can use what he cuts to build a fire. Is there a situation in your life where you can act similarly? Or, the message may address taking care of an emergency. For example, trees are cut to stop a forest fire from spreading.


I've just received this in my daily draw. My book is upstairs.

I wonder at the wisdom of his cutting down wands that are still lit, but I guess there's a lack of vegetation directly surrounding them - other than the small amount at the base of each wand.


Perhaps the desire to cut back or simplify is strong enough to result in some risktaking behaviour? In our materialistic society if one decides to have less rather than more it is making a choice to be a little different, which is often seen as risky.