Six of Wands


The "Six of Wands" is another positive, uplifting, feel-good card in the Robin Wood deck. Whatever the gentleman on the white horse has done, he's being applauded and commended for it by the crowd surrounding him. When this card shows up in a reading, it could indicate, as Robin wrote, "Good or important news." So, for instance, if the Six of Wands falls in a slot indicating future possibilites in a spread, there's every reason to be optimistic and hopeful about whatever has been asked about.

The riding figure proudly holds one of the six crystal-topped wands bearing a sun emblazened flag. The sun, a masculine symbol denoting power, can also stand for, as Robin wrote in Chapter 5 ~ Common Symbols, "Joy, vitality, boundless energy, youth. The visible world or hidden things revealed. Victory." All is now out in the open; the sun has shown it's light and brightened the darkest of corners. Perhaps such a card would show up if a person has "come out" to proclaim whatever he/she stands for. The person may feel, with relief, as if a weight has been taken off of his shoulders. He can now be himself. There's no reason to hide anymore.

Interesting how Robin mentioned the sun symbol in the Six of Wands could represent someone who is revered and honored now (by at least some), but sacrificed later, as in the Sun God. Knowingly by the victim or without his knowledge/consent? Have to think how this could apply to real-life situations...maybe someone who works for a higher cause (ie. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, John Lennon, etc.) but gets assassinated because of his beliefs and teachings. Or another way to look at it, perhaps with the card in its reversed position, is where someone who knows what he brings to light will be looked at highly and with respect in the future (ie. Jesus, various prophets, some psychics, scientists who discover controversial hypotheses/truths, advocates/activists who go up against the grain of society's present mores, etc.), but until then, he'll be considered weird or a freak or even dangerous (at least by some). Makes me think of folks ahead of their time...

If the querent has sought fame or just reward, maybe the time has come to reap success resulting from years of hard work and/or sacrifice. The pendulum, in this case, is at an upswing.

There's just enough smiling faces shown in the crowd to give proof positive that the people in this person's life are happy for him/her. The other five wands are raised high in approval. Once again, Robin drew the crystals that top the wands to be of different colors...the rainbow celebrating diversity. Healthy chakras. Glowing pride. And the assurance that the querent has the support of his/her friends and family members, employer(s), co-workers, teachers, etc...

When the Six of Wands turns up reversed, possibly the pride is false and self-esteem has turned to arrogance. Or maybe somehow the crowd doesn't stand by what the rider has accomplished or proclaimed. Another way to look at a reversed card is where the energy inherent in the upright card is still present, but blocked...showing that more needs to be done to achieve this state of acclaim and jubilance. Maybe the querent is fearful of coming out with what he/she believes in and still lives in dark despair, with the sun's rays unable to reach him/her.


When I sat down to study this card before looking at Robin Wood's book, I ended up with a less positive view of it (which undoubtedly says more about me than the card).

The man on the horse seemed curiously untouched by the adulation, to me (I see no particular awareness of the crowd), as if he takes it all for granted as his due, or he considers the people around him and who may have supported his efforts as irrelevant. He faces ahead with a determination that suggests he may not be noticing this moment because he's already got his eyes on the next conflict, conquest or victory.

Seeing his gloves, I went in completely the opposite direction of Robin Wood's intent--that he remained gentle in the conflict, not "taking his gloves off"--as it seemed to me he hadn't wanted to "get his hands dirty", or that he didn't get "hands on" while tackling the problem, or that he was "out of touch" with the causes or consequences of the conflict.

I thought the wands in the background echoed the canopy structure from the four of wands, but with two wands--one a flagpole--crossing in the middle, suggesting that the conflict has interrupted the carefully built stability of the four of wands (and with the stability gone, even this victory may soon descend into chaos, or at best be seen as a temporary high-point in a longer conflict).

Alternatively, the background wands could be seen as the beginning of the wall of wands from the nine, hinting that this victory has built the foundations of the wall that, eventually, he'll have his back to (after the broader conflict has resumed, gotten nasty, chased away his supporters, used up his resources).

Don't get me wrong: I can see the positives in the card, and I do still think, "Ah, victory," when I see it in a reading--there's just always a warning side to the card, for me. Be careful, take nothing for granted, don't assume the obvious price of the victory is the only one you'll pay; don't rush through the moment or ride people down on the way to your next success; remember that some people don't care what you've done, they just show up for the parade; and so forth.