The hidden ring in the two of wands (RWS)


I can't believe I never noticed this before, but in the two of wands (Rider-Waite-Smith deck) the second wand the man isn't holding is attached to the wall with a metal ring!

Don't make fun of me for not realizing this at first, but now that I know it's there my eye is drawn to it everytime I see that card...does anyone know what it means?

All I know is that it's supposed to be there, as one of the criteria for the two of wands (like a cliff and a dog are criteria for the fool) but it must mean something.

The most common answer on these forums are "it's your choice" or "read it however you like" but in this case my brain is making everything into a big deal whenever this shows up in readings. It would really give me some peace of mind to know the symbolism...(which is weird, because usually I don't worry about stuff like the little animals in the corner of thrones and random things...I just take in the card as a whole)

So I would appreciate your thoughts, and if you do know what the symbolism is i would be eternally grateful :)


Nice catch!

prismlight said:
The most common answer on these forums are "it's your choice" or "read it however you like" but in this case my brain is making everything into a big deal whenever this shows up in readings. It would really give me some peace of mind to know the symbolism
Good eye for detail you have! I honestly never noticed that myself--or at least, never focused on it. And the devil is in the details, right? ;) I think it does matter, as the man actually can't lean the unwanted wand against the wall. The wall isn't high enough and it would fall over and down, maybe hit someone in the head :D

The man could lay the wand down, but the fact that he puts it in a holder shows that he respects the wand. One wand had to be set aside if he was going to have a free hand to take up that sphere. This emphasizes the message of this card as making a choice, a solid decision. In other 2's the person is able to remain ambiguous and noncommittal. But with Wands, we're talking about energy, passion, faith. And that can't be split. If you split your energy--or passion or faith--then you can't devote enough of it to gaining that "World."

Wands is the one suit that requires a decision, commitment, devotion, focus in that 2 card. What that ring tells us, however, that the "rejected" wand wasn't left behind because it was wrong or bad or inferior, it just wasn't chosen. And so it gets treated as any respected walking stick should be. Put into a holder rather than dropped or tossed aside. That rejected wand is worthy of someone's energy and time and commitment. So the man puts it in a holder not only to show it respect, but to make sure that it is there for another to pick up and develop. Very courteous of him.



Energy in reserve.


Wands (fire) don't like to be tied it represents the tension between stability and mobility.
For me it represents that hankering to do something different...but being held back by..well I guess it could be by anything really, comfort, fear, duty, responsibility, laziness, retirement, poverty, riches, conventional ideas...etc.
It's something accomplished and set to the side...but there is always the other Wand in your hand pulling you forward making you discontent with your previous accomplishment (which the man has his back to) as if it is done and over's a life that doesn't feel complete yet.
This card always reminds me of maybe someone who has been in the Olympics and has his gold medal in a case ...but he still has dreams and potential...
Or someone who has retired from a great career, but can't relax into retirement...they want to accomplish more...they are restless and don't want to live the conventional life of a retired person.

The way the ring looks it's seems possible to slide the wand out if you wanted to, it's not's more like a holder for convenience and neatness.
So that makes me feel the wand can be revisited, used again if you wanted to.
You just have to get passed the thing holding you back.

Lady Iron Side

Here is the Symbolism behind what a ring symbolizes - I've scanned this from one of my books. I've left it the images in full size so you can print it off, just for a good read and to understand what a ring means.

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This has been interesting to read everyone's take on this!:D I see the rod attached to the wall as representing the status quo. This is how things have always been done. But now there's another option (the free wand) - does he continue to do things the same old way or take a risk and try something new?



wow, all such great answers...

Lady Iron Side, i especially appreciated your in depth definition on the symbolism of rings--and your margin notes pointing out the similarities to Lord of the rings :)

Thirteen, I never really thought of the fact that the wall isn't high enough for the wand to lean against...although the idea that it might hit someone on the head is pretty funny! I guess I've never really thought of wands(fire) having to depend on something else, they always seem to stand up on their own, whereas people just leave swords and cups lying around...I mostly thought of the ring as restraining the wand, because the wand wouldn't need something to hold it up, but it would need something to keep it grounded(I have all these new ideas thanks to you guys :). though i do agree now that it is a place of honor and respect, but I still can't exactly decide it's purpose, whether it's there for a time-out or its' just not needed at the moment

Debra, also very true, but wands to me seem the most temperamental suit, one that doesn't like to be put aside

lark, I agree with you the most, in the respect that firey wands aren't something that can be stopped by a simple ring. I like your analogy about an Olympic gold medalist--it definitely applies to a lot of situations and changes the meaning of the card for me.

bodhran, interesting that you think it's the man's choice, to try something new or not...or like Thirteen said, maybe it's just out with the old(wand) and in with the new(world)?

Thanks everyone for clearing things up, I'll never look at this card the same way again! :)


It is not a ring,which is a full circle, it is a clamp ,a fixing device.

It is semi circular and attached to the stone wall or the blocks that form a foundation or a protective structure.

The persons back is turned against it's fixed existence.

His attention is directed towards the globe or world orb,and his grip (ownership)
is firmly locked onto the rod . He stands at the outer limits of his safe walled world. His attentions are elsewhere.

His vision is larger than the walled domain that he and his authorities exists in.

He has a desire to venture beyond the normal safe boundaries.

As with all Tarot , it is what you feel it is.


Aries begins

The bracket holding the Wand to the wall marks the fixed point from which all else follows.

My view is that the Wand fixed to the wall on the 2 of Wands symbolises the Vernal Equinox, being the one "fixed" point necessary to establish all that follows (the zodiac year). There has been a lot of interesting discussion in the Astrology Forum lately, especially related to the astrological signs, and the significance thereof. But whatever view one takes on Astrology, there still remains the need to establish the beginning of the zodiacal year, and that is generally the Vernal Equinox.

Perhaps from there we move through the looking glass into the Wonderland of Tarot.


Wow; another old thread to add to;

The card, to me has always flipped between two basic meanings....

1. looking/waiting for a business or love "partner", in which case the king/prince here is "holding the space" for the other person to come in and take up THEIR wand....

2. It's a "should I stay here where it's safe" or "go out into the world and acheive"....the staff in his hand represents the latter...a walking's mobile...and the one that is attached to the wall is the "stays put". Both attitudes are related to dominion: the "should I stay" relates to home: dominion=domestic. The "I will go forth and conquer more"=expanding the boundaries of your lordship (lord=domine=dominion).