The Two of Wands: Plans, Possibilities and Preparation.

When I first started studying tarot, I frequently found myself at an odds as to how to interpret the 2 of Wands in relation to its sister card, the 3 of Wands. I couldn’t for the life of me see a significant difference between the two, as the pictures in both cards (ref. Rider-Waite deck) both show a man looking out to sea. Though both the 2 and the 3 of Wands indicate a period of waiting, the duration of the wait is significantly shorter in the 3 compared to the 2 as ships are seen sailing on the horizon in the 3 of Wands card. Because of the 2 and 3 of Wands’ association with water, both cards suggest travel, and in keeping with the domain of Wands (Fire), indicate group interactions, team collaborations and spiritually-motivated pursuits. Over the years, I’ve gradually been able to distinguish the differences between the two cards, one of which represents the imminence of success. The 3 of Wands promises that ventures are extremely close to yielding fruit, as shown by the ships sailing in to port, while the 2 of Wands is more representative of the seeds of effort. Here, a plan is conceived and strategies devised to ensure its development. While success is a definite possibility, it remains more a manifestation of the mind and emotions than a tangible construct at this point.

2 of Wands from the 'Rider-Waite' Tarot

Cards that adhere to the Rider-Waite tradition show a man standing between two wands upon what looks to be a fort of some sort, gazing out past the hilly terrains of his homeland to the sea in the distance. He holds a globe in his hands and this can be said to represent the world, where a wealth of choice and opportunity awaits him. The 2 of Wands speaks of confidence and enthusiasm that has yet to take solid form; the seeds of initiative are being sown but how or when they will bear fruit is quite another matter altogether. This card heralds preparation, planning, speculation and the brainstorming process. It also speaks of a longing for new vistas of experience, or a dissatisfaction with present circumstances. From a different perspective, could it be that although the man holds the world in his hands, signifying achievement, attainment and success, he still yearns for more? The act of gazing out into the distance, past the lush rolling hills of his fertile homeland, could indicate a mindset of the ‘grass being greener on the other side’.

This is a card applicable to all domains of life and can be understood in the context of romance as well as career and finance. Because 2’s are symbolic of cooperation and partnership, this could involve going into business (Wands – Fire) with someone or partnering with a spouse on a career venture. Though profits are not determinable at this time, the suggestion here is to take the time to allow the partnership itself to develop. In the context of a romantic or business relationship, the 2 of Wands indicates a meeting of minds and a convergence of attitudes, beliefs and values. Travel is most often indicated with regards to work, but this card can also foretell the meeting of a potential partner/business associate through travel. Collaborations are formed and connections are made and though the promise of success is present, this card advises that it might be quite a wait before efforts begin to yield tangible results.

2 of Wands from the 'Thoth' Tarot

Astrological Association: Mars in Aries

In the Thoth tarot, the 2 of Wands is known as Dominion, and represents the balance and integration of opposing forces. The crossed symbols on the card are Tibetan dorjes, sacred objects of power and ritual that have been unified through a process of spiritual, mental and physical purification. In more esoteric terms, this suggests a quest to achieve knowledge and wisdom through the merging of seemingly conflicting view-points/ concepts, and is based on the premise that renewal, regeneration and healing must emerge from a state of internal balance. However, due to this card’s astrological association with Mars (will, drive, aggression) and Aries (war, power, domination), there is a marked effort to not only achieve dominion internally but externally as well. Mars is dignified in Aries and the power contained in this position is raw, vital, and for the most part, stable.  Planets in Aries are interested in pioneering, exploring and conquering, and bravely charge forth into unknown territory. Courage, enthusiasm and a brash, confident disposition are some of the better known traits associated with the Ram. Mars in Aries energizes and revitalizes, driving us forward into new directions, giving us the confidence if not the foresight to deal with obstacles and challenges that lie waiting in our path.

2 of Wands from the 'Fairy' Tarot

In terms of romance, this card advises to focus on the joys to be found in the journey towards a partnership rather than the end outcome. In keeping with the cardinal force of Aries, sometimes not all things we start need to be finished. Great pleasure can be found in initiating a romantic liaison but much of the joy is lost when we try to control its direction or the other person. While a partnership will eventually reach a conclusion of some sort, make the most out of discovering similarities and reconciling differences without being too concerned about where the relationship is heading.  Other interpretations of this card from a love perspective include enjoying a person’s company but being unsure about a long-term commitment. If such a desire is in place, this card advises that it might be a while before that dream becomes a reality.

With regards to career, the 2 of Wands indicates that before a promotion or raise can be obtained, efforts to achieve this end must first be put in place. While finances are overall stable, there are periods in which you might feel pinched for cash though you’ll never be in dire need of money. Investments, stock brokerage and trade in shipping/ transport look to yield positive returns. Because of this card’s association with the sea and the world, foreign connections are favoured.

Overall, I find the 2 of Wands to be quite a neutral card when it crops up in a spread. It is neither positive nor negative because it represents the conception of a plan, not its execution. Much of how said plan unfolds depends on the agency of the querent, and how motivated, confident and assured that individual is in bringing his/her dreams to fruition. How the 2 of Wands can be read in a spread depends entirely the accompanying cards. While this card promises success, it does not indicate how or when that success will be attained. Time, effort and faith are far more accurate predictors of how your dreams will manifest.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Reverend Korinne Wilson
    Jun 16, 2012 @ 02:41:28

    HEY THANKS- I have posted your 2 of Wands on my Video at Youtube entitled- “Sleep Paralysis, Blood lines, Illuminati, Draconian? Inquiring Minds” I do hope you will watch- I copy pasted your meaning and gave this page full credit 🙂 youtube/user/occultpriestess on here I am “Occultist in the Corner” THANKS!

    Reply

  2. Little Red
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 06:50:25

    Thanks so much for this post – really interesting to hear you had a similar experience to me in trying to work out the difference between these two cards. I came to slightly different interpretations than you…pretty much taking each card back a step, with the two as the time of working out an idea and then the three as the moment that plan comes together and seeds can be sown. I blogged about it here: http://littleredtarot.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/thought-into-action-two-to-three-of-wands/
    Thanks again, really interesting post!
    Beth x

    Reply

  3. Alex
    Jun 10, 2015 @ 01:29:52

    First of all, I would like to say that is the best blog on Tarot that I have come across so far. I bookmarked it and will consult it in a regular basis.

    Now, about the card. This is my birth card according with the Egyptian Tarot. Indeed, I feel very much identified with it. It is interesting that this card makes me think about Christopher Columbus planning his trip. Theoretically, he knew the World was rounded. However, he would have to risk his own life to prove it true. That probably caused a lot of anxiety. This is the card of an intellectual innovator and explorer, a planner, but not a doer.

    Anyway, I have a question: What do you think the second staff behind the man means?

    Thanks a lot for your amazing blog.

    Reply

    • Rohini Pathmanathan
      Jun 10, 2015 @ 07:27:24

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Alex =) I’m glad you found my interpretation of the 2 of Wands to be enlightening.

      As you so aptly say, this card is all about exploration and planning rather than doing, so my take on the second wand behind the man is that it represents plans/ understanding/ knowledge that he hasn’t yet consciously admitted to himself. The second staff could represent dreams, impulses or gut feelings that may be brought to the surface for more active analysis in the not-too-distant future.

      Reply

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