Tarot has been a fortune-telling method since the 14th century. Traditions and methods have developed through the centuries and now there are 78 cards in a tarot deck. But sometimes it can feel impossible to learn the symbolism of each one.
If you’re still learning, this post will walk you through interpreting a four of wands during a tarot reading. I’ll brief you on the minor arcana, numerology of the number four, explain the suit of wands, and combine it into upright and reversed definitions.
Stick around and learn all about:
Four of wands is a part of the minor arcana. It is no less important than the major arcana--it simply means that being a minor arcana, it refers to current and daily interactions/struggles. They can provide insight about daily life, rather than the overarching themes about your life found in major arcana cards.
Each number has a deeper meaning that connects to you as a person. Someone who draws fours or has the number four in their charts will act differently than someone with the number three in their charts. The number four’s primary symbols are stability and reliable foundations. Other characteristics include patience, productivity, and tradition. The number four shows the value in stable foundations before any success can be made.
People who consistently draw the number four value discipline and a stable routine. They are down to earth and value simple accomplishments like financial stability and strong family life over public renown.
Now we can talk about the suit of wands. In the minor arcana, there are four suits: cups, swords, wands, and pentacles. Each corresponds with a different element and has different meanings. Wands associated with fire elements and fire signs like aries, leo, and sagittarius.
The wands are a source of energy and inspiration. It represents courage, drive, and encourages us to change our lives or improve ourselves, hence why it is the suit of energy. However, when reversed, it can be destructive, like an actual fire. This is why readings are so particular and it’s important to understand the full meaning of the cards pulled.
Before we go into interpretation, let’s discuss the image on the four of wands. It may help remind you of the meaning if you can recognize the design. In every interpretation (cats, Dr. Who, classic, etc.), the four of wands depicts two figures celebrating or dancing beneath a canopy held up by four posts, or wands. You will find that all interpretations link back to the harmony or gathering between the two figures.
Combine the ideas that four represents stability and wands is a fire suit, meaning human willpower, and you have a good sense of what the four of wands is about. Still, let’s go into more detail.
While it is a bit of a faux-pas to call any card ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ receiving an upright four of wands tends to be positive. When the four of wands is pulled upright, it symbolizes unity and communal success. As mentioned in the numerology section, the four of wands is about a stable community and/or family. You may already be in a harmonious family dynamic, if not, this may be a good time for things to change.
Pulling an upright four of wands means that the present is a good time to reunite with your family (chosen or assigned, depending on who you align with more). Perhaps your family will come visit you or you should make plans to go see them. This could very much be through a wedding or larger gathering– the four of wands symbolizes holidays and vacations.
To put it succinctly, an upright four of wands in a lifestyle spread means that you currently have a strong foundation with your family/community, it would be good to reunite with them, and that a holiday or event may occur to further feel a sense of closeness.
In a love spread, a four of wands is a wonderful sign. If you are currently in a serious relationship, you and your partner have built a stable and secure foundation that is pointed towards success. If in the early stages of dating, you will likely grow closer in the coming days to form solid grounds for growth. The four of wands also means celebrations and gatherings– if your relationship is feeling good, marriage and weddings may be in the future for you.
For all the singles out there, a four of wands means celebrating and partying with your existing community. Have fun and enjoy yourself during these events; make sure to keep in mind all of the wonderful people in your life at the moment. If you’re looking for romance, the four of wands is often associated with reunification, so if you have a past flame or recent ex, it’s likely they’ll reenter your life. Keep an open mind.
Like with the romance pulls, an upright four of wands means your work environment is comfortable and secure. Your coworkers are supportive of you and your team is in positive spirits. You may find that you are bonding more and more with your colleagues, and having an office party or team get together will further those already positive connections. Success and parties with your office may be in the future.
Your finances are also in good standing. A four of wands may indicate being financially stable and having enough money to support yourself and loved ones. Try to treat those around you to niceties (that are in your budget, don’t go too crazy) and feel the sense of fulfillment from giving to your loved ones.
A general rule of thumb during tarot readings is that if a card is pulled upside down, or reversed, it can mean the opposite of its upright definition will be true--or that something is blocking you from receiving the more positive aspects of this card.
In the case of the four of wands, instead of feeling community, you may be feeling isolated from your family and friends. Your relationships may not be built on trust, your finances may be shaky, and your family feels far away. You may be feeling tension around family and friends, like you don’t belong.
Because the upright four of wands means celebrations are near, you possibly accomplished something and are not feeling supported by the people in your life. It can also mean canceled events or parties that you were looking forward to. The hole in your social life could be giving you a feeling of emptiness, feeding into the isolation.
The reversed four of wands can represent failure. You may be feeling self-depreciative after an unsuccessful/canceled event, because you are lonely, or because your community is not providing you the support you need.
Since the upright four of wands means good things for a relationship, a reversed four of wands means things are, or are going to become, pretty rough. Your relationships (romantic or otherwise) are not stable and you feel unhappy in them. In the early stages of dating, you may be spatting, and realize you are not on the same page as your partner. If in a serious relationship, potentially engaged, the reversed four of wands is a sign that the wedding may be canceled or delayed, further causing tension and stress in your relationship with your partner and family.
If you’re single, this simply means that your family and friendships are no longer fulfilling you either. There is tension when you are with them, or there is not enough contact for you to feel connected. You are feeling isolated from the people around you at the moment, and that is exacerbated by canceled plans.
You are attempting to build connections with your coworkers, but there are blocks preventing you. At work, you feel left out and like there is conflict between you, your colleagues, and your boss. If there is an upcoming office party/get together, it may be canceled or not go according to plans.
As for your finances, you are not in a good place. Perhaps due to poor economic conditions, perhaps due to spending too much money, or giving excessively to your family and loved ones. Because your relationships are so unsteady, you may be trying to compensate by giving presents/money, however this is not helping, and is only worsening your own bank accounts. Maybe cut back a bit, and focus on healing the core of the relationship, instead of bandaging it with monetary patches.
With the information you’ve just learned, you are now qualified to interpret one of the 78 cards in the deck. Keep reviewing the arcana and practicing your readings with your friends to make sure you get an upright four of wands in your next reading!