In this article Four of Wands Symbols, I refer to the Four of Wands card from the Rider Waite Tarot deck, also known as the Waite-Smith, or Rider-Waite-Smith, or Rider tarot deck. In the Thoth Tarot deck this card’s esoteric name is Completion, formerly known as Lord of Perfected Work.
The symbolism found on this card is primarily drawn from mythology, alchemy, occultism and religious text.
- Four of Wands: Key Symbols
- What Does The Archway Symbolize in The Four of Wands?
- What Do The Garland of Grapes and Flowers Symbolize?
- What Does The Castle Symbolize in The Four of Wands?
- What is The Meaning of the Bridge and Moat?
- Why is The Sky Yellow in the Four of Wands?
- What Sphere Does The Four of Wands Represent in Qabalah?
Four of Wands: Key Symbols
Arch, flowers, red rose, grapevine, castle, red rooftops, moat, bridge, yellow sky
“From the four great staves planted in the foreground there is a great garland suspended; two female figures uplift nosegays; at their side is a bridge over a mat, leading to an old manorial house”A.E.Waite
The Original Rider Waite Pictorial Key to The Tarot
4 of Wands and staves imagery: metaphor, symbol meaning, allegory, legends
What Does The Archway Symbolize in The Four of Wands?
Arches in Tarot represent a new beginning, and moving into a new phase of life. There is something very inviting about an archway, and we are magnetically drawn to step through and see what is on the other side. In mythology, arches and doorways represent moving from the physical world to the afterlife or spiritual realm. Step through the archway and you may even have access to the akashic records, a book containing all your reincarnations, both your past- and future-lives which are stored in the ether.
The arch in the Four of Wands appears to be a temporary installation, it is not a concrete structure. This implies that the celebrations are only meant to be a fun interlude. While it is important to celebrate life’s bounty, we must accept that life will go back to normal once the excitement is over. We could be witnessing a wedding celebration, and the implication is, that when the party is over, the couple must settle down to every-day life together.
Post-wedding depression is a thing. According to one study by the University of Kentucky, 12 percent of brides emotionally crash after tying the knot because they miss the excitement of the pre-wedding buildup.
The key message: It is good to celebrate life’s achievements, but don’t rest on your laurels once the party is over.
⭐An archway also appears in: Ace of Pentacles, 3 of Pentacles, 10 Pentacles and 10 of Cups
What Do The Garland of Grapes and Flowers Symbolize?
A garland of flowers and grapevines form a canape above the four wands.
Grapes represent fruitful bounty in Tarot, and signify that this is a good time to pause and acknowledge your abundance and good fortune. As grapes, like most plants wither and renew with each season, we are reminded yet again that this celebration, while warranted, will pass.
The nature of a grapevine is to grow and spread, and so a vine can also represent increasing luck and abundance in the future. Grapes are also associated with fertility.
Jesus said in the Bible (John 15): “I am the TRUE vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.”
In a modern context, this could be taken to mean, that those who wander too far from their spiritual path will experience less bounty in life. Regularly taking a moment to reflect, and appreciate your blessings can help you remain on the path of spiritual enlightenment.
The flowers in the garland appear to include red roses. Within a Tarot reading, a red rose represents a love interest, affection and relationship.
What Does The Castle Symbolize in The Four of Wands?
In Tarot, castles symbolize dominion, which comes from the Latin domus, meaning home. This may be a physical home where you live or grew up. However, it could also be a mental place you visit in your head, a place, person or point in time that makes you feel loved and safe.
The appearance of the castle in the Four of Wands, can indicate that beautiful future memories are being created now. This is a good time to practice mindfulness, and pay attention to what is happening in the present moment.
Castle’s also symbolize success at the end of a long journey, such as a college degree course, battling with an illness or trying for a baby. Whatever your goal, you are about to achieve it. The party is still a little way in the distance, and so the finish line may not yet have been crossed.
The red peaks of the castle roofs which seem to reach up towards the Heavens, signify reaching personal ‘highs’.
⭐A castle also appears here: The Chariot, Ace of Wands, 2 of Wands, 8 of Swords, 5 of Cups, 7 of Cups, 10 of Cups, 10 of Wands, 9 of Pentacles, 10 of Pentacles, King of Pentacles
What is The Meaning of the Bridge and Moat?
Symbol of Bridge
Bridges have a variety of meanings in Tarot.
A bridge is inherently symbolic of communication, and symbolizes a way forward, from one spiritual state to another, like an ascension process or spiritual awakening.
When you arrive at the celebrations, and cross the bridge, you may even experience a spontaneous spiritual awakening. That is, a sudden sense of direct contact and experience of oneness with the Universe, God or the Divine. An awakening will typically evoke a sense of deep inner knowing, of understanding or remembering your true nature. You may feel peaceful and alive, with a sense of awe, gratitude and unconditional love. Perhaps this is why all the figures in the card look so ecstatic, dancing and waving flowers at you, the new comer. They have already crossed the bridge.
Symbol of Moat
We assume that there is a moat running around the castle, because Waite tells us so, it is just not viewable from our vantage point.
In Tarot, moats symbolize two different states of awareness. There is this side, and that side of the water. On this side, you had a challenge, and on the other side your challenge is over.
⭐A bridge also appears in: Five of Cups
Why is The Sky Yellow in the Four of Wands?
In Tarot, Yellow skies represent a moment of happiness, success and bliss. Yellow is associated with the sun, and its life-giving warmth. The sun is perhaps one of the most common unifying symbols across diverse cultures and religions in the world since antiquity. It is symbolic of happiness, harvest, birth, healing, regal power and divinity.
What Sphere Does The Four of Wands Represent in Qabalah?
Qabalah (Kabbalah): In western occultism, the 4 of Wands depicts the fourth sphere of the Tree of Life called Chesed. Chesed translates as ‘mercy’, but could also be ‘love’.
According to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, El is the God associated with Chesed and Tzadkiel (Righteousness of God) is the archangel who resides over the sphere. The order of angels that reside in the sphere are the Chasmalim.
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Complete List: Tarot Card Symbolism
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The Ultimate Guide to Four of Wands Symbols