Speedy action. Haste. Swiftness.
The Eight of Wands is about speedy action taking place. The open spaces of the card in the RWS, and many other tarot decks, shows that the way is open to move forward quickly with your plans. It also suggests freedom.
There’s a feeling of energy, and movement and change are usually indicated. Sometimes the card indicates air travel.
Another meaning of this card is that a message is coming. This is especially true if you also draw one of the Pages (traditionally indicators of messengers).
There might be great hope that something will happen. And there’s also the possibility of great haste.
This rapid movement can sometimes be interpreted as boldness. But sometimes it can take on an oppressive feeling, and it can indicate violence. In traditional readings it was sometimes considered the card of warfare.
Excessive force may be being applied.
Once the force has been applied, it might not be possible to withdraw. This is a good sign when you are working towards your goals, but is less good if you’re having doubts about what you want to do. If you’re feeling uneasy about something you plan to do, it may be good to hold off for the moment or to find another way to accomplish your goals.
The Eight of Wands can show a love of the outdoors and sometimes for field sports.
The Eight of Wands reversed can suggest delays to your plans, and you may be feeling frustration at having to wait.
Your freedom may be being curtailed.
There could be some sort of dispute, or of theft.
The energy you need to move forward might be blocked, or your plans may fail to work out. Reversed cards can also have the same meaning as the upright position, but represent an internalisation of the energy.
The Eight of Wands shows eight wands flying through the air giving the feeling of speed and movement. In the distance is a river and green fields. A white building sits on a gentle hill. The feeling is of ease of flow. All the empty space suggests that you are free to move forward.
Many decks follow the same basic pattern of the RWS. The Steampunk Tarot shows eight wands (some fiery) blasting from an artillery piece, giving an impression of speed.
The esoteric title of the Eight of Wands is Lord of Swiftness.
Astrologically, this card represents Mercury in Sagittarius.