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Three of Wands Tarot Card Meanings
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UPRIGHT: Progress, expansion, foresight, overseas opportunities
REVERSED: Playing small, lack of foresight, unexpected delays
The Three of Wands depicts a man in red and green robes standing on a cliff with his back turned. Three wands stand firmly planted in the ground, reflecting his commitment to his plans. He has left the comfort of the castle in the Two of Wands and is now in a vast open space, looking out over the sea to distant mountains. He watches three sailing ships pass by, symbolic of movement and progression. From his high vantage point, he can see all that lies ahead, including any upcoming challenges and opportunities.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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While the Two of Wands speaks to planning for the future from a place of safety and comfort, the Three of Wands shows that your plans are now well underway and you are considering even more opportunities to expand your current strategy and maximise your ultimate potential. Everything is progressing steadily and as expected, thanks to your solid preparation and ongoing drive.
The Three of Wands signals the many chances available to you to broaden your horizons through study, travel, business enterprise and learning. You are becoming more aware of the opportunities that exist for you right now – and there are still more to come. To take advantage of this potential, you must stay committed to your path and be prepared to stretch beyond your comfort zone, knowing your best hopes lie outside of your current environment. It is time to think BIG. Consider what you can to open doors to more development and self-exploration. This card encourages you to dream bigger than your limitations. Accept your vision and be confident you will achieve it.
The Three of Wands also brings your attention to the changes and challenges that lie ahead. Given the man in this card can see far into the distance, then you are likely to be already aware of the upcoming developments and obstacles and can prepare for them ahead of time.
Given the image of land and sea, the Three of Wands can sometimes point to travel, especially overseas or over a body of water. It encourages you to be adventurous and venture to unknown places to discover more about yourself and learn many new things along the way. You may also explore international job opportunities.
The Three of Wands reversed suggests that growth and expansion are available to you, but you are choosing to play it safe and stay within your comfort zone. As a result, you are closing yourself off from new opportunity and limiting your potential. What’s holding you back? It’s time to spread your wings and fly.
The Three of Wands reversed indicates that you have attempted to embark on your journey of personal development but did not accomplish your goals. Unexpected delays and creative blockages might have popped up on your path. There is disappointment, frustration and a general feeling that you may have just wasted your time by even starting on this path. What you might not realise, however, is that these setbacks are an essential part of your life’s journey and contribute to your personal evolution.
Similarly, the reversed Three of Wands can indicate that your plans might come to a grinding halt with unexpected delays and other frustrating obstacles. You may need to wait on others to complete a task, or you have under-estimated how much time the work involves. When planning, add buffer time, so external problems don‘t adversely affect you.
You may also struggle to put your plans into action and are now feeling worried that you have over-committed yourself. It’s possible that you did not adequately prepare for the challenges on your path, or you were unrealistic about the risks associated with your plans. Break down your ideas into smaller tasks to make them more manageable and realistic. Conduct a risk assessment ahead of time to understand what difficulties you might face and then create strategies to avoid or minimise those risks.