The Three of Wands is the third tarot card in the Minor Arcana’s suit of Wands and represents a time of reviewing the hard work that has led to this moment when you can begin to see the fruits of your labors. It symbolizes an in-between time when you can both appreciate your accomplishments and anticipate what’s still to come.
The Three of Wands is associated with the element of fire and the 2nd decan of the Aries zodiac sign (10-19 degrees). This decan is associated with the middle of spring when the flowers are in full bloom. This decan is ruled by the Sun, which imparts qualities of active leadership, warmth, and passion.
Where the Major Arcana focuses on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like the Three of Wands explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future.
Three of Wands Keywords
accomplishment, anticipation, expansion, adventure, new opportunities
fear of taking risks, worry about the future, dissatisfaction, reviewing plans, self-doubt
Description of the Three of Wands Tarot Card
Following a period of dreaming and planning, the Three of Wands represents the attainment of some of the goals and dreams of the young man pictured in the Two of Wands. Similar to numerology, the threes in the Minor Arcana are linked by the theme of synthesis and creativity. The Three of Wands meaning represents the creative realization of cherished visions and plans.
In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, a man dressed in a patchwork robe (symbolizing the synthesis of the variety of his life experiences) gazes out onto a gleaming, sun-drenched sea. He seems to be contemplating where he’s landed and the hard work it took to get there. Whereas the man in the Two of Wands gazed out at the lands far beyond his home, the man in this card seems to have actually arrived at his longed-for destination.
With his back to the viewer, he grabs hold of one of three wands that are planted firmly behind him, symbolizing his awareness of what he’s accomplished. However, his outward gaze indicates that his attention is on the future and what he has yet to realize. The time of sunset, indicated by the golden hue of the sea, symbolizes a liminal time of being in between stages of development.
Three of Wands Upright Meaning
The key meaning of the Three of Wands heralds a time of reviewing your progress, appreciating your accomplishments, and looking to the future to dream about new ventures and where you want to go next. You can savor the sweetness of having achieved something you’ve worked toward. As you gaze out on the horizon before you, you can reflect on what you’ve learned thus far to help guide you towards your next destination.
This card symbolizes the desire for expansion and adventure. Perhaps you’ve recently realized a dream, and this has opened your eyes to what is possible. You may feel a hunger to conquer greater heights and leave your mark on the world. You are fueled by a desire to experience self-actualization through the creative realization of your dreams.
If you are rushing ahead to the next goal without pausing to reflect, this card asks you to take a break to integrate all that you’ve learned and accomplished. It speaks to the importance of honoring how far you’ve come. When you have integrated this stage of the journey, you will be ready to learn new things, expand your horizons, and open yourself to new levels of abundance.
Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)
The upright Three of Wands speaks to a desire for adventure, discovery, and exploration within a relationship. Your relationship inspires you to grow, explore the world, and make big plans for the future. This card can encourage you to reflect on how far you’ve come within a current relationship and how much you’ve grown together and as individuals.
This card can also speak to a desire for a relationship that is founded on a mutual thirst for adventure and discovery, one which takes you out into the world and inspires you to try new things. You sense that there is limitless possibility as to where you can go and desire a partner who can grow with you and build an expansive life together.
Love/relationships upright keywords
Career/finance upright keywords
adventure and discovery, making plans for the future, growth in relationship, limitless possibility, new relationship
creative and material abundance, pride, reflection, curiosity, wonder
Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)
In the upright position of a tarot reading, The Three of Wands symbolizes opening to a new level of creative and material abundance. You may have realized certain dreams and are feeling a sense of pride in this accomplishment. This has allowed you to see a bigger vision for your life and tap into your ability to push yourself to strive for what is truly meaningful.
This card can represent an in-between period of time, where you can reflect on how far you’ve come and dream of where you want to go next. It cautions against rushing into the next project or goal and, instead, asks you to take your time to reflect on and hone your vision. You sense that something bigger awaits you, and this card asks you to channel your energy toward what inspires your sense of wonder.
Three of Wands Reversed Meaning
In the reversed position, The Three of Wands can indicate that you have accomplished certain goals or dreams but are worried about what will come next. You could be struggling with the fear of the unknown, roadblocks, or wondering if you’ll be able to continue moving forward and making progress. You may have reached a certain level of abundance and are wondering if you can sustain it and continue to thrive.
This card can indicate that you are having trouble harnessing your self-confidence, taking a leap of faith, or pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone in order to reach a new level of development. Worrying about future outcomes may be preventing you from taking the action that will generate forward movement. This card asks if you are focusing exclusively on the potential for negative outcomes rather than approaching your objectives from a more balanced point of view.
The reversed Three of Wands can also indicate that you are feeling dissatisfied with your current situation and are longing for life to feel more expansive, abundant, and adventurous. This card is an encouragement to try and reconnect to what inspires you and drives your curiosity in order to generate forward momentum.
Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)
In a love reading, the reversed Three of Wands suggests that you’re ruminating on the various possibilities that the future holds and are worrying about what will come to pass. This can feel particularly true for those in long-distance relationships. If you are feeling impatient and wondering when you’ll hit the next milestone, there may be a need to regain perspective by focusing on the present moment.
This card can appear reversed when you are feeling hesitant or fearful of expanding your heart space and opening yourself up to a new connection. You sense that doing so could widen your horizons and feed your desire for growth through relationships, but you are also aware of the risk that this implies. This card encourages you to take a leap and open yourself up to new levels of pleasure and connection.
Love/relationships reversed keywords
Career/finance reversed keywords
worrying about the future, impatience, fear of emotional risk
disillusioned, worrying about the future, fear of stepping outside your comfort zone, setbacks as lessons
Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)
When the Three of Wands appears reversed, it may indicate that you are feeling disillusioned and unsure of your future success. You may be focusing on potential negative outcomes in the future, which is impeding your motivation and ability to take action in the present. This card encourages you to reconnect to what inspires you and to have the courage to believe in yourself and your capacity to create abundance.
This card is a reminder that you can reach out for feedback, help, and encouragement from others if you feel stuck ruminating on the future and that taking a risk to move outside your comfort zone will help you feel more connected. If you have met setbacks or delays along your career path, it is a reminder to try and learn from them and see them as necessary lessons on your path to success.