“And when I wake up it’s wonderful, like I’ve been carried quietly onto a calm, peaceful shore, and the dream, and its meaning, has broken over me like a wave and is ebbing away now, leaving me with a single, solid certainty. I know now.” – Lauren Oliver
Crowley’s Title: “Swiftness”
Tree of Life: Hod through Fire
Astrology: Mercury in the 1. decan of Sagittarius
Do not blame those who do not see the things that have been shown to you, layer by layer, gear by gear, until a fiery revelation ignites your entire being. The 8 of Wands, the meteor of the Tarot, is the card of great revelation, messages, and insight. It reminds us that sometimes realizations come seemingly out of nowhere, as we turn the corner, and get hit by an unexpected truth. And then everything comes together, layer by layer, gear by gear, and our mind explodes with a sense of wonderment at how we hadn’t seen it in the first place.
We have all heard the famous story of Newton getting hit on the head with an apple, which gave him his theory of gravity. Then we have Archimedes, who had the revelation that one can measure the volume of a thing based on water displacement. He came to this conclusion while he was taking a bath- doing something he had probably done countless times before. We cannot know when revelation will come to us or how it will come to us. We could literally be doing something we do every single day, and just a minor, new observation about the situation can send us flying. It is actually rather perfect that the story of Archimedes and the bathtub ends with him rushing through the streets, naked, shouting about the problem he had finally solved, because this card is also about the manic state that overcomes us after such a revelation presents itself to us.
People create art so that they may inspire the mind to make revelations about reality. “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. They seek the same experiences that scientists seek, as they are both after the exact same thing – they just use different methods. Kinda. There is a science to art and an art to science, and combining forces and revelations from both is the only true way to eventually fully pull back the curtains of the Maya (Grand Illusion). One can have a great revelation about the self or the “external” world while looking at a piece of art. Art is like a map, if observed correctly and followed through – chewed on- will guide you to the light at the end of the tunnel. At least that particular tunnel.
8 Wands throttle toward earth (or is it away from earth heheh), with a vast blue sky behind them. There is an expansiveness to the sky and a quickness to the movement of the rods. The bird’s eye view of the earth behind the wands indicates to us that the wands are flying through the air. It is worth noting that this card is an oddity in the tarot because it does not have a person present in the art. This indicates to me that revelation is something that we must receive, as the observer. Revelation and truth cannot be created.
The 8 of Wands connection to 1st decan Sagittarius immediately tells me that this card is about revealed wisdom. Mercury as the planet associated with this card also tells me that it is a card about the visionary aspects of the mind, and that there is a fiery, out of fucking nowhere vibe to it all. These are the Aha! moments that scientists and artists seek; the moment that suddenly puts everything into perspective. Traditionally, the 8 of Wands has been associated with receiving messages, travel, change and movement in general. Because this card is a clicking of things into place, it can sometimes be an indication that things will begin falling into your lap. “When it rains, it pours.”
There is a sense of urgent expectations to this card. You will receive something very soon – you may not know what it is – but it will hit you like a ton of bricks and change you or a situation. This card is called “Swiftness” by Crowley. It is moving and working through something quickly as opposed to fighting your way through it with feet stuck in quicksand. The wands depicted in this card are falling into the earth – into solidity – planting like seeds, and this observation also shows me that this card is about many new opportunities presenting themselves into your life because of revelation. This card is also about enthusiasm. Mercury and Saggo are both very enthusiastic energies, and when combined the two make quite the runaway train.
This is generally a positive card when it appears in readings, but, as I continue to say, nothing in the tarot is good or bad. They are all various archetypes and experiences and can reveal themselves in many different shades in a person’s life. Revelation can shake you to your core and can liberate you regardless of if the revelation is about something “negative” or “positive.”
There is a warning I would like to give you in regards to this card. Remember that even though this revelation is bringing you swiftness of mind, that you still find a way to pace yourself. This will be extremely difficult due to the fact that this energy is extremely motivational, fire in the belly type of pressure. This card could indicate a state of mania or rashness – we all know that sometimes Sagittarius gets a little out of hand, and so does Mercury. That fire energy IS important, though. Like any tool we use, these energies can be wielded by each individual in completely different ways. One person may receive this great flash of insight and energy and create an entire musical album in a month of obsessive, creative rush. Another could receive insight and this onrush of energy and drive themselves into a wall with their obsessions because they have not focused them.
You must have laser-like precision when the 8 of wands shows up. Remember what the lesson was in the first place; there are a lot of things that we just don’t see until we turn the bend. And if we are traveling at 200 miles per hour after we hit that revelation, we are surely going to fly off a cliff if there are more bends along the way. Be patient, channel the energy, do not let it consume you. This card shows us how creative, fire (wand) energy can move through the structures of reality (8’s) and piece it all together. Remember, you must constantly add fuel to a fire to keep it going and to build it, but if you do not also continue to contain the fire, it will eat you alive.