Etteilla’s interpretation of the card.
Upright: countryside, field, plain, agriculture, crop, farming or crop growing, cultivation, landed property, real estate, farm, garden, orchard, prairie, forest, grove, foliage, pleasure, fun, leisure, pastime, recreation, enjoyment, peace, calm, tranquillity, innocence, country life, valley, mountain, battlefield.
Reversed: internal dispute, examination, reasoning, misunderstanding, regrets, remorse, repentance, inner agitation, irresolution, uncertainty, indecision, inconceivable, incomprehensible, doubt, scruple, fearful con-science.
S.L. MacGregor Mathers’ interpretation of the card as it was presented in his book ‘The Tarot’.
Upright: understanding, observation, direction.
Reversed: quarrels, intestine disputes, discord.
A.E. Waite’s The Pictorial Key to the Tarot.
The card represents motion through the immovable-a flight of wands through an open country, but they draw to the term of their course. That which they signify is at hand; it may be even on the threshold.
Divinatory meanings; Upright: Activity in undertakings, the path of such activity, swiftness, as that of an express messenger; great haste, great hope, speed towards an end which promises assured felicity; generally, that which is on the move; also the arrows of love.
Reversed: Arrows of jealousy, internal dispute, stingings of conscience, quarrels; and domestic disputes for persons who are married.
The traditional astrological attribution of Eight of Wands, and by traditional we mean according to the Golden Dawn system, is Mercury in Sagittarius.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn claimed Rosicrucian descendence. Therefore, the most appropriate astrological interpretation of the cards is the one proposed by Max and Augusta Foss Heindel in their book ‘The Message of the Stars,’ published by the Rosicrucian Fellowship.
Mercury in Sagittarius.
Though in detriment it is still a strong position of Mercury and if he is well-aspected it gives an exceedingly noble mind of a religious and philosophical turn, a mind which scorns the shackles of conventions where they interfere with freedom of thought and speech yet does not fly into paths that are contrary to the commonly accepted standards of moral usage and conduct. It always confines itself within the boundaries of law and order, and people with Mercury in this position are therefore greatly respected in the community.
Mercury in Sagittarius makes the person fond of travel to see the sights and scenery of nature and to investigate the customs of strange people. He is also fond of animals and pets. When afflicted it inclines to law-lessness, dishonesty, sophism and a twisted character.
Mercury in the Ninth House and well-aspected gives love of religion, science, letters and law, a studious mind capable of delving deeply into profound problems of life and being, philosophic and philanthropic tendencies, and desire to travel far if need be in the pursuit of knowledge. This position gives facility in speech and writing and success in religion, philosophy, law or science. The mind is broad, flexible and adaptable. Therefore the person is liable to change his views several times in his life on the various subjects which he has studied, but there will always be a good reason for adopting another viewpoint.
If Mercury is afflicted in the Ninth House, he makes the person exceedingly unstable of mind, changeable as a weather vane in all his pursuits and activities. Such a person will never stay by anything long enough to try it out and therefore he will meet with a series of disasters all through life. Probably he may journey from one place to another in search of success. Still, he will never find it until he learns to concentrate his energies upon one thing. This position is also a fruitful source of trouble with the law or legal affairs.
Kárpáthy-Smith Tarot [work in progress]
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