As a reminder, the suit of wands is driven by masculine energy and usually represents willpower, change, and an impulse to create and make something new. Scholars and academics have connected the suit of wands to the classical element of fire, and most of the cards from that suit embody the symbolic attributes of this element, one way or another.
Minor Arcana: Positive elements of King of Wands
The King of Wands is sitting on his throne, looking to the left, with the staff representing the symbol of his suit in his right hand. He seems unusually quiet and impassioned when you consider he is supposed to embody the quintessential nature of the suit of Wands, and as such could be expected to be wilder and more energetic like a flame.
As the Queen of Wands before him, this card from the minor arcana is seemingly introvert and aloof demeanor comes in stark contrast with the blazing fire within, but in many tarot decks like in the Rider-Waite-Smith(RWS) illustration there are several symbols meant to hint at this fiery nature inside, like the use of bright colors of the presence of wild lions on the King’s crest, cape, or throne.
If the Queen of Wands was a sleeping dragon, the King of Wands can be compared to a lion. Noble, regal, full of strength, but confident enough that he does not need to overtly flaunt it. The last card in the suit of Wands, the King of Wands has finally refined the raw power of the flame and can now use it precisely using willpower and determination.
The flame that burns within his heart grants him a grand vision of his own utopia, and he will work tirelessly to make it come true. The wildfire of his youth has been tamed and now fuels his determination and drive, he can efficiently channel it for his own purposes. Righteous and loyal, he has a strong sense of justice and honesty but has kept his feet on the ground, still approachable and friendly. Behind a rather conservative outlook, the King of Wands is nonetheless extremely open-minded and tolerant, as the fire within him keeps him open to new perspectives and concepts.
Negative elements of King of Wands
In taming the fire within, the King of Wands has become so driven and focused on the ultimate goals that he can easily lose patience when others constantly question his decisions or ask for more details and precisions. The King of Wands has a great vision in mind but does not like wasting time trying to explain it or unveil the reasons behind his decisions. He has little patience for those unwilling to fall in line without question when he has set a plan into motion.
King of Wands and love
In a love-driven tarot reading, The King of Wands usually represents an adult man with dark hair, usually married, someone that might be rough around the edges, but ultimately honest and loyal in his relationships. He can become severe and grim when you cross him, but would usually focus on productive endeavors than on petty vengeance or resentment.
The King of Wands can be a good choice for the Querent card to represent a middle-aged man that is confident but not boastful, with a strong emphasis on loyalty and trust.
King of Wands: Traditional meanings
The paragon of the four court cards in the suit of wands, the King of Wands managed to tame the wild aspect of the element of Fire and had learned to channel it with a precise and quiet determination. He has a lot of power at his disposal but has left behind the game of appearances and ego. The King of Wands is not a showman, he is a builder with a vision and a clear set of directions that will lead him there and make it real. He uses the boundless energy of creativity around him like an architect, with almost mathematical precision.
A dark-haired middle-aged man with a vision, friendly and quiet on the outside, but whose eyes still hold the fire of vision and creativity embodied in the suit of Wands.
Reversed: Severe, little patience for those who don’t follow, and a man of a few words.