King of Wands Explained - Upright & Reversed Meanings
Last Updated: January 18, 2023
The King of Wands is the fourteenth card in the suit of Wands (also known as the suit of blades) and one of the fifty-six suit cards from the minor arcana. In divinatory tarot, the Suit of Wands is associated with the element of fire and traditionally signifies creativity, inspiration, ambition, determination and willpower. Each card of this suit represents aspects of our lives such as career, travel and spirituality.
Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.
The King of Wands shows up when it’s time of taking action! This card implores you to take ideas and bring them into your reality, do something with those plans, create, and take physical action! This is a very favourable time for this kind of movement when the King of Wands shows up for you. It’s being pointed out that you have the drive and capabilities to make your reality anything you want right now as this King is recognising your unwavering confidence to find success.
In this article, we will discuss the meanings of the King of Wands in various tarot reading contexts as well as the different symbols and nuances that can be found within this court card.
Pictorial Symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck
The artworks from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck contain deeper esoteric meanings that tarotists love to decipher. A proud and valiant King sits upon their throne, decorated with depictions of lions and salamanders. The salamanders themselves are pictured biting their tails, representing a full circle, which speaks of this King’s abilities to take their thoughts, plans, and ideas, and turn them into action, the ability of ‘doing’, and being able to successfully go after their plans and goals from whatever they set out to do – they always come full circle.
The King holds firmly onto his wooden staff/wand and looks onward with clear skies behind them. Their attire is made up of a red and yellow robe, representing their fire and their fire-like traits (passion, determination, etc), with their bright yellow (or perhaps gold) crown being shaped in that of a flame.
The King of Wands key correspondences
Confidence, friendliness, strength, protection, dependability, charm, and pride.
a bully, impulsiveness, bad temper, unreliability, low energy, nastiness, and abuse.
|Yes or No|
What does the upright King of Wands mean in the Tarot?
There is an air of “I can do all of this” about you at the moment as you are absolutely smashing it when it comes to problem-solving and putting ideas into action. But not only that, you’re doing so successfully!
You’ll be enjoying the challenge that this brings all whilst maintaining a clear idea about the direction you’re heading in, you know what you want and you are 100% going after it.
The King is here to remind you to carry on holding the power in your hands, push against the grain, do what you need to do, and do so confidently.
When pulled in the upright position, the King of Wands is associated with confidence, friendliness, strength, protection, dependability, charm, and pride.
What does the upright King of Wands mean in a love reading
If you’re in a relationship, the King of Wands can signify that your partner is currently feeling rather protective of you, but that they’re happy and comfortable within this relationship too. But, as the King can represent a physical person, the card may be showing up in the reading as your actual partner.
Do they embody the typical traits (listed above) of the King of Wands? If so, it’s a reminder to yourself that this person prefers fierce independence over someone that is highly co-dependent on someone else, your partner won’t appreciate it if you rely on them too much unfairly, or try and control their life in one shape or form – specifically their freedom.
If you’re single, then this card may be hinting at someone coming into your life that embodies the King of Wands when it comes to their personality and attitude. But, if things haven’t been going too great when it comes to successfully meeting people, this may be because you’re being too much of busy person in all other aspects of your life to even make the time and space for romance.
What does the upright King of Wands mean in a career reading?
Things are no doubt going great at work at the moment and you’re feeling comfortable and confident with what you do! You’ll be setting your sights on your workload, being focused on your work-based goals, and going at it fearlessly – but most importantly, you’ll be smashing it!
If you’re not in a leadership role already, then this King can indicate that you may be moving into this type of position soon – whether this is through a promotion or job change, but a mentor-type position is favoured currently; you have the know-how, the skill and the wisdom to do this.
Others in the workplace will be learning a great deal from you!
What does the upright King of Wands mean in a health reading?
The King of Wands is a good omen to receive when it comes to your health! You’ll be feeling right as rain at the moment, but it does warn you to not give in to the extremes of overwhelming yourself with taking too much on.
Don’t overdo it, don’t be so independent you refuse to ask for help, and take advice from your medical professional team!
The King of Wands as feelings/emotions
If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling the King of Wands suggests that they see you as a big ray of sunshine in their life! Though someone represented by the King of Wands won’t shy away from being upfront about how they feel, so you may be hearing the truth from them soon!
This person feels an abundance of confidence when they’re in your presence, they are attracted to all aspects of you as a person, and may even be wanting to very much take care of you and protect you as a whole!
The King of Wands as a person
As a personality archetype, the King of Wands represents someone that is very much a natural-born leader. They will ooze confidence and have an optimistic approach to life!
This will be someone that has the gift of the gab and may harbour more typical ‘masculine’ traits. This will be someone that is fiercely independent and highly motivated to go after what they have set their sights on.
Unfortunately, they do have the ability to be rather self-centred at times and can be a bit of a hothead too!
The King of Wands as advice
Right now, we need to see action, action, action! Now is far from the time to be holding back, you need to step up to the front of the line and be a leader for the masses. Be bold, fiery, proud, and enthusiastic.
Run with your ideas and manifest them into your reality by making plans of action and then actually acting upon them! Don’t just live within your realm of wants and wishes, do! Act! Create!
Is the King of Wands a yes or no card?
Due to the King of Wands’s nature of being action focused, goal-orientated, and driven to succeed, this is very much of the minor arcana’s ‘yes’ cards! It bodes well for success as long as you are looking to move forward in a way that chases your current goals, that will help you achieve your next milestone, and overall this card shows you are full of the drive to be able to do so right now. Bold decisions are favoured right now. So, yes!
Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of questions:
Querent question: “Will I get the job?”
Card interpretation: The King of Wands bodes well for a new job on your horizon, whether this is a promotion at your current place of employment or a new job elsewhere entirely! This King is incredibly goal-orientated, and they achieve what they set their focus on, so know success is coming here! You will land the job you are after.
Querent question: “Is this new person in my life good for me?”
Card interpretation: This new individual may take on the role of a mentor in your life, they are more than likely going to be older than you, a male or at least someone with more masculine-like qualities, but they will have a lot to offer with their natural leader-like abilities and approach to life. This will be someone you feel comfortable with, so embrace all the learning opportunities they provide – you won’t regret it. This only serves to help you grow as a person, after all.
Querent question: “Will I achieve my current goals?”
Card interpretation: You’re full of motivation and you’re absolutely smashing it when it comes to any and all milestones. So, to answer your question, you are absolutely on the right path to success. This King only warns that you don’t take on too much all at once, there’s no need to overwhelm yourself, and you’re on the right track! Just keep your focus and remain goal-orientated, and you’ll get there.
Querent question: “Should I start my own business?”
Card interpretation: Aye aye, captain! The King of Wands very much favours putting your plans into action as this King is all about being goal-orientated. So this card is telling you to go for it! It has a really strong CEO quality about it, and remember that a King needs counsel, so ensure you have the right support to balance out the work so as to not head towards stress and burnout.
What does the reversed King of Wands mean in the Tarot?
When the reversed King of Wands shows up, you’re either being too full-on with everything and everyone around you and coming across as an aggressive bully, or you currently have too little motivation and energy to do anything at all so are just letting things slide on by – meaning you very much are not holding your own power within your hands right now.
You may be feeling weak, and powerless, and you just aren’t up to the task(s) at hand. You may know what you want to accomplish but you are lacking the drive to even go after it. Don’t set a bad example, even for yourself – find the energy to get back on track.
When pulled in the reversed position, the King of Wands is linked with a bully, impulsiveness, bad temper, unreliability, low energy, nastiness, and abuse.
What does the reversed King of Wands mean in a love reading?
If you’re in a relationship, the reversed King of Wands may be showing up as a warning. Does this represent your partner to you?
As this reversed King signifies a nasty red flag. This will be someone that easily breaks their promises to you, bullies you and others around them, and overall has too much of an aggressive approach to life – in the nastiest way.
A lot of this can be abuse, please be aware of that, and don’t let yourself be gaslighted into thinking it isn’t.
If you’re single, then the exact same thing can apply – you may be facing someone coming into your life, via the dating scene, which is an absolute walking red flag. Or, if these characteristics don’t match, it could mean that this individual has some commitment issues and may come across as quite flaky!
They may believe a relationship will just weigh them down and that a partner will be too needy, if this is someone you are truly interested in then it’s best to take the time to go slow and show them that their concerns wouldn’t become a reality with you.
What does the inverted King of Wands mean in a career reading?
On one hand, you may be being way too full on in a rather aggressive and demanding manner at work, and this is seriously bothering everyone around you. No one will want to work with you as no one will like to put up with your attitude for long, the way you’re behaving is far from acceptable.
However, if this doesn’t ring true for you, then the reversed King indicates here could mean that you’ve lost your oomph with your work and you’re just letting things slide. You may have very little focus on what you’re up to, and you’re not being able to complete tasks that you start.
Try to be more proactive, and find more efficient ways to handle tasks until you can get your energy levels back.
What does the upside-down King of Wands mean in a health reading?
You are racing ahead and doing waaaaay too much, and you are absolutely heading for burnout if you don’t take the time to pause sometime real soon!
You need to not neglect your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health right now, you’ll be bringing yourself way too much stress in this sense, and this is about to have a negative knock-on effect on your health, so pack it in!
In conclusion, the King of Wands tarot card is a powerful symbol of confidence, friendliness, strength, protection, dependability, charm, and pride. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you are in a position of authority, but don’t forget to listen to your counsel.
Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot practitioners, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.
The 56 lesser arcana cards relate to the day-to-day events of our lives, the more mundane aspects of our existence. Even though that part of the tarot is about the “smaller picture”, it symbolizes the constant choices we make that shape our lives, our characters, and ultimately our destinies.
Have you ever had a reading where the King Of Wands appeared? What was the outcome? What does that card mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice?
Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below. Additionally, If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out my complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.
Written by Amy
Outside the weird and wonderful world of my craft, I like to cosplay and fully dive into the fantasy genre across all forms, from books to video games and everything in between.