6 min read

january 2024: ace of wands // a spark to change the world

ace of wands from the wild unknown tarot
ace of wands from the wild unknown tarot

hello, friends. welcome to the new year.

in 2024, we're going to be exploring the pips of wands and fire, card by card. today's musings will be all about this card in general, but i'll have a few more pieces for you this month looking at the numerology of one, the element of fire, and some creative prompts you can use to activate this energy in your own life, work, and play.

with 2024 as a year of eight, and more specifically, a year of strength (2024 // 2+0+2+4 = 8 // strength), it feels beautifully appropriate to spend the next twelve months in the suit of wands, exploring all that these cards have to offer when it comes to power, magic, imagination, creativity, boldness, intentionality, exploration, sensuality, and passion. how do we understand the purpose that drives us forward? what lights our fire, sparks our imagination, fills our spirit with crackling heat and brilliance?

this year, we're going to find out together. and this month, we're beginning at the beginning: with the ace of wands.

we often talk about the suit of wands and fire as creativity, willpower, passion, motivation, transformation, and ambition. the suit of wands tells a story of inspiration, one that follows that first spark of an idea through its twists and turns, growth and challenge, expansion and completion.

and that little blaze, that first flicker of longing that initiates the entire story, is contained in the ace of wands, the first card in the suit. this is the flare that becomes the flame, representing a streak of inspiration, power, courage, or vision of possibility.

ace of wands from the wild unknown tarot
ace of wands from the wild unknown tarot

the ace of wands is one of the most energetic cards in the deck, often depicted as a burning match, an extended torch, or an offered ember of growing flame. it's an internal wildfire, a burst of light and heat and potential, a brilliant flash that lights up the darkness and illuminates everything around us. the ace of wands can serve as a rapid shift in perception, awareness, or longing: an unexpected awakening, an opportunity emerging, a dream taking up space.

with the ace of wands, we are being offered a gift from the suit of wands: a living, breathing seed of fire that we get to decide when, where, and how to ignite.

this is potent, explosive, intensive energy. it's a flare, a burst, a dazzling gleam that opens our eyes and our hearts to something new. this is a beckoning desire, something crawling up from within, a ravenous longing that aches to be pursued.

oh i think i've lost my senses am i walkin' straight into a burnin' light, a burnin' light? -griff & sigrid, head on fire

while i think many of us (myself absolutely included) write and talk and teach about this card as being deeply and intimately personal, i'd love to challenge us as a collective to think about how this kind of spark can ripple out into an entire community: how it can serve as a hopeful light in the darkness that is not only visible to one person at a time. so often, when one person starts to express a desire, a longing, a hunger, a need, it can quickly spark the inspiration of others in their orbit, lighting a fire that is immediately visible and recognizable to other people.

when we see someone doing something bold, brave, powerful, important, or distinctive, it can inspire us to do the same thing.

what does it really look like to be the spark that illuminates and exposes, that can serve as a flicker of hope for the many? what happens when one person strikes a match, but many can benefit from the heat and light that those sparks produce?

what if wands is a suit not only of passion, but also of hope? what if this story of fire is not limited to personal desire, but also includes collective ambition, collective inspiration, collective visioning? what would it mean to let the ace of wands serve not only as a tool for individual creation, but also one of collective ambition, desire, and longing?

and when we see the ace of wands through this lens, how does it impact the entire cycle of fire, and expand the potential of this story?

ace through ten of the suit of wands from the wild unknown tarot
ace through ten of the suit of wands from the wild unknown tarot

the story of the suit of wands can follow many paths. wands is our suit of transformation and pursuit, of yearning, of the erotic and the undeniable. traditional versions of this tale, like the one presented in the rider-waite-smith pack, focus on the individual: we let a new dream take up space, decide how to nurture and tend it, let it grow and build, navigate the protecting of it, allow it to burn through some specific relationships or conflicts, find pride in how well it's burning, defend all that we are creating, rocket through obstacles that may hinder our path, push ourselves to the limit of what fire can do, and ultimately reach that finish line, knowing that we have given absolutely everything we had to do so. 

but this isn't the only way that the tale of fire can be told, that the cycle can manifest. the story of fire can bend and twist down any number of paths.

hope is a fire that is tended to and kept alive by the collective efforts of many. - ayesha kahn

consider another version: a spark lights up our spirit, and we partner with others who want to watch it burn brightly, who want to help turn that spark into a blazing wildfire. we let our broader community witness that well-tended fire, accept their resources and encouragement, protect the flames as they rise and build. eventually we outgrow the old protections, break a few rules, and use this brightly burning flame to inspire and heal, to establish something new, to grow in a different direction. this fire illuminates who we are as a group, and we recognize our purpose, truly see how the fire that is flickering in our community reflects the flame that we carry in our soul. we keep collectively working, pushing, balancing our own individual skills with the broader efforts of the many. and ultimately, we can look on our finished dream, our desire realized, and celebrate alongside those who never wavered, who fought the good fight, who stayed in the forge with us and came out the other side transformed, reborn.

the suit of wands, and thus the story of wands, explores a desire that is expanding, one that has the potential to transform us, our path forward, and everyone around us. the sparks ignited with the ace of wands pave the way for the entire story of fire to brightly unfold, changing us and those around us too.

i think it's so important to allow personal desire to take up space, to direct our path, to permanently alter us. but i don't want us to minimize the potential for the story of wands to have a much broader, wider, deeper impact.

after all, desire, like hope and courage, can be beautifully contagious.

strength, the star, and the ace of wands from the wild unknown tarot
strength, the star, and the ace of wands from the wild unknown tarot

as we move into this new year, as we consider all that strength, the star, and the suit of wands might hold for us, consider: what lights your fire? what activates your inner spark? and how might letting those initial flashes of heat and light unlock something within those around you, something that could have a brilliant ripple effect on the broader collective?

in other words: what sparks are taking shape within you, sparks that could light the fire that changes the world?

i'll have a few more pieces on the ace of wands throughout the month, and i also still have some spots available for year of eight tarot readings if you're looking for guidance as we move into 2024.

everyone will get my 2024 numerology piece tomorrow. and if you're interested in exploring the year of strength through a numerological lens, my detailed piece on january's numerology (including a brand new tarot numerology spread) will be going out tomorrow too!

wishing you a beautiful, inspired, and empowered january, friends.