3 min read

six of wands // the element of fire

six of wands // the element of fire
six of trees/wands from the shining tribe tarot

hello, friends. we've been talking about fire all year as we work our way through the suit of wands, but i've been particularly excited to get to the six of wands and the ways that fire really adds a jolt of passion, delight, and exuberance to this card's energy.

fire is a hungry, dazzling, excited, fast-moving, transformative energy. but when we pair it with the stability, care-taking, and responsibility of the number six, it settles from something that demands to be seen or is focused on consuming into an energy that wants to illuminate, support, encourage, and enrich.

this isn't a spark of new flame or a restless wildfire or even a hardworking forge. this is stabilized fire, fire that is well-tended and well-resourced, fire that is beloved and respected. this is a communal fire, one that is big and bright but is also safe, nourishing, one that has everything that it needs to burn for a long time.

this is a bonfire: lovingly tended to by the many, built on a solid foundation of trust, gaining strength from the hands and hearts that keep watch over it. a place of both movement and stillness, crackling heat and gentle comfort, with enough light to see by but enough shadow to slip away when needed.

there's an electricity to this kind of fire: a wildness that accompanies the promise of safety, an authenticity born of mutual care and devotion. and while bonfires can certainly be built and sustained by just one person, the best ones are tended by many: carefully watched and fed, genuinely appreciated, lovingly guarded. these long-lasting fires are a result of a group effort and collaboration, of mutual care.

this is a fire that we trust, that we know intimately, that we can rely on. and so this is the fire that burns at the heart of the six of wands.

six of trees/wands from the shining tribe tarot

in rachel pollack's shining tribe tarot, wands are renamed trees, as a reminder of the fire that sustains life. "the suit of trees symbolizes the energy of the sun rooted in living creatures," pollack writes in the deck's guidebook. "...in trees the minor arcana begins the process of taking the fiery spiritual energy represented by the sun and bringing it into physical existence."

we don't just have to use literal fire to understand the element of fire, and the suit of fire. we can look to the trees, the earth, the water, the clouds, and yes, the sun. we can also turn our gaze inward, and observe how our own internal fire changes us — and how we in turn use that fire to change the world we walk through.

in your approach to the six of wands, consider how fire itself has transformed through the story of the suit. how did this flame grow from spark to sustainable fire? how did what started in a single heart develop into something that now warms many hands?

and as our own personal fire grows into something that can nourish and inspire an entire community, how do we celebrate its magic while also taking responsibility for its long-term survival?

i'll have one more piece on this card for you next week, this time one filled with creative prompts for your journal, meditation practice, or anything else that feeds your fire.