8 of Wands – Momentum
The 8 of Wands shows eight blossoming wands flying in unison against the background of a clear blue sky. This indicates that there is nothing in the way between these wands and their destination. It is a clear path and the wands are progressing with great speed. As such, this card indicates a time for action.
Another thing to note about this card is the lack of people, which is rare for the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The flight of these wingless wands is caused purely by the momentum of their initial thrust into the air. Although they are travelling across the sky with great speed, they are utterly unassisted.
This should not be interpreted as effortlessness or good luck, although it may appear that way. Often times, what appears to be good luck is actually the fruits of one’s labour because good luck is little more than an opportunity. When greeted by opportunities, one has to be receptive to the positive things in one’s environment in the first place and also willing and ready to take action to turn this luck into good fortune.
The preparation and lessons gained fro the first seven wands has led up to this moment. We are ready to move forward confidently because of the patience and effort we have already put into this endeavour. These wands are riding on the currents of our discipline and hard work. Even if there is chance involved right now, it will be our adventurous attitude, open-mindedness and determination that ultimately takes us the rest of the way towards our goal.
We’ve worked hard for this moment so take advantage of it. Our own efforts have paved the way and all we need to do now is walk down the road we’ve laid out for ourselves. Take heed, however, of not running too fast and getting carried away. Yes, we should take charge of the situation, but we also need to take responsibility for any actions we make. Before pushing forward, know where we are going. In times of gain, know what it is that we want to achieve.
Hexagram 42 – Increasing
The hexagram Increasing is comprised of wind and thunder, which symbolizes gentleness and movement. Together, they speak of action that is natural, as though it is riding on the currents of the wind.
Such times of ease are ideal for putting into action the things we did not have the means to do before. Now is the time to follow our dreams and invest in our future for we are in the period of increase.
The type of increase described in this hexagram, however, in not only material. An increase in possessions only isn’t a true increase for possessions can be taken away. A genuine increase is a gain not only in status and wealth, but virtue as well.
Virtue grants the people who possess it peace and happiness. It is a light that drowns out the darkness of greed, hatred and envy. Furthermore, virtue benefits not only the people who have it, but everyone around them as well. It is contagious and, by way of contagion, the people of virtue bestow these wonderful qualities to the rest of society. And unlike material or financial increase, it is not a zero sum gain but results in a net increase in the world. This is the true meaning of increase.
Nine on line 1:
Spend resources wisely. Contribute wholeheartedly to good and worthy causes. What is sown determines what will be reaped. If our goals are noble, we will remain peaceful at heart regardless of outcome. If our goals are selfish and ill-willed, we will end up lonely and bitter in spite of the amount of material gains accumulated.
Six on line 2:
Things are in our favour. Good omens abound. We’ve received the signs to give us all the confidence we need. Now is the time to move forward and produce the changes we want to see in the world.
Six on line 3:
Difficulty is a time of opportunity. Hard times are not only a test of character, but a chance to become stronger by learning from mistakes or hardship. Thus, even seemingly unfortunate events can be advantageous.
Six on line 4:
We are now in the centre of events and actively involved in the changes. And changes are needed. Rather than settle with superficial or minor repairs that will merely drag out an undesirable situation, break away from the old and move towards a new and more harmonious path.
Nine on line 5:
When efforts are sincere and generous, there is no need to be worried about recognition or reward. Trust that what we give is what we will get in return. This is the heart of the message of Increasing – in nourishing the world, we are, in turn, nourished by the world.
Nine on line 6:
Here, the desire and intention to change has gone overboard to become unchecked and selfish ambition. When we are only interested in gaining but not giving, we lose the good will of our peers and heaven. The only increase we’ll gain at this point is hostility and misfortune.
The key to building the momentum that leads to increase is virtue. The 8 of Wands is the result of the accumulated virtues developed from the seven wands before it. Furthermore, the hexagram of Increasing shows that a person obtains meaningful gains only when their thoughts and deeds are aligned to what is good and sincere.