Two of Wands Meaning: Upright and Reversed

In several ancient myths and legends, ordinary people take the initiative needed to tackle a near-insurmountable task. One famous example is Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit, who went on an adventure despite his unwillingness to do so. Bilbo used his quick wit, stealth, and negotiation skills to save the day time and time again. And yet, he was only a middle-aged hobbit.

The Two of Wands, like Bilbo, answer the call to adventure by showing others that enormous potential lies before them if they stay as their unique self. At least, that’s its upright reading. When reversed, it tells you that something is holding you back, be that fear or limiting beliefs.

While not a Major Arcana, the Two of Wands can hold a lot of weight for budding adventurers. If you’re wondering whether you should take the first step on your quest, the Two of Wands may offer you some guidance at this time, or it could tell you to hold off for a while.

Let’s look at the Two of Wands Tarot’s meaning and how it can bring purpose to your life.

Two of Wands Card Numbering

The Two of Wands is the 2nd card in the Wands grouping within the minor arcana and rests between the Ace of Wands and the Three of Wands. In a modern 52 card deck as well as many modern Tarot decks, the Two of Wand is sometimes used synonymously with the Two of Clubs.

The Meanings of the Two of Wands

two of wands tarot card

A standard Tarot deck has 4 minor arcana suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. The Wands Suit is typically first in the order. It is used synonymously with the Clubs Suit in a 52 card deck as well as the element fire, businessmen, and primal energy, ambition, or creativity.  

The Suit of Wands deals with the action of the Will (the faculty of the mind) and is related to work and accomplishments or broadly related to fruitfulness. Wands work with the spiritual level of consciousness and addresses what makes you tick. Therefore, your ego, personality, self-concept, enthusiasm, and personal energy could all be judged when you pull this card.

The Meaning of the Two of Wands in Astrology

The Two of Wands is linked to the zodiac sign Aries. Aries is characterized as ambitious, self-assertive, and creative. As a Fire sign, they’re passionate, impatient, and idealistic. Aries are happy when they’re leading the pack. They are often competitive and impulsive.

Two of Wands Card Meaning

The upright Two of Wands wears its intentions on its sleeves, which is good considering it knows the weight of the decision before you. It’s ultimately a card of personal freedom and choice. Still, more specifically, it’s asking you to choose between two adventurous paths. You must decide whether you’re dissatisfied with your current route or want to press forward.

Tarot readers know that the Two of Wands is a mental card. While it’s true, you’ll have to physically get up and take the path you wish to choose, most of the work done with this card is purely in the mind. Before you can start your adventure, you need to have a calm, determined and decisive mental state. Otherwise, you may backtrack and wonder if the grass is greener.

While we’ll expand further on the man in the Two of Wands in the next session, it’s important to note that he’s looking off to the distance with the world literally in his hands. This goes well with the cards’ themes of wanderlust, expansion, and the act of waiting or planning to leave.

At the same time, planning could be an excuse for inaction. If you spend all your time looking out at the horizon, you may choose to settle into a mundane life. People who draw this card often feel pulled between two choices and may have a crippling fear of change.

For these reasons, the Two of Wands is often associated with fear, either overcoming it or being consumed by it. This card asks its drawer to reflect on its own life and its purpose in it. Are they happy with their position, or are they waiting around, hoping change will fall in their laps?

In the end, the Two of Wands will ask you to consider your options carefully before making a decision, but without being swayed by envy or forced enslavement. There are good and bad reasons for starting a quest, and a wrong decision could leave you feeling unhappy or regretful. 

In time, the drawer may find that their lack of commitment only hurts them in the long run. It’s better to decide to be unhappy rather than hope for change. Still, it’s even better to take the bull by the horns and commit to the type of life they want regardless of the hard work involved.

We can break the Two of Wands down into four distinct parts:

  • The Two of Wands isn’t sure what path to take: The Two of Wands is looking over the horizon, assessing the paths he can and can’t take. Although his body is facing forward, he isn’t moving, meaning he’s still deciding what he should do with his potential.
  • At the same time, he knows all options are afforded to him: Potential is a funny thing. You could have all the potential in the world and still refuse to act, so what good is potential anyway? While having options is a good thing, in the end, you must decide.
  • The Two of Wands’ main lesson is decisiveness: When you choose not to act, that in itself is an act. However, that choice is usually thrust upon you and not made willingly. Regardless of what you pick, it’s important to be happy with your choice.
  • It also teaches us acceptance: Acceptance is difficult to find if you keep your “the grass is always greener” mentality. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Still, you made your decision. The least you can do is accept it and move on or decide to change it. 

In this article, you’ll learn what the Two of Wands means in different situations. Let it change and mold you if the Two of Wands is supposed to act as a teacher.

Two of Wands Card Imagery Description

This imagery description is based on The Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck design.

The man in the Two of Wands represents adequate planning, anticipation, and wanderlust. However, the Two of Wands can also be seen as a commitment-less child-like figure who can’t decide what to do and won’t be pushed into making any decision until they’re ready and able.

The Two of Wands is the only card in the wands suit that’s standing up on a building, not looking within a field or taking their place on a throne or horse. He sees something beyond castle walls, and although one foot is set firmly upon the bricks, suggesting he’s ready for change, he can’t walk forward without plummeting to his death. This suggests a few things based on the scene:

  • Imagined Conflict: The man could take the long way down, out the castle, and into the wilderness, but he only sees the negative path forward, leading to indecisiveness. 
  • Actual Conflict: With the world in his hands and a gaze looking downward, he may see something we don’t. Perhaps he’s making a good decision not leaving, for now.
  • Fear of a Worse Scenario: The man sees the world in his hands, thinking of a better life. But, he already lives in a castle, surrounded by lush green. Why leave this place?

At the present, the man is conflicted, and whether that conflict is real or imagined, it still immobilizes him. Does this disappoint the man? Unless he’s confident that his decision is a good one or that he will never force himself to change, then no, it won’t disappoint him.

However, cockiness is often disguised as confidence. The Two of Wands has a confident, upright posture that suggests he’s an authority figure. His clothes also lead to the idea that he’s affluent and has the whole world in front of him literally and figuratively. But, how often do we convince ourselves we’re confident when we’re actually lying to ourselves and others?

Finally, the red hat and orange tunic suggest emotions like passion, desire, domination, aggression, pleasure, and action, which all relate well to the card’s theme. Fire is the natural element that corresponds with these colors, representing both the purifier and destroyer of life, illumination and enlightenment, and spirituality and damnation.

Upright Two of Wands Card Meaning 

Two of Wands Upright


  • Two Paths
  • Options
  • Decisions
  • Planning
  • Suddenly Leaving
  • “Grass is Always Greener”
  • Staying or Going
  • Anticipation
  • Waiting
  • Detachment
  • Restlessness
  • Withdrawal
  • Lack of Contentment
  • Business Expansion

The Suit of Wands is associated with determination, spirituality, and primal strength. In your tarot reading, the wands want to know what makes you tick, but the Two of Wands more specifically asks why you’re at a deadlock. Your cards are positive your heart is in the right place, but your heart can’t determine what to do, which suggests you have energy working at a cross-purpose.

Pulling an upright Two of Wands is an odd affirmation because it doesn’t affirm anything by itself. Similar to how this card needs confirmation before the true point of its message is revealed, you likely also need confirmation in your own ideals. It doesn’t necessarily mean you doubt your actions, as it could allude to your need to keep your options open.

You’re probably dealing with an intense and never-ending internal split, perhaps a duel between the optimistic and pessimistic parts of your psyche. The upright Two of Wands is speaking to the futility of standing still. If you don’t choose an option, both doors will eventually close. 

At this point, the Two of Wands isn’t telling you to grind slowly towards your goals or to make an active effort towards your plan. It assumes that you’ve already stuck between two points.

On the other hand, the Two of Wands could point to something more nefarious and damaging: the “Grass is Always Greener” mentality. We all feel that a decision we made wasn’t correct or that a mistake may be made if you don’t shift your course. Regret and indecision are hard emotions to swallow, and they only present themselves from hindsight.

This creeping self-doubt you’re feeling may arise if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. It’s important to take a step back and give yourself the time to understand the full implications of your decision, whether it’s been made or not. You have to decide what’s worse: inaction or a regretful action. At least when you act, you have new information on what not to do.

Being content isn’t like you, but that’s not necessarily a negative. If you constantly want for more, it could lead to more. Ambition is only a bad trait when you begin to step on people or not consider how your decisions affect others. Don’t be too concerned with negative Nancy’s.

The Two of Wands plays a more specific part in business expansion. If you own a business, you can assume that you’ll brush up against some important people that may benefit your goals.

In a yes or no reading, the Two of Wands is a maybe. The card suggests taking a chance, but the outcome can’t be determined. However, if you’re connected with your authentic self, you’ll know what to do next. Learn to trust your gut, and the Two of Wands will be your friend.

Upright Two of Wands Card in a Love Reading

Characterized as a goal-orientated and future-planning person in need of direction.

Drawing the upright Two of Wands in a love-focused tarot spread is generally a good omen, as love comes in many forms depending on which relationship you’re focusing on.

The upright Two of Wands can signal the process of considering changes, but those changes aren’t considered “bad,” even if they appear to be at first. It could mean you want to take your commitment to the next level, or it could mean you’re not happy and need some change. The point is, whether that change is positive or negative, it’s a necessary change.

If you’re single and the upright Two of Wands shows itself, it means you’re struggling to find a balance between travel and a committed relationship or two or more lovers. Should you choose the security of a partner or a life rife with adventure and solitude? That’s your choice.

Upright Two of Wands Card Career Meaning 

Characterized as a person who wants to choose between business and leisure.

Drawing the upright Two of Wands in a career setting could be concerning. While it means you have plans for your future and have the ambition to chart forward with your dreams, you aren’t sure if you should start your own business, be unemployed, or be an employee.

There’s no reason that you can’t pick two or more options at once, as being indecisive is the only “wrong” option. Why not build a business while keeping a secure part-time job?

Upright Two of Wands Card Financial Meaning

two of wands card

Characterized as financially stable, not you’re neither rich nor poor.

A person who draws the upright Two of Wands for their finances will be financially stable, probably for the rest of their lives, but they’re unlikely to be overly rich if they don’t choose to be.

At some point, you may be comfortable enough in your own decision-making to make plans for your long-term financial future. No matter what, don’t start spending recklessly out of anxiety.

If you have some access to money, whether it’s from a job or a loved one, you should open up a savings account for your clever ideas. That way, you won’t run into financial hardships.

Upright Two of Wands Card Health Meaning

Symbolizes that you may have to change your treatment plan to improve.

The upright Two of wands, thankfully, doesn’t indicate that you’re going to be stuck between two treatment options until you make a decision or a decision will be made for you (aka, death).

Instead, this card implies that you may not be receiving adequate enough care from your current medical professional. Don’t stop treatment! However, look for different options.

Upright Two of Wands Card Spirituality Meaning

Symbolizes you need to continue or risk falling back into bad habits.

Although we all want something to work as soon as possible, you can’t force change. While you may be curious about another spiritual path, it’s recommended that you keep walking the same path or you risk falling back into the same habits. Learn and grow, but don’t switch your focus.

Reversed Two of Wands Card Meaning



  • Fear of Change
  • Restricted Options
  • Indecisiveness
  • Lack of Planning
  • Canceled Plans 
  • Being Held Back
  • Choosing the “Safe” Option
  • Fear of the Unknown
  • Self-Doubt
  • Disappointment
  • Mundane Life
  • Staying Put
  • Unhappiness
  • Settling for Less

At first glance, the reversed Two of Wands seems no different from its upright counterpart. You’re still deciding between two paths, but your subconscious is calling the shots in a reversed reading. We often won’t be honest with ourselves why we’re choosing inaction. Think about a difficult decision you had to make. What did you tell yourself to help you sleep at night?

While that sounds dramatic or implies that you did something illegal or morally abhorrent, it’s often the most embarrassing outcomes or missed opportunities that cause worry. ‘

Embarrassment is our body’s internal mechanism that corrects “bad” cultural behaviors, like swearing around children or being too loud in a library. When we’re told too many times that something is bad, we start to believe it even if it isn’t. We correct our behavior and, slowly but surely, we may stop taking chances, question our own thoughts, and fear being different. 

At its core, the Two of Wands reversed represents a chronic fear of change and the unknown. At the same time, it’s a mirror that reflects our disappointments. Every missed opportunity, everything we didn’t say, and our indecisiveness leave us embarrassed. 

So, the cycle continues. The Two of Wands reversed is an affirmation that you’re embarrassed for wanting more and embarrassed for not getting what you want. You’re staying put and choosing to “accept” a decision, or more broadly, a life that you hate and likely don’t want.

You won’t get out of this cycle unless you do one of two things: accept that you can’t or won’t change, or admit that you or some unstoppable force (money, education, maturity) is stopping you. When you choose the latter, you can either tackle those problems head-on, but if you can’t, and we mean actually can’t, you must accept that you can’t fight this battle now.

The Two of Wands can really feel like a bad omen or a declaration that you aren’t good enough. However, the opposite is true. You know that you want more out of your life, not everyone does, but change isn’t easy for everyone. While it looks easy from the outside, your heroes and enemies had to face a similar battle and break through what was holding them back.

It’s okay to feel stuck, lost, or isolated, especially when a sudden event rocked your sense of self, but this feeling is temporary. Just like the upright Two of Wands suggests stepping back, you need to do the same. Otherwise, you’ll feel overwhelmed by choice.

While you’re giving yourself a break, make sure to give the same love to others. If others are making decisions that include you, take a deep breath. Stop focusing on what you can’t change.

Reversed Two of Wands Card Love Meaning

Characterized as a lack of long-term prospects and a failed marriage. 

Drawing the reversed Two of Wands in a love-focused Tarot spread is nothing but bad news. You or your partner has likely settled, but one or both of you find each other boring and drab.

It’s the fear of the unknown that’s holding one of you back from finding something better. Alternatively, it could mean one of you wants to travel to another country in the hopes that one of you will break up. Or worse, do the slow fade until the other party catches on.

If you’re single when the reversed Two of Wands appears, it may be asking you to go back to your ex, and it may not imply it’s the “bad” ex. If it is the bad ex you’re considering, it likely means you were hurt because they were detached or withdrawn. It’s time to move on.

Reversed Two of Wands Card Career Meaning 

Characterized as a person with unexpected career obstacles due to overanalyzing. 

Drawing a reversed Two of Wands could be a sign that you have your plans laid out for you, but your career path isn’t going in the way you imagined it would. Or, you may have missed details that were obvious but became difficult to see because you were wrapped up in something else.

You’re likely wrapped up in fear. You can’t prevent it from allowing you to take the first steps. If you over analyze every single detail, you’ll never take action. It’s best to jump in with both feet.

Reversed Two of Wands Card Finances Meaning 

tarot card reading

Characterized as a lack of control over finances or failed financial planning.

The reversed Two of Wands means you’re currently facing financial instability, but that doesn’t mean you’re facing bankruptcy or immediate collapse. But you’re definitely in a chaotic time.

It’s in your best interest to avoid making large purchases or significant investments. Your time should be spent balancing your books and getting back on track, or you’ll continue to spiral.

Reversed Two of Wands Card Health Meaning

Symbolizes a general sadness or reluctance regarding your health.

Drawing the reversed Two of Wands likely means you need a hug because you’re in a tough spot. Either you’re experiencing symptoms that are affecting your quality of life. Still, you refuse to seek treatment, or you went to the doctor, but you’re too afraid to admit you’re sick.

There’s nothing scarier than admitting that you’re not feeling your best or that a chronic illness may put the brakes on your life. But, think of it this way. The longer you take to see a doctor, the greater likelihood you will become sicker. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

You don’t have time for indecision here. It’s more important that you go to the doctor to get treatment. Who knows? Maybe you’ll receive a clean bill of health and peace of mind. Knowing is better than not knowing. You don’t want to regret not going to the doctor sooner.

Reversed Two of Wands Card Spirituality Meaning

Symbolizes your waning commitment and fear of change.

The reversed Two of Wands is well aware that you don’t want to stay on this spiritual path, and it isn’t because you’re rebelling. You genuinely feel spiritually lost, either due to betrayal or a loss of interest. Whatever the reason, you need to start exploring your other opinions.

Two of Wands Card Combinations

The Fool

The Two of Wands is completely reliant on other cards for its true meaning. The following combinations offer you a more well-rounded look at the decisions you need to make.

  • The Fool: Try to take a chance in a new, unfamiliar place.
  • The Lovers: You’re seeking love, and it’s time to manifest it.
  • The Hermit: You need a teacher or coach to help show you the way.
  • The Tower: These two cards together imply you’re asking for trouble.
  • The High Priestess: The ball is in someone else’s court. You’ll need to wait.
  • Temperance: Cooperation between two parties and a successful business.
  • Death: A dramatic shift out of your control is fast approaching. 
  • Judgment: A good omen. It implies you’re moving forward towards your calling.
  • The World: The world is at your feet. Choose between your available options.
  • Ace of Swords: Somehow, you’ll use speech to create a better future.
  • Two of Pentacles: A powerful business partnership is around the corner.
  • Six of Swords: If you have doubts in your life, it’s time to move on.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What Does a Wand Symbolize?

Answer: Wands hold their own symbolism, but they’re mostly associated with druids, magicians, and witchcraft. They’re also a physical representation of the Greek God Hermes, who was the God of dreams, visions, and commerce. Wands are seen as powerful, creative, and a source of life. In Tarot, Wands play on this symbolism by matching it with traits like strength and healing.

Question: What Does the Two of Wands for the Past Mean?

Answer: In the past position, the Two of Wands can allude to a past event that led you out of your comfort zone, especially if it includes a person you didn’t know. It may be impacting your life in some form, but likely in a positive way. Look at your past for inspiration, but don’t hold on to it unless it serves a purpose. It’s likely this past event holds a lot of significance to you.

Question: What Does the Two of Wands for the Present Mean?

Answer: In the present position, the Two of Wands acts like a cousin to the Ace of Wands. The Ace of Wands says you’re going to face a choice that may affect your life. However, the Two of Wands doesn’t tell you to be proactive with that choice, as it’s better if you go with the flow and see what happens. However, there will be a time, very soon, where you’ll need to decide.

Question: What Does the Two of Wands for the Future Mean?

Answer: In the future position, the Two of Wands is an incredibly good omen. Despite the Two of Wands being known for indecisiveness, in the future position, this card will show up to say you’ll lead a strong, happy life. Still, you need to look back at your past to avoid mistakes. Work out what your past has done for you, and shun away the bad. Only keep the good lessons. 


The Two of Wands is a unique card in that the upright and reversed meanings are almost identical. What changes between the two meanings is how willing and able you’re willing to act. Change is difficult for all of us, but with the Two of Wands help, it won’t come at a cost.

A word of advice: Although the Two of Wands is a harsh card, it’s a well-meaning one. At some point, we all face a dilemma that paralyzes us, making inaction the most attractive option. If you’re having a difficult time choosing what’s best for you, you may feel conflicted or smothered by someone else’s words. It’s better to be happy than live someone else’s life.

Further readings:

Two of Swords Meaning: Upright and Reversed

Two of Cups Meaning: Upright and Reversed

Two of Pentacles Meaning: Upright and Reversed

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