Three of Wands, Nine of Wands: Fear of Success?

So I wrote this intro on the subject of card combinations. Why? Because even for a two-card reading, there’s over 6,000 possible combinations. I’m not kidding. I’ve always wanted to share all of the interesting combinations I get, so here we go!


Three of Wands, Nine of Wands. What could I owe a visit from you both in my daily draw to?  Let’s start with their commonalities: Wands, same suit; oddly enough, and in my personal opinion, not a lot of action is taking place here. On the 3 we have someone looking out onto the horizon, contemplating, Wands by his side as his ship comes in. Literally, waiting for success, although the suit of Wands is not known to wait for anything. Does a fire burn patiently?


Nine of Wands . . . he looks like he’s seen better days. If we follow the story in the suit of Wands, he’s caught those eight Wands hurtling through the air (previous card) and is preparing to get to work transforming them, even though he can barely see where he is going (next card). Overwhelmed, tired, on guard, defensive–that is what I feel. Even the bravest and battle-hardened around us get tired of fighting. Jockeying for position within your career or struggling to keep up with bills or even struggling to make time for friends and family. Those are also battles everyday people face.


These are two very different messages being conveyed here. 3/Wands is optimistic and open; 9/Wands just has had enough. Being open to the idea of success, but not wanting to deal with all the madness that comes with it. Wanting success, but also anticipating the battle that will ensue.

The fine art of self-sabotage.

It’s okay, even the most ‘conscious’ among us do it. Mostly in ways we don’t even understand because it’s manifesting subconsciously. As a reader, I’m constantly being confronted with working on my own shit–so I can definitely see the ways in which I exhibit this behavior. It’s little, often innocuous acts that to the blind observer, seem fine. We hold ourselves back, too afraid to be. We settle into ruts because they feel comfortable. We marry people we don’t love and make promises we don’t intend on keeping and stay at jobs we hate only to have these things haunt us.

3/Wands asks, ‘don’t you want to be free?’ 

You are free. Just look around.

Yes, we are. Until that 9/Wands pops up. He is a reminder of the price we pay for our freedom. We will have to fight and fight against what the neighbors will think and how our friends and family will feel and anyone else who will challenge your passion until we’re bone tired and weary. That’s a huge deterrent for most of us. The status quo is always a much safer route. 3/Wands is innovative. Never following the crowd, content to blaze their own trail. This is about seeing the larger picture, about grabbing opportunity when it presents itself. 9/Wands holds their own, though, no matter how bad the odds are. They look beat but haven’t been beaten. That’s the kind of persistence it takes to carry forth the spirit of the 3/Wands.

Do I want to? No. At this point in my life, battles no longer appeal to me.

Do I have a choice? No, not really. I’ve wanted to blaze my own trail forever. I remember knowing early on in life that my path would not be the straight-and-narrow; but more like the scenic route filled with lakes and trees, and the occasional desert, haunted house, and moat. I’ve always known that this desire to escape the status quo in search of something more meaningful would take me on a long winding journey which will eventually come full circle, but seeing the lives of people I’ve graduated with makes me wonder when. When will it happen for me? When will I be that chic grownup I pretended to be in high school?

Probably when I stop avoiding this card combination. It’s been coming for me for months and I now have an idea why.

Stressed about success.

Or, I was until I picked this card combination apart.

Now that seems insane to me.

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