The Wild Unknown Tarot - IX Wands


At the top of the card is a golden crescent moon, the only coloured bit in this card and leading up to it is a pathway made up of 9 sticks or branches or are they steps? When I first looked at the card it looked like a path but the more I look at it the more it looks like a flight of stairs.

I love the way the wands in this deck are actually sticks or branches that haven't been trimmed.. It takes the esoteric element out of things for me and I prefer it that way... I think I've been thinking of the Fire suit being represented by batons for the last year or so and I prefer that to the more recent use of wands - a magical tool.

So a staircase or a causeway (another thing it could be)... It looks as if you'd have to tread quite carefully on it and the goal is the crescent moon which to me relates to the inner peace of The Hermit card (the 9 that rules the others).

This card says almost there to me, you're nearly at your goal, you may be getting tired and you may have been hurt along the way but you only have a little way to go now and so you need to persevere, be strong and self reliant and you'll get there.
Nines to me are also about assessment - looking back at how we've got to where we are now and preparing for the next phase which will start after the 'too much' of the 10s. So look back and see what has worked so far and keep doing that or look back and see what hasn't worked so well and try to stop doing that.


Hi Sulis!

I'm seeing a lot of the same things that you're seeing in this card. I see the IX of Wands being about perseverance. You may be weary, the path may be treacherous and difficult, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel (ahem, staircase) so keep on going. And, with the presence of the moon, you may find that you are able to develop strengths that were previously hidden to you and they will be revealed through this process. To that extent, the moon could also signal a warning that there could be some hidden or unexpected elements that may impede the climb. You may even have to get creative or go off the beaten path to achieve your goal.

ETA: This is a waning moon, right? So that really emphasizes your interpretation of this card signaling being nearly at your goal. The obstacles in your path are going to recede and soon disappear altogether allowing you to move into a new phase (the new moon).


Hi tomorrowscalling,

I really like your thoughts about the moon in this image.
Developing hidden strengths through 'the process' and also warning about things hidden or unexpected really resonates with me.
And yes, it is a waning moon and that does emphasise the 'nearly there' aspect of this card... Thank you, I don't know why I didn't see that, which is why it's lovely to actually discuss this symbolism with others :).


Great insights!
My first impression of this card (and it has carried over into my readings) is of a safety ladder that you keep incase of a fire so you can climb down.
You're tired and want to sleep...and that ladder rolled up in the closet gives you some measure of will be scary if you ever have to use will take a measure of confidence, stamina and strength to hoist it over the window and climb down.
And take those few steps to safety...but you can do it...and will do it if such a danger threatens you.
Maybe you bought the safety ladder because you were in a fire before and know the panic that it can cause.
I think we all create our own safety ladders to get us through hurts...past or present.

The moon reminds of a fire, as it feels like we are safe on the ground and looking back up at the this orange yellow color is a good memory trigger for me.

The moon also reminds me that things that come at night we are most often more fearful of, than things that come during the day....the dark stripes in the back ground depicting the darkness of the night illuminated only by a waning moon.

I love your insight tomorrowscalling about "nearly there."


I find it really interesting Lark that you see this as a ladder going down where I saw it as a staircase going up...

This is why I like ambiguous Minors or pips.... You see what you see and that's that.


ETA: This is a waning moon, right? So that really emphasizes your interpretation of this card signaling being nearly at your goal. The obstacles in your path are going to recede and soon disappear altogether allowing you to move into a new phase (the new moon).

:) I was backwards and thought of it as a waxing moon but you're right, it is waning! I thought of it along the same lines, as working towards completion, a full moon energy. The stairway toward culmination. The branches that stick up are the obstacles that you still have to overcome to get to top but it looks doable, just take it one step at a time!


I took out all the cards with a moon on it to study the particular meaning of this symbol in this deck. It can mean so many things!

To me it seems the moon in the Wild Unknown really emphasizes the 'illusion' concept or the 'intuition' depending on the case.

For example with the High Priestess it's definitely intuition, for the Empress it's maternal instinct, for the son of pentacles it's about trusting...

And then you have the Moon card talking about illusions, the 4 of cups is about the false illusion that you have no opportunity, the 7 of cups is about fantasies...

Then you also have the 9 of wands, which can be about being towards the end of the journey and be confident that you'll succeed after going through the last obstacles/struggles.
And while most people seem to interpret the moon as the final goal and/or a positive symbol, I see it more as a warning.
Either "Beware, if you take this way (the stairs) you'll end up in the wrong place", as if this whole path is an illusion and not really a good choice. Which would be sad given that you made so much effort getting where you are now.

I can also see it as : You are at the end of the journey, you have a last bit to make, but now you're getting doubts and fears when visualizing the end of the path. (As written in the guidebook "But on this final stretch you find yourself growing weary, with doubt and fear running through your mind.")
And the advice being "If you follow your intuition, you'll be able to see if you are indeed on the good path or not and if you should be confident and sprint right up the stairs!"


The coloring and white space in the second edition image really emphasizes the "light at the end of the tunnel" idea and gives a sense of hope.