King of Wands

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King of Batons ("Bastos") from a Spanish deck

King of Wands or Batons is a card used in Latin suited playing cards which include Italian, Spanish and tarot decks. It is part of what tarot card readers call the "Minor Arcana"

King of Wands from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Tarot cards are used throughout much of Europe to play tarot card games.[1]

In English-speaking countries, where the games are largely unknown, Tarot cards came to be utilized primarily for divinatory purposes.[1][2]

Divination usage[edit]

The King of Wands card depicts a mature man who is decisive and passionate. The throne he sits on has no top, indicating infinite possibilities. The lion and the salamander at his feet symbolize his purified desire and a decisive will that remains unbroken even when tested by trying circumstances and fire. The card may be used for a decisive man who is given to quiet deliberation. Some of his undesirable traits include a quick temper and/or self-righteousness.

Key Meanings[edit]

The key meanings of the King of Wands:[3]

  • Authority figure
  • Financial gain
  • Honest and trustworthy
  • Mediation
  • Professional


Some symbolism you can see in this card is the king's throne. There is no visible top, indicating that the sky's the limit. The suit of wands is associated with the element fire, and the lion on the back of his throne is symbolic of fire in the tarot. The salamander, once thought to be able to walk through fire, may be symbolic of the test you must endure when you draw this card in a spread. The fact that he appears to be in a burning hot desert is another indication of the element fire.


  1. ^ a b Dummett, Michael (1980). The Game of Tarot. Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd. ISBN 0-7156-1014-7.
  2. ^ Huson, Paul (1980). Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage. Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-190-0.
  3. ^ Trusted Tarot (2010) King of Wands