Tarot cards are powerful tools for exploring your inner development, getting an insight about people and situations in your life, and critical thinking. Each card tells a story as an archetype; the cards are part of five journeys: the major arcana (22 cards in the deck) and the four suits of the minor arcana (14 cards in each suit).
This article is part of a five-article series that will take a journey through each of these five groups of cards; this fifth article will look at the suit of the wands in the minor arcana. The deck I have chosen to use is something fun, the Happy Tarot, which is based on the most commonly known tarot deck, the Rider-Waite Tarot. The wands, in this deck, are represented by candy canes.
- The Journey Through the Major Arcana
- The Journey Through the Cups of the Minor Arcana
- The Journey Through the Pentacles of the Minor Arcana
- The Journey Through the Swords of the Minor Arcana
The Fool’s Journey Through the Minor Arcana
Like the Fool, we all must pass through major events in our lives, captured in the archetypes of the major arcana cards. But most of life is spent dealing with mundane and minor matters; this energy is captured in the archetypical images of the four suits of minor arcana cards. Each suit represents a different aspect of our everyday journeys by way of elements and symbols.
Fire represents our creativity and spirituality, and our call to action; the wand or rod is the symbol for fire in the tarot. Air represents our thoughts, how we reason, and how we communicate; the sword is the chosen symbol for air. Earth energy deals with the material world, our finances and health; the pentacle or coin is the earth’s symbol. And finally, water is the element of our emotions and the cup or chalice has been chosen as the emotional symbol.
The minor arcana suits have fourteen cards, numbered 1 to 10, with four additional cards represented by figures from Renaissance nobility from the courts of old: the page, the knight, the queen, and the king. The aces initiate the energy and the subsequent cards show different expressions of the energy-based on common circumstances we navigate in life. The “court” cards are the personality “types” of each suit, with pages as an impressionable youth, knights as questing workers, queens as the managers, and kings as the leaders.
The Journey Through the Wands
The Fool begins his or her creative and spiritual journey with the Ace of Wands, which represents inspiration and the spark of the imagination. The 2 of Wands represents the creative direction and the energy needed to move forward with what is inspiring. The 3 of Wands is adventure, travel, and exploration. When the Fool arrives at the 4 of Wands, s/he knows needs to engage with the network of friends and family who support the Fool’s creative endeavors. The 5 of Wands (and all the number 5 cards) introduces difficulty. The keyword most often connected with this card is conflict (not everyone is going to agree with your creative vision or actions).
The 6 of Wands shows us victory and how to deal with recognition for work well done. Next, the Fool will face a time when s/he must stand for something and defend his/her beliefs. The 8 of Wands teaches creative focus so the Fool can attain mastery of his/her talent. In the 9 of Wands, the Fool is shown the strength, struggle, and responsibility that comes with high-level performance. The final card, the 10 of Wands, appears when we need to say “no” and work within our limits; if push too hard, we will find ourselves overburdened by trying to do too much.
The Court Cards
The final four cards of the suit are the page, the knight, the queen, and the king. When the Fool experiences the Page of Wands, s/he should feel pure excitement. The knight, on the other hand, has focus; s/he teaches how to pursue adventure; “I need to explore this uncharted land!”, the knight says. The knights always teach us to have goals; and with the wands, the goal is to be first and go where no one has gone before.
Queens manage, and the Queen of Wands teaches us confidence. She knows who she is and sits proudly on her throne, ready to take action because she has experience and talent to support her. The Queen of Wands always finds a way to succeed. Finally, the King of Wands leads with action; he charges in and puts himself on the front line before he would ask anyone else to go first. We all encounter the lessons of the page, knight, queen, and king over and over again through our life journey, hoping to be wiser with each experience.
Wands in Your Reading
When you draw wand cards in a reading, then you need to address your creativity and your purpose. This will apply regardless of whether your question is about relationship or work, family or spiritual growth. Suppose you have asked about your focus for the upcoming year and drew the Knight of Wands; you need to pursue an adventure, get out of your local environment, and break with your normal routine.
These cards represent the archetypical situations we find ourselves in that teach us our spiritual lessons. The Fool wants to know all the facets of human life. And each card holds the energy of the previous card and the following card. The cards of the tarot are not static; they are dynamic. When wand cards appear, it is time to get excited and take action; just go!