“The true division of humanity is between those who live in light and those who live in darkness….But to talk of light is not necessary to talk of joy. One may suffer in the light; its excess burns….To burn without ceasing to fly, that is the achievement of genius. When you have reached the stage of knowing and loving you will still suffer. The day is born in tears. The enlightened weep, if only for those still in the darkness.”
– Victor Hugo
In working with the tarot, I find I want to do something with it every day, but I don’t always have the time or energy to do a spread. I also – remarkably – don’t always have some deep-seated issue I want to shed some light on. Sometimes I’m working through a spread (as I am now) and want to take a little break; there’s that desire to shuffle and touch and explore and communicate. What then? A recent writing prompt at Cat ‘n’ Owl offered just the right solution to my problem: tarot super powers! It was also the perfect excuse to let my new Circle of Life tarot know that I love and cherish it already (she shuffles beautifully, for the record.) Cue quelle surprise when I pulled the Queen of Wands.
Of the tarot queens, the Queen of Wands is the youngest. She may or may not actually be married to the King, as she is decidedly independent in nature. She reminds me most of the old tribal queens, who were more likely to have a consort, than a King (Thoth tradition?) Boudicca was a Queen of Wands; Queen Mary of Scots – and even her cousin, Elizabeth to a certain extent – was a Wands through and through; Joan of Arc – Wands, although some would say more Knight than Queen (they would be wrong ;)).
The Queen of Wands is fierce and fearless – as only the a young queen can be – and sticks to her guns; she will die – and usually does, historically – for her cause. Her cause is never one of folly though; she fights for justice and freedom and the sanctity of life. It is appropriate that she is so often depicted with a lion as her companion (Leo): lionesses are fierce defenders of their territory and their young. She is the Amazon (and doesn’t the Deviant Moon version of her capture this perfectly?); she is Sekhmet at the height of her fury and the depths of her compassion.
She is the Queen of life and death and rebirth. But wait, the Queen of Pentacles is Earth – isn’t that more about life and death? I see Earth as the cycle of life and death, the natural ticking of the land, plants lying dormant to bloom in spring, animals hibernating, untouched and undisturbed by the hand of Man. The Queen of Wands is associated with the more dramatic, violent, bloody and sudden side of things. I think of flesh tearing and ripping, the violence inherent in birth, battlefields and breakthroughs – all applicable to the physical body as well as the creative process. The Haindl deck depicts her as the goddess Kali, the embodiment of this devastating and freeing aspect of life. She is the Empress in battle gear.
Despite her fierce, passionate, determined nature, the Queen of Wands is not unkind or brutish in any way. She has probably experienced deep pain and hardship of some kind, but she hasn’t let it break her down or twist her, choosing to learn and grow from every experience. She is generous, down-to-earth and doesn’t believe in climbing to the top on the backs of others. Not that she’d ever need to! Her attractiveness is legendary – she lights up a room when she walks into it, all eyes are on her and everyone wants to be her friend. You can’t even hate her for it, because she does it all with a certain fiery grace: she knows she’s awesome, but that’s just the way it is; no need to flaunt the obvious. She is the Magician, tempered and rounded, making something from nothing, turning trash into treasure.
The Queen of Wands makes you want to be a better person, to live a more inspired life. You see her energy and enjoyment and satisfaction in every day and you want to know that feeling too. Guess what? She’s got your back! She believes in you and your abilities wholeheartedly. And she’s smart. As a Queen, she takes all the energy of fire and focuses it inwards. For all her robust enthusiasm and constantly flickering surface, she can be a calming, tempering force, helping others to grow and heal with charm and humour. She knows that fighting fire with fire just leads to burns all ’round.
Tarot Teachings’ page on the Queen of Wands includes a few prompts as to what we can learn from my newest girl crush:
- What are your natural gifts?
Just as my calming aura is a natural gift, you have similar radiance. Together, we can discover these indwelling gifts.
- What if you had no sense of entitlement?
I would be queenly without being a queen. Let me show you how to be regal on your own merit.
- Do you utilize temperance as a tool for spiritual, intuitive growth?
Take my hand, and I will share how balance and patience nurtures the growth of spirit. In turn, the growth of everything around us is insured.
What does this mean for me, personally? She’s come up more than a few times in my readings, but I’ve never really understood her. She seems so far out of reach, so not me (though everything I wish I could be). Time to stop wallowing. Stop talking myself down. Stop beating myself up. Kafka’s Ghost has Bob Newhart, I have the Queen of Wands to smack me around when I get a little too dol-in-the-drums.
I’ve been looking at incorporating and manifesting the courageous, active, living properties of several of the cards – in great part to jump-start my creativity -, but the Queen of Wands combines them all in a workable way. It is definitely easier to model yourself off of a “person” than some formless, etheric quality. I am still surprised that she is the card a drew for my Super Power, but I am also honoured and inspired – as is appropriate! – and most importantly, I think I’m ready.
I know I’m ready.