Page of Wands
(The Page of Wands card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**
We are almost to the end of the deck! Let’s continue our work with the Tarot “Royals” by examining the Page of Wands. As always, we will begin by reviewing some basic information.
A Tarot deck has 78 cards. There are 22 Major Arcana cards dealing with broader and more far-reaching life experience issues, archetypes that are easy for us to identify with and connect with at some point in our lives. There are 56 Minor Arcana cards that are customarily grouped into four categories or suits that represent the four elements dealing with day-to-day issues.
The Court Cards are a part of the Minor Arcana that can act as a representation of the family unit. Individually, the members of the Tarot Court represent particular personality traits, traits of people, places and events in our lives. These cards can also tell us about our own personality, and how it is perceived by others. I think of my Tarot cards as people, with each card having an individual personality. This is particularly appropriate for the Court Cards, as they are the most human of all the cards in a Tarot deck. Even the illustrations for the Court Cards usually show humans in the majority of Tarot decks.
There are three basic ways that Court Cards can speak to us in a spread: they can indicate personality traits of our Seeker or someone affecting the Seeker; they can refer to actual individuals in the Seeker’s life, including the Seeker; and they can refer to the general aura or atmosphere of a place or situation. Court cards offer us these descriptions of personality traits and of different ways of being or acting, so we can make use of these styles or avoid them, whichever is appropriate. Of course, the trick is to know which message is being given in a particular spread!
Instead of numbers, Court Cards have rank. The early creators and users of the Tarot lived within a culture that was layered according to rank, so it makes sense that the Tarot Court shows a progression from low to high. We don’t live in a feudal culture any more, however our culture has its own set of rules and ranks and roles.
The lowest ranking (but not the most powerless) Court Card is the Page, usually seen as the messenger or intern or apprentice (sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes androgynous, depending on the deck) who is still learning of life and living, but who is also good at dealing with the unexpected. Being the lowest in rank does not necessarily mean being the least effective, important to remember when thinking about our Page of Wands.
Next comes the Knight, the representation of strong, focused, and even excessive manifestations of his suit. Here is the mercenary whose reputation depends on his ability to shut out distractions and focus on the goal at hand. Both the Queen and the King usually represent mature adults. The Queen manifests her suit in a feminine or yin or inner way, and the King manifests his suit in a masculine or yang or outer way. This manifestation does not necessarily correspond to gender; a man can be represented by a Tarot Queen if he has a strong inner focus, and a woman can be represented by a Tarot King if she projects a strong sense of authority.
The suit of Wands corresponds with the element of Fire, the playing card suit of Clubs, and the cardinal direction of South. All of the cards of the suit of Wands teach us about Fiery attributes like creativity, ambition, growth, passion and actions, and how their presence or absence can affect our lives. The suit of Wands represents our ability to experience joy and passion (including sexual passion), and the Wands cards can represent our creativity, our ability to be artistic or to be drawn to beautiful things. Fire often represents Spirit or the Divine Will, and Wands cards also can present the possibility of some interaction with Spirit or the Divine, or actions or passions manifesting in line with Divine Will.
In its natural state, the element of Fire tends to bring spontaneous change or impulsive, energetic effects. Fire transforms everything in our world. Fire can sanitize or cleanse, and it can destroy everything in its path; Fire can warm us and keep us safe, or it can kill us. The element of Fire can be seen as kinetic, or even electric. It has the power to create greatness (when we are inspired to be better than we think we can be), or destruction (when we believe we are greater than we actually are). Fire fuels innovation, but an imbalance or lack of Fire can bring austerity.
In the Tarot Court, the suit of the card has an elemental correspondence, and the rank of the card has an elemental correspondence. Kings correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck), Queens correspond with Water, Knights correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck), and Pages correspond with Earth.
In its natural state, the element of Earth is cool and dry. When amassed Earth has weight; it is able to bind together or shape the other elements. For example, Water and Earth bind together to make mud, and a lake is shaped by the Earth that supports it. Earth energies are tangible, stable, and practical, and they are slow to change.
Earth is about the physical, earthly world, our physical bodies, and everything we need in order to maintain those physical bodies, including health and exercise. The element of Earth represents fertility, prosperity, and the wealth that can bring both physical shelter and mental and emotional pleasure. The element of Earth can show a possible outcome or end result of our efforts, the product of our labors; it can give information about material manifestations of all kinds.
That means our Page of Wands represents Earth of Fire, where the senses support the Will.
Like the other cards of the Tarot, Court Cards have astrological correspondences. Our Page of Wands corresponds with the season of Summer and the signs of Cancer, Leo and Virgo.
Cancer is responsive, emotional and generous, but that hard shell can shield a person who is moody, insecure or sensitive, and is often affected by the environment and people nearby. Cancer people feel things strongly, they tend to be very attuned to the past, and they like to have mementos of the times and people of their childhood. They place a high importance on family, both family of the blood and family of the heart, and they nurture and protect those they love. Cancer people are hard workers, and that paycheck is important not only for what it will buy, but also for the security it provides.
The symbol of Leo is the Lion, regal and strong, magnetic and forceful. Leos are determined, ambitious, and highly motivated; add in their charm and they are natural leaders who attract many friends. They make good organizers and motivators, and the best use of a Leo is as the leader of a large group. Leo is the most expressive sign in the zodiac, and those born under this sign are showmen who are exuberant and passionate, but they are also susceptible to flattery.
Those born under the sign of Virgo have a strong sense of service, and feel satisfied when helping others. They sometimes come off as cold or unemotional because they tend to exist within the mind, but they are actually cautious, sizing things up. Virgos are meticulous, practical, intelligent, reliable, analytical and intelligent; of course, they are also over-critical, too conservative, and harsh. They are pure and honest, never malicious, and always trying to figure out how to improve things.
Our Page of Wands is passionate, motivated, organized and honest, is devoted and loyal, and is eager to learn and willing to work hard and inspire others to serve, leading by example.
Pages are often associated with the Ace of their suit; the Ace of Wands is the root of the powers of Fire (not the manifested powers, but the beginnings of them), and the potential for those powers to manifest. The Ace of Wands tells of the initial emanation of enthusiasm or inspiration or passion that could very well energize an entire process or project. Pages are also seen as representing a more immature version of the Queen of their suit; the Queen of Wands represents an inspiring, passionate, intelligent and creative person who is a natural leader with a warm and compassionate heart. The Page of Wands offers us these potentials and asks us to embrace them.
Because they are Minor Arcana cards, Court Cards also correspond with a sephira on the Tree of Life. The Pages correspond with the sephira of Malkuth, along with the Tens of the Minor Arcana and the element of Earth. Malkuth is the bottom sephira on the Tree, corresponding with our physical world, and opposite of Kether at the top of the Tree, corresponding with the purest form of Deity, mostly unknowable by physical world beings. Malkuth is located at the bottom of the Pillar of Balance and is receptive in nature; it receives emanations from all the other sephiroth on the Tree.
The Thoth Tarot Princess of Wands literally has a tiger by the tail! She flows gracefully upward, gripping the tiger’s tail in one hand and her glowing wand in the other. Below the flame that she rides is a ram’s-head altar, representing the element of Earth, that is topped by flames. This Princess represents both fire and the fuel that fire burns. She is the initial impulse that motivates an idea to manifest and function, and without her nothing can happen. This card represents courage, beauty, sudden anger, love or force, enthusiasm, a desire for power, and revenge.
The Shadowscapes Tarot Page of Wands shows a beautiful woman in a flowing gown confidently playing swirling melodies and strident rhythms on her violin. She is surrounded by dancing faeries and at her feet sit foxes (the deck’s symbol of this suit), and she enjoys being the center of attention as she shares her music. This Page of Wands is creative and passionate, knows her own mind, and is outspoken and direct when she has an opinion. She reminds us that sometimes it is the actions that push us beyond the limits of our comfort that are the most rewarding.
The image on the Wild Unknown Daughter of Wands is a snake (the symbol of Wands in this deck), vibrantly colored, as if she had just completed shedding her skin. She is coiled around her Wand, a branch from a flowering cherry tree. Flowering cherries symbolize the clouds that are the birthplace of the lightning strike, and they symbolize the ephemeral nature of life (a concept which has a name, “mono no aware,” the awareness of impermanence). The serpent on this card has almost completed positioning herself in the symbol of eternity, the figure 8. But the symbol is not complete; another indication of impermanence. This image seems to be telling us to enjoy and take advantage of the beauty of “now,” because it is a unique work of art, gone in the blink of an eye.
The keyword for the Page of Wands in the Naked Tarot is “Spitfire,” and the personality associated with this card is filled with curiosity, impulse and rebellion. These Pages might be quick-tempered, but the wild storm passes quickly. They love to learn, and many are technologically talented (imagine the grandchild that helps Grandma set up her new iPhone!). If you are looking to explore, learn, imagine, solve a puzzle, experience a novel adventure, or write a joke, the Page of Wands is your perfect co-conspirator!
The Legacy of the Divine Page of Wands is dressed in beautiful red clothes with gold trim. There are golden dragon medallions on his chest, and a gold tasseled triangle of fire dangles from his red hat. He has a proud and confident look on his face, and holds an ornate golden wand topped with a rainbow crystal, a tool to create and master self-expression of all kinds. The Page of Wands offers us creative and edgy energy, manifested through brilliant and dynamic actions that tend to be impulsive yet still win the day.
The enthusiastic and playful attitude of the Page of Wands, eager to experience new things and open to new possibilities, can bring bright sunshine into any situation. The Page of Wands could very well be bringing some exciting news into day-to-day life, or maybe encouraging an openness to new ideas or attitudes. Pages think out of the box, and our Page of Wands is the poster child for this kind of process.
There are things to watch out for when a Page of Wands shows up in a Tarot spread. Yes our Page is enthusiastic but is also easily swayed and sometimes a bit too hasty in applying loyalty. This means that we can’t always trust that every “I” is dotted and every “T” is crossed. Like any youngster, our Page can be selfish, susceptible to flattery, and easily angered even to the point of uncomfortable theatrics. Attempting to take power away from the Page of Wands could create unstable and even cruel actions.
The Page of Wands offers the spark that begins a powerful fire of amazing transformation. Like any fire, if this one is fed judiciously and tended carefully, it can bring new and creative ideas, excitement, adventure, and fulfillment.
About the Author:
Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher. Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.