By Sarah Taylor
“This is a card of a happy person, someone gentle rather than passive, calm rather than weak. She is happy for she lives her life in beauty. Like the Son, the Daughter of Wands is sensual, she delights in sex. She is devoted to her partner, without losing her sense of herself.” [From “The Haindl Tarot: The Minor Arcana” by Rachel Pollack]
These words describe the first card in today’s reading — the card on the left: the Princess [or Page] of Wands.
This is the foundational card to the story that is unfolding in front of you. She is a foundational part of you, too; possibly another person who recently played a part in your life, also. Either way, this person or aspect is young, or young-at-heart. She is playful, without shame, free from the trappings of judgment or expectation that weigh more heavily when we become aware of ‘shoulds’ or ‘musts’.
If the words “Just too dang much!” were directed at you when you were younger — or even now that you’re (supposed to be) a little older and wiser — then you can probably relate to the Princess of Wands’ joie de vivre, and perhaps also the effect that it can sometimes have on others. Those others who may not be feeling the flames of enthusiasm licking at them. Those same ones who feel compelled to tamp those flames in others for fear of the impact of their own. To tamp them in you, perhaps?
When did someone shame you for your flame?
Come to think of it, it works the other way too: when did someone flame you for your shame? Is there not the freedom to feel, and to have that feeling acknowledged, no matter what it is? Surely the fiery creativity that longs to show itself through us is as natural a way of being as anything? Wands are the first suit; they underpin everything, after all. They are the creativity from which all else in life springs.
You are the creativity from which all else in your life springs.
In the tarot, Wands are the first suit, and Cups are the second. So, while looking back (maybe on the results of her handiwork?) the Princess of Wands leads us into the next suit, Cups, embodied in the central card. I have the strongest sense that it is her essence that coalesces as that single drop that we see suspended in a moment above the Ace of Cups.
I love the Ace of Cups in this deck. Cups are associated with water, but this image is, to me, as much fire as water: it is swirling and vibrating with warmth. It glows out of the card. The cup seems to be shaped by motion, as if on an energetic potter’s wheel. Again, given the order — Wands (creative energy) before Cups — that makes perfect sense.
And then I look at that central card once again, and I see that it is creating a vortex of sorts. It’s a vortex that draws the two outside cards towards it. It is the grace, the love, the soul, the feeling that holds these two outside aspects together. The Princess is held by, and in, grace, love, soul and feeling. Against any odds, and in spite of opposition, she is held — always has been — by that Ace: invisible, infinite, indivisible.
And that relationship is mutual. Radha is in the human realm, the Ace is in the spiritual realm. Her music is the music of love: love of self, love of life. And it is fed by Love, and also feeds it.
The same is true of the card on the right: there is a mutuality to it and to the Ace of Cups. The Ten of Stones [Pentacles] is also known as “Richness.” As the final numbered card of the final suit in the tarot deck, it is also the final descent into matter that was created by the glint in the creator’s (Wands) eye, coalesced through heart (Cups) and thought (Swords) into form.
How does this apply practically? First, you have the foundation formed by the Princess of Wands, which is an aspect of you, or of your experience, that is able to create freely and with joy. This has enabled you to access the possibility of the present moment — the Ace of Cups — which offers to you an expansiveness that you feel rather than think or believe to be true. The Ace is a knowing, but it is a knowing that lies at your core, and not in your mind. Look at the image; no, feel that image. If it is thrumming and humming its song in your depths, then that is the Ace, and she is there for the taking.
Open your heart. To yourself. You, who can hear and appreciate your beautiful song for what it is. You, who are not obliged to be anything other than who you are. Open your heart.
The result that is on the horizon — not yet here, but starting to be felt at some level — is the falling into place of something in your material, physical world. It either ends, comes through, or goes as far as it needs to go. This will be tangible; this is the stuff you can hold, see, smell, taste, hear. And soon it will be time to pass the baton and shift to new matter/s.
What is left, however, is infinitely more precious: it is the love that you devoted to it, returned to you, perhaps in a different form. You may need to look a little closer or adopt a manner of curiosity about the shape of this love. It is there, nonetheless. It is there in your joy, your enthusiasm, your lust for life, your eroticism, your sexual innocence, your creativity, your fire. It has been fed by your ventures, and is there to replenish your resources so that you can draw from it again when you feel the calling to a new adventure.
Too dang much? I’d say you’re perfect.
Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Princess of Wands (the earthy aspect of fire), Ace of Cups (the pure, limitless potential of water), Ten of Stones (Mercury in Virgo)
If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.