“Balance within my domain” (Angeles Arrien, The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols) is how I experienced and lived my Two of Wands week (writing prompt for Two of Wands here). My dear friend Mary Allen visited last week from the heartland, so though I chose not to blog that day (thus the week’s hiatus), I was actively living my Tarot path on Tarot Tuesday: we threw cards in person in support of our blog, Tarot for Two. It was such a delight after the years we have spent reading for one another over the phone.
Because of the long trajectory of our friendship, Mary has witnessed my various cycles of upheavals and it was a pure joy to have her visit during a peaceful cycle where the rewards of years of hard work have paid off. We were able to bring her into our bright home, introduce her to our three children, share the ocean with her, and head to Katie’s café for bowls of fresh fruit.
I chose this image to represent the Two of Wands way we can learn to be at peace with a certain state of our brokenness and have a certain loving dominion in relation to whatever that “brokenness” may be by shifting our perception. Sometimes we get stuck holding on to images of ourselves as irrevocably damaged. When we take friends in to those places inside of us, they bring or allow the light in with them.
Here, the broken pieces take on a beautiful hue, crystalline, and the swath of light covers just one portion at a time; we are not alone nor pinned to observing the whole field of our pain all at once. The light in the corner could stand for the untouched beauty of the core self it is easy to forget lives inside of all of us, no matter which of our windows or windshields may have been broken by one of life’s accidents. So I hope you’ll take a friend, or friends with you on your various journeys to wholeness.
The Three of Wands image in the Rider Waite Smith deck shows a figure looking out on the horizon. He’s got a hand on one budding staff and two others remain anchored behind him. We can see him as a continuation of the figure in the Two of Wands (holding the world in hands and looking out), for now here he has sent ships out or perhaps is waiting for them to return. There’s a certain confidence and synthesis of will and action that impelled him to act and trust his actions. The Thoth deck depicts the Three of Wands as three lotus ended staffs arrayed against a fiery orange backdrop; it is labelled Dominion.
The Three of Wands, as lived by the Empress (corresponding Arcanum III), can be about her ability to relate with great compassion towards others. Threes also explore synthesis and integration, here perhaps in service of healing or helping friendships or groups of three thrive. The card can also indicate opportunity for greater conviction to hold fast to one’s virtues or ideals because of an ability to listen with heart and mind and choose a path of action to embody that virtue or ideal.
Where are you feeling emblazoned, warmly confident, to act this week on behalf of a particular virtue you hold dear? Is there a situation you have been unwilling to address that seems ready for you to consider again? You might meditate on the Three of Wands and before bed, ask your night-time dreaming self to show you a possible direction, solution, or way to celebrate growth. See what comes in a week of night dreams you record in your journal.
If the three wands represent three individuals in your life (you in the middle), what might the virtue, aligned ideals, warmth and creativity of the Three of Wands bring to a project or ongoing conversation or mode of learning the three of you share?
Or, in meditation, consider your inner Empress (you can think of her as your inner, earth-bound, practical nurturing self with experience fairly and lovingly tending to her community, raising her family, and tending her own creative urges in ways that lead to manifestation of her art or healing art). Write about which virtue or ideal you care deeply about she might be leading you to examine with greater clarity. What does she have to say to you?
Feel free to respond in comments here or to join the conversation at Tarot Tuesday’s Facebook page to share your word or image response.
The photos in this post were taken by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie. The photo at the top is a micro view of larger artwork by Christiane Michaela Vincent titled, “Polar Stratospheric Cloud” at one time exhibited by the Quicksilver Mine Company in Forestville, California in a 2012 show of Vincent’s work titled, “Stardust: Reflections on Nature and Existence.”