Welcome to lesson 4
Time now to move on to the Minor Arcana!!
Lesson 4 – The numbered cards 1-10 of the Suit of Wands
Lesson 4 now takes you on to the Minor Arcana cards which generally refer to practical issues and the more everyday or mundane events in our lives.
The 56 Minor Arcana cards can be used separately for a reading or within the full Tarot deck.
Part of your study this week is to find a trusting friend (not family because that’s too close) and have them ask a question of the cards and see how you get on!! Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to use your book(s) when you first start practicing reading cards for your friends, they won’t mind and it will help build up your confidence.
The first suit of the Minor Arcana is the Wands or Rods or Batons as they are sometimes called.
This suit is associated with the element Fire, a creative force that can illuminate and warm, or if uncontrolled will burn and destroy.
Wands represent the creative urge and imagination, and the will to bring one’s dreams into reality.
In a reading they refer to career, work, enterprise and ambition.
Positive attitudes associated with this suit are enthusiasm, determination and passion.
Negative attitudes associated with Wands are reckless behaviour and subsequent disappointment.
As you are no doubt starting to realize there is a lot of information to take in about the 78 cards!! So during this introductory course I’m not going to cover the positive and negative aspects of the Minor Arcana in detail, but rather focus on the key words and values associated with each of the numbered cards.
- Take out from your deck the numbered cards 1-10 of Wands and keep the remaining cards wrapped in your cloth.
- Like you have done in previous lessons focus on the first card, the Ace of Wands, and try and memorize some of the key words associated with the card.
- Make notes of any words or symbols you get from the card before moving onto the next one.
- Do this until you have done all 10.
Depending on the deck you are using, you may be able to see the key concepts of the card in the picture. If it isn’t obvious, try to find some aspect of the imagery of the card that will remind you of the keywords. The human brain remembers pictures and symbols far better than words and numbers, so this will help you a lot. Try to get the image of the card to ‘talk to you’, rather than just trying to remember that ace is such and such and 2 is such and such. This will become very important when you are giving full readings using more complex spreads.
Ace of Wands
The Ace of Wands suggests there is a correlation between what you are thinking of doing on a higher level and bringing it into your life. If this is the case it will not be difficult. It can transform what you have now and turn it into something different, something better, so aim high!
– positive: creativity, originality, fertility, new beginnings
– negative: frustration, greed, overconfidence
2 of Wands
If you are having problems in a relationship you may not be seeing the other person’s point of view. The views and thoughts that are currently on your mind going around and around in circles are causing a retreat within that is surely not doing the relationship any favours.
– positive: earned success, partnership
– negative: futility, pride without humility, worthless goals
3 of Wands
The Three of Wands encourages you to push past your limitations and expand your horizons. It will mean stepping outside your comfort zone and exploring uncharted territories.
Whilst you may run into pitfalls or have to take detours along the way keep in mind that these are often a blessing in disguise that can open up a whole new world of possibilities.
– Action: Established Strength
– positive: new ventures, conviction, partnerships
– negative: lack of nerve, frustration, personality clashes
4 of Wands
The Four of Wands says it’s ok to give yourself a chance to take a breather. It’s ok to stop and smell the flowers. It’s ok to step back and admire all of your efforts, knowing that they continue to gather momentum and will keep on going even if you decide to take a break.
– Perfected Work
– positive: satisfaction, completion, new home
– negative: decadence, snobbishness, impatience
5 of Wands
This is a card that usually involves more than one person. Quite often there are several people involved and the relationship between each person is far from harmonious.
Squabbles, misunderstandings and gossip can abound and as Wands tend to be energetic then you can imagine how any misunderstandings may quickly turn into bigger problems without too much input from yourself.
The love interest you may be pursuing so keenly could turn out to have a few other admirers which means you may need to do your homework first on where you stand with him or her.
– positive: conflict, competitiveness, struggle
– negative: fraud, defeat through devious means, acrimony
6 of Wands
The Six of Wands is about the type of victory and success that comes from hard work and everything paying off for you in the end. You may have had a difficult road in achieving this success but it’s all worth it.
– positive: victory, fulfillment, great news
– negative: suspicion, delayed news, anxiety
7 of Wands
When the Seven of Wands shows up, it is an indication that you will never give up.
Though financial, relational, emotional, and physical challenge could have stopped you, you endured. Though others’ envy could have shamed you, caused you to pause in your pursuits, you persevered.
Endurance ultimately brings success.
You have been true to your endeavor. You are tenacious, relentless, certain of what matters to you. Others have given up along the way. Some have encouraged you to quit. Challenges that disrupted your life in every way showed up. What did you do? You continued.
You will succeed. You are not there yet, but keep going. Assure yourself that you are good. Your intention is clearly benevolent. Your way of moving in this world is thoughtful and considerate. Carry on with your plans. You will arrive.
– positive: challenges, courage, ultimate success
– negative: indecisiveness, lost opportunities, timidity
8 of Wands
If you are waiting for someone to contact you then the communication from them will come suddenly and out of the blue. You may not be ready for it and have no reply to give. This is in line with the Eight of Wands which shows you must be ready for anything, as you possibly have no time to waste.
– positive: activity, travel, action
– negative: delays, impetuous action, poor judgement
9 of Wands
The Nine of Wands needs careful planning to get around, which does not involve acting as if you are stirring up a hornet’s nest. It needs patience and sometimes disinterest on your part in the form of pulling back, alongside acting as if you do not care at all what the other person is doing.
Whilst this may look as if you are uncaring, it is in fact the opposite, as you are showing you have the understanding to give the other person space while they navigate their own way out of their mood. In doing so, you will have them come back to you stronger, more open and hopefully faster than if you go in there trying to get them to talk things through.
– positive: inner strength, self-assurance
– negative: obstinacy, avoidable delays, suspicion
10 of Wands
This card often comes up when one partner is a workaholic and their thinking is totally focused on work to the exclusion of all else. If this resonates for you then you need to realise that you can’t expect others to fall into line and always understand why you need to work 24/7. Sometimes you have to give a little in order to keep relationships running smoothly, and with the Ten of Wands you are certainly giving very little… if at all.
– positive: pressure, over commitment
– negative: deceit, burdens, abuse of power
Practical Exercise – when you’ve finished, extract the Major Arcana from your deck and add it to these 10 cards of the Wands suit.
Shuffle well and pick 3 cards, and yes you’ve guessed it, practice the 3 card reading with these extra cards, and again write everything in your notebook.
Quick Course Links:
Week 9 – Court Cards: Swords and Pentacles
Week 10 – Tarot Spreads Part 1
Week 12 – Some Basic Guidelines for Giving Tarot Readings