Court Card Thumbnails: The King of Wands

This is the first of what will be a series of daily posts on the tarot court cards. They are drawn from lesson material I created last year for a beginner’s course. The quoted sections were taken from Tarot Divination: A Description of the Cards of the Tarot, Aleister Crowley’s publication of the Golden Dawn’s Liber T, the tarot papers of Samuel Liddell Macgregor Mathers (from The Equinox, Volume 1, Number 8, Autumn 1912, Samuel Weiser edition 1981); The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, Arthur Edward Waite, originally published in 1911 by William Rider & Son, Ltd, Dover Publications edition 2005); and The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley, originally published in 1944, Samuel Weiser edition 1974.

The Court Cards: The King of Wands

Titles (only the Golden Dawn and Thoth systems assign titles):

Fire of Fire; The Lord of the Flame and the Lightning; The King of the Spirits of Fire

Astrological Correspondence:

21° Scorpio to 21° Sagittarius

Commentary:

Golden Dawn “Liber T” (S.L. Mathers):

“He is active, generous, fierce, sudden and impetuous. If ill-dignified he is evil-minded, cruel, bigoted, brutal.”

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot (A.E. Waite):

“The card always signifies honesty, and may mean news concerning an unexpected heritage to fall in before very long. Generally favorable; may signify a good marriage.”

The Book of Thoth (Aleister Crowley):

“The moral qualities appropriate to this figure are activity, generosity, fierceness, impetuosity, pride, impulsiveness, swiftness in unpredictable actions. If he fails in his first effort, he has no recourse.”

Discussion:

As a person involved in the situation, this card can show a mature individual who radiates self-confidence and instills trust in others through his positive nature, boundless energy and commanding presence. His main flaw is that he doesn’t have much “staying power” and can burn out or lose interest rather quickly.

As an attitude or behavior of the seeker, it advises being forthright and fair-minded in all things connected with the matter. Be careful not to dismiss the legitimate input of others in favor of one’s own entirely self-centered viewpoint or agenda. Take the time to think through the consequences of intended actions and don’t go off “half-cocked.”

As an impersonal influence upon one’s circumstances, it can show things moving quickly and energetically but somewhat fitfully, perhaps without much real sense of direction or purpose. It can invite well-meaning but insensitive action that can border on unintended manipulation.

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