Wands or staves or clubs correlate with fire and are about intuition, your potential and ‘things that aren’t touchable’ is one way I leant into this suit. Wands are about action and movement, much like flames. They are about optimism and adventure – think of the excitement of the spark catching and spreading almost contagiously. Wands are also about beginnings and ideas, things which are moving from potential to reality with the help of the other suits.
If channelled, this can be a suit of success and innovation, the idealism of the wands made real, goals and dreams coming to fruition. But whilst fire is constantly shifting and moving and dancing and reacting, it can also burn itself out. Creative sparks and new ideas and projects, started impulsively and passionately, can come to nothing, or be replaced by newer, brighter, shinier ideas.
In tarot, twos can go two ways. They can be about union and partnerships or they can be about choices and opposition. With this in mind though, we can also see them as being able balance or finding the middle ground.
Twos are also linked with the high priestess, the two from the major arcana. I’ve not done a post about her yet but she is often about intuition and looking inwards for answers. She is a card that sings with sacred, feminine wisdom. She is balance and harmony and peaceful stillness. Yet she is also about awakening what lies inside you, revealing that which is hidden. This dichotomy gives us a hint of what we will find across the twos.
The Rider Waite Smith two of wands is very similar to the pagan cats this time and shows a man on a castle, between two wands, surveying his kingdom, assets and resources whilst also looking into the distance, the future or his potential kingdom.
This is a card of success and dominance but also a card which shows a man who isn’t content with all he has, he still wants more. The walls of the castle could be read as trying to hold him in and as this is a fire card, we can feel his frustration as the frustration flames ‘feel’ when they are trapped. They are like horses chopping at the bit.
If we look ahead in the suit to the three of wands, we find this man has moved out of his castle and has set out on a journey; he has overcome his confinement. But, Waite reminds us with his keywords, stepping out can be scary. He pins this card down as “surprise, wonder, enchantment, trouble and fear”, acknowledging that even if stepping outside the castle is your choice, it still comes with uncertainties.
We should take a moment to note that this guy looks like he’s probably pretty comfortable, he has a castle after all. And it is despite this that he yearns to step out and away from what he already has. Could it be that riches and jewels aren’t enough to fulfil him? Is he stepping out of his very literal comfort zone in search of something less tangible, more wand like? My little white book has “success but not satisfaction” in it, is this something that chimes with where you are right now?
Tarot of the Pagan Cats
As with the RWS card, this cat is surveying her resources from a privileged place. If we were to look at this card through the lens of inequality we could see oppression, dominant hegemony and other issues of race, gender, sexuality, disability etc. Whilst I feel they are all important ways to read this card, I also feel that the scope of that discussion is much too big for this particular post however I would like to return to this aspect of the two of wands again at some stage.
Related, but taking the (uncomfortable) role of the cat instead of the cat’s subjects, in the Thoth tarot, this card is the Lord of Dominion. This brings with it ideas of conquering and taking over but I would rather think about these ideas in terms of personal power and, something which I struggle with a lot, the idea that I am allowed to be here and I am allowed to take up space. I can give myself permission to go ahead with something and I can give myself validation. I do not need to be like this cat, I do not need to seek outside myself for validation or permission or to be given the power I already inhibit. The two of wands can be a reminder to me that I can be, and feel, empowered and that I can chose that.
This card is a territorial, war driven depiction of creating a plan to carry out your brilliant idea but as we’ll see in some of the other representations, this isn’t the only way to achieve your goals.
Against a rainbow background we have two wands which are creating a funnel. With the rainbow representing choices and the wands narrowing things down, we can easily read this card as saying we have lots of choices and ideas and options and our only task is to reign them in and focus in on a couple. Narrow in your focus or direction or you’ll end up like the ten of wands – pulled in ten directions and burnt out. We are delighted to find we have lots of new ideas and now we are just whittling them down.
To turn an idea from reality, you will need to keep putting in the work though – this is only a two after all, there are still a lot of cards and challenges ahead. But because you enjoy the work and you’re passionate about what you’re doing it won’t feel that much like work anyway!
Step outside your comfort zone
“This is the coupling of intuitive knowing and emotional intelligence with logical action and planning.”
Where the two of swords is stuck, the two of wands is free. Here we are moving forward, we are combining daydreaming and thinking big with to do lists and strategy. But to do this, to really step into your dreams, you need to leave your comfort zone, only then will the planning pay off. Really lean into the dreams, trust in your potential and follow what sets you alight. Wands are fire after all and here you find yourself with two magic wands to carve your path with.
With these wands we can push our boundaries, channel our determination and, provided we are prepared to do the work, the world is ours for the taking!
Aside: if anyone knows anything about symbolism of the shapes in the background, please let me know!
Animal Totem Tarot
The two of wands features the stingray and the book shares a message about the importance of swimming far and wide through the sea but with a purpose. Swimming aimlessly is potentially deadly for many sea creatures who need to be on alert for danger.
“Gracefully, I make my way through the sea. Far and wide, near and far, but always with a destination in mind.”
We normally think of wands as a fire element but electricity and the spark of a stingray are other manifestations of this energy, also very fast and very active we are still with an element that needs us to move and do and act. Plans need actions, achieving them requires us to take steps. What is keeping you from taking the next step?
Mars in Aries
Both mars and aries can be considered warriors, making this a powerful combination. Mars is about passion, aggression, assertiveness and aries is all about standing up for yourself and moving forward, very headstrong so you can see how they play off each other and make an energy which can be quite intense. This is the part of the two of wands that wants you to charge forward, and to charge forward NOW. I feel like looking through that lens, we can see the two of wands as a reminder to pause and assess before charging in. You can’t fight every battle, you need to pick the right one. You can’t do every little thing you want to, again you have to prioritise and make choices or you’ll run out of energy and other resources.
It’s also worth noting that whilst the instinct for mars in aries is to take action now, this impulse can also burn out as quickly as it flare up. I’m not saying this is a time to stop and smell the roses, but a few seconds between idea and action might make a world of difference.
The stingray feels quite mars in aries but less two of wands at first glance. Their venom attacks the nerves and with the two of wands in mind, feels like the anxiousness that comes with stepping out of your comfort zone, the fear of the unknown and the worry that you may not achieve your goals. I find it interesting that the stingray goes to a lot of trouble to blend in whilst the two of wands may be a call to do your own thing and stand out. That said, this excerpt from my post on the stingray may be a different way of thinking about this:
“If you’ve ever seen a ray in the water, you’ll know just how graceful they are but you probably won’t get a sense of their power. In particular, some species have exceptionally strong jaws and there is an amazing picture of the jaw of a stingray over on Wikipedia. Perhaps people are underestimating you, or you’re underestimating yourself?”
There seems to be so many ways to feel into this card of power and choices and perhaps for a card about options, this is only appropriate!