I’ve been using this particular five-card spread for a while now and I really like it. I’m not sure if it’s out there in the tarot universe as a named spread but I like it nonetheless. The upper three cards represent general influences while the two cards below represent what influences challenge and benefit us. Wands and Swords comprise the reading with Wands dominating, our will overshadowing our intellect today. The overall numerology is six representing our Higher Self, our emotions, harmony, and love.
The 9 of Wands in this deck shows a set of brambled steps depicting our progression between matter and Spirit. The use of color at the top of the stairs signifies awareness emerging from the darkness of form while a crescent moon above reflects the Goddess in her Crone aspect. While the directionality may be dependent upon surrounding cards, the 9 of Wands, in my view, illustrates the challenges we face in our process of spiritual awakening. The path may be at times treacherous, but our will is strong as we persevere through the long night of the soul to an ever greater clarity.
The suit of Swords represents Elemental Air and our intellectual presence while the numerology of four represents structure, foundations, and the energy of Mother Earth. The 4 of Swords depicts four individual swords suspended in the air above a lamb lying peacefully on the ground. A small sun radiates from the center of the lamb’s forehead. Traditional interpretations suggest rest and retreat and a time of healing one’s mind. As the lamb considers various perspectives he finds clarity in the present moment.
Energy in balance is the theme of the 2 of Wands as we see two crude wands leaning toward each other illustrating balanced will or intention. A certain tension is expressed with almost a stand-off in play between the two wands. The lines in the background reflect elements in progression with our fiery will at the top and emotions at the bottom. The 2 of Wands can also be viewed as a doorway to new experiences with all options on the table.
In the position of what challenges, the Son of Wands appears as a snake protectively coiling upward around a crude branch. At the top of the branch, energy moves in all directions extending light that dissipates into darkness. This card tells us to stand in our own power and in full clarity of the risk we’re about to take. The Son approaches life balancing enthusiasm and passion with a rebellious side. His presence is catalytic and when this card appears, we expect to experience movement and progress of some kind. The challenge of the Son of Wands is to prevent the rebellious side of our will from overshadowing our clarity.
The Queen of Swords is an interesting card irrespective the deck. In the Wild Unknown Tarot, however, the creator changes the name and species to become the Mother of Swords who is depicted by a beautiful owl. The creator of the deck captures the essence of the Queen or Mother in this case beautifully as the owl perches on the hilt of a sword, her eyes penetrating and aware. The Mother of Swords is graceful and perceptive and prefers a solitary existence refusing to suffer fools in her midst. She is quick-witted and intelligent and graciously offers sound advice. Of benefit is her ability to observe, reacting only when the situation is clear.
Perseverance seems to be a recurring theme but for the next few days, it may be best to observe more than act. Our will may be strong at this time, but we need to have clarity before we do anything lest we overreact and further complicate the situation.