Pick A Card, Any Card…

Go on then, grab your Tarot deck, shuffle and deal one card. Mine’s the 9 of Wands. What’s yours?

Take a good look at it and take note of what jumps out at you.

What does it say to you? What do you think when you look at it? Does the picture speak to you? Or the keywords? Are you thinking about the Element it’s associated with? You should be, but we’ll come to that later.

Let’s look at my card – the 9 of Wands. If I answer my own questions, what is it saying to me when I look at it?

Keywords And Attributes

If I free associate, I see strength in its formation; being armed at the ready; all the battalions are ready to move; feeling proud; standing tall; being illuminated; there’s a softness to this strength; it’s non-aggressive; shining a light in the dark; the light at the end of the tunnel.

And the keywords – determination; strength of character; courage under fire; a test of personal strength.

What else can this card tell me? If you’re reading from the Crowley Thoth deck, then you can look at the astrological association, and the 9 of Wands is associated with the Sun in Sagittarius. Power and mobility.

Numerologically speaking, we can also add some universal keywords to the number 9 – strength, compassion, completion, optimism, suffering.

So far we have some decent information from one card, and we haven’t explored it with any great depth, but we can glean a bit more if we look at the Elemental association. Wands are associated with Fire and as such are well, fiery! Active, energetic, courageous, determined. When the going gets tough, the Wands keep going! In fact, it can be said that this card is a good representation of the esoteric meaning of Fire. So standing alone, we know what this card means, but what would this card mean if we’d asked a question? Let’s have a look:

Applying A Question

I had a job interview today, how do you think it went? I would say it went well. The interviewer was impressed with your strength of character, your confidence, but could also see that strength held no arrogance. You came across as capable, that you would cope under pressure and be relied upon to get the job done.

What do the next three months hold for me? I feel you may be facing some difficulties ahead that will test your mettle. You may find that you have a quick succession of problems, most likely work related. Despite feeling you have no control, please dig deep as you have the personal resources and resolve to not only get through this, you also have the ability to become stronger once this period passes.

My partner wants to take our relationship further, I don’t feel ready yet. What’s the best way to handle this? You have to do what’s right for you, and if you’re not ready for this relationship to go to new depths, then you must communicate that to your partner. There is no doubt he may be upset and even persist in his desire to get what he wants, but this is where you must show strength. Be firm but gentle in your response to him. You’re not indicating an ending to him, just that you want things to continue in the steady way it has previously.

So in three very different situations we can see how one card can have very subtle differences in definition. In Part 2, we will throw another card into the mix and see how that affects our questions, how the cards interact with each other and see what new information we can discover.

Till later then..

In Part Two of this Elemental Dignities Mini Series, Two’s Company, I will be adding another card to the 9 of Wands to show you how it affects the Elemental Balance, and indeed the real-life questions posed in this lesson.

Lessons In This Mini Series…

  1. Pick A Card, Any Card
  2. Two’s Company
  3. Three Is A Magic Number

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I use tarot to help me navigate life and understand myself better. As well as tarot, I enjoy using aromatherapy & herbalism to improve my health & well being. My spiritual seeking lay with Gaia, the environment & what my senses engage around me.

7 thoughts on “Pick A Card, Any Card…

  1. I thought I’d follow along with your buildup to three cards. My first card is Princess of Wands.

    I opted to use my Thoth for this exercise also. (I take a GD-approach to tarot, but I’ve mainly been using the Lo Scarabeo, which has Thoth influences.) I’m tempted to use a non-court for this exercise, but I’ll let it stand. 🙂

    The princess has the tail of the tiger around her neck, and the tiger looks uninterested to me. I understand she’s crowned with ostrich plumes? (Not sure what it means.) She carries a wand with a radiant sun, as she rises effortlessly up on a carpet of flame. The wand has rays that subtly extend across the whole card. A pedestal has burning roses — burning passion? The column is decorated with ram’s heads, which put me in mind of Aries and therefore cardinal fire.

    Exuberance, or exuberant strength, comes to my mind. A zest for life which is yet untested. Brashness, or a brash youth; a straightforward approach that uses untempered optimism. Curiosity that will only be satisfied by experience.

    “I had a job interview today, how do you think it went?” I think it went well in general. Enthusiasm carried the day and counted for a lot. It was obvious to the interviewer that you are willing to learn, although you may lack certain experience relevant to the job. The advice I might give is to avoid being too brash or outspoken; sometimes truth and directness aren’t assests to a job.

    “What do the next three months hold for me?” I think you will be approaching something new that gives you pause, due to unfamiliarity. A change in life, possibly related to career, school or a project that is very important to you. Because of this change, your footing will be uncertain. But a direct, inquisitve approach will aid you best. Keeping a positive attitude could go a long way towards progress or success.

    “My partner wants to take our relationship further, I dont feel ready yet. What’s the best way to handle this?” This card might indicate that you are not ready but are open to the possibilities. This card could also suggest that your relationship is at an early stage, where passion takes precedence over a more stable romance; growth is a potential at this point, but it’s still very early on. Being open and honest about your feelings, and willing to explore them (presumably with your partner) might help you both. In particular this would help you to realize where you stand on the relationship.

    1. Wow, great post! I wasn’t expecting a response like this. Your brave decision to start this exercise with a Court Card is very inspiring because rightly or wrongly, it adds a degree of complexity to ED’s that I will be covering in a later post.

      The keywords you provided for the Princess of Wands were excellent. I particularly liked your observation of the card; the pedestal of burning roses in particular. I recently saw that as my fears burning on the altar, and as the Princess, overcoming my fears. I was then able to rise (on the carpet of flame) and embrace what I was facing. Your interpretation adds a layer I hadn’t considered previously, but will now when I see this card in a reading.

      Your responses to the questions also impressed me greatly. You made those answers very much your own, you conveyed a fluidity and naturalness in your interpretation, and I look forward to reading your responses to Part 2, Two’s Company.


  2. Jason, thank you for posting your take on the questions with a different card than the one in the original post.

    Catherine, I have set time assign to do the free association exercise and I never even thought about adding questions to the table. I am going to find a quiet spot on the beach by me and dive into my notebook (and then re-post). It’s worth a try to add the extra element and put the interpretation to use.

    Warmest regards, Nicole

  3. Hi Nicole,

    Glad you’re going to do the Free Association 🙂 I know I promote it a lot, but it really is the best exercise for getting to know your Tarot cards, but also when you’re reading a spread. There are times when your mind goes blank, you look at a card and you’ve got nothing! Free Association comes into its own at that point – it saved the day many a time 😉

    The questions were added because this post was Part 1 of a Mini Series on Elemental Dignities, the idea being that the reader could see how the interpretation changed with each card that was added. At this stage you don’t have to add any questions, but of course if you feel it would be helpful then go for it – there aren’t any rules, just guidelines and I’m always here if you have any questions of your own.

    Looking forward to hearing how you get on 🙂

    Warm wishes,


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