The Two of Wands – A One Page Guide

Two of Wands - IsleVue One Page Guide to Card Derivations

This is the first of these guides. I hope to do two or three per week. It shows the Astrological/Qabalistic/Elemental influences upon Waite’s divinatory meanings and Colman Smith’s layouts for the minor arcana. The little memo pad callouts represent the end result in divinatory meanings and/or layout. As a Venn diagram, it displays how each of the influences interact with the other influences, resulting in the divinatory meanings, and often, the components of the layout. You’ll find a little more detail on the structure and purpose of these guides at the introductory page, here.

You’ll find a download link for an Adobe Acrobat PDF below. It’s been formatted for standard letter size, with an extra space at the left margin, for those who wish to print and save them in a looseleaf binder. There’s also a bitmap at right that you can click and view (and “save as” if you prefer, though in almost all cases the PDF should print at a better resolution).

We will use the introductory pages to post any additional notes regarding the card that don’t necessarily have to do anything with tracing the sources of the divinatory meanings.

Notes on the Two of Wands

  • I think it’s safe to say that very few modern readers bring up Alexander the Great’s world weariness (Alexander is pictured in the feature image) when interpreting this card for their clients! This is one of those cards where it’s much easier to stick to the other aspects of the divinatory meanings, i.e., wealth, ambition/planning and worry.
  • There’s a particularly heavy emphasis on the GD esoteric meaning for the card (“Dominion),” which stemmed from the Qabalistic assignment to Chokmah as well as the Zodiac assignments in this case. This emphasis is odd in light of Waite’s written words regarding the “rose, cross and lily.”
  • Rose Cross Lamen
    Rosy Cross Lamen

    The GD rose cross symbol, which the top of the hierarchy wore with a chain around their neck, over their heart, and which is pictured at right, is supposed reconcile divinity and human nature. Perhaps Waite and Colman Smith seek to convey that Alexander’s mortification is due to the fact that he looks at the globe rather than at the religious symbol at his feet, below his gaze.

  • The lily, of course, is a well known Christian symbol representing the purity of the Virgin Mary.


Revision history:
Updated bitmap and pdf 2019-08-07.
“Prettier” circles in the Venn diagram and change of font color in the post-its for improved legibility.
Updated bitmap and pdf 2019-08-09. Fixed graphic order for CC box.

John Iacovelli

I have spent 30+ years in the computing industry. In it I've pretty much done everything from tech support for elderly people doing genealogy, to documenting compilers, to software evangelist, to direct mail guru, to CIO of an international corporation. And here I am, older and gray, getting interested in Tarot? 😉

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