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Swedish Witch / Jolanda Tarot - King of Wands

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Swedish Witch / Jolanda Tarot - King of Wands


The King sits holding a severed head on his lap with rivulets of blood running down his cloak. He holds a staff with a crescent moon, which is odd because most traditions (though certainly not all) associate the moon with the divine feminine--the goddess. But here we see the King holding not just any head in his lap, but a woman's head.

Here's my theory about this card...

The head in the King's lap resembles the head of the Sphinx, representing Egypt. In the background appear to be Greek or Roman columns. Alexander the Great famously conquered Egypt, among virtually every territory in that region, during his many exploits. My hypothesis is that this card depicts the fiery conqueror, Alexander the Great.
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In her book Yolanda writes that the king of wands is born in the astological sign sagittarius or leo and she compares him to the sungod.And then she gives no further interpretation.
Somestimes I find her a bit an'noying LOL because she en'trusts to much to the readers imagination and intuition.
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Yes, from what I understand, her book is not all that helpful. Not that it's probably not interesting for a variety of reasons, but it doesn't seem to be directly related to the artwork of the cards. I'm guessing there's a little bit of a disconnect between Jolanda and the artist, but personally, I still think this is one of the most beautiful decks out there. Also, even if the book isn't helpful for interpreting the cards, I would still buy it in a heartbeat if it was available!
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Here are the pix of the cards.
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The woman's head looks happy and alive to me, although I see the hand at her neck and she seems to have misplaced her body. I noticed the horses first, and then the yellow shape, and I got the impression that it was roots growing over a rock or massive gold nugget, but where is the tree? After reading Sztar's interpretation I can see that as well.

This guy really likes horses, so he had one put on his helmet. I can't tell if the other two are little horses standing on either side of my gold nugget or parts of a throne. I like the bat on the woman's head. Maybe the bat helps her get around when the king isn't carrying her. I guess those 2 things at the bottom are feet, which further supports what Sztar said. I do get the feeling that this king has significant military experience. The moon, stars, bat, and dark sky suggest night to me. It isn't much of a stretch to see this as an image of the heavens, with the king representing the sun, as mentioned by Rold.
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I don't know how we are certain its a woman's head and not a bust. Its gonna take me a bit to look at this card. Holding a decapitating head makes no sense. Unless she's Cleopatra. The archiologist are closing in on her tomb, and no one is sure how she really died....so that may be an added touch.
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make sure you guys bring my attention to it when i start running at the brain. simple people find it alarming, others, well ittitating or they think i am skizo like my ex.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luna's Crone View Post
I don't know how we are certain its a woman's head and not a bust. Its gonna take me a bit to look at this card. Holding a decapitating head makes no sense. Unless she's Cleopatra. The archiologist are closing in on her tomb, and no one is sure how she really died....so that may be an added touch.
I think it's just the artist's style. There aren't a lot of negative facial expressions in the deck, so just because the head isn't crying out in agony, I don't think it follows that it's not decapitated. It looks stoic, but not content.

I see the King of Wands as a fiery conqueror, so the symbolism resonates with me. In fact, this imagery gave me a new perspective. For example, could a person represented by the King of Wands be capable of physical violence--in particular, physical violence against women? Maybe. Could it also represent womanizing or seduction? Someone with a temper? Someone with a vibrant sexuality? Someone charismatic? Maybe women are his playthings or maybe more generally the world is his playground? Maybe anything he wants he takes.

My take on interpreting tarot symbolism is that some symbols are universal--they have specific definitions--and in some cases where the artist didn't explain the symbolism, we have the freedom to be more fluid. My main objective is to discover what the symbolism means to me and then to interpret it in the context of tarot. In this case, the artist himself is deceased, so unfortunately, we can't ask him any questions. Still... even without any guidance, the more I look at these cards, the more I feel a sense of *ah-ha!*

BUT what's with the bat on the woman's helmet? I didn't even notice that before. No clue how to interpret that!! Your guess is as good as mine! LOL
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Are you sure it,s a bat? I see it as a cat and the wings are the womans hair or a part of a helmet.Also because there are cats and lions at the other court cards of the wands.I also think of the cat goddess Bast because the head is in egyptian style.
And then again the king of wands he is very masculine all these horses, stallions ?? Has he decapitated his anima ? to become so macho. And now his anima feels alien and nocturnal therefore the bats and that's why the bats are also at the card with the queen of wands.
I'm just thinking out loud now. : )
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rold View Post
Are you sure it,s a bat? I see it as a cat and the wings are the womans hair or a part of a helmet.Also because there are cats and lions at the other court cards of the wands.I also think of the cat goddess Bast because the head is in egyptian style.
And then again the king of wands he is very masculine all these horses, stallions ?? Has he decapitated his anima ? to become so macho. And now his anima feels alien and nocturnal therefore the bats and that's why the bats are also at the card with the queen of wands.
I'm just thinking out loud now. : )
BAST! Yes, you might be onto something. Bast has been one or my favorite goddesses forever!

I like both interpretations. Could also just be a winged cat, and either way, Bast would make sense considering the Egyptian style of the head. But I like your other interpretation, too! I think it can mean all of these things, depending on the context of the reading. A decapitated anima, leading to hypermasculinity, makes sense within the context of the King of Wands.
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