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Zezina's Avatar
Join Date: 01 Sep 2009
Location: Aotearoa
Posts: 530
Bohemian Gothic Tarot - Two of Wands

We are in a ghostly, misty night scene in the garden of the ruins of an old castle. where a dozen or so crows, or maybe bats, have just been startled into flight, as a woman wearing a long evening dress and a dark cloak walks slowly down a steep path of broken steps towards the viewer, and towards where where a man stands guard with his back to her.

The man is wearing a sturdy overcoat and a red top hat as he stands at the entrance to the path, holding a long stave in his right hand. His other hand is tucked into in his coat pocket, as though it is chilly. But the expression on his face is content, as though he knows what will happen next. He is not acknowledging the approach of the woman, but is comfortable with her presence. Perhaps he is in her employ.

They both seem to be waiting for something to happen. As though they are waiting for others to arrive, maybe to take the woman home. The both know what is going on, and they are not afraid. Or maybe there are other people still in the ruins who will follow the woman out.

There seems to be a sense of completion in the air of the woman, as though she has just put something to rest in her mind.

Perhaps she went to the castle to resolve a question that had been on her mind for a long time, and now she knows the answer.


'Qui le Destin par trop fouille
Qui le consulte trop bien
N'a rien.'
- Quote from Madame Zezina, cartomancienne française, 1959
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Old 03-04-2010 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #1
The Thirteenth Moon
Thirteen's Avatar
Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
Posts: 8,714

I'm amazed that there are still cards from this deck that we missed! Thank you for covering this.

One thing I note about the 2/Wands is the question of where are those two wands? As in many of these cards, the architecture gives them to us. The remnants of an arch and a chimney stand tall against the sky, like two wands. The real "wand" however is the staff in the man hand. This is important as he is also the one facing away and seems, as you say, content and ready to move on.

The woman, on the other hand, seems to be glancing back over her shoulder, as if she's uncertain about this decision to leave the ruins. Maybe it still has a hold on her, maybe she's just worried that if they leave something will come after them. She seems likely to change her mind and head back up the stairs at any moment. This is a harder decision for her.

Like all the cards in this deck, I think this one does a marvelous job of encapsulating the essence of 2/Wands. The woman, with no wand in hand, is splitting her focus and energy. She's on the stairs, between the ruins and being free of them. She's looking back, uncertain if this is the right decision. The man with the wand, however, has moved away from the ruins and isn't looking back. The essence of the 2/Wands is that you commit to a path, and you don't look back, or feel ambiguity, or try to do both.

The woman shows us someone who hasn't done this, who hasn't grabbed a wand and moved on; the man shows us someone who has done this.
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Old 09-04-2010 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #2
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Join Date: 08 Sep 2003
Location: Québec, Canada
Posts: 3,922

I don't know if this is because I own the silver, but the woman on the card seems more like a ghost to me, you can see partly through the bottom of her dress, you barely see her, she's barely tangible.

This card reminds me of the story of Orpheus, the part when Orpheus went to the Underworld to bring back his wife. Seems to me the man made the same deal with the people in the castle about his wife, and like Orpheus, this man got out of the castle focused and did not look back, he's waiting after his wife. Alas for him, his wife does what she was told not to do, she looks back and she turns into a ghost and he has lost her forever.

So indeed if you're focused at the task at hand you will win, otherwise you lose.

El Desdichado (by Nerval)
Je suis le ténébreux, - le veuf, - l'inconsolé,
Le Prince d'Aquitaine à la tour abolie:
Ma seule étoile est morte, - et mon luth constellé
Porte le soleil noir de la Mélancolie.
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Old 12-04-2010 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #3
The Thirteenth Moon
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Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
Posts: 8,714

Originally Posted by WolfyJames
So indeed if you're focused at the task at hand you will win, otherwise you lose.
How very cool! I don't own the silver, and the pictures on-line don't help that much. So thank you for that perspective and story! I like it! Likewise it might be showing a decision to leave ruins and ghost behind and move on with life in the here and now. There is a future for him if he decides to go for it.
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Old 12-04-2010 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #4
RiverRunsDeep's Avatar
Join Date: 02 Apr 2015
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 2,682

I think the architecture of the two columns not only gives us a
visual symbol of the two wands, but also cautions us to weigh
our choices and decide wisely when we are presented with two
options. The column on the left represents the stronger, sturdier,
and more reliable option, while the column on the right represents
the weaker option which will crumble and have no lasting benefit.
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Old 20-06-2015 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #5
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