RWS Symbols - Page of Wands


And speaking of some of the symbols on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck... My understanding (such as it is) is that most of the "things" that show up in the pictures in the RWS cards have some symbolic meaning... rivers, streams, ponds, mountains, trees, etc, etc... On the Page of Wands, the Page is wearing a hat with a small red feather in it. What are your takes, understandings of these 2 symbols (the hat and feather)?

I know a crown has several symbolic meanings relating to mastery, achievement, goals, etc... but how about the cap pictured here? Then with the feather... birds (in general), if I recall correctly, represent the soul... or perhaps thoughts taking flight (flights of fancy?) but a single feather?

Your thoughts ;) would be appreciated...


Single feathers may (thought not always) also symbolise truth (the feather may be Maat) - but the truth of the heart as an organ of penetrating knowledge (gnosis).

In this case, the hat looks to me like an explorer's hat, common especially amongst the British in the early 20th century (and depicted as exploration hats in later movies).

It is also worth noting that the tunic is full of Orobouros depicted Fire elementals (salamanders).

In the background, adding to this Maat-truth goddess and exploration theme, the three 'montains' resemble the three most famous Pyramids (at Giza).


The book I have, written by Susan Levitt, suggests that the red feather on the hat is a symbol for "good luck!"


feathery thoughts...

My second teacher of tarot always maintained that the feather in the cap of the page of wands was related to the idea that feathers were used as pens for writing,
and that since the page was a student.....
(as he claimed all pages were)
that this figure was on the verge of writing something new, or in the process of using the written word.

(But this teacher was also an author, and the only one I knew who equated the entire suit of wands to publishing....)

My third, ( and favorite !) teacher, likened the court cards in this suit to being a lot like actors, or performers....
very charismatic individuals, with the fiery passions, the great ability for public speaking, and being in the public eye, who are not afraid to take credit for thier actions, and who always seem to have an entourage, and maybe even a bit of con artistry in thier salesman like smiles...

The page is a bit of a ham, and the feather in his well, a feather in his cap!....a symbol of a job well done,a performance well played.( a con well received...)

Myself, I always liked to think of the feather as representing a phoenix feather. (that's why it happens to be red!)
The phoenix is a great symbol of fire, trials by fire, and of rebirth.

And since pages, to me, have always represented either children just learning the element for the first time ( a trial by fire)
or those who have been hurt and are relearning thier element ( a kind of rebirth...or return to childlike state) the phoenix seems like an appropriate symbol.

And then there is the wisdom of a nine year old boy in one of the tarot classes I taught....who said that the feather in in his cap, because it would look silly sticking out of a crown!


The hat on the page of wands suits their personality as Classy.
I read that this card is of gossip (besides the other meanings)
If you look at this person they look like they could be a bit of a gossip so I think the hat would fit.
As for the feather, I bet they are good at relaying messages of gossip.

Just ideas


Ooo oo

I am so gald someone started a thread on the Page of Wands, as I wanted to do that and there it is again, the hat and red feather, boy that symbol really gets around.

For a Wand the Page is quite still and that is what amazes and surprises about this card. He seems so confident and certain the way he stands there.

Note how he is looking at the growth/foliage on his wand....


Edit for typos, they annoy me!


I drew the page of wands for a reading today and to me it looks like he just discovered the wand he's holding, as if it suddenly did something to surprise him, or looking at something in a new way, getting a new idea from it. Like a new invention or use for something. Then I looked at the rod, with the new growth and well, it looks REALLY phallic. I've heard some people call this a "player" card, fire/desire/passion, immature, untried, untrue. It could be discovering sexual desires or focusing on them in an immature, irresponsible way, having a short lived fling.

I also thought of him as the bringer of news, usually good news, something inspiring, a busy time. The three hills are on the horizon, where he has yet to go, the ups and downs still to be encountered on his journey to greater responsibilities and maturity of his Fire/Energy/Creativity/Growth. I thought of the hills as the Knight/Queen/Kings, stages of development and refining the Spirit.


I believe that the feather indicates freedom of thought.

I'm also reminded of a classic childs poem, you know the one:

Yankee Doodle went to town
riding on a pony
stuck a feather in his hat
and called it macaroni.

as for red, that indicates the natural drive of humankind, but ic could be a symbol of aggression. it depends on where the card falls in the reading.


In 'Pictures from the heart' by Sandra A Thompson (which I highly recommend!) she says that feathers are related to power, the sun and high aspirations. She also says that the red feather on the fool can represent the phoenix and rebirth. Since the pages also represent new ideas, perhaps this is why it is coloured red.

J :)