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Sonntag, 30. Dezember 2012

The Story of Wands

Some time ago I did the "Story of Pentacles" in order to study the relationship between the Pentacle pip cards and the story they tell when placed in numerical order. The other day I stumbled across the idea of "in-between" cards in a tarot book. If you look at two cards in sequence you could ask yourself how you got from A to B and what happened in between. I think that is a good method for studying the progress through the pip cards in the suits. If you look at two cards in sequence and the situations they depict, what could have happened to change the situation from A to B. It creates a dynamic between the cards. I'll try this method now as I look at the "Story of Wands". 

For this I used the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight by Christina Benintende (Lo Scarabeo, 2009) but I didn't purely focus on the images but more on the "traditional" meanings of the cards. 

Ace of Wands
When Gustav was a little boy, he already had huge plans for the future. He always knew he would do something great one day. He often climbed the apple tree in the garden and sat there dreaming about tree growing and growing higher and higher into the sky taking him to places where nobody had been before. The world was so full of promises, it was absolutely impossible he should end up being ordinary and doing boring stuff.


Two of Wands
However, his parents had different plans for him. His father who had been running a successful hardware store was hoping for Gustav to take over the business. His mother was secretly hoping he'd go to university and become a lawyer. But this was nothing for Gustav. The world was so big and full of exciting and interesting places. He didn't want to be locked down. He wanted to explore, see where life would take him and he told his parents he would use the money his family had been saving up for his education to go abroad and find his calling. They thought this was silly and risky and he'd end up without the means to finance a proper education. But Gutav felt his parents' little world becoming too restrictive, too tight and small for him. He needed to get out. 

Three of Wands
At first Gustav joined an expedition team who were looking for a mythical city that - legend had it - contained not only vast treasures but had also been the centre of a highly developed culture long forgotten. It would be a great scientific triumph if they were successful and actually found something. Gustav worked hard and for a long time it looked as if they were close to actually detecting the fabled golden city. 



Four of Wands
It turned out the city didn't exist after all but they made some valuable finds and Gustav had learned a lot and earned a sum of money. What was more important, however, he had met Louise, a wonderful companion who made him feel at home. For the first time in his life he felt like staying in one place and settling down with her. They were happy for a while, making friends, building a home, Gustav went to university reading history in order to become a teacher. 

Five of Wands
However, after a few years, Gustav became restless again. There were so many challenges, so many options, was he ready to actually settle for a wife, children, a teaching job? Was that all that was to be had in life? And Louise...sure, she was very pretty and a great partner but looking around, he saw so many interesting, beautiful women. He was not ready to settle for anything yet. He needed to test himself, find his limitations, challenge them. 

Six of Wands
Gustav applied for a very challenging job abroad, leaving Louise behind heartbroken. Even though he left his old, comfortable life behind, he felt strong, vigorous, free, like nothing and nobody could touch him. He had beaten so many applicants, he was the one they picked for the job. A very responsible position, one where he would have to work hard and take over a lot of responsibility. But he felt up for it. After all, he had made it, they wanted him, not any of the others. 

Seven of Wands
With success came rivalry, soon Gustav found himself in a position where he had to defend his position a lot, he had to take unpopular decisions and face the music. Even though he was doing a good job and was in a good position he was under constant pressure, vigilant, defensive. 

Eight of Wands
Things happened much too quickly, there was never enough time, Gustav was always on the move. Meetings, business trips, projects, the company was growing rapidly and the market constantly changing. It was hard to keep up with the pace of developments in this trade. One day, Gustav's immediate superior was sacked. Nobody had really seen it coming and Gustav was presented with the opportunity to take over for him. Gustav moved up.

Nine of Wands
Experience had made Gustav wary. He was careful, always watching his back. He didn't really trust anyone, which didn't exactly make him the most popular person in the company. He was perceived as being a typical workaholic. Successful, always in action, tough, stern, powerful. But he was feared and well-respected. Soon he became a bit of a celebrity in the business world. 



Ten of Wands
Rising through the ranks, Gustav became the top expert, he could be seen on TV a lot, his ideas were innovative, creative and he was always one step ahead of the competition. He was passionate about his work, unconventional, strong-willed, showed great leadership qualities. However, it took a lot of strength to keep up this pace. After a while, Gustav felt it was all becoming too much, too many projects, too many appointments and responsibilities to juggle. He needed to focus on what was really important. Gustav took some time off to rethink his priorities, his visions, his goals and ambitions. What was really important? What could he let go or delegate? He remembered his childhood dreams, sitting in the apple tree. What was important to him then was being special, having achieved something extraordinary. He had made the most of his potential, given it all his passion and energy. He had achieved astonishing things. Perhaps it was time to settle down and give it a rest. However, even if he decided on taking it a little slower these days and taking more time to enjoy the fruits of his labour, Gustav knew, he would never be someone who could stop dreaming and reaching for the stars altogether. 


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