Writing through the TAROT deck, one card at a time. This is number twenty in a 78-week durational project.
Student of Creativity / Adventure / Road Trip Without a Map / Unplanned Travel / Inexperienced Practitioner / Youthful Vitality Regardless of Physical Age / Hot to Trot / Lust for the New / Charismatic but Chaotic Energy / Enthusiastic Leap / Innovative Dance Moves / A Shift Into Joy / Rapid Growth / Expression Through Movement / Ecstatic Emergence From Dark Depressive Episode / Sexual Awakening / Breath of Fresh Air After Period of Confinement / Rebirth / An Increase in Self-Confidence / Passionate Engagement / Beginning of an Exciting New Era / Spontaneity / In Over Your Head but Game to Go On / Improvisation / Optimism / Impulsivity / Transformation / Costume Change / Creative Breakthrough / Visionary Character /
In most decks, we see PAGE OF WANDS as a figure in motion — walking down on a road or, vividly in Crowley’s Thoth deck, pulled by wildcats along a ribbon of orange fire. (In the Thoth, The PAGES are split across two separate court positions: the PRINCE and the PRINCESS.) In the Aquarian deck, the figure’s face is partially obscured from our view by the brim of a hat pulled low. The figure appears to be gazing down, unable to see where they are headed. A feather, mimicking the shape of a flame, is stuck into the figure’s hatband, while their shawl, layers, and laced-up leather vest suggest chilly weather. (I associate the WANDS with early spring, when the sun is in Aries, as they carry the force needed to break open a cold, hard-shelled seed.) Cattails grow in the background.
The Fortune Teller is a medium. The Fortune Teller is in the middle. The Fortune Teller is not, however, a tool. She is a character, she is a costume. The Fortune Teller eschews scarves, her earrings do not tinkle like wind chimes. The Fortune Teller wears an emerald green gown, a metallic confection. A cape printed with pomegranates. Black boots that lace up to her waist. She slides a thin silver blade inside a hidden suede pocket. The Fortune Teller rides after the Robber Girl without a plan, following the shadow of a blackbird while filing her fingernails. The Fortune Teller is a forever-student, she studies the faces that flicker before her. “People have been my primary texts,” she murmurs into her tea leaves. She drifts through time’s perfumed vapours. She feels forward, she jump-cuts. The Fortune Teller flies through crushed-velvet skies while her feet remain buried in worm castings. The Fortune Teller trains her brain to sink into ever-deeper trances, observes vibrating outlines around every last noun. She lives through her dreams, she dreams through your life.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Do you start more projects than you finish? What new skill are you learning? Did you set off on a long journey before packing your bag? Where can you score what you need on the way? What’s lighting you up right now? What or who are you chasing down?
IDEAS FOR PRACTICE
Simplify the conceptual architecture. Streamline the plot. Stop switching channels. Choose a station. See something new through to completion. Pick one of the many half-fashioned puppets piled up on your workbench and commit to granting it life. Follow your curiosity all the way. Incorporate larger, freer gestures. Take action. Embrace change. Learn on the job. Stay positive. Take yourself seriously. Send a message.
PAGE OF WANDS introduces a new sequence within the larger seventy-eight week project. The discomfort of last week’s TEN OF SWORDS is so far in the rear-view that we are starting as if from scratch. (An illusion, but a productive one.) We are now in week twenty and the twentieth card in the major arcana is JUDGEMENT (XX): the lesson of discernment, the room where we choose which pulses to follow and which ones to allow to fade into memory. This is the last stop before we are finally granted access to THE WORLD (XXI). A psychic cleanse. In numerology, twenty reduces to the number two, and the degree of two is the accumulation of potential, a doubling that provides the possibility — the necessary material option — for change. A choice, a fork, a game of Yum-or-Yuck. This is where we meet THE HIGH PRIESTESS (II), who casts her influence on the scene from behind a veil, and THE HANGED MAN (XII), who suspends time while he absorbs all the data. Here the two is not a fusing together but a splitting apart. The adventure of individuation. According to Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa, the PAGES in TAROT exist between the degrees of two and three. They are the embodiment of the crossroads, a moment of doubt or hesitation before a great transition. Betwixt and between. WANDS bring the fire and creative spark, the delight and drive needed to make the dream real.