Today’s card draw from The Wild Unknown Tarot is the 4 of Wands.
I want to start off by providing an important notice, which will be included in all of this series. However, other things that will be included that you can skip to are:
- Card Description
- Considering the Card, where I look at how I would interpret certain imagery used
- Traditional Rider-Waite definition
I only include the latter as a comparison, to show how wandering down your own understanding of images and symbols can bring you to a similar meaning, though along a different path with different experiences. This is to help expand knowledge of the card.
I will not, however, be including the definitions from the guidebook, as that is not the point of this. Also, I don’t have rights to that material.
I started this series because I had read that people struggled with the deck purely because the definitions in the Little White Book were very Rider-Waite-based, and that there wasn’t much wisdom regarding the animals and symbolism chosen.
This series is to help you to decipher the meanings yourselves. I am by no means saying what I have to say about the cards are correct for anyone outside myself. However, I am providing my daily journal entries regarding the deck to act as a guide so that you can begin your own journey.
When I started tarot, I had no idea what to write in my journal, and thus didn’t. Instead I obsessively read and re-read the Little White Book belonging to the Spiral Tarot (which is why today I can completely quote the book). I didn’t trust myself to know the cards, even when I could recite the definitions. I was afraid to put the book down.
To this fear of lack of knowledge, the creator of The Wild Unknown writes:
You do know enough. You’ve been a person on earth every day since you were born. You’ve experienced all the emotions and situations these cards depict. Quiet the naysayer…don’t let it prevent you from sitting down with a friend (or yourself) and using these cards to help talk about what’s going on in your life. It will be positive. It will be radical. You’ll find things start to reveal themselves through the cards that have been hidden away, covered with dust .pp. 10-11, The Wild Unknown Guidebook
Description of the Card
The 4 of Wands shows 4 Wands crossing, two X’s, one above the other, forming a diamond. There is a black center point in the diamond that lines radiate from to the frame of the card. The center is surrounded by blue, which, once it passes the Wands, turns to yellow, the red.
There are lines across the corners of the card, forming a diamond in which the sticks form their own diamond. It is almost like it frames a picture.
There is not color outside the diamond that the Wands are in.
Traditional Card Meaning
The 4 of Wands denotes structure and family. It shows a home, and 4 Wands from which ribbons wave in the wind. There are two figures in the distance, which, depending on the deck are a man and a woman, though in the Rider-Waite deck, as pointed out by A. E. Waite himself in A Pictorial Key, are two women waving. This gives the impression of a celebration.
What I derive from the Card itself
Blue is the color of Water, the element of the subconscious, emotions, and intuition. Yet it radiates out, showing that it s the heart of any creative passion or action (as represented by Fire, the element that Wands represents), is emotion and intuitions. It is our gut that directs us, and that is our intuition speaking through physical language.
Likewise, the lines are yellow before they turn red, which is the color of Air, thought, and communication. When Air and Water are present, then passion can follow, which is represented by the red at the ends of the lines.
The number 4 guides these elemental energies that feel present in this card. 4 is a number of authority, rules, and structure. Thus, the 4 of Wands is associated with family, which is the combination of passion/creation and stability.
In The Wild Unknown, it’s almost as if you’re laying down and looking up at the sky, seeing the walls in which the home were built, and the elements that go with it. It’s a recognition of what has been built and the energy that goes into it. Such a creation calls for pride and celebration.
On another note, there is almost a little bit of a reminder of where we came from, as well. As we look up at the frame of the card, the lines crossing the corners, that could almost be seen as wooden planks of a house, we see the 4 Wands.
These 4 Wands make me think of when I was a child playing in the woods, and we used to gather large sticks and lean them against each other to create a shelter or a fort. We had to use the materials at our disposal in order to nurture that imagination and create, and they were those branches.
Now, as an adult, I’ve just moved into a house that my partner built, using everything we could to get here and build. We are forming the structure of the frame of the card, and this formation might resonate from those times when we had to build and create for ourselves in play.
About the Deck
The Wild Unknown Tarot is a 2016 Harper One publication, created by Kim Krans. The deck is widely available at most bookstores who carry Tarot cards, but also on Amazon. Kim Krans always wrote The Wild Unknown Guidebook.