Well, it seems that the time has finally arrived, the journey to visit the Queen of Wands, the journey that I have been saving, in the back of my mind, until such time as I needed it. I knew that this day was coming, and it has come, the day when I let go of the handrails, where I step blind into the wilderness ahead of me with only my intuition to guide me. And the road is stony, and I am terrified of falling, but I know that I must walk in this place that I know nothing of, walk in this place that brings fear into my heart and darkness into my eyes and where all I carry is the light inside me, the flame that burns forever, our source of eternal life.
I rise from the chair in the hallway of beginnings, the chair of my ancestors, and look with fear into the eternal lengths that stretch either way into the distance, bending into a circle of time, like some impossible architecture from an Escher painting. My past journeys cluster around me like persistent insects, buzzing in my ears and speaking to me in various metaphors, but I need clarity today, I need to burn away all the other things that I have seen, I need to gain a clearer vision, an overview, a bright and shining paradigm for this new life that I am discovering, I need to go into the darkness and seek something that I haven’t met as yet, I need to go and find the Queen of Wands.
I walk the stairs with the inevitable tread of the damned and the time goes too quickly today. Before I am ready, I have arrived at the doorway, knowing that I must open it and step through into the world on the other side. Oh how much easier it might seem, to stay here without knowledge without understanding, blind in the doubts that surround my heart, hidden in the fear of uncertainty, safe in the cloaked and sheltering womb of ignorance. And as tears of confusion and fear fall from my weary eyes, I open the door and step through the flaming royal banner that proclaims The Queen of Wands.
I step blindly and bravely into a land of Fire on Water, endless stretches of water parading away from me, seeking to embrace at last, an arching sky of incandescent golden light. Crimson flame and gold lick smoothly, burn brightly, rage infernally, leap joyously on the surface of a dark and fathomless sea, and I allow the sensations that this brings to me to wash over me, to melt within me, to perform its magic on my wounded heart. I feel cleansed and purified by these enveloping sensations, as I stand on this impossible sacrificial pyre of water. I stand in the roaring fires of flame and let my heart burn, burn away the dross, the impurities, the fears and the hurt. I let them all burn away to nothing, leaving me cleansed and pure, innocent as a child once more, renewed and at peace.
Walking now beside this lake of fire, I see a stand of gnarled Scots pine trees on my left, a symbol of immortality and the fire of the returning Sun, whilst on my right is the flaring and burning lake in all it gorgeous glory. As I walk, I become aware that I am trailing behind me a cloak of heavy golden fabric, and on closer inspection I suddenly become aware that the rest of my clothes appear to be in a similar colour and style, and that I am in fact dressed like a Queen, I have become the Queen of Wands. As the cloak drags behind me, I can feel it growing heavier and heavier, and so I turn to see what is happening behind me, as I feel encumbered by this new responsibility that has developed. As I look at the billowing cloak, I see that it is giving birth to animals, and that there are now several animals following me, a few hounds and a leopard. The cloak becomes much lighter now that the animals have emerged, and I feel energised and alive, my new companions running along beside me as I myself run along the edge of the flaming sea, like a youngster, a woman alive, a woman on fire…. But for the purposes of my travel, I feel as if I am not moving fast enough, and as if in answer to this thought, a horse appears, and I leap onto her back and gallop along the hard sand at the edge of the fire and the hounds and the leopard run beside me.
The joy, the freedom, the knowledge and the sense of release is incredible. I am carried through this place, the animals guiding me, and I am free to follow, free to follow their lead, wherever they may take me, and my heart soars into the crimson sky and I give thanks for the life that I am given.
Eventually I come upon the figure of a man who is seated under one of the pine trees that stands at the top of the beach. I stop and look at him, he says nothing, but he seems like he needs something. I can’t really see how old he might be, perhaps he is not old at all, but he seems to be waiting for something. I feel that he needs some protection, so I give him my cloak, which I no longer need, to keep him warm. As I do this, he looks up at me for the first time, and I see that he is smiling at me with twinkling eyes, and it come to me that perhaps he is Malachi, and that he is playing tricks on me, dressed up as a beggar to test me, but I don’t let on that I know this, and I play the game, leaving the trickster to carry on with what he is doing, and I look around me again to see what else I need to find in this card whilst I am here.
I see that the landscape has changed, and that a castle has appeared, so I turn the horse up towards the castle, and the hounds and the leopard follow me. The animals then move ahead, as if they know where they are going, and in the end I am following them, arriving at the gateway to the castle, and I see that it is the castle of The 4 of Disks, it is my castle, the castle of The Sun. I stand in the courtyard and it feels like home, and walking to one of the towers, I take the stairs to the top, for I know that this is where I need to go. There is a chair there waiting for me, and I sit down, facing out into the beautiful landscape, and I close my eyes.
I see a woman who is standing beside a huge willow tree, that grows beside an old mill race as she searches for the meaning of her life within the rushing waters… lonely is she who is not heard, and in her mind she hears only the gulls calling, the poems falling and sees the circles of stone that she has walked. Who knows how long she has waited in her red dress and her armor, walking over the distant hills in the driving rain, herding swine before her, telling fortunes dressed in rags in exchange for the gold that she must seek. She will travel with you over the chalk downs to a shepherds hut cut into the side of the hill where harebells grow in summer, as you walk the tracks between the castles of ancient Wessex, queen for a day she is dressed in green grass and chalk dust, and she sleeps in velvet and ermine.
The vision fades, and I rest in the chair. I am water of fire, I am equal and opposite I sit at the edge of impossibility and I create in the fertile place where they meet. I listen to the voice of the priestess as she speaks to me in a language I cannot understand, and I connect with the power that lies deep within the earth through the animals that sit at my feet. I am still and moving, a creatrix of life, impaled on the cross of the 4 elements. I replicate myself, I become powerful, I listen to the rhythm of the earth, I am woman, I am goddess, I am the queen of my own kingdom.
The vision fades today, and I find myself at home, in the old red chair that I sit in. A woman of a certain age, life has passed me, yet there is life still ahead. Life has changed me, tempered me, made me stronger and wiser, brighter and darker, and still I grow.
The Queen of Wands
The Queen of the Thrones of Flame
Queen of the Salamanders.
Water of Fire
20 degrees of Pisces to 20 degrees of Aries
Rules The 10 of Cups, The 2 of Wands, The 3 of Wands.