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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

King of Wands: Boldly Go

Pathfinders Tarot, Fontana 2011
Today's card is King of Wands from Pathfinders Tarot (David Fontana, artwork by Sylvie Daigneault, published by Duncan Baird, 2011). 

Who is this guy, the King of Wands? Fontana's guidebook to the Pathfinders Tarot has only this to say: 'The King of Wands represents the assertive yet measured and therefore well-balanced aspect of the ruler.' By that definition, the King of Wands is the perfect leader. Assertive? Yes. Measured and well-balanced? Not exactly! 

The King of Wands is self-assured, charismatic, goal-oriented, tenacious, determined and motivated. He will naturally take charge of a situation if there isn't a stronger character about (which there usually isn't!), and people just naturally do as he says, his aura of command and capability is that compelling. But he can be arrogant and dismissive of the opinions or advice of others. The ends justify the means for the King of Wands, and he is not concerned with rules, precedent, or tradition, if they get in the way of what he sees as the most direct path to the success of his mission. All is well that ends well, and he knows that a few broken rules or brusque words along the way won't matter to anyone when it's all over and everyone can see that he was right all along. They'll not only thank him, they'll laud him as the hero and strategic genius that he is! Which plaudits he will accept graciously,  tucking this experience into his vast mental store of maverick actions that got big results. 

Captain Kirk, King of Wands
Who is the King of Wands? For me, it has to be James T Kirk of 'Star Trek'. He's all the King of Wands could ever wish to be. Confident, charismatic, blessed with complete and utter self-belief. A quick thinker where it counts, unconcerned with petty details because he knows those around him will take care of all that and provide him with any facts he made need in order to make one of his brilliant tactical commands. 

A man's man, a ladies' man. Everybody loves and admires him, even those who neither love nor admire him! 

Think about it. He's always putting his entire ship and crew in jeopardy, while shouting that he will do anything to save his ship and crew. Why would he do that? Only because he truly believes that no action he decides on could result in failure.

He cheats the system at every turn. He always has! He cheated his way into Starfleet on the Kobayashi Maru, a test designed to assess a candidate's reaction to a no-win situation. As King of Wands, Kirk does not believe in a no-win situation, and so he cheats by reprogramming the battle simulator to allow for a win. Rather than being kicked out of Starfleet, he receives a commendation for original thinking. Now, can you get any more King of Wands than that? 


  1. Love it! You're right, he's the perfect King of Wands ;) And the ladies man is a bit that people sometimes forget, being all spiritually minded. Still, I think it's important to this King! Great post :D

  2. Great post! Really enjoyed that.

    I have always had Madonna stuck in my head for this card; the leadership qualities, being driven and not caring of the casualties she knocks up on her ascent. It houses all of the good and bad things about her, I always thought.

    Love the Pathfinders deck. Beautiful.

  3. Thanks, Chloe and Princelenormand! You know, it was your blog, Prince, that introduced me to this deck. I ordered it after seeing it there. :)