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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Fairy Lights Pairs: Empress and 5 of Wands

Fairy Lights Tarot, 2013

Our penultimate draw from Fairy Lights Tarot (LoScarabeo 2013) gives us the Empress and 5 of Wands. I like this pair. To me, it gives a new and welcome dimension to the Empress. Here she seems to me to be more of a Priestess of the Moon or Hecate figure, a dark Fairy Queen. In this pair of cards, the Empress sits perched on what looks like a gnarled tree stump as her throne, standing in a patch of red lichen, or possibly sacred fire.  According to 'Herbcraft' by Anna Franklin and Susan Lavender, the cypress tree is associated with element earth and the female gender, and many goddesses, among them Hecate, Isis and Artemis. In ancient Eyptian, Greek and Roman cultures, the cypress tree was associated with death. The website Wiccan Altar says that followers of Hecate see the cypress tree as a symbol of blessing and protection.

Upon this cypress stump sits the Empress, and a very ethereal earth spirit she is, with her diaphanous wings, delicate thin limbs and luminous shepherd's crook. She is a far cry from the usual sturdy and fecund Empresses we see in most other decks. She does not give birth so much as confer on others the power of transformation. Beneath her passes a line of robed acolytes, each carrying a glowing orb. She must confer some sort of power on them as they pass, because in the next card, as they approach the moon, they lift off from the ground and turn into black dogs (or possibly cats, but I seem them as dogs because 1) I like dogs and 2) dogs are associated with Hecate).

Looked at individually, I really have no idea why these cards are given the designation they are. The Empress looks like nothing like an Empress (apart from her being crowned and elevated on a throne of sorts). And the 5 of Wands doesn't even have five anything on it -- there are six figures, three human figures in robes and three dog-like beings. Nothing in the card suggests any sort of strife to me, other than the rather 'dark' tone of black-robed figures turning into dog/wolf/cat creatures. The LWB says, 'Your wild nature longs for release. Honour your instincts and trust their guidance.' This isn't an RWS interpretation, but I suppose if we look at it numerologically it may be. Five is a number associated with Mars, and represents freedom from restriction, routine and convention -- with all the strife, uncertainty, fear and upheaval that goes along with that sort of freedom.

If I drew these cards for someone in a reading, I would probably advise them to listen to their bodies and the evidence of their senses and allow that to guide their direction, because the Empress is associated with sensual matters, and the Five of Wands here shows a transformation of a sort.


  1. I like your numerological/astrological approach to this strange Five of Wands. While I don't mind the Empress, the Five makes me think more of the Moon. Intuitively, I might also read the Five as saying to connect to your wild side ;)

  2. Thank you, Carla so much for this post! I like it.
    As feed back I translated it, for Russian tarolovers to read it as I couldn;t find anythingg like this in Russian taro sites/

    Here is my translation http://veralx.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/%d0%b8%d0%bc%d0%bf%d0%b5%d1%80%d0%b0%d1%82%d1%80%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%b0-%d0%bd%d0%be%d1%87%d0%b8-%d0%b3%d0%b5%d0%ba%d0%b0%d1%82%d0%b0-%d1%82%d0%b0%d1%80%d0%be-%d1%81%d0%b2%d0%b5%d1%82%d1%8f%d1%89%d0%b8/

    and here is Russian site with this tarot cards work and link to your blog.
    ( 5 w ) http://www.tarotspace.net/t5934-topic#92845

    (Empress) http://www.tarotspace.net/t5786-topic

    My idea about 5 or 7 in black..... it;s a comic cartoon in Lucia Mattioly style. Person transformation step by step.