In this card we have a traditional May Pole with red and white ribbons wrapped around it, the ribbons and rays of light that come off it segmenting the card into four sections. Each of the four sections contains a different image that I associate with the Ace of Wands: a blooming red rose, the lightning bolt, a Flamenco dancer, fire, and the Kenaz rune. Each section also shows a different stage of the Sun: Dawn, Midday, Dusk, and Midnight.
The May Pole is traditionally a symbol of fertility, the red and white ribbons around it representing the union of male and female (or God and Goddess) in order to create new life. It is an obviously phallic symbol, and the phallus is a life-giving, dynamic part of the male anatomy. The ribbons criss-cross each other in a way that is fairly reminiscent of the DNA double helix- the building block of all life. May Day, when the May Pole is used, is also the beginning of Summer and the 'rutting season'- symbolizing the inherent sexuality and desire in this card.
The red rose symbolizes the blossoming of life, the creative process from the seed of the idea to its full blooming and fruition. The fact that the rose is red relates to passion and desire.
The lightning bolt in the top of the card represents the flash of inspiration, the epiphany we often get that starts off the creative process.
The Flamenco dancer symbolizes the dynamism of this card, and the sexuality that we express. Flamenco dance has always been very active, very dynamic, very passionate, and I felt that these qualities are all perfect for the Ace of Wands.
The fire at the bottom of the card represents not only the element of the Wands suit, but also the inner fires that burn within each person: the inner fires from which our raw power and energy comes, the inner fires that are fuelled by inspiration, the inner fires that shine through when we express our passion, sexuality, egos, self, and lust for life. The Kenaz rune within this fire is the Rune for the Torch or flame, and it is a rune of creativity and inspiration.
The fact that the Wand is often a symbol of the God or Divine Masculine in the Tarot drew me to represent the four stages of the God (and therefore the Creative Process) in this card. At Dawn we see the young God, the Warrior, who has just realized his need for expression and goes out adventuring in order to find it. At Midday we see the Lover, the peak of the God, who fertilizes the ideas and needs for expression by giving it life. At Dusk we see the King, the God who is ready to sacrifice himself for what he loves- he is willing to put the hard work into the creative process in order to reap the rewards. It is one thing to have an idea and give it life, but it is another thing (and a very important thing!) to support it and put the continual hard work in to make it happen. Finally, we have the Sorceror, the God who reaches the Underworld and can look back at his progress and the outcomes of the process and learn something from it.
The Ace of Wands signifies the raw power and energy within us all- it is the fires that burn within. It can represent action, inspiration, passion, and the start of the creative process. It can also be a symbol of sexuality or the ego, as well as the start of creation and the giving of life.
The card was created on plain paper (7.75cm x 12.5cm) using Grafix coloured pencils.
Kiama (age 19) has been studying the Tarot avidly since the age of 9, and is currently in the process of co-creating a Tarot deck that explores the masculine side of Divinity through the Tarot archetypes. She is President of the Cardiff University Pagan Society, for whom she also gives talks on Tarot. She is reading Philosophy at Cardiff University, and lives with her fiancÚ in the town.
In her little spare time she enjoys traveling to sacred sites around the country, reading, writing, spending time with her friends, debating, and being a sad Harry Potter fan girl. She collects Tarot decks and has over 170 in her collection.
Go back to the project index, read the traditional card meaning, or get a free tarot reading with this deck.