Queen of Wands


A queen of the court is seated on a throne adorned with images of lions and lion’s heads. In her right hand she holds her staff; in her left hand, a sunflower. She gazes away from us, as if surveying a faraway vista. Her black cat, by contrast, stares directly at us.

The Queen of Wands represents the mature feminine in Wands, the “watery” part of fire that tempers the King’s more volatile personality. She is the only one of the court cards in Wands that does not feature a representation of a salamander, and this is why; she exists to absorb and even extinguish fire if needed, not to “fan the flames” of emotion into which the apocryphal amphibian is hurled. Her “animal spirit” is the cat—in this case, the lion (the fire sign of Leo) and the black cat, symbolizing the power of the unconscious mind to transform beauty into nightmares. Sunflowers naturally follow the motion of the sun; they seek only light. The sinister black cat of fable, however, is a creature of the night—by day, it’s only a pussycat!

The Queen of Wands has traditionally been assigned to Aries, the cardinal sign of fire. Because her qualities mediate the more mercurial nature of the King, this card is often associated with people who have been successful in the legal profession. This is the card of Hestia and Vesta, goddesses of the hearth; their use of fire is nurturing and warming, not destructive by nature. But woe unto he who arouses her anger!

Meanings of this card in a reading can include: Home fires rekindled, the comforts of home, a legal matter settled, anger quelled, emotions stilled, “looking on the bright side”, and conventionally, an older woman born under a fire sign; but also ferocity, jealousy, the psyche consumed by anger, the seeds of confusion sown, troublesome litigation, witchcraft and black magic. The Queen of Wands has, at heart, a balanced and “sunny” disposition, but that same “fiery” optimism can turn into implacable rage if provoked.

Dante DiMatteo

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