Princess of Wands


A young woman gazes upward at a wooden staff she holds amidst a barren landscape. Like her brother the Prince, her short-brimmed hat sports a red plume, and her yellow dress is adorned with the symbol of the salamander, the creature of legend said to survive trial by fire.

One of the great controversies surrounding the Waite deck was the author’s decision to obscure the identity of the Princesses of the Trumps Minor by giving each of them the outer appearance of an androgyne and the title of a young boy, the “Page”. The American occultist Robert Wang suggests that Waite made this decision to preserve some esoteric secret, but whatever the reason, the so-called “Pages” of this deck signify the “daughter” principle and the “earthy” element of creation. This is made apparent here by the two predominant colors in the card: Orange, the color of fire; and green, the color of vegetation. The Princess, then, is a card of regeneration but also of devastation. Her lands are scorched, but her wand is living wood that sprouts ten leaves, symbolizing the Sephirotic Tree of Life in its completed form; hence her lands can be healed once the Divine spirit of Creation is invoked. This may not happen right away; for unlike the other Princesses in the Trumps Minor, who boldly hold their elements aloft, the Princess of Wands holds her wand on the ground, indicating that she is not quite ready to activate her creative powers. We all learn at our own pace, and our Princess is still, as they say, a “work in progress.”

Among the signs of the Zodiac the Princess of Wands has been traditionally assigned to Leo, sign of fixed fire, so this Princess has firm beliefs and a willingness to defend them; but sometimes she can be inflexible, and her ego can get the better of her.

Meanings of this card in a reading can include: Message of illumination, the land restored, comforts of hearth and home, family life in general, and more mundanely, a young woman born under a fire sign; but also troubling news, immaturity, jealousy and revenge. Princesses, as a rule, signify a course of study, the beginning of a process, or of a youthful phase of life. In this case, the Princess is still learning the ways of the world; perhaps we should ask ourselves if we have even learned as much as she!

Dante DiMatteo

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