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What is the Meaning of the Two of Wands?

Enlightenment Tarot Two of Wands

The Two of Wands stands for wisdom and ideation on the spiritual level (wands). Two of Wands upright: authority. Two of Wands reversed: dilettantism.

Wisdom is not intelligence, wisdom is knowledge. To be precise, wisdom is the knowledge of principles, for example, the knowledge of the principles of enlightenment.

The Tree of Life with Tarot cards

Unlike street wisdom, we can’t acquire ageless wisdom from experiences. To gain ageless wisdom, we need to receive initiation, study enlightenment, and meditate.

Ideation clothes cosmic intention (Ace of Wands) into ideas. On this level, ideas are abstract and intentional like the intentional idea to experience a fulfilling relationship. Such ideas are seeds that grow into trees, i.e., external experiences.

Intentional ideas dominate all mental processes, including imagination, wishing, and thinking. Ideas are powerful. They can change the world, they have changed the world. For this reason, the respective internal experience is dominion and authority.

Two of Wands symbolism

Two of Wands

In the picture, two fiery wands face each other. This signifies harmony between intention and ideation.

On that level, there is no disharmony.

The white flames symbolize evolution (enlightenment), the black flames creation and involution – the soul’s involvement in experiences. The wands have three parts that stand for the three qualities of consciousness.

The two wands make one think of two electrical poles that produce an electrical field. In this case, the electrical field is spirit. Spirit illustrates the path that connects Kether (Ace of Wands) and Chokmah (Two of Wands):

The five Psychological Core Meanings of the Two of Wands

We derive the psychological meanings of Tarot cards from their position on the Tree of Life.

According to the Enlightenment Tarot framework, the Two of Wands represents Chokmah of Tiphareth, the sphere of wisdom on the intentional-spiritual level of human expression.

The Tree of Life with Tarot cards

Every Tarot card represents a faculty or power of consciousness. We can use faculties of consciousness constructively and destructively, which produce either a fortunate or an adverse state of mind. Hence, every Tarot card has five core meanings.

The five core meanings of the Two of Wands are:

  1. Faculty of consciousness: Ideation
  2. Positive use: Conception of an idea
  3. Negative use: None*
  4. Favorable internal experience: Authority
  5. Adverse internal experience: Dilettantism

* In the context of ageless wisdom, ideation is always auspicious. Ideation can be life-changing and disruptive, but these kinds of life changes are always for the better. What about acting according to spiritual principles?

Reflective Questions

If the Two of Wands appears in your spread, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are my intentions in harmony with the universe?
  • Do I generate clear intentional ideas for your life, business, and relationships?
  • Do I act according to spiritual principles?
  • Do I distill wisdom from experiences?

Summary

While the Ace of Wands signifies beginnings, the Two of Wands stands for the first step toward fulfillment – the clothing of cosmic intention into intentional ideas.

Where Do Tarot Card Meanings actually Come From?

The meanings of Tarot cards come from various sources. The most common are:

  • The position of the Tarot cards on the Tree of Life
  • Astrological correspondences (signs, planets, & houses)
  • The symbolism of Tarot cards
  • Intuition
  • Meanings that pertain to fortune-telling

Most of the Tarot card meanings you can google are astrological correspondences and go back to the Golden Dawn and Arthur Edward Waite. Astrological meanings dominate at present because Astrology is a divination tool and favors fortune-telling. But these meanings are unsuitable for (psychological) Tarot readings.

If you are interested in an overview of the astrological correspondences, you can download a high-resolution chart by subscribing to the Enlightenment Tarot.

Tarot card meanings are a bit of a mess since the meanings that pertain to their position on the Tree of Life are mixed up with astrological correspondences, symbolic interpretations, and fortune-telling connotations. That’s tedious to memorize. Further, tarotists’ opinions, knowledge, and linguistic backgrounds shaped some of these interpretations. Last but not least, many meanings are fuzzy, contradictory, and overlap. If you want to understand why they overlap, read the article How to Deal With the Overlapping Meanings of Tarot cards

The meanings of the Enlightenment Tarot are based on an objective, holistic framework: the Tree of Life and the four levels of human expression. The resulting meanings are transparent and logical, and hence, easier to memorize.

What do Various Tarotists Say about the Meaning of the Two of Wands?

Before we examine the Enlightenment Tarot framework, let’s explore what different tarotists said about the Two of Wands.

Traditionally, tarotists consider the astrological significances of Tarot cards. The Three of Wands is associated with the first decanate of Aries, ruled by Mars.

What Paul Foster Case Said About the Meanings of the Two of Wands

For the Two of Wands, Paul Foster Case offers the keyword dominion. He states that the Two of Wands indicates force, enterprise, boldness, resolution, some combativeness, and much originality. He derived these meanings from the position of the Two of Wands on the Tree of Life.

Paul said that the Two of Wands is a card of enthusiasm but of strong self-interest. Enthusiasm is a result of feeling alive. That’s the power of the spirit that connects Kether and Chokmah. Paul derives the notion of self-interest from the card’s astrological association. Aries is the sun sign of the ego and its natural house is the house of the self. 

According to Paul, an inauspicious Two of Wands signifies restlessness, fierceness, shamelessness, inordinate ambition, turbulence, obstinacy, and a tendency toward revenge. These indicate a selfish and immature expression of ideation.

What Arthur Edward Waite Said About the Meanings of the Two of Wands

Usually, Tarot cards picture the positive use of the power of consciousness they represent. The minor arcana of the Rider-Waite Tarot picture positive and negative applications. This carries some risk. Negative imagery offers a negative suggestion to the querent’s ego and subconsciousness, which may lead to a negative manifestation down the line. That’s why the Enlightenment Tarot uses geometrical arrangements of  wand, cup, sword, and pentacles for the minor arcana as well as positive, psychological titles. 

Have a look at the picture of the Two of Wands from the Rider-Waite Tarot taken from Wikipedia.

Arthur Edward Waite‘s comment on the picture: Here is a lord overlooking his dominion and alternately contemplating a globe. It looks like the malady, the mortification, the sadness of Alexander amidst the grandeur of this world’s wealth.

Did you feel the impact of the negative suggestion?

Arthur agrees that this card indicates dominion and elaborates that dominion is a result of conquest (Alexander the Great). He adds that dominion is always temporary, which we all know to be true.  

Waite gives the auspicious meanings of riches, wealth, fortune, and magnificence and the emotions that come with it: surprise, wonder, and enchantment. I don’t think he hits the mark with those attributes. Wealth is a matter of Malkuth, except we consider spiritual wealth, which is indeed wisdom (Chokmah). But this contains a grain of truth since ideation may lead to material wealth. 

Arthur offers the inauspicious meanings of suffering, disease, chagrin, sadness, mortification, trouble, and fear. The latter are emotional reactions to the loss of dominion and wealth.    

On the fortune-telling side, he offers the meanings of an impossible marriage, and that a young lady may expect trivial disappointments.

What Etteilla Said About the Meaning of the Two of Wands

Etteilla, a French occultist and the first known professional tarotist gives the favorable meaning of sorrow and surprises.

The meaning of surprise harmonizes with the fact that the spirit (Fool) animates the power of the Two of Wands. The spirit is foolish and its initiatives often take us by surprise.

What Papus Said About the Meaning of the Two of Wands

Papus, another French occultist and the founder of the Martinist Order, offers the meaning of opposition to the beginning of an enterprise.

This is an inauspicious interpretation of the Two of Wands. On that level there is but auspicious harmony.

What Gregor Mather Said About the Meaning of the Two of Wands

MacGregor Mather, the founder of the Golden Dawn, offers the auspicious meanings of birth, commencement, beginning, origin, and source. This is off since these are attributions of the Ace of Wands.

Gregor gives the inauspicious meanings of persecution, pursuits, violence, exaction, cruelty, and tyranny. Likely, he arrived at these meanings by considering the ill-use of intention and willpower, i.e. tyranny and the effects thereof. This is questionable since we are on the spiritual level of human expression, which is unconditionally auspicious. The ego can’t get involved in this lofty level.

What Mme. Le Normand Said About the Meaning of the Two of Wands

Mme. Le Normand was a famous fortune teller during the Napoleonic era and invented the Lenormand deck.

She thinks the Two of Wands foretells that a young lady may expect trivial disappointments.

This is on the fortune-telling side, so, no comment.

What Mme. Le Marchand Said About the Meaning of the Two of Wands

Mme. Le Marchand is a 19th-century, celebrated Parisian fortune teller. If the Two of Wands showed up in one of her Tarot readings, she would tell the querent, “Tomorrow morning, about seven o’clock someone inquires of you concerning anything whatever, give no answer, and you will escape a great vexation.”

This is on the fortune-telling side, so, no comment.

The Psychological Framework of the Enlightenment Tarot

Every Tarot card represents a faculty of consciousness. We can use a faculty of consciousness constructively and destructively. This produces favorable and adverse experiences.

We can express faculties of consciousness on four levels:

  • The spiritual level (wands/fire/intention)
  • The creative-feely level (cups/water/imagination)
  • The intellectual level (swords/air/intelligence)
  • The bodily level (pentacles/earth/bodily action)

The four tools on the magician’s table symbolize these four levels:

  • The wand (spiritual)
  • The cup (creative-feely)
  • The sword (intellectual)
  • The pentagram (bodily)
The Magician or Attention Tarot card

These tools correspond to the four so-called elements: fire, water, air, and earth.
For this reason, the Enlightenment Tarot wands are made of fire, the cups consist of water, and the pents are made of earth. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to illustrate something made of air, since air is invisible. For that reason, all swords are made of crystal to show at least transparency.

The Enlightenment Tarot derives its meaning from the Tree of Life and the four levels of human expression. This is an objective, holistic framework that reveals the psychological imports of Tarot cards and their faculties of consciousness. Read more about this framework in the article The Psychological Framework of the Enlightenment Tarot.

The Enlightenment Tarot project attempts to rediscover the original meanings of the Tarot cards that pertain to their position on the Tree of Life. These meanings are simple, clear, and easy to memorize.

Do you want to Learn more About The Enlightenment Tarot?

If you want to delve deep into the psychological meanings of Tarot cards, read the book Tarot of Life.

If you are curious about how the Enlightenment Tarot came about, read this article.

If you are interested in learning how to perform psychological Tarot readings, subscribe to receive a free copy of a guide on how to perform psychological Tarot readings.

If you are looking for a psychological Tarot deck, you came to the right place. The Enlightenment Tarot deck derives the cards’ meanings from a holistic and transparent framework that is easy to learn and memorize. All major and minor arcana carry psychological titles, and the court cards display psychological profiles. Have a look at the Enlightenment Tarot deck here.

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