January 5, 2012: Today, we are using the Haindl Tarot, and the attributions of Wands and Swords are reversed from those we have used in the Mannini Tarot. Here, Wands are Fire, and today's card is the
Four of Wands
Herbert Haindl was a visionary artist, and his cards are paintings he has created. In this card, the four wands are alternating upright and reversed to illustrate the Hermetic axiom, "As above, so below." There are several other interesting symbols which are used throughout the entire deck, which reappear in certain spots in different parameters. Among these are the bubble and the eye. I can do no better, if you use this deck, than to point you to the masterful and thorough interpretation done by Rachel Pollock in the book that was published at the same time as the deck was released. Here is a portion of her chapter on divination of this card in a reading:
"In the painting, Kathedrale. a tree grows in the center of the broken church. The trunk of the tree appears like stone, as if new life grows from the ruins of the human construction. The bubble, too, indicates new possibilities...The eye, too, reminds us of Aeon,with the ancient eye looking out from behind the clouds. This eye has not quite opened, not quite emerged from the stone.Though the hand coming down signifies a gift, it also recalls the hand in the Wheel of Fortune. That image symbolizes the need to take our fate in our hands. Here we should realize that if a hand reaches out to us with a gift, we need to extend our own hand in order to take it. If life gives us new opportunities,we need to act, in order to take advantage of them.
For readings,the meanings of the Four of Wands includes the idea of new life, new possibilities. The card tells us to look out for opportunities,and to make sure we take action at the right moment. More broadly, it signifies a feeling of renewal in a person’s life. This is a feeling of excitement, of growth. If action is necessary, so is humility. The powerful Fire energy can lead to arrogance. The spears pointing down remind the person to keep a sense of balance. Otherwise, the possibilities can be lost."
My own interpretation of this card in a Witchy sense includes a correspondence to the "as above, so below," the concept of Paying Coin. Here, the Air cards, which symbolize thought and ideas, are represented by Fire, reminding me of the concept of the "spark of inspiration" or that light bulb going off over the head of a cartoon character when he/she finally "gets it." But Four is about balance, always, and I am also, here, irresistibly reminded of the rune "Gyfu", which is an X, four lines reaching in the four directions, as a crossroads, leading one in any direction one chooses--but leaving the other three directions unexplored. Gyfu can be taken as a gift, or a curse, and Haindl's Four of Wands reminds us that energy moves both ways. We will pay Coin for the decisions we make, we will choose something but that means we do not choose something else, we will walk one path down the crossroads, but the other paths remain unexplored. In a reading this card may be an illustration of this truth--remember, you are choosing here, and therefore, by Naming your choice, you are also Naming all the things it is not. Make certain you are ok with that.