Editor’s Note: If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article tells you how to use the spread. You can visit Sarah’s website here. –efc
By Sarah Taylor
As I’m wont to mention, the tarot describes a journey. More precisely, it describes our journey through life, and through the development of our own consciousness.
The Six of Wands and the Six of Cups from the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck. Click on the image for a larger version.
Tarot readings tend to pinpoint or draw attention to particular matters on that journey, but the deck itself embodies several journeys. The major arcana represents our archetypal journey — the symbolic life that we lead and the symbols that we embody, aspire to, deny, and try to avoid on our travels. The suits represent the journey from spirit into matter — from Wands, through Cups and Swords, to Pentacles — and back again.
And the numbers, from Ace to King, represent a form of developmental journey, from non-incarnate potential, to the moment of incarnation, and the experience of life in all of its richness.
Initiation. Duality. Complication. Pause. Conflict. We’ve had it all in the run-up to today’s group of cards: the Sixes. And here we have yet another change. In the Fives we hit the resistance and upheaval of rough seas. In the Sixes, just for a moment, we find ourselves in calmer waters, where we are able to regroup, take stock, and act with more clarity. What follows is a description of each card, starting with the most nebulous — the Wands — and moving deeper into the world of matter as we arrive at the Pentacles.
[A note: several earlier articles have already explored the Six of Wands and Swords in some detail, and I will be sourcing much of my content for these two suits from them.]
Six of Wands
A red-cloaked man rides into town on his elaborately mantled horse, his chest pushed out in a gesture of pride and authority. He holds a wand firmly in his right hand, which is joined by five other wands being held aloft behind him. His wand is garlanded with a red-ribboned laurel wreath, and he wears a second laurel wreath on his head.