Jean teaches astrology, tarot & metaphysics. She is an author, ordained nondenominational minister, & member of the NJ Metaphysical Ctr.
The Suit of Wands
This article explains the history and meaning of the Wands in the Motherpeace Round Tarot Deck. They represent action, the use of energy, passion or fire, and the life of our spirit. They correspond to the fire signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius in Astrology. They are depicted by sticks, batons, clubs, tree branches or torches. They symbolize authority and power issues, and whether people accept certain leaders or whether they choose to challenge them.
Wands also represent the warmth and light that comes from fire, creative energy in all of its forms, and how people choose to express their sexuality. Fire is an ancient symbol of female power, because menstrual blood is red. Red is a sacred color that is frequently used in the Wands images in the Motherpeace Round Tarot. The ace through ten are drawn in yellows and reds, gradually becoming more red as the card numbers get higher. Red is associated with the planet Mars, and in our culture also with passion, war, and anger.
The people in the wands cards are very passionate and energetic, and based on pictures and literature from ancient or prehistoric matriarchal societies in Africa. These groups or families were socially organized around the core relationships of Mothers and children. They show scenes which try to express what these people felt during the discovery of fire, the invention of communication through language, and how culture evolved through the use of art, dance, and religious expression.
It appears to archaeologists that these women were able to live and protect themselves without going to war with anyone. Men had to be there, as new children kept being born, but women were clearly in control. Whenever a wands card comes up in a Tarot reading, the querent (person asking the questions) will act on whatever situation they have come to for advice. They must be careful not to act in haste though, but to take time to think things through. Generally they are a welcome sight, as wands bring new and exciting activities and joys into life.
Note: The explanation of this deck may be better understood if you begin with an article about The Motherpeace Tarot Deck. There are articles about all 78 cards. All the Major Arcana cards are covered in three articles and there are four articles for each of the suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles.
Ace of Wands
The Ace of Wands is a celebration of a new life being born! This is the beginning of spirit, intuition and new energies. The depiction of a new baby breaking through an egg is a rebirth of the spirit taking place. A person who has been ill or depressed may finally feel well enough to tackle everyday life tasks once again, or begin finding innovative and new ways to deal with their problems.
This energy is very expansive and catching, everyone around it will find their abilities to create things heightened, and feel a much greater sense of what can be accomplished now. The vivid image of the dazzling yellow, orange and red fire in the scene almost suggests a feeling of immortality. The energies just feel so very alive, confident, warm, friendly, and one has a desire to fulfill their desires right away!
Shakti, the Hindu Goddess of Fire, can lend her powers to the person to help stimulate creative urges. The spirit feels alive, as at the beginning of Spring after a long and cold Winter. The person is happy, healthy, and wants to get moving on whatever their goals are now. It’s like the heart has caught on fire, and nothing can be held back at this time. There is no turning back once so much creative energy has burst forth.
I love to see the Ace of Wands in any reading, because I then know that new ideas and new plans are right around the corner, and I will have the will and energy to work on them! When the Ace is reversed, the person cannot act on their feelings of creativity and passion at this time. Perhaps they may be feeling afraid of expressing strong feelings, or just are not reading to address anything new yet. When the card tilts to the right, the person has too much energy and needs to find an outlet for it. When tilted to the left, energy levels are very low, and the person can barely summon the energy to get out of the house.
Two of Wands
In the Two of Wands we see what appears to be a young woman who is being visited by an old ancestor, or maybe summoning up a vision of one. This relative is trying to teach her how to make a fire. Fire was a very important factor in life in ancient civilizations, so making it is an extremely important thing to understand. Most cultures attribute the discovery of fire to women. The Two of Wands is about the realization and usage of your own personal power, and learning how to use the fire born in the Ace. There will be someone along the way to help you in your actions when you see the Two.
The one learning is open to understanding now, and will listen and watch as the older or other person or spirit shows her the way to make a fire by rubbing wands together. Both parties participate in the actions now, one who learns, and one who patiently teaches a new skill that will be useful all throughout life. This dream or vision means that intuition is beginning to awaken in person who is the learner. She may begin to be able to interpret the flashes of insight she is getting or is starting to realize how much she is actually capable of doing.
If the Two of Wands is reversed, the person may not have energy, feeling incapable of getting anything accomplished. It may also be time to make a decision between two options, and the person is not ready to do that. When the card tilts to the left, intuition is not actively being read or used. But when the card tilts to the right, one is eager to get started learning something new and exciting!
Three of Wands
Threes are more stable, signifying a creative flow of energies and harmony between people, usually a group of people. In the Three of Wands we also see people willing to help one another and share their knowledge. This three is about communication and the joy of expressing your creative abilities, and sharing what you have made with others. The Motherpeace deck has taken some of the images in the cards from pictures on rock walls in the Sahara.
We see a Mother showing her children how to paint and experience their own creativity without fear or criticism. The happy expressions on their faces shows how joyful they feel as they make prints of their little hands, something that we still do with our little children in these times. The fire of the torches allows them to see to make pictures at night if they wish. By drawing, painting and manifesting the things they are thinking about, they are learning valuable life lessons.
Animals from prehistoric times are portrayed on the walls, perhaps ones that walked the Earth at the time these tribes lived on it. When a person gets the Three of Wands in a Tarot reading, it means that they have made significant progress towards the beginning of their project or goals, and now can sit back for a bit and wait for the results of the work that has been completed.
When this card is reversed in the reading, communications are blocked, and it is not a good time to work in a group. The person has an issue with speaking their own truth, which may lead to a sore throat. Holding in feelings, or “sitting on them” usually results in sickness of some kind, or at least a lack of energy. When this card tilts to the left, it is necessary to be careful about how words are expressed. If the card tilts to the right, energies are out of balance or the person may be trying too hard to get their points across, thus annoying other people.
Four of Wands
The Four of Wands is always a card of celebration, usually of some rite of passage. In this case, it is the onset of the young girls’ first menstrual period. They are passing from one stage of life to the next, from being young girls to being young women now. They can put away their work for awhile, so that the biological and spiritual growth happening in their lives can be acknowledged. There is a hearth in the center, and the girls happily dance around underneath bowers of flowers as they celebrate the new changes in their bodies. All of them are decorated with flowers, representing Springtime and the “flowering” of their own womanhood. There is a large ring of flowers around them too, which binds them together with their tribe in happiness and love. I noticed that as a teen, or older, when I had a tight group of girlfriends, as the years passed, we all got our periods at the same time. Did this ever happen to any other women readers?
The flower Wands they carry symbolize male energy, soon to come into their lives as they take on more adult responsibilities and have more powers. But for today they can play and act out their great enthusiasm. The lilies by the alter stand for the sweetness of their purity, offered to the goddess along with a few drops of menstrual blood in appreciation for life itself. In ancient times, the first menstrual blood was known to be a healing medicine, and would later be used by members of the tribe in recognition and gratitude of the magic inherent in the female sex.
There is also a hummingbird flying overhead, blessing the girls with messages from the divine realms at this joyous celebration. When this card is reversed, the meaning is still the same and just as good! If it tilts to the left, some of the people are having trouble getting into the celebrating and cannot cut loose. When it tilts to the right, the young women are filled with positive energy, and want to have a great time to make the most of it!
Five of Wands
Fives in the Tarot always signify change or struggles with other people, although when in reverse it means the change is for the better or the struggles have been overcome. We see the women in the card looking conflicted or angry, and they appear to be challenging the one in the middle who has a position of power. So a conflict is always present, either between a group of people, or within different facets of one person.
Fives can also just be a contest or game of friendly competition. The people in this card have different weapons and positions, and it is a contest that will cause minimal pain to anyone. All points of view will be respected, but these women are vying for the position of the High Priestess, which changes every year in a tribe, and the “best” Priestess will win. The red in the background supplies energy for a fair fight between them. Each voice must be heard and each point of view expressed.
There is an active volcano in the background too, eliminating small bits of pressure. There is also a Griffin-Phoenix who watches over them all, a symbol of rebirth of the group harmony after the outcome of the game, which pre-dated the Olympic games by centuries. When the card tilts to the left, some members are reluctant to involve themselves in the conflict. If it tilts to the right, the present Priestess will go for the position with all her willfulness.
Six of Wands
This is a very joyful card, warm and expansive, showing a person in a position of personal creative power. It is an archetypal image of Shakti, and shows the pure and radiant fire energy coming from her center. The six-spoked wheel represents the four elements plus the head and body, a concept taken from Indian icons of deities that had many arms. She holds six wands in her hands, each tipped with a different symbol for the four Tarot suits of air, fire, water, and Earth, plus the Sun and the Moon.
The lion and salamander represent her fiery side, the octopus her receptive and emotional self. To be centered in fire means victory, so this woman is radiating well-being, and her personality can take control now and be sure how to handle whatever situation is happening in her life. Self confidence is the main characteristic of this card, and also leadership abilities and passion for life. She is in her full glory right now. When the Six of Wands is in a reading, you will emerge victorious from whatever you wished. If the card is reversed, she does not have the confidence to express her power at this time. If it tilts to the left, the full force of it has not come through yet either. When the card tilts to the right, now she is ready to express the fullness of her confidence and leadership qualities.
Seven of Wands
Sevens in the Tarot usually mean you have made a big accomplishment, but it has come at a high cost and its effect may be a fleeting one. The Priestess is standing on her own in the center of the card and must know how to handle the most difficult situations. She is wearing a headdress of a crescent Moon, representing both change and balance. The peacock feathers she wears on her head symbolize wisdom, power, and initiation. The torch of truth is in her right hand to light the way for others, showing leadership and philosophical knowledge. She has an amulet of power objects around her neck to aid her in these goals. She needs them, although she is holding her own, the others are not supportive of her, and are challenging her to see if she can be overpowered.
One woman confronts her directly, holding her wand aloft. The others have different reactions to this situation: expressions of boredom, interest, reflection, anger and support are noticeable. There is debate and a heated verbal exchange going on. The communication is important, because they are trying to decide as a group if this woman who now leads them should continue to do so in the future. The Seven of Wands expresses a time when one may not feel satisfied with life the way they are living it, and will be contemplating what kind of changes would benefit them. When this card is reversed, the person in power may question their own ability to lead, have difficulty holding their ground, and lose confidence in themselves. If the card tilts to the left, the person is still considering their stance and forming ideas about the situation. When the card tilts to the right, they feel strongly assertive and are ready to act on their ideas.
Eight of Wands
The Eight in the Wands suit in most Tarot decks are called “the arrows of love” because they are various depictions of either Cupid firing arrows in the air, or just plain arrows flying in swift formation to their goal. In Motherpeace, the card is a vivid yellow, and the elf’s fast moving arrows are being shot from a magical bow. This can indicate the sudden beginning of a romance, or of two people who have known each other for some time, but have a sudden directness or change of heart and want to be together now. It is a time to take a risk, try to do something new, and let your passions take you where they will.
The arrow could be a phone call, visitor or message that helps you to decide to engage in a new project or idea. It is a time of high energy and psychic ability. Now you can read other people’s thoughts with ease, or take the initiative in a relationship that hasn’t begun yet, but you would like to see begin. Narrow in on a specific goal, and you will succeed. When the card is reversed, energy is blocked and it will be hard to start anything new at this time. The person may be afraid to take on anything new now, such as a new lover. When the card faces to the left, there is ambivalence and hesitation. But when the card faces the right, the person is ready to do what it takes to go after what they want.
Nine of Wands
This card represents a large accumulation of energy which the woman has “stored up” to put to wise and competent use. She is trying hard not to waste or dissipate her energies, and we see from the injury on her head that getting to this point in life has been difficult for her, so she wants to be sure her hard work was not in vain. Each flaming torch behind her represents one new experience she has learned along the road of life. She sits in a meditative posture, by the bases of the torches of light and truth, trying to master the life force in her body and get ready for the time she will release it for a healing and creative endeavor. It is time for her experiences to be transmuted into wisdom, and she is almost ready for whatever actions are necessary. She has learned from a Shaman to master the heat, thus is able to sit surrounded by so much of it.
She can do this without the difficulties a younger or less experienced person would have. There are two snakes representing kundalini energies on either side of her, showing that her sexual urges are under control, that she knows their inner mysteries. Her kundalini energies have been awakened and she is sensitive to its affects in her body, her nervous system alive with vitalization. Her mastery of self control illuminates her personality, and she can respond very creatively to any and all situations that may befall her in life. She knows how to regenerate her own energies and use them to heal and help others. If the card is reversed, she is too run down and all her energies are depleted. If the card faces left, she is still trying to build her energy levels back up. When the card faces the right, she must make sure she does not give up so much of her energy that she does not have enough to build herself back up, and will use it more thoughtfully.
Ten of Wands
This is the card that you get when you are carrying too many of other people’s burdens, to the point where you cannot even see where you are going. All of your energies must be released, all the tension, anxiety, strains, fears, and all the commitments of everyday life that can overwhelm us if we let them. The women in this card are trying to channel and release some of these negative energies by engaging in a “trance dance.” The three women if the foreground are working to bring focus and positive guidance to the energy being freed up in the dance. One keeps the beat on a drum, a common technique for a Shaman to bring about psychic openings. The young woman in the center gives voice to these powers by speaking and singing. The third woman is translating what is said and writing it all down on a stone tablet. In this way the sacred inspiration is recorded for the future.
What leads to such a scene? People easily let themselves get overly committed and let others make too many demands on them. It is hard to say “no.” Sometimes we feel anger, but it is unfocused and diffused, and really we are angry at ourselves for taking on too much. It is healthier to get the energies unblocked, and to let it loose with the help of friends. When this card is reversed, she is pulling back her energy and letting those around her solve some of their own problems, not wasting any of her own that will not be helpful in the long run. Sometimes when I cannot be objective and let others read for me, I often am told that I give too much of my power and energy away.
When the card faces left, she is still using discretion about how much of her energy to give away. When the card faces right, great demands are being made on this person again, and she must cut back. In my experience, tens normally come up in pairs in a Tarot reading. In a system that goes from ace-ten, your situation cannot possibly get any worse once you get the ten. Although this may not sound like much comfort, if your life is a mess it can be helpful. If the ten is reversed, the situation will definitely change. Usually the Ten of Cups and Ten of Discs come up often together.
The Ten of Cups shows such a happy group or family, perhaps an ideal that many families can never achieve, no matter how much they love and care for each other. The Ten of Discs is about physical comforts, security and money, and whether the people have enough of these things. Or perhaps they have them, but do not appreciate them! The Ten of Swords depicts different things depending on the deck, but is a failure to communicate and a person in severe mental pain.
Mental is the key here, it’s all in the way they look at their life situation. This often pairs with the Ten of Wands, the overburdened people I wrote about in the beginning of this paragraph. When two tens come into a reading together, it means a transformation of some type will come about, and the person’s life will change in regard to whatever else is in the reading. This is almost always for the best, and although it may not yet be a complete solution to all the problems one faces, it is a start in the right direction.
Where Are the Motherpeace Cups Cards?
They can be found right here.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Why do you say there's an injury on 9 of wands head tarot card? I don't see it, wondering if this is a mistake or I'm missing something!
Answer: That was my mistake. I was thinking of the 9 of Wands in the Rider Waite Smith deck.
© 2011 Jean Bakula
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on May 08, 2016:
When the administrators moved my Motherpeace hubs to Exemplore.com, they didn't move the Court Cards. Thanks for taking the time to look for them. Best regards,
Snu on May 04, 2016:
something changed really hard to get to court cards
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on October 19, 2015:
I'm glad you found a deck you like, there are so many! It's actually a pretty old deck, made in the 1970s, during the Feminist movement. But it's still very popular today. If you go to Motherpeace.com, you can look more at the cards and get updated info on what the artists are now doing. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Take care.
It's also unusual that you can still buy this old deck, and it doesn't cost a fortune. Sometimes when you find an older deck you like, there are either only a few left in print, or they rip you off on the price. Ebay is a good place to check.
Rosy from Chandigarh on October 16, 2015:
I like this new and beautiful deck as this deck is very new for me but still i find it interesting and informative.
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on October 23, 2014:
I love the deck too, I only discovered it a few years ago. Lately I've begun reading Tarot out of a new business, and may incorporate the Motherpiece deck and others into it. Most people are familiar with the Rider Waite, but I get bored with it! I do get a lot of men for readings too, so it would be interesting to read with Mother peace. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Lionrhod from Orlando, FL on October 21, 2014:
I adore this deck. As a kid I badgered my mom for a tarot deck and this is the one she got me. The pictures are gorgeous and vibrant and the deck is incredibly easy to read. Up and awesome.
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on September 25, 2011:
It's not an easy deck to understand. One of the reasons I wrote the hubs was to help me. Once you write about something, it forces you to think about it in more depth. At first I would do a reading with the Rider-Waite, and follow up with a Motherpeace reading. Similar cards come up. It's just more emotionally centered. The roundness and degree thing sounds hard, but it comes more naturally than it seems it would. All readers have favorite decks, and begin collecting them. I still think the Rider-Waite is the standard best.
d.william from Somewhere in the south on August 24, 2011:
Wonderful article. Much information. I am not sure my limited brain can maintain all this information, in my attempt to learn how to use the tarot deck.
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on July 18, 2011:
Thanks for visiting Nell Rose! I enjoy readings with just the Major Arcana too. I try to keep one deck with the majors and minors separate, because I read at a Metaphysical Shop. I like to do Life Path readings, because it's important, but doesn't take too much time. If my next appointment comes in, then I have my other deck that isn't separated. Take care, Jean
Nell Rose from England on July 18, 2011:
Hi, this is really useful, I usually only read the Major Arcana, but the Minor is just as important, I have been reading the Tarot for years, and sometimes I forget there is more to it than the Major! lol thanks nell
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on June 24, 2011:
The tarot is so interesting! You need to be patient though, as it has 78 cards. Now that I began this series I have to finish, and have the Major Arcana cards to do. They are things your soul MUST experience in this life. But if you are forewarned, you have free will, so can make a plan or avoid the harshest aspect of whatever point it is in your evolution of the soul.
Pamela Sarzana from northern Indiana on June 24, 2011:
I don't know much about astrology, but I always thought Tarot cards were kind of interesting.
John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on June 11, 2011:
Nice hub. You're so knowledgeable about the ocult. I wish I knew half of what you do. I know just a tad about Astrology (Chinese Astrology included), but nothing compared to you. Thanks again for the post
justom from 41042 on June 10, 2011:
Yeah, lord knows we wouldn't want to see naked women (especially big pictures:-P) I'm just telling the truth, those folks who get 100 just repeat stuff we've all heard over and over. I can't even stand to read that crap. FYI our good buddy Patti Inglish commented on Mickey Dee's newest hub about Vietnam and had the nerve to still call that war a "conflict". I called her out on it, something about that woman just grates on me. Take care! Tom
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on June 10, 2011:
Tom, you are ever the gracious gentlemen and write many great hubs yourself. This deck is really obscure, so I love it. I was afraid I might get censored because the women are naked, but I think it's tasteful and make the pics small, lol! I read my hubs with their 95 scores and see so many with 100 scores, and don't know what I am lacking in my writing. I never realized I was so competitive, or I needed such validation. Thanks for helping me feel better about my hubs! You are a great guy! Peace, as always! Jean
justom from 41042 on June 10, 2011:
Jean this was a very interesting read. I don't really know much about Tarot but I do remember when I was about 16 years old I befriended a couple that were a bit older and the wife (I don't remember either of their names) was into reading Tarot Cards. She was so laid back that I developed a major crush on her. There was a beauty about her I can't even explain. This writing is, for me, way beyond what some of the so called writers on HP claim to be good. Excellant work! Peace!! Tom
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on June 10, 2011:
Thank you so much for your kind words, edmondsyd. I am happy you enjoyed the read. It's a deck I've been working with on & off, so writing the hub was like a study time for me! Take care, Jean
edmondsyd from Michigan on June 10, 2011:
This was excellently written and very imfortative. I can tell you spent a lot of time on this and it shows! Fascinating material; readers are sure to love it!
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on June 09, 2011:
I'm happy you are enjoying this. I could swear I answered you already. I've been updating some older hubs. Motherpeace is in a class all by itself, and I'm fascinated with it. Writing gives me the change to reinforce the interpretations in my own mind, as I don't often read with the deck.
Fay Paxton on June 09, 2011:
I just love these round tarot decks. I sent a couple to my friend who reads and she was absolutely thrilled. She had never seen them before.
up/useful and awesome