In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
~ Khalil Gibran
From last week’s momentous invitation to leap into a new, unknown adventure, this week’s Four of Wands offers structure and harmony.
The Tarot’s Fours focus on grounding, order, and stability. And of course, Wands are ruled by the element of Fire: passion, action, and magic. When we are able to stablilize the energetic, creative Wands, a happy, nourishing outcome is the result.
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, we see a couple approaching the bower, which very much resembles a Jewish wedding chuppa. Yet it is not covered.
Instead, the four erect Wands are connected by the interwoven flowers and fruit, obvious references to fertility, abundance, beauty, and growth.
The man and woman are exuberantly waving flowers, and they are followed, or perhaps watched, by a crowd further back. Also in the background, we see the walled citadel, but this celebration is under sunny skies, outdoors in the fresh open air.
The happy couple is also crowned with flowers, or maybe the laurel wreaths of victory.
The Sacred Marriage
Tarot author and expert, Mary Greer, observes that this card is a celebration of the duality of animus and anima coming together in harmony. It may represent the Hieros gamos (the sacred marriage) that integrates, not only the male and female, but opposing energies within the self.
As such, Mary notes, the Four of Wands is a “rite of passage; in the Golden Dawn system it’s called ‘completion’ and its astrological attribute, Venus in Aries, represents the equinoxes, marking the end of one stage of life, and the beginning of another.”
And speaking of stages, this is one of the cards that artist Pamela Colman Smith, who was also a theatre designer, created with a long, double horizontal line in the foreground, separating the players and scenery into a backdrop, as in the theatre. It is as if the wands were floating in front of a stage, where the actors are playing their roles.
This could indicate that the marriage we are seeing may or may not be a literal one. However, a wedding this week would certainly be blessed. In fact, any happy celebration of success and moving into a new chapter of life would be fortunate.
The Four of Wands couple is connected to, and in harmony with the land. There is no hidden agenda here. Instead, we are shown freedom, simplicity, and joy under these golden skies.
First Harvest: Lughnasadh
Here in the northern hemisphere, we have been observing our rites of the turning of the Wheel of time. Now the light has returned to where it was at bright Beltane, and will be diminishing daily as we now approach Equinox next month.
This is the beginning of the Lughnasadh season; the harvest time, when all that we planted and prepared in Spring and high Summer now bear fruit and are gathered in.
The Four of Wands is a most auspicious card for this time, with its promise of the happy harvest celebration. In fact, it could easily be a snapshot of Lughnasadh’s harvest traditions — feasting, outdoor gatherings, fairs, dancing, and homecomings.
So in this card, we are reminded that home, family, friendships, and community comprise life’s treasures.
What seeds of your desires, planted in tender Spring are now ready for harvest? When you use your creativity and power in a practical, grounded way, what magical results might be possible?
Can you create more stable, simple, and generous ways of celebrating life?
In what way is it time for you to come out of your fortress? Do you long to revel in a happy reunion with loved ones?
What beauty and abundance would you like to celebrate and share with your family, friends, and neighbors? What rites or vows are you longing to make, under the wide open skies, for all to see?
The Four of Wands shows us that when we are able to ground the powers of fiery Wands, physical manifestation follows. When the fertility in the life force of Wands grows roots, it becomes joy shared.
This week, may you dance with your loved ones in Lughnasadh’s graces of gratitude and joy. May you revel in your own heart’s happy morning.