The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
~ Warren G. Bennis
To my surprise, ever since I began posting my Tarot Card of the Week in 2004, I have never once pulled this card. Until now.
We welcome, at long last, the Two of Wands! This card’s absence may have been easier to overlook than, say, never getting the Fool, or the Lovers, or even the Nine of Swords. But it is an important guide and the timing of its arrival is interesting, coming in the week that culminates in the Libra Full Moon, often called the Pink Moon.
With so much astrological energy coming from action-figure Aries (there are four planets, plus the Sun in Aries this week), there is a hard push to get things moving. Yet, with Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto all retrograde, getting up real momentum is tricky.
The Two of Wands seems to reflect this impasse rather well. Twos portray choices, duality, this and/or that. And Wands are associated with the element of Fire, depicting action, energy, passion, and power.
As we can see, the wand behind the wealthy merchant is secured to his castle wall. He has turned his back on this, and looks in a different direction.
He holds in one hand a globe. In his other hand, he holds a second wand, which rests on a parapet decorated with white lily and red rose – a motif we see prominently highlighted in a number of the cards, including two we’ve recently encountered – the Hierophant, and last week’s Ace of Pentacles.
This is as contemplative (and even melancholy) as the Wands can get!
I always imagine that the two wands create a sort of doorway, or a magical threshold. But how shall he move through it, if he remains within his castle walls and at this height?
Arthur Waite writes that this card echoes, “the sadness of Alexander amidst the grandeur of this world’s wealth.” Rachel Pollack explains that legend has it Alexander wept when he had succeeded in all his conquests, because he could not imagine there was anything else for him to do. Not long afterwards, he died.
Can the successful warrior learn to transition his skills to peacetime? Or will he continue to hunger for war? Will the former leader be satisfied as the manager? Shall the explorer and pioneer settle down, or will they forever desire faraway adventures?
How many times have we come to the end of an important event, only to long for new challenges? After we have fought for our achievement, won the day, and reached the pinnacle of success, it may then become our full-time job to tend it.
But can we? Should we? Does this bring satisfaction, or instead, restlessness? Are we happy with our accomplishments, or perhaps bored, even disappointed?
Like the merchant, we may yearn for new horizons. Are we in a castle of safety and security, or behind walls that lock us in place?
There is a quiet tension here between the security of success and the desire for new risks. Which way will you go?