I’ve elected to do another multi-deck reading. This time I will be comparing the Fairy Tarot to the Original Rider Waite Smith. The ideal juxtaposition between old and new: it presents the opportunity to contrast the weight of the Smith archetypes – individuals all trapped to some extent within life’s drudgery – with the light of the Virtue/Valentine elementals who have the ability, always, to up and fly away; people v.s. fairies, so to speak.
To begin, let’s look at both cards, paying attention to the similarities:
• the colour way is predominantly yellow, orange and green
• we are outside
• there are sunflowers
• the main protagonist is a queen
• she is female
• she wears a crown
Now look again, only this time for the differences. We will start with the Queen of Summer:
• It is night, sunset
• She is surrounded by small fairies
Lighting up the field in which she stands, illuminating her environment and bringing comfort to the night: they appear to be dancing or messing around. Are they celebrating, or are they instead bored – with prolonged waiting for something which has yet to manifest? Is this something daylight, morning..?
• She is dressed in orange and red
• She looks wistful and subdued
• She is looking to one side, her right, as well as slightly behind
What is she reminiscing about? Does this activity make her happy or sad?
• The wreath of flowers on her head looks heavy
• Her wings look like fallen Autumn leaves
• The sky is full of fire
We get the sense that her position is a burden as well as a delight; that her role as queen, leader, has many responsibilities. What might these be? And how might they be affecting her? Can you yourself relate to these same burdens and responsibilities, these worries and fears?
How would wearing a crown make you feel? Would you feel liberated or trapped, special and singled-out or released and set free?
What has happened to her wings to make them look so worn, or at least to appear so much older than her? Have they been on a long and exhausting journey? Are the small fairies attending her hard at work repairing her wings? Or are they fussing over her or inspecting her for damage and reporting back warning signs?
Look at the background. It’s orange and red. It’s full of pent-up energy waiting to be released. It looks like there is a storm brewing out there. Something big is about to happen. Something that will change everything as it is right now. Something that will wipe out the sunflowers in the field, scatter the tiny fairies snuffing out their lamps, cause the queen to step away from her position guarding the people and the land… What does the fire represent? What does fire symbolise? Can you relate the energy of that to something happening right now in your life? When is it coming? Is its purpose good, helpful, healing… Or is it more of a threat?
Now we move on to the Queen of Wands:
• There is a throne
• It is decorated with lions
• There is a tapestry, also with lions, and sunflowers
• There is a black cat, her face almost imperceptible amongst the blackness of her fur
In this instance, the cat symbolises magic, watchfulness, independence and discernment. She is cool, calm and collected. She is noble, regal and aloof. She is a keeper of secrets. She is also inquisitive and curious. She likes to explore the night, travel under cover of darkness. She represents the divine feminine, the goddess inside each and every one of us. She doesn’t require permission in order to act. She knows her own mind and has the power to honour it. Do you have some of this cat inside of you? Are you a keeper or a sharer of secrets? Are you confident within yourself and your own femininity?
The cat calls upon us to balance this energy, to add more social interaction and trust, to share and let in to our lives. Or to step back a little in order to achieve the opposite, to ask if we are giving all of our power away, weakening ourselves and dissolving our boundaries.
• There is a plinth
• There are mountains
• She is outside but it is day
• She holds a wand, a long staff of polished wood with little green leaves at the end
• Her dress is yellow
Feel the picture and its energy. Enter into its story. Be the queen. What do you see, hear, feel? How did you get here?
I see a woman surrounded by space and peace. The night has passed. The mountains are far away. The sky is clear. She is sitting without company, apart from the cat, in an elevated positioned, able to survey her people and the landscape below. Her throne is solid and ornate, she is not in fear of her power or of it being taken from her. She has travelled in order to get here and in doing so learned more than most. This has given her confidence and empowered her and earned her wisdom and integrity. Her crown celebrates this, as does her wand/staff, along with being a further source of strength. Like a tree, she draws energy from it and uses it to manifest.
The green/blue of the sky speaks of lots of self-healing, things already done. And the red of the tapestry, personal power and strength, security and grounding. She belongs in this role. She has always lived it, even before she formally wore a crown. The yellow speaks of instinct, identity, intellect, self-discipline and self-esteem, along with freedom of choice and happiness. It represents thought/thinking and reflects what is on your mind, how well you connect to it. And yet, while she looks confident and powerful, she also looks very sad and alone. I sense separateness, isolation, a life with acquaintances but few friends. Do you have so much confidence and courage that you have perhaps become too independent and shut the rest of the world out? Or are you alone because you fear interaction lest you get hurt?
This card asks you to look at these things and right the imbalance. It is necessary to have a little of both.
• There is a black upside down triangle at her neck
• On her crown, along with the gold, there are green leaves (similar to those on the wand)
• She is seated, poised
• She is looking in the other direction, left instead of right and into the fore– and not background
• She looks determined
Her mind is set. She knows what her obligations are and she is resigned to honouring them. This feels heavy, like her head is ruling her heart, disallowing her true emotions.
Neither queen, however, feels powerful in this moment. They have their title and the responsibilities and burdens it imparts. But they themselves appear to be humbled, weighed down and worn out by its demands.
How long has it taken them to get to this place of summer? What price have they paid? Have they sacrificed too much, perhaps; given too much of themselves and their energy away? Is this the cause of their haunting? Are they all worn and washed out? Are they empty and hollow inside? Are they sitting/standing in their position of power and success looking around and observing all of their abundance, all of their physical wealth (be it assets, talents, accomplishments, people, career…) but internally bearing the cost.
I feel pain and sadness. I sense regret. There is a yearning for something that has been lost. Perhaps a past self who was lighter and freer, who saw more colour in the world?
Who is this queen? What is she like as a person? If she was a friend or an acquaintance, how do we think she would think and act? How would her company make you feel? Would you be drawn to or repelled from her energy? Would her voice be strong and fill you with confidence? Or would it be gentle and soft, lending you peace? Is she serious and mature, or silly and childlike? Talk to her in your mind. Get to know her.
In the Fairy cards, we are told she is loving, comforting, emotional and intuitive. Does she sound like someone you know? Can you yourself relate to this energy? She strikes me as someone who cares very much for those whom she considers ‘her people’; someone who would do anything for them, no matter the personal cost. Someone who hates to see human suffering, who wishes always to help and to heal. Maybe because of this she is denying her own emotions, repressing core needs?
I sense her inner child is screaming, calling “Mummy, mummy…”; longing to be comforted and held, heard and allowed.
And yet the dominant message of this card is one of celebration and success, of having worked very hard to arrive at a certain point and of being able to sense, see and feel that.
Perhaps it’s calling you to take stock, to slow down enough to integrate all of that, to honour your achievements?
Perhaps you are being too hard on yourself, fixing your gaze on the finishing line without realising that you are well on your way to completing the journey you set?
This card calls you back to your heart, asking that you listen to its messages and to the intuitive insights you receive from deeper down inside, trusting what comes up.
It is also asking that you stop ignoring, suppressing, denying… the core needs of your soul and inner child and instead start paying attention to them.
What is missing from your life? How do you find happiness, excitement and joy? When did you last you look into whether you might be taking too much care of others, of ploughing too much of your energy into external things, into manifesting materially… while neglecting your spiritual life?
Spend some time meditating on both queens.
Stand in the field in the place of the Summer Queen. Be her essence. Feel her energy.
• what troubles her mind?
• what pains her heart?
• what is the main source of her discomfort?
Stand next to her.
• what does she want to tell/show you?
• what does she want you to learn?
• does she have an important message?
Now sit in the throne of the Queen of Wands. Feel her energy. See what she sees.
• what is preoccupying her thoughts?
• what is she emotionally like inside?
• why does she appear, despite having everything, not to have the one thing she needs?
Stand next to her.
• what story does she want to share?
• what is its moral/metaphor?
• does she have any warning, any healing, any advice?
Write down the answers to all of the questions in this article. Do your own reading of the cards. Look at how what you have written down relates to your life. Ask yourself where you need healing, where you need balance, where you need love. What needs stirring and what needs rest.
You have read this article and found these cards because right now they can help you in some way. Honour yourself with the permission and freedom to really appreciate what they offer.
If this article has stirred things up for you or made you realise there are things in your life you would like to resolve, please feel free to visit my contact page or email me me to discuss both these things and the possibility of our working together in the future to accomplish these things.
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