View Full Version : Bohemian Gothic (2nd Edition) Four of Wands
This Four of Wands gives me such an odd and eerie feeling. I immediately feel a sense of being trapped, bored and wanting to experience freedom! We see a woman standing outside of a gated and enormous castle at night. She is holding a bouquet with red and white roses, symbolic of growth her state of innocence and the desires that she has. She wears a gorgeous, free flowing purple gown with light blue lace detailing. The dog next to her is her friend, perhaps her only true one. This woman is wealthy but she feels trapped both figuratively and emotionally. We see what appear to be two ghostly apparitions of herself behind the wall of the grounds of the castle. One is wearing a turquoise dress and shows her holding a garland made of flowers from one hand to another. I get the sense that the garland represents her feeling trapped at either side of the spectrum. She must be filling her time with seemingly meaningless activities just to entertain herself. The other is a partial reflection of herself, but she is inside of the castle wall and is almost hidden entirely by the foliage. The reflection shows her with a single red rose in her hair.
Her gaze sends shivers down my spine. She is daydreaming--caught up in the story in her mind--and almost doesn't seem to realize that there is so much more outside of her life inside the castle. A man stands at the top of the castle and appears to be watching her. He will not stand to see her leave. Who is he - a jealous lover, a guardian of sorts or just a controlling person? She can blossom like the flowers that she holds, but she has to realize this. She can make the necessary changes and escape. She may feel like all is lost when she does this and may have to start from scratch, but all that she needs is that single burst of energy, the power of action--just like the one red rose in he reflection--and take that first step.
We can all feel stuck at times, but we have free will to alter the course.
In this card, I immediately see three women varying in age. Beside them sits a dog. They're in a garden and all of them have a very pleased happy expression. My eye catches the image of a man on the rooftop of the castle in the background. He watches the women down below. What is his emotion? I think of the whole scene as a family. They're so steriotypical they even have a dog. But is the husband happy with his situation, with this stability?
This card to me represents harmony, and happiness, as well as stability. But the person might not be happy with this stability. (Thus why I question the man's emotion as he watches his "Family" Below)
This is what I see...
There are three women with celebratory and joyful expressions on their faces. It appears as if they are decorating for a party or celebration, a happy occasion. Each woman has flowers. One is holding a garland, another, a bouquet of red roses, and the other one has a rose in her hair.
There is the creepy figure of a man watching them from the roof. It is as if he is waiting, watching, like he means them harm, or he can see the future, and it is bleak. At any rate, they are not aware of him as they continue to prepare for the celebration. Who is he? Is he someone they know?
There is a dog at their feet, watching, loyal. Usually animals are in tune with the whole picture and are aware of energy and entities, so the dog probably knbows that their joy will soon come to an end, but still he sits loyally at her feet. He will be there no matter what takes place.
The house behind them looks like it has been deserted and uncared for, there is ivy on the outside, and it looks half empty, the lights downstairs are the only ones on. The whole top floor is black. That gives the man a more ominous quality, as if he is lurking in the dark. Did he turn off the lights? or does he know the house so well that he can see his way through the dark rooms, knowing the layout of the furniture so well and where all the doors are.
This card feels like a call to be aware. Who means you harm? What is lurking just outside of your awareness?
The women are acting from their hearts. Their dresses are green (Heart chakra) and pink (love) but the head seems not to be in it (the darkness upstairs)
To me, the women in the foreground of the castle seem to be happy and enjoying themselves - for a brief time. The castle and the man on top of it seem ominous, I feel once the women go back inside they are not free anymore but under control of this man. The castle seems like a prison and the women are enjoying a brief moment of freedom. Maybe the castle is haunted?
It would be helpful if posts like this could examine the original First Edition posts. Some of these 2nd editions are different from the first, but others, like this one, are very similar, with little but color choices and such alter. It would enrich, I think, the conversation to see what's been said already about these cards. And it would save someone like me, who has both editions, from having to repeat what's already been discussed.
One marked difference between 1st and 2nd is that there is very little question that the Woman in the foreground is happy, nor do I see the other women as "ghostly" (what gave you that impression?). To the contrary, the flowers, the colors, everything about them is vibrant, alive, real. They are, if you like, like the flowers in their hair and the flowers in the garden.
The only "haunted" figure is the man on the roof. Many interesting comments were made about him in the first edition post. Including that, this being a card typically about marriage, the women might be the marriage party, with the man the would-be groom.
The four-sided home reflects the foursome, and the four wands that often stand for the creating of a structure. For a celebration of something completed and the next stage about to begin (engagement over, marriage is the next step--also couple moving into their own home).
There is a contrast between the flowery out doors and vivatiousness of the women, and the stiffness and distance, the grayness of the man. Does this promise that this marriage might suck the life out of the woman? Will those four walls imprison her as the open garden does not?
It would be helpful if posts like this could examine the original First Edition posts.
I agree completely! To facilitate this, a link to the 1st edition thread is here. (http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=109511)
It would be helpful if posts like this could examine the original First Edition posts. Some of these 2nd editions are different from the first, but others, like this one, are very similar, with little but color choices and such alter. It would enrich, I think, the conversation to see what's been said already about these cards. And it would save someone like me, who has both editions, from having to repeat what's already been discussed.Sulis asked that we start new threads for each of the card's for the second edition, which is why we are doing so.
In addition, some people don't have the 2st edition and may not be able to engage in comparative discussions, just a thought.
(I have both, but am currently only working with the 2nd).
Posted in wrong thread :0
I'm seeing the girls as looking very happy and carefree. To me they are linked with the illuminating light of the downstairs of the house, almost as if a party is about to start and they are waiting for the guests to arrive.
The man up on the top of the house may be thier father , its hard to judge the ages of the girls. However to me he does not appear as a threat, when looking with my magnifying glass he seems to me to be looking at the girls with almost a wistful look in his eye as if he is envying them their carefree ways. He appears lonely in the dark area of the house.... Is he the one that is trapped and wishing he could be with them? His clothes are dark and he almost has the look of an undertaker or a toff with his top hat, is he stifled by tradition. I somehow feel the dog is his, sent down by his master to watch over the girls to make sure they are safe .
The man up on the top of the house may be thier father
Why father rather than husband-to-be? I ask because one of the most traditional interpretations of 4/Wands is "wedding" and given all the flowers and such, it does seem like the girls might be getting ready for a wedding, maybe for the one in pink who holds a wedding-like bouquet (I have two thoughts on why she'd not wearing white like most of the brides in this deck: either she was widowed and so doesn't wear white to her second marriage, or it's being done on impulse and at the last minute, no time to get her a proper, white wedding dress). The girl in blue holds a garland, also typical of the 4/Wand's usual image as four sticks with garlands strung between to form an area where the couple can stand and be married.
And am I wrong or is the man on the roof wearing old fashioned dark glasses? Interesting, if so, as in the movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula" Gary Oldman who played Dracula wears such glasses: http://undeathmatch.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/dracula_movie.jpg
This would suggest that our gentleman on the roof can be out in the sun, but only if his sensitive eyes are protected. I don't think he's a vampire as they seem relegated to the Cup cards, but I do think he's some kind of "other" who doesn't like being out during the day.
The Wand cards seem to be about "others" like ghosts and demons and those who look normal but aren't. Like the 10/Wands lady whose shadow reveals her as anything but a little old lady. The Wand cards also seem to focus on a lot of ordinary folk who are maybe too eager and who tend to have something odd happening out of their line of sight. Like our girls there who maybe should slow down and think about this soiree rather rushing into it.