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Fairytale Tarot (MRP) -- Nine of Wands

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Fairytale Tarot (MRP) -- Nine of Wands

This card is illustrated in this deck by the tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. A nicely-annotated version of this story can be found here. This is one of the Grimm fairly tales, and there is an old French version of the story as well. There are so many intriguing elements to this story. Our hero is an old wounded soldier who can no longer fight--in modern terms, a disabled veteran! He meets an old woman in the woods, and, because he is polite to her, she gives him valuable assistance in discovering the secret of the dancing princesses.

The part of the story that evokes the Nine of Wands meaning (which is also the moment illustrated on the card) is the soldier's keeping watch in the night when the princesses sneak off. They believe he is drugged by wine, but has not drink the wine and keeps one eye stealthily open to watch them. Sadly, only seven of twelve princesses would fit on the small space of the card, but they are its clear visual center.

The soldier's vigilance, and his trust in the wisdom of the old woman, is going to be rewarded in the story, and will make an unusual choice of picking the oldest, presumably most mature princess, rather than the youngest daughter, the traditional prize in fairy tales. All around, a satisfying story, except for all the poor princes before the soldier who had their heads cut off.

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