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Mary El Tarot - Knight of Wands

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Mary El Tarot - Knight of Wands


http://www.mary-el.com/wands3.html

Air of Fire – the Lightening bolt… The bear with yellow lightning eyes stares back at us revealing the lightening in his hands. This card is full of latent power, tremendous power. He has human hands and is barely visible in the darkness.

It makes me think of the young person on a vision quest and the Bear comes to him on his last night giving him that bolt of knowing, of recognition, of inspiration. The quester now knows what direction to go. The young person’s first reaction is fear of such awesome power and at the same time, the sense of protection, of being given a secret in the refuge of the dark den of the Womb or the Cave. The Bear is both his protector and his catalyst. But great care must be taken with such power. Rashness is not advisable.
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I'm glad you posted this one! I drew it in a reading yesterday and came to see if there was a thread. Instead, I spent a lot of time thinking on it, which really enhanced my understanding of it.

I love this card. I love how you can't really tell what kind of animal it is, it's just some kind of carnivorous primal beast. But it's not looking to just be king of the jungle--it's searching for the meaning of the lightning. It's purpose is greater. It makes me think of raw energy--of searching, hunting. Of the power of charging forward into the unknown with resolve and purpose. It's dark, but not in a bad way, just in the way intense people are. You can't fluff it down. It kind of scares you, but it draws you in too. You want to be it, but you know that if you're even thinking that, you can never be it. You can emulate it, learn from it, find your own strengths, but not everyone is a relentless visionary.

I drew this as a "what is your greatest challenge" card for another person and my interpretation of that was that sometimes they get so wrapped up in the hunt for meaning, the quest for knowledge, their passion for the Universal and Great that it is difficult for them to slow down and see the meaning in the day to day.
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I just pulled this card for a reading for myself and thought I would share the thoughts it sparked (appropriate for this card) in me.

When I first got the deck and flicked through all the cards, this was one which really stood out for me. In the dark lurks a huge carnivore – what it is we cannot see distinctly – a bear? A panther? We can only see the yellow of his eyes and the lightning flash on his outstretched hand. This Knight is on a quest for Spirit. He is looking for the power of the light to be able to transform the darkness. The way the lightning is held in the palm of his hand makes me think that he more than capable of finding it. He is the bearer of this enormous power. His eyes meet us in a challenge – where do we want this lightning to strike? I can’t help but think of him as something that carries and transmutes the power inherent in the Tower card. What light will come out of the darkness?

It feels like a card of initiation – a challenge to face the fear and bring back the power of the dark, transforming it into powerful light which strikes where it is needed.
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I have seen complaints about inconsistency of artwork in this deck and as much as I love the Mary-el, I have to admit this card does not seem to be on par with the others. It is somewhat curious that we are face to face with a big hairy carnivore, yet I do not find it threatening. The yellow eyes seem sentient. He shows us a mark on his (very human-like) hand. He wants to communicate with us. Could he be a human under a spell or an animal with special abilities and understanding? Perhaps he has been in a trap and is here to provide a warning or guide us through danger based on his own experiences. Maybe he holds a power like lightning in a bottle, except it is in the hand.

The lightning bolt made me think of Harry Potter > Grim > Sirius Black > Animagus. It seems appropriate that he represents "the power of transformation and transmutation." (p. 154) There is a lot of ambiguity in this card, more questions than answers.
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