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Wheel of Change Study Group: The Court in the Realm of Fire


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Wheel of Change Study Group: The Court in the Realm of Fire


This sequence displays a very distinct rhythm of Self-Other-Self-Other. The Prince directs his own energy outwards in a quest to find himself; the Princess uses her energy to draw the world's energy down for her people; the Knight looks within himself to find purity and ascension; and the Queen unites the energy of others around her to create something beautiful.

\m/ Kat
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Prince of Wands


The Prince of Wands stands before a totem pole wreathed in smoke, gazing at a vision of Raven, who tells the Prince to undertake a quest to find his true Self.

The quest will involve the Prince leaving behind all that he knows and finding new worlds. He will need courage, initative and ingenuity. There will be no one to urge him on, so he must motivate himself. His journey will take him outside his known world and he must discover for himself the secrets and properties of the animals, plants and rocks around him. These qualities are inherent to the Wands energy.

Raven draws the night behind him, in his wake. This suggests that the aftermath of Raven's visit upon the young man will bring mystery into his life. As the emissary of the spirit world to the young man, Raven represents a constant and a bridge between the worlds. The young man faces the night. He does not fear the mystery before him. He follows his calling with faith, a faith that he will encounter what he must, and what does not kill him makes him stronger.

Throughout these Courts, we see the suggestion of mystery. In the image of the Prince, this appears in the form of the smoke. Fire, element of Wands, enspirits and reveals, yet it generates smoke, and where its light falls it inevitably casts a shadow. This is because there is always another revelation calling us. The more we discover, the more there is to find.

\m/ Kat
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Princess of Wands


In contrast to the Prince, the Princess focusses her power to draw down the Wands energy for the good of her village. The burning power of the Fiery African Sun is the power that gives life here. The tribe relies on grain as the staple of their diet. The grain represents the Suit of Disks, but the plant on which it grows symbolises the Wands, because it uses the energy of the Sun to reach upwards and the plant itself is a living thing. The Princess' role is to draw down the power to use for her village. The plant transforms the Sun's energy into the potent grain, while the village women use Wand-like pestles to pound the grain, transforming it into flour, which in its turn undergoes kitchen alchemy as it is transformed into bread to feed the people.

Interestingly, most grains grow on plants in the grass group, sometimes termed monocotyledons (monocots; mono=one, cotyledon=seed leaf), which thrust just one leaf up from the soil and usually grow in a blade-like form. Corn, bamboo and palm trees are monocots. The veins in these plants' leaves extend from the base of the leaf to the tip without branching. For this reason, I think monocot plants are a wonderful way to represent Wands, for their single-minded devotion to upward growth.

The Princess' staff is half in this world, and half in the cosmic world, representing the Wands power to bridge the gap between us and the beyond. It illustrates this Princess' ability to draw on divine inspiration (the mystery) to share with those around her.

\m/ Kat
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Knight of Wands


Again this set of cards takes an inward turn in this Knight. He demonstrates the journey further upwards as the spirit learns the lessons of the Prince and Princess. The Knight has now focussed his spirit and mind on the ideal of enlightement. He has realised that the visible world is an illusion and distraction, thus we find him with his eyes closed and mind soaring among the clouds.

The stormy sky reveals that he has yet to learn everything. He struggles to release his mind, he struggles to trust his higher calling and ignore his base instincts. He struggles to find courage in the face of a vast, strange new existence and a drastic change of perspective. The lightning symbolises the flashes of revelation he is experienceing - violent and startling, they are nevertheless a precursor to the state of grace for which he aims, and are only unsettling because of the stark contrast they offer to the surroundings.

The Knight has wrapped himself in a deep red inner robe and a golden outer one. The red recalls the base chakra, and hints that he yearns not to leave this earthly plant, but to unite the perfect existence beyond what he sees with the physicality of his present existence. The yellow outer robe cloaks him in the colour of the Sun, summoning the energy of enlightenment.

\m/ Kat
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Queen of Wands


Back from exploring the outer reaches of the Fiery universe, the Queen carries a message of unity and collective effort. The theme of striving for a mystery is here continued, but finally we have a teacher, a mentor. In RWS decks, the King of Wands is a spiritual leader and is the pinnacle of his Suit. Here the Queen fills that role, and she is pictured alone. She appears as a solo flautist, leading the energy of the orchestra. She is a symbol of bringing together, of united effort in the search for a glorious idealised result.

Music exalts the spirit, particularly the kind of grand, stirring music played by a large orchestra. The volume overwhelms the listener, and the knowledge that so many people have bent their individual will on achieving this spectacle inspires those around to aim higher as well.

This is the key to this Queen - she leads from the front and has the ability to inspire the masses. And yet, she is not a distant figurehead, lost among the crowd. She is alone with the viewer, accessible, pure and friendly.

\m/ Kat
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