I have been giving a lot of thought to the Wands cards 1-10 and the story associated with the pictures. Seems there is some continuity with their pictures, at least in relation to my own life. The fulcrum point for this story lies with the 9 of Wands, merely because this is where I find myself of late, the card appearing like a persistent reminder that I’m either being too defensive, or waiting for some ringing of a bell to spur me into action again.

Please Note: All the pip and court picture groups are associated with the Wands element. If I can ever get my scanner to work again, I'll just scan all of them together

9 of Wands Our story begins with our heroine beaten down, dragged through the mud, pinched, prodded and just worn out from life in general. She leans against a head stone in a graveyard. To say she’s ‘supporting Death’ or perhaps ‘Death is supporting her’ merely highlights the need for change and transformation of some sort. She’s seeking understanding, but she can’t help that instinctive reflex to keep her weapons close at hand. She feels closed off from the rest of the world as seen by the fence surrounding her, and yet there is passage outside through a gateway in the fencing.

At this opening we see a wolf slinking low and in motion. Is he friend, or foe? Has he come to help lick her wounds and heal (could he smell her fear?), or will he tear and gnash at her wounds, opening them wider (or was it the smell of blood in the air that drew him?)

If you believe in the Golden Dawn system that 10 is the low point where we aspire to reach the Ace, then the circumstances seen in the 10 of Wands are very similar to the house dropping on the Wicked Witch of the East . Something has brought her low. A person, a circumstance, or personal disappointment perhaps? It is evident that the destruction is all encompassing. She has to start fresh. Having given up on that particular situation, she has turned away from disorder. She must gather her strength and seek a new path …. Where does she go from here? Who can she turn to for assistance? Is the guide a person who can lift her up, or some inner guiding principle that will show her the way? Or is it both )?

8 of Wands : When our heroine has finally had enough of things, when her defenses prove useless and she realizes that her repose has lasted too long and may have kept her walled in instead of offering solace, she launches into action. The answers are out there in the world beyond the graveyard. She greets the light ahead of her with arms spread wide. She is fearless in her pursuit. She must seek answers to why this has happened to her in order to heal and restore balance in her life.

7 of Wands : At the peak of her flight she encounters resistance. It is not apparent to her whether he is guarding against her flight or if he is there to point the way. Here she encounters the riddle of the Sphinx, and only by solving the riddle will she be allowed to pass.. The riddle is not as easy as it first appears. It has many twists and turns, beautiful enchanting images that entice her to stay, dead ends and hungry bottomless bits that will swallow her up. But, having come from such a low point, what does she have to lose? She takes a leap of faith ...

6 of Wands : Down, down she slips and slides , gravity pulling her along as life flashes before her face. Everything she is, everything she was, the good, the bad , the mis-qualified parts of herself; the forgotten, the lost and the hidden pleasures she’s experienced. They all combine together: pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, anger and forgiveness, and burst forth from her as she lands wholly transformed..

5 of Wands : She struggles with this new identity. What is this form she has taken on? Who is this person? What does this person stand for ? As she struggles with these concepts, she turns herself tighter and tighter in knots. She feels stripped and defenseless once again. If she only knew that she was close to her goal. Just around the corner there’s salvation. If only she could let go of the struggle, if only she could halt the need to synthesize the concept of who she is and just BE herself . With a wild cry of futility, she succumbs.

4 of Wands : Waking up as though from a dream, she releases herself from her restraints and slides into this new skin, wearing it lightly as she walks away; affording her past only a passing glance. That is not who she is any longer. She is sinner and she is saint. She is temptress and she is angel. She is all and she is nothing, complete unto herself. She is free.

3 of Wands : As she stands at the precipice of a new adventure, she takes a moment to recount her journey. She sheds light into all her dark corners, she opens all her trunks and gathers her memories around her as she acknowledges each an every happenstance, each road not taken, each trial, tribulation, difficulty and momentous occasion that has brought her to this point in her life . What has made her who she is does not define her. Lessons have been learned, assimilated, and have made her wise to the ways of the world. Having completed this leg of her journey, she can now trust herself to move forward.

2 of Wands : It would not be fair to have come so far without taking the time to settle down and pen a quick note to friends about her journey. To quiet the mind , to consider the act of grace that called her forth to even begin this transformation. She is Master of her own domain.

Ace of Wands : To anticipate what comes next, to uncover, to reveal, to look forward to the next revelation knowing that you can take everything in stride may be the greatest cosmic gift of all….


Storyline for the deck

That is really interesting MG117! You inspired me to write this Storyline for the deck.

I believe there are probably many possible storylines for Ludy Lescot. I have come across several possibilities that we could study but the one I finally looked at in detail is by a Jungian analytical psychologist Erich Neumann (1905-1960). This can be found in many of his books but I chose his “Amor and Psyche-The Psychic Development of the Feminine” (1971). ( Neumann´s book “The Great Mother” probably has this ,too. I have to check.) One reason I chose it was because it is the development of the feminine psyche. If I understood it correctly one of the main differences between male and female development is with the “Fight with the Dragon” phase where a male psyche fights the dragon until it transforms but a female psyche loves it until it is transformed. (Kind of like in the “Beauty and the Beast”).

I went through the deck with all these archetypes in mind and every single card went at least to one category. Many cards could have been put in several categories. I think probably everyone has her own way of seeing the cards and the archetypes they represent so I will only mention a few examples of the cards in each category rather than list the whole deck. I bet your list would be different from mine anyway..

Neumann says (p. 139) “ these are not separate archetypal motifs; they represent a canon of archetypes, which runs not only through myths and fairy tales but occurs in the mysteries as well, and has also disclosed countless variants of its basic structure in the religious systems, in Gnosticism for example. This mystery career does not consist only in action; usually its meaning lies in the growth of knowledge, of gnosis. But here, as in the Eleusinian mysteries, it takes a specifically different form …because it is the feminine way.. and the child who is born… is a girl.”

Archetypal Storyline- one way to look at Ludy Lescot:

1. Marriage of Death. (Maiden´s sacrifice or marriage to a monster, dragon etc)
-Lovers, Seven of Cups, Tower, to mention a few

2. Paradise of Unconscious (when the Maiden is still unaware of the monster)
-The Fool is the unconscious psyche par excellence, but see also 8 of Cups

3. Fight with the Dragon
-Strength, 10 of Wands,7 of Wands for a male type dragon fight
-Sun , Wheel, 4 of Swords, 5 of of Cups, etc. for a feminine Beauty-and-the-Beast way

4. Calvary of Labors. (The heroine/hero must accomplish impossibly difficult tasks assigned by the godhead in order to grow and mature.)
- Most of the Knights and Pages, 3 of Pentacles, 2 of Swords

5. Journey to the Underworld
-Death, Chariot, Moon

6. Acquisition of the Precious Substance
-e.g. Page of Cups, Hierophant, 10 of Pentacles

7. Failure (2nd death, Vision Quest)
Hanged Man, 8 and 9 of Swords

8. Redemption
- Judgement, Star,6 of Swords

9. Divine Marriage (Hieros gamos, union of opposites)
- Devil, World, 2 of Cups

10. Resurrection (rising to a new level of consciousness)
-Magician, Sun,Wheel, 8 of Wands

11. Rebirth as a Goddess
-Queens, Empress,HP´s, 6 of Wands, 9 and 2 of Pents

12. Birth of a Divine Child (birth of something entirely new and previously unknown)
-The Aces, 10 of Cups

Neumann (p.137) “ The human has conquered its place on Olympus, but this has been done not by a masculine deified hero but by a loving soul. Human womanhood as an individual has mounted to Olympus, and here, in the perfection achieved by the mystery of love, woman stands beside the archetypes of mankind, the gods…It is the experience of mortality, the passage through death to rebirth and resurrection that makes Psyche divine in a mystery of transformation..”

ETA. It´s interesting (and curious) that this storyline doesn´t seem to work this well for some other decks I´ve tried it with. Tarot of Vampyres (Daniels) doesn´t fall as neatly into this as does Ludy.