The Wild Unknown Tarot - Mother of Wands

Water Lady

thank you, yes, every little piece is helping me with this card.



I'm new to WU but I had to deal with this card for my very first spread today and I have to say that its meaning came easily to my mind (for this particular spread).
It came to me that this mother of wands is very protective (a little too much) and kind of selfish. I mean she protects her babies because doing so, she also (mostly ?) protects herself. Her babies represent a great part of what she is and a lack of care would have terrible consequences on her well-being (well, that's what she thinks) and she would feel terribly guilty if anything came to happen to the babies.
Doing so, she doesn't realize that the babies (children or even grown ups) need to breathe a little.

I hope my feeling is clear to you, feel free to ask more about it if needed.


Those are great points, Scorulia. I hadn't considered it before, but this Mother of Wands is indeed keeping her babies just a wee bit too close, almost smothering them. Perhaps that is what snakes do, but it looks as though she has them wrapped awfully tight, as though she could break them if she wanted (which I don't think she does). But it goes to show how much control she has over them, and also how very protective she is.


Great points Scorulia, I hadn't thought of that either but it makes perfect sense for this card.

I think smothering and being a bit too controlling as a mother is a very Wandish thing to do.. I'm imagining a 'Stage Mom' type of personality.. She has lots of ambition for her child but she's the one who is in control and often it's just a bit much for that child and the child feels stifled and under a lot of pressure to meet the mother's expectations...

Not just as a mother either; this Queen isn't always a mother and often isn't a mother at all, focusing more on her own ambitions and even her career..



You both put the exact words on the feeling I wanted to describe, and it is exactly what came to my mind yesterday, which the concerned woman herself did confirm to me.

Too much love, or inappropriate/awkward... that kind of mother doesn't see her love is not the one people need to be happy, though her intention is truly sincere...


I have to say, I got a really warm motherly feeling from this card, despite what I know of the queen of wands. I saw her protective and smothering nature, but I also considered that she was incubating and imparting part of her self (her body heat, a very valuable asset to a reptile and not something that's given away!) to her unborn babies, because she knows they have potential to succeed if they are nurtured.

Sorry if this throws a spanner in the works, but that's just my two cents!


Thanks for your comments, Archer! Every opinion and viewpoint is welcome and appreciated. Your post provided me with additional insights on this card and helped to see a few more nuances in it, especially the part about the Mother of Wands not giving away her body heat so freely and what an important commodity it is to her. Thank you!


I don't know if this will be helpful to anyone, but I had a strong, immediate emotional connection to this card.

My own mother is very much a Queen of Wands type -- charming, vivacious, and strong-willed. Ever since I started reading tarot, I have associated my mother with the Queen of Wands, and no matter what description I read in any book, it fits her to a T.

To see this card, with the mama snake guarding her babies, was healing and moving for me, because despite my mother's flaws (narcissism for one), she has always been there for her children when it counts. This card reminded me of a whole host of positive attributes in my mother that I had lost sight of. The fire, stubbornness and selfishness of the Queen of Wands can be an asset when it comes to protecting her own.

That said, she is definitely not a traditional "motherly" type as depicted by, say, the Queen of Pentacles.

I love the depth this deck adds to my study of tarot and I really treasure this card.

Yes! I have the same associations with my mother and this card. I also have been very strongly drawn to this card since I first got my TWU deck, even have associated it with the idea of motherhood that I desire for my future self.
I also find a relation between the mother of wands and the empress: strong, sexy, powerful feminine energy, but with a calm and confident ferocity that isn't to be messed with. The mother of wands and the empress are both cards I draw a lot.


My thoughts:

A snake curls protectively around a nest of eggs, a wand held at an angle seems to serve as added armor. This mother is someone you wouldn’t want to mess with. Although she can be kind and warm, she is fierce and loyal, and not afraid to stand her ground.

She holds her values dear to her heart and isn’t afraid to live in a way that lines up with her moral code. She doesn’t do anything halfway – she’s in it to win it. She pours all of her love, originality and unique energy into everything she does. She is a true artist, more mature than the son or daughter.

The background is filled with horizontal lines, colored throughout with orange and red. It gives the Mother of Wands a strong, stable energy. She is so vibrant that she almost has an energy field around her. But unlike the emanating energy of the Son of Wands, her energy is steady. She channels her energy in a more effective way.

More so than any other depiction of the Queen/Mother of Wands, this card gives me the impression of someone who holds their beliefs dearly. She’s willing to fight for what she knows is right. Even so, she knows how to have fun. She has a strong life force, a kind of palatable cheeriness that draws others to her.


I wanted to tell you what I know about mother snakes:
For one thing, boas and others (as you said above, adders) bear live young. Pythons and colubreds lay eggs and incubate them.
Female pythons lay the eggs and then they coil around them to incubate them until they hatch. Then they leave, they do not stick around the mother the young. But while incubating they coil around the eggs, and adjust themselves to keep the temperature and humidity of the eggs (the two most important factors to hatching the eggs) just right. They loosen it tighten coils to release or keep the humidity generated by the eggs. Some species bask to warm up then return to the eggs but many types of pythons will contract all of the muscles to make a "shivering" type motion around the eggs to warm them.
The mothers are perfectly designed to lay and hatch the eggs and are good mothers for that, they act as they need to in order to breed healthy young. They are fire/action oriented in that way. But reptiles do not, as far as anyone can tell, and I've kept snakes for over 20 years, have any emotions. They do what is right, and they certainly have physical responses to stimulae, the definitely feel pain and warmth and cold and seek closed, safe places to rest (or high branches, etc depending on the type) but they do not have the part of the brain that feels emotions. They definitely act on instinct, 100%! This seems a very wand-like quality to me.
I wonder if these ideas help anyone in their views of this image. I love it personally!

Eta: snakes do not have emotions, so they're not water/cups, they aren't intelligent so they're not swords/air, I could see where we might think pents/earth because they are associated with the medical cadeusis we often see. In fact, the original Greek symbol for medicine was the Rod of Asclepius, one snake around a rod (a symbol of the god Asclepius, associated with the healing arts and medicine).
The caduceus is a rod topped with wings and wrapped by 2 snakes - a symbol of the Greek god Hermes - therefore it can represent commerce/negotiations/messengers, but also of alchemy - the Universal Solvent, Azoth (a universal medication sought in alchemy - the word azoth is derived from the word Mercury. It is also, alchemically, the essential agent of transformation (I see wands/fire here!). The association with Mercury is with fire. Levi wrote that azoth is the source of enthusiasm and activity of the Alchemist, it is industry, physical labour. Azoth = the elixir of life/ the philosopher's stone, the animating spirit of life itself.