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two of wands // a light to lead the way

two of wands // a light to lead the way
two of wands from the queer tarot and the this might hurt tarot

hello, friends, and welcome to february.

before we dive into our card of the month, a quick reminder that my brand new tarot community container, laughing lovers, started this morning and closes at midnight tonight! we have such a lovely group already, but there's still room if you're itching to get reconnected with your tarot practice, meet some wonderful people, or find different access points into working with your cards.

join us for 28 days of playful, tarot-centric connection and community expansion:

if you're new to the newsletter, welcome! i've spent the last few years writing essays about every card in the major arcana — and this year, we're now moving into the suit of wands. every month we'll tackle a different card through a few lenses, and in january we looked at the ace of wands: in general, at the element of fire, at the number one, and as a spark for creative inspiration. (bronze and gold subscribers also received a new tarot spread for this card, which you can access here if you missed it.)

and now, as we move into february, we'll be studying the two of wands in a series of shorter posts sent all month long. let's get into it.

if the ace of wands is the spark, the two of wands introduces an illuminated crossroads, a choice, an opportunity for observation. where the ace flickers with energy and expectation, the two banks that fire, considers what to do with it.

what does it mean to try and slow down fire, to take it calmly, to observe and consider, to be patient with the flames? with sparks at our fingertips, with crackling heat demanding our attention and urging us to go go go, what benefit is there to protecting the flames and sifting through the burning coals? why is this an essential aspect of this cycle, so early on?

and when we sit in the energy of this card, what is really being lit up before us?

two of wands from the this might hurt tarot

unlike the burning excitement and unbridled anticipation of the ace of wands, the second card in this cycle settles a spark into a glowing ember, a ready tool, something we can use in a deliberate and intentional way.

this isn't just a flickering heat, charging us up to go raring out into the world with our new idea. no, the two of wands instead wants us to consider what our fire needs to grow, to endure, to transform, and where it is leading us. this is using the fire as a torch to peer ahead into the darkness: considering what path we want to take, what stories we want to tell, what parts of ourselves and our world we want to explore.

where does our passion really live, when we look into the heart of our dreams? what will sustain our fire long-term, instead of just kicking up sparks that feel exciting in the moment but die out almost immediately? what will allow us to burn for as long as we need to, lighting the way for our future self?

this is patience and patience intertwined, the wisdom of recognizing that brilliant sparks need to be tended, listened to, cared for.

if we think about how the two of wands serves as a story beat for the tale of fire, this is the moment after a new longing is revealed, a new path is opened, a new desire is expressed. now that the possibility is out there, will we explore it? will we leave it for another day? or will we realize after reflection that it's only something that we thought we wanted, and isn't actually something that we're willing to invest in?

two of wands from the queer tarot

chasing something takes time, energy, focus, intention. a gift that simply falls into our lap, that appears without effort, is very different than a goal we work for a long time to achieve, to develop, to build. and while both can bring joy and pleasure, the suit of wands is not the holy grail simply falling into our hands: rather, it's the quest to find that grail, to make it our own, and to change in the process of chasing that prize.

the two of wands explores a very particular moment: trying to decide if the end goal is worth the hunt, the effort, the cost. are we chasing this thing because someone told us it's valuable? or are we willing to make this a central focus of our world for awhile because it matters deeply to us, personally? have we prioritized something because it feels like what's expected? or are we shifting our world around so that we can devote ourselves to something that is essential to our worldview?

and beyond whatever cycle we're in at the moment: how does the path that we're choosing, the ways that we go about making our fantasies a reality, help us come into deeper relationship with our own sense of power, courage, and drive?

while the ace of wands brings to mind a spark lighting up a dark room, the two of wands has a quieter, more private energy. when i was a child, my church taught me a song about not hiding our light under a bushel, about letting it shine, a phrase borrowed from one of christ's parables in the new testament. and while i was taught that this song served as an easy-to-digest metaphor for proudly sharing our faith in jesus (they started us young, y'all), this song actually has a long history of serving as a spiritual affirmation, a cry for freedom, and a call for resistance.

when we follow our own light, when we let our love and our passion and our power shine brightly, others take note. and while the two of wands is a card of personal attention and clarity, this is less about a binary choice, and more about moving in a direction that we're willing to commit to fully.

this is about letting our values and truths and morals and beliefs be as visible as possible.

this little light of mine, i'm going to let it shine, let it shine, all the time, let it shine / hide it under a bushel? no! i'm going to let it shine / all around the neighborhood, i'm going to let it shine / don't let satan blow it out, i'm going to let it shine -- this little light of mine

i'm thinking so much these days about activism, about showing up, about what "counts" as revolution and what is simply sticking with the status quo but using the language of disruption to fit in. i'm thinking about spiritual bypassing, about what real systemic change will truly require from us, about what it means to be authentic and effective while also being realistic about what we can and cannot accomplish individually in a particular moment. and i'm thinking about despair, and cynicism, and overwhelm, and how these are also tools used to stop change in its tracks.

but that's the thing: the two of wands isn't just about figuring out our personal path, our personal drive, our personal devotion. it's also about recognizing that what we do will be seen by others, and that the fires that we light do and will matter.

two of wands from the queer tarot and the this might hurt tarot

so as we move into this new month, as we continue witnessing present genocides around the world during black history month here in the united states, as we consider what the two of wands might have to offer us as necessary medicine, i ask you this: which direction is your light shining in? which path is being illuminated, and which will you follow? what are you willing and able to devote yourself to?

and how will you allow your light to serve as a beacon for others, even if it feels like you're completely alone?

wishing you a powerful, bold, and authentic february, friends.

and if you'd like to discuss tarot cards in a collaborative, joyful, no-pressure environment this month, my brand new community container laughing lovers closes at midnight EST tonight! learn more and come join us here: