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Tarot – Are You the King of Wands?

By Zanna Starr
Zanna Starr is an astrologer and tarot reader with 20 years of experience. She writes a blog called Tarot Notes, teaches astrology and tarot at The Magical Circle School, and writes horoscopes at Tell My Tarot

Whether you are male or female, if you were born between July 12 and August 12, you are the King of Wands. Read on to find out why!

Although many Tarot readers choose not to incorporate astrological attributions for the cards into their readings, others find that doing so adds a fascinating layer of information to consider and explore. The Order of the Golden Dawn* established a system of astrological attributions used by many Tarot readers. Here are the fundamentals of this system:
  • Major Arcana cards are associated with a planet or sign in most cases, exceptions being The Hanged Man (Water) and Judgment (Spirit and Fire).
  • The numbered cards are linked with the placement of a particular planet in a particular sign. For example, the 5 of Cups is assigned Mars in Scorpio, and the 8 of Swords is assigned Jupiter in Gemini.
  • Kings, Queens, and Knights are given a range incorporating a total of three decans** over two signs. For example, the King of Wands is associated with the last decan of Cancer to the second decan of Leo. The dates covering this range are July 12-August 12.
  • The Knave – or Princess – of each suit is associated with the element Earth plus the element linked with the appropriate suit. The Knave of Wands is called “Earth of Fire,” the Knave of Cups is called “Earth of Water,” and so forth.
My focus in this article is on the King of Wands – and how the astrological attributions chosen by the Golden Dawn can be used to enhance a Tarot reading in which this card appears.
According to Book T***, and as stated above, the King of Wands is associated with the last decan of Cancer to the second decan of Leo.

What do we know about the sign of Cancer? It is a Cardinal Water sign, initiating yet receptive in nature. Ruled by the moon, Cancer is typically characterized as imaginative, emotional, sensitive, and faithful, with a tendency to be moody, clinging, or smothering.

The Golden Dawn specifies “the last decan of Cancer.” That decan is ruled by the Moon, as is the sign as a whole.

That description represents one-third of our King of Wands. What about the rest: the first and second decades of Leo?

Leo is a Fixed Fire sign, single-minded, energetic, outer-driven. Ruled by the Sun, Leo is commonly characterized as determined, proud, courageous, and generous, with a tendency towards intolerance, self-righteousness, and vanity.

Let’s blend in the first and second decans of Leo.

  • The first decan brings in the planet Saturn as sub-ruler. Known as the planet of discipline and limitation, Saturn combines with the Sun to create determination, diligence, and responsibility, along with possible pessimism and inflexibility.
  • The second decan is ruled by the Sun and sub-ruled by Jupiter, adding a layer of enthusiasm and expansiveness to a strong ego and sense of individuality.

So, when we consider the King of Wands from the perspective of Golden Dawn attributions, we find that he is 1/3 Cancerian (ruled by the Moon) and 2/3 Leo (ruled by the Sun, with Saturn and Jupiter as sub-ruler). Fire is the dominant element, and the Sun is the dominant planet (or luminary, actually). Yet we cannot ignore that Cancer-Moon connection. A complicated fellow, our King of Wands!

If you were born between July 12 and August 12, you can rightfully claim the King of Wands as your “significator card,” that is, the card that represents you in the Tarot.

* The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – or simply the Golden Dawn — was an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

** A decan, or decanate, is a ten-degree subdivision of the zodiac that divides each astrological sign into three parts of approximately ten days each. There are three decanates in each sign.

*** Book T – The Tarot, Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction.


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