Why these particular meanings?
I trawled the internet to try and put together a summary of meanings that would fit with the look and feel of my paintings — I didn't actually copy anybody else's definitions, but I was certainly influenced by sites such as Aeclectic Tarot — as well as reading A.E. Waite's 1911 book The Pictorial Key to the Tarot.I also needed a way of dealing with the fact that in the Fiery Wands Tarot, Wands correspond to Fire and Swords to Air, while in the Airy Wands Tarot, it's the other way round. I decided on the following system:
- For the pip cards 2–10, the picture on the card is more important than the element to which the suit corresponds. These pip cards have very similar, specific pictures in both versions, really differing only in colour scheme — so I assigned the same definition to both versions of each card. For example, the Two of Wands always means the same, whether it belongs to the Fiery Wands or the Airy Wands deck.
- For the aces and court cards, the element to which they correspond is more important than the picture on the card. So when Wands correspond to Fire, the aces and court cards have the same definition as Swords when they correspond to Fire. Equally, when Wands correspond to Air, they have the same definition as Swords when they correspond to Air. For example, the fiery Queen of Wands means the same as the fiery Queen of Swords.