Placement: The Minor Arcana
Description: Those with even the most remedial understanding of tarot know that each suit in the minor Arcana includes a Page, a Knight, and Queen and King. In the Visconti’s famed Cary-Yale deck, one of the most historically significant to survive the onslaught of time, each suit also has a Damsel and a Horsewoman or Dame. This is one such card.
Notice her zucchini helmet*, designed to keep a warrior’s head protected from both blunt trauma and the scorn of fashion authorities. Notice too her eyes and the expression on her face. Many taroists believe that she is gazing beyond our line of sight, deep in thought. Others believe her annoyed at her horse’s behavior, for while the other Dames’ mounts pose nicely for the card illustrator, hers stands chomping on a cinnamon bun.
Right side up:
The Wands suit symbolizes the mind, imagination and ideas. The Dame of Wands is no exception. According to legend, her image was inspired by the Comtesse Euphemie of Savoy, whose claim to fame (or infamy) was authoring books on the occult, especially on the subject of ghosts. It is said that she had her staff blessed by the pope to freeze a wayward spirit on the spot for further study. It is also said that she was excluded from all subsequent tarot decks because her work was stolen by a rival and republished as “Mr. Boo’s Who’s Who.”
Defend your ideas. You deserve to be taken seriously. Burn the naysayers with the cleverest retorts. Chew them out as a horse may chew on a cinnamon bun!
Citation needed. Your opinions stem from someone else’s poorly collected data. Examine the validity of an article’s sources before sharing with your friends on social media.
*The edible squash, of course, was named after this headwear and not the other way around, despite what you may hear from etymologists, who also believe that grenadine is not made from juiced grenades and that CAT scans were not originally performed by twenty felines in a lab coat.
Classic Dame of Wands deaths:
- Crossing streams
- Drowned in ectoplasm
- Bitter reactionaries
- Erased from history