Suit: Suit of Wands
Card Type: Minor Arcana
In this article Queen of Wands Symbols, I refer to the Queen of Wands card from the Rider Waite deck, also known as the Waite-Smith, or Rider-Waite-Smith, or Rider tarot deck. In the Thoth Tarot deck this card is also called Queen of Wands and esoteric name is Queen of The Throne of Flame.
The symbolism found on this card is primarily drawn from mythology, alchemy, astrology, witchcraft and Egyptology.
- Queen of Wands: Key Symbols
- Symbols of Crown, Throne, One Foot, Yellow Dress and Cloak Clasp
- What Does The Lion Symbolize in The Queen of Wands?
- What is The Meaning of The Sunflower in This Tarot Card?
- What is The Symbolism of The Black Cat?
- Is The Queen of Wands Secretly a Witch? Witchcraft Connection.
- What Do The Pyramids Symbolize in The Queen of Wands?
Queen of Wands: Key Symbols
Crown, yellow dress, clock clasp, throne, red shoe, lions, sunflowers, black cat, desert, pyramids
“The Queen’s personality corresponds to that of the King, but is more magnetic.”A.E.Waite
The Original Rider Waite Pictorial Key to The Tarot
Imagery of the Queen of Wands: Hidden symbol meanings, esoteric metaphors, allegories and legends.
Complete A-Z List: Tarot Card Symbols
Symbols of Crown, Throne, One Foot, Yellow Dress and Cloak Clasp
The Queen of Wands is wearing a diadem crown, a type of ornamental headband worn by monarchs as a badge of royalty. The crown is a symbol of divine recognition, because royalty could only be conferred by God.
The crown is also the symbol of ultimate achievement, the crowning glory of one’s life. This crown is decorated with leaves, possibly plucked from the wand the Queen is holding. Leaves represent what is growing in a person’s life, and they are present on all the wands throughout the Wands suit. This Queen has achieved so much, her life is so abundant, that she can now afford to ‘waste’ some of those shoots for display purposes.
She could represent a woman who has reached a high point in her career or life, where now she does not feel the need to chase down every opportunity to prove herself. Her position is solid enough, and ‘more’ is not necessarily better at this stage.
The throne represents the seat of authority, and implies that this Queen is very much in control of her life. We do not see the top of the throne, it reaches upwards towards the sky and Heaven, a sign of spiritual enlightenment, awakening consciousness and wisdom.
Like the Page and Knight of Wands, the Queen is wearing a yellow garment. In Tarot, yellow represents an inquisitive mind and quick thinking, which means this Queen still has a sharp mind and lust for life. Yellow is also associated with spiritual awakening, also known as spiritual ascension. The process of ascension usually happens over time, and it ends with the feeling that having money, fame or power does not give us the sense of happiness that we expected it would. We begin to suspect there is another ‘formula’ for happiness and self-fulfillment.
It is not clear if the clasp on the Queen’s cloak is the head of a lion or cat, either way it continues the feline theme of this card. Some have suggested that it looks like a fox, but as the fox is part of the canine family, I think this is less likely. The artist Pamela Colman-Smith tended to theme the artwork of each card carefully.
One Foot with a Red Shoe
The Queen is wearing red shoes, although only one foot peeps through from underneath her gown.
The color red is associated with the element Fire, which reveals the Queen’s passion.
The fact that we only see one foot is highly significant, and it is the left foot. This signifies that she only wishes to reveal a part of herself in public, preferring to keep other aspects of her personality and interests private. Contrary to popular belief the left side is related to logic and not intuition, as so many say. This signals, that she feels more comfortable showing us her practical side, rather than displaying her feelings or spiritual insights. As this Queen represents the action-orientated fire signs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius in astrology, perhaps this is not a big surprise.
Compare to the Queen of Cups Symbols – this water Queen only reveals her right foot. The right represents emotional and intuitive traits. This is also why the angel in Temperance places his right foot in the water, water being associated with healing and intuition.
What Does The Lion Symbolize in The Queen of Wands?
The Queen sits on a red throne decorated with lions. It is possible that the artist took the idea of lions directly from the King of Wands in the 15th century Sola Busca Tarot. This deck’s symbology is closely related to alchemy as practiced during the Renaissance. Smith created her art two years after photographs of the Sola Busca deck were acquired by the British Museum, and most likely she saw the cards on display there.
Lions have appeared in coat of arms (heradry) since early medieval times. The lion is a symbol of courage, royalty and nobility. The lion also carries Judeo-Christian symbolism. The Lion of Judah stands in the coat of arms of Jerusalem.
Two golden lions form the arm support of the Queen of Wand’s throne, appearing almost sphinx-like. This sphinx appearance ties in with the Egyptian theme which runs throughout the court cards in the Wands suit.
Thousands of years ago lions roamed ancient Egypt and even became domesticated pets for the royals. The lion (Panthera leo) was associated with the pharaoh, as well as the sun, one of the most powerful elements of life and death in Ancient Egypt.
According to Egyptologist Conni Lord, “The lion was a symbol of royal authority”, and the image of the lion was used in everyday items like beds and chairs, most probably for a magical meaning to do with protection. (Source: National Geographic)
Two dancing red lions also appear on the Queens of Wand’s throne. This could be the lion dance, a traditional performance to welcome in the Chinese New Year. Actors perform in pairs as dancing lions, moving to music, to attract good luck and banish the devil. Lions play an important role in Chinese mythology, and the red dancing lion symbolizes courage. Interestingly, this tradition had its roots in an ancient story during the rule of the legendary Huang Di, or Yellow Emperor. Could this connect with the yellow dress of the Queen of Wands?
Within a Tarot reading, the lion indicates that the querent has the necessary courage and emotional strength to overcome any difficulties that they are facing right now.
What is The Meaning of The Sunflower in This Tarot Card?
The Queen of Wands holds a sunflower in her hand, and several more are carved into the stonework of her throne.
The sunflower is named after the sun, the astrological ruling planet of Leo, the lion.
No flower raises the spirit quite like the sunflower. It is the ‘happy’ flower with the face of the sun. The presence of sunflowers in this card, indicates that the Queen is generally a happy and optimistic person. She will always guide you to believe that the proverbial glass is half full.
⭐Sunflowers also appears here: Sun Tarot card
What is The Symbolism of The Black Cat?
Symbol of Luck
A black cat stands between the Queen and anyone who approaches her. The black cat is viewed as bad luck in some cultures, and lucky in others. The fact that the black cat sits at the Queen’s feet, suggests that luck and fortune has chosen to favor her. See: What it means when a black cat crosses your path.
In ancient Egypt, cats were considered magical creatures who bought luck to people who housed them. This is why wealthy families honored their cats with jewels and when the cat died, they were mummified.
Symbol of Protection
The cat also echoes the ‘protection’ symbolism of lions. The black cat in this card stares at you, as though weighing up your soul and integrity. Only those with good intentions may pass, no psychic vampires allowed here! The cat is an occult sign that the Queen has acquired spiritual protection, most likely because she has an interest in spiritualism. However, while the Queen of Cups makes an elaborate display of reading her chalice like a crystal ball, the Queen of Wands hides her abilities by diverting our attention to the cat instead.
Sign of Independence
Cats tend to be independent creatures, which links to this Queen who is independent of nature.
⭐This is the only card in the Rider Waite deck with a cat.
Is The Queen of Wands Secretly a Witch? Witchcraft Connection.
Witch and sorcerer, does this Queen use magic spells, charms and incantations in private to summon supernatural powers? There is much symbolism in the Queen of Wands which points towards witchcraft, that we must wonder.
The Queen holds a wand in her hand, like a magician or witch’s wand. Consider the painting below by John William Waterhouse, called Circe with her magical wand (1891). Notice the lions at the base of her throne? One foot pushes to the front? There is a good chance that the artist Colman-Smith, saw this painting before designing her Tarot cards.
Black Cat as a Witch’s Familiar
A black cat is a traditional witch’s familiar, or companion. In Western demonology, small animals like cats or toads were kept as a witch’s attendant.
What Do The Pyramids Symbolize in The Queen of Wands?
In the background, we see three mountains which resemble the famous Pyramids at Giza, these appear to be the very same pyramids from the Page and Knight of Wands.
Pyramids are believed by some, to be imbued with mythical powers. This is why some occultists meditate inside pyramid-like structures to obtain extrasensory powers like telepathy and clairvoyance. Notice that the Queen looks away from the pyramids, as though she is trying (again) to draw our attention away from them. She is not ready to share her spiritual insights with us, quite yet. She would rather that we become inspired by a practical idea, like planting the sunflower she offers us in the barren landscape to her left.
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Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.
The Ultimate Guide to Queen of Wands Symbols