In this article Two of Wands Symbols, I refer to the Two of Wands card from the Rider Waite Tarot deck, also known as the Waite-Smith, or Rider-Waite-Smith, or Rider tarot deck. In the Thoth Tarot deck this card is called Dominion.
The symbolism found on this card is primarily drawn from mythology, religious text, metaphysics and western occultism.
- Two of Wands: Key Symbols
- What Does The Castle Battlement Symbolize in The Two of Wands?
- What is The Meaning of The Globe in The Man's Hand?
- What Flowers Are on The Castle Wall?
- Landscape: Meaning of the Mountains, Ocean and Trees in the Two of Wands
- What Sphere Does The Two of Wands Represent in Qabalah?
Two of Wands: Key Symbols
Castle battlement, globe, flowers (roses and lilies), ocean, trees, mountains
“A tall man looks from a battlemented roof over sea and shore; he holds a globe in his right hand, while a staff in his left rests on the battlement; another is fixed in a ring. The Rose and Cross and Lily should be noticed on the left side.”A.E.Waite
The Original Rider Waite Pictorial Key to The Tarot
Imagery of the 2 of Wands: hidden symbol meanings, metaphors, allegories and legends
Complete A-Z List: Tarot Card Symbols
What Does The Castle Battlement Symbolize in The Two of Wands?
In Tarot, castles symbolize dominion, which comes from the Latin domus, meaning home. This may be a physical home you live in, a location where you feel secure and protected. Your home is your castle. However, it could also be a mental place you visit in your head, a place or a person you think about, when you need to feel loved or safe.
In the Two of Wands, a man stands on the battlement of his castle. He looks out to the world with ambition and hunger. The battlement is high and strong, implying he has the necessary security behind him to take on the world. Note that we are allowed to see the castle from within, rather than viewing it from a distance. This ‘intimacy’ implies that what is being considered now, is very close to the man’s heart, perhaps because he is sensing his life purpose or destiny.
The battlement may also be regarded as a defining wall, the line between what has already been achieved, and what is still within the realm of possibility. The territory already claimed goes up to this wall, and outside the wall, new possibilities begin.
This theme of what is ‘already secured’ is reflected in the wand which is attached to the battlement wall. The new wand, which the man holds in his left hand, is something new being considered or offered.
The artist Pamela Colman-Smith was likely inspired in her creation of this card, by the English painter John William Waterhouse’s painting of St Cecilia. Waterhouse was a popular Pre-Raphaelite painter at the turn of the 20th century, and was drawn to occultism and metaphysics. He was also an active member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
⭐A castle also appears here: The Chariot, Ace of Wands, 4 of Wands, 8 of Swords, 5 of Cups, 7 of Cups, 10 of Cups, 10 of Wands, 9 of Pentacles, 10 of Pentacles, King of Pentacles
What is The Meaning of The Globe in The Man’s Hand?
The man holds a globe in his hand. At a basic level, this suggests he feels ‘the world is his oyster’. He is not defined by locality or the location of his castle, as his gaze drifts over the globe and across the sea before him.
This globe could also be a crystal ball, which he is consulting for a prophecy or prediction of the future. Perhaps he has a sixth sense and clairvoyant abilities, at the very least, the globe is a sign that he values both logic and intuition when it comes to formulating plans. Interestingly, the man is holding the globe in his right hand, and the right side of the brain is associated with intuition and creative thinking. This can, however, only be viewed as a modern interpretation as the right- and left-brain scientific theory only came to light in the 1960’s, long after the Rider Waite deck was published (1909).
Historically, the globe is one of the most represented objects in the history of art. It appears in religious and mythological settings. When held, the globe is meant to symbolize the power of its bearer, which is why a globe is traditionally placed on a royal scepter. The globe can represent travel and in more recent times, the internet and world wide web. It is also a popular icon which symbolizes the cosmos – literally everything in the Universe.
What Flowers Are on The Castle Wall?
A cross with an emblem of red roses and white lilies is attached to the castle wall.
The rose is rich in symbology. In ancient Greece, the rose was associated with the goddess Aphrodite. In Christianity, the rose became associated with the Virgin Mary, and eventually the creation of the rosary prayer.
Within a Tarot reading, a red rose represents a love interest, affection and relationship. This may signal that the man has a secure romantic relationship waiting within the castle walls, which is why he feels confident enough now to take on the world. It should be noted however, that a rose has thorns, representing potential ‘thorny’ issues. If he leaves the castle to fulfil his destiny, he should be careful not to neglect his love too long.
The lily appears to be Lilium candidum, also known as the Madonna lily, or white lily. Christians also associate this particular flower with the Virgin Mary. The white lily can predict a period of personal growth and development. It is also associated with purity of thought, or higher thinking, perhaps for example, the desire to do something that will make a difference in the world.
The fact that both flowers are symbols of the Virgin Mary and are set on a cross, indicates Christian symbolism is particularly relevant here. Perhaps the Virgin Mary is your spirit helper at this time, or you are experiencing the phenomena of ‘witnessing’. That is, the gift of being visited by ascended masters or well-known spiritual beings such as the Virgin Mary or Jesus.
Note: The rose appears by itself in many cards of the Rider Waite deck, but the lily never appears alone. Wherever you find a lily, you will find a red rose in the Rider Waite.
⭐Roses also appears here: The Fool, Magician, Strength, Death, Queen of Pentacles. Lilies also appear in the Magician, Temperance and Ace of Pentacles.
Landscape: Meaning of the Mountains, Ocean and Trees in the Two of Wands
Mountains tend to represent ‘obstacles’ to overcome in Tarot. The closer the mountain, the more immediate the problem. In this card, the mountains form in the near and far distance, indicating that there will be challenges at various stages.
However, with the right mindset and starting from a secure base, mountains can also represent adventure, escape and conquest.
The ocean is vast, majestic and awe inspiring. When an ocean or sea appears in Tarot, it signifies the querent is reflecting on life and asking the Big Questions, like, who am I? and what is the meaning of life?
The ocean in this card is calm, suggesting a calmness of mind – racing thoughts have been calmed, and there is clarity now.
The meaning of trees in Tarot is taken primarily from mythology and religious text. We know of the tree in the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life in Kabbalah. Trees are used to symbolize growth and prosperity.
The more trees in a Tarot card, the more ‘life’ and ‘prosperity’ is indicated. The Two of Wands depicts a very green valley, suggesting an exciting new venture or phase in the querent’s life. How close you are to acting on, or achieving your plans depends on the proximity of the trees. The closer the trees, the sooner your plans are likely to be actualized or realized.
⭐Trees appear in 23 cards, including: 10 of Cups, Lovers, Strength, The Chariot and The Star
What Sphere Does The Two of Wands Represent in Qabalah?
Qabalah (Kabbalah): In western occultism, the 2 of Wands symbols depicts the second sphere or sefirot of the Tree of Life called Chokmah. It is the first point of conscious awareness, since the first sphere of Keter represents emptiness.
According to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Jehovah is the God associated with Chokmah and Raziel is the archangel who resides over the sphere. The order of angels that reside in the sphere are the Ophanim.
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Complete List: Tarot Card Symbolism
Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.
The Ultimate Guide to Two of Wands Symbols