Four of Wands

The elderberries have ripened on the bushes here in the northern hemisphere as we enter the Fall season. This year’s crop has been harvested, and the ever favorite elderberry jelly is in the cupboard. This has prompted me to share the message of the Four of Wands, and to talk about the elderberries that appear on this card, representing fruitful creativity and accomplishment.

Elderberry trees have been treasured for millennia. Researchers tell us that they have been cultivated since the Stone Age. It is not a surprise that its symbolic meanings are closely tied to humanity and evolution. It is said to be a plant symbolizing transition, continuation, and a gateway to new dimensions.

On the lighter side, the Celts considered the Elderberry to be a tree of the fairy realm. Its hollow branches were once used for the creation of wands, flutes, and panpipes. Perhaps fairies found the alluring music shared at celebrations and festivities to be irresistible? Did they then develop a fondness for this healing tree?

This brings us to the inviting message of the Four of Wands. On the card, the wands appear as pillars, which present a passageway. They beckon us to a celebration of our creativity, which has flourished and is now bearing fruit in our world. There is a common meaning for all of the fourth cards in each suit of the tarot. The fours represent the transition from ideals and creative thoughts into a perceivable form of earthly reality. The Three of Wands cultivates our creative journey though quiet introspection. Then we see those ideas come to fruition with the appearance of the Four of Wands.

With this in mind, I chose to represent the meaning of the Four of Wands by using the wands as pillars, along with the draping elderberry boughs to complete the gateway. Welcome to the celebration of our creative endeavors as they come into the world. This is a joyous time, as we savor the fruits of our success.

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After a long career of painting and sharing the nature spirits through my art, I decided to create a tarot deck. This project has been an eight year personal journey. As I worked to capture just the right imagery for the message of this timeless tradition, I learned much about the psyche, and I deepened my connection with nature. I hope these interpretations will bring you new insights, quiet moments with nature, and great pleasure.