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Page of Wands Reversed Meaning – Smith-Waite Centennial

The pages have been loud and proud in our Card of the Day series so far, with all but the Page of Cups making an appearance already! But today's Page of Wands is in the reversed position, which means a pretty different interpretation.

We've already chatted about the differences between Pages and Knights—the two counterparts of the French playing cards' Jacks in tarot decks. And we've also mentioned that we're taking our own unique approach to tarot card reversals in this free reading series. There's no one right way to look at reversed cards. But for our purposes, they show querents' impact on other people rather than their situation as protagonists in their own lives.

Page of Wands Reversed tarot card. Detailed card description in body text. Pictured with a small houseplant against a blue-black background.

The Page of Wands Reversed in the Smith-Waite Centennial tarot deck

Our dandy Page of Wands is the most decked-out of our friends the Pages in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition of decks. Not only is this figure wearing a jaunty feathered cap and an opulent cloak, but their yellow tunic is also patterned in a motif of curling salamanders. Wands are, as we've already seen, the suit of creative passion and fire. So of course, the Page of Wands leaves no opportunity for artistic flourishes behind! Even their boots are decorated with flame-like tassel accents.

The page holds a tall wand in one hand, and from it grows the only sign of vegetation in the card. The figure stands in a sandy desert among the Pyramids, evoking both the firey correlation of the Wands suit and its deeper meaning of artistic visions. Even the salamanders on the Page of Wands' tunic call back to the fire motif—it was once thought that salamanders could walk through fire unharmed. The leaves sprouting from the page's wand suggest that the firey, volatile power to create and reshape is in their inexperienced hands.

What does the Page of Wands mean in the reversed position?

Upright, the Page of Wands is a reminder that being a dilettante isn't such a bad thing. We all start somewhere, and the only way we can become experts is by getting our hands dirty. Moreover, the upright card reminds us that we can have fun with creativity and don't even need to view new artistic expressions as a path to professional skill. 

But in the reversed position, the Page of Wands is a warning not to fall into gatekeeping tendencies. You've proven yourself particularly skilled in a craft or art form, and you've earned a deep pride in this carefully cultivated expertise. And when you understand the history behind your craft and how much work goes into it that non-experts just don't see, it's very understandable that you've taken up a defensive position. 

Don't be a gatekeeper

However, you should be careful not to allow your passions to make you exclude newcomers. Your skills are a gift that not everyone understands. What would it be like to share them with a whole new generation of creators instead of shaking your head when you see things done carelessly or wrong?

It's worth noting that not all traditions are open to everybody. And today's reading shouldn't be construed as a license for appropriation.

But our Card of the Day does mean you should take a closer look at your own behaviour. Is there someone you're judging too harshly when you could be helping them grow? Be on the lookout for a shared passion today, and be ready to correct yourself when you find your eyes rolling at someone's inexperience. Remember that you weren't born an expert. See if you can share some help or guidance that you wish you'd had yourself.

S.M. signature — Savanna Margaret's initials

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