The Suit of Wands as Stuff People do at Festivals

The Suit of Wands in the tarot represents the element of fire. This element is one of drive, passion, force, and action. This the is suit of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, the fire starters and show stoppers of the zodiac.

When I originally set out to write this blog post I was going to stick with the same thing I’ve been doing as of late, pairing the cards with a song that justly represents the essence of each card’s lesson. That didn’t feel right despite the fact that I’m sure I could have easily done it, and would have surely enjoyed hte process of writing about it. So, I thought about what the suit of wands truly represents: the fire of Spirit. This suit is all about the passion we feel for life and there are few things that arouse that kind of fire in my life quite like a killer featival season.

Whether it’s Coachella, Burning Man, or a little known bluegrass festival, there are some themes that are universal about the experience. Whether you’ve been to 1, 2, or 256 festivals, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate. So let’s open up our minds and view the wands from this new perspective, shall we?

Ace of Wands

You woke up before the sun to pile all the essentials into your friend’s dad’s van. Tents, floaties, tubs of glitter, a mannequin head on a stick, and a handful of impractical outfits are packed tightly into the hatchback as you and your crew set out for the drive to the festival. This is the divine spark of energy you feel as you set out for the road to the festival.

Two of Wands

After two hours of waiting in line with the windows rolled down and the music blasting, you’ve finally got your wristbands on and your car parked in a dusty make shift parking lot. You’ve all stretched your legs and now it’s time to unload the car and set up camp. This is the will to organize and bring form to your dreams. You place the tents in the circle, set up the canopy, put the decorations up, and still you have energy for more!

Three of Wands

You’re trying to decide what ridiculous outfit to wear during the day when off in the distance you hear a voice that sounds familiar. You look around and see a crew of people walking towards your campsite, it’s your friends who drove separately. You holler and dance around as they approach. Laura helps you pick out which leotard to wear as you help them unpack. This is the spark to create, and the help we often need to get that creative spark going.

Four of Wands

So it’s the first full day of the festival and everyone in your camp has spent the day drinking, possibly taking elicite substances, and definitley having too good of a time. One by one, two by two, you all make it back to camp. One by one, and two by two, you all take disco naps. And then the unthinkable happens… You all wake up, eat some food, and get ready together for the rest of the night. This is the camraderie you feel as you pass out the glitter and face jewels. This is the stability you feel when the whole crew survies day one unscathed.

Five of Wands

You’re with your crew, ready for a night of jamming and being weird, but there’s just one problem: Steve wants to go to the river stage, Jenna wants to go to the grove stage, and everyone else doesn’t really care. Steve and Jenna are arguing about set times and it’s really harshing the group’s mellow, but in the end you all come to an agreement. One group goes to one stage and the other group goes to the other stage, and with a bit of magic you’ll all meet back up at the main stage for Justin Martin’s set (that’s what totems are for, afterall). This is about when conflict proves to have a positive impact.

Six of Wands

No one expected you to survive after shot gunning all those Budlights on the river today. While you were taking a disco nap in your tent the rest of the crew got dressed, had some dinner, and headed out to groove all night long. You awoke when the sun was already asleep, and yet you managed to throw on a poncho and head out into the wild unknown. When you finally run into your friends at the silent disco you are greeted with looks of shock and awe. Everyone claps, even people you don’t know. This is the hero returning home on his horse to crowds of smiling faces.

Seven of Wands

Everyone is disagreeing with you. No one thinks you should run off by yourself to get food. Sure you’ve been drunk and high all day, but you’re an adult and you can make your own decisions, and right now the best decission is to eat. You know you need to do this but Lucas and Jenna are all up in your face saying that you can’t leave. You leave anyway, sometimes the noble path must be walked alone.

Eight of Wands

It’s that day 3 vibe. You’ve been here long enough that everything is soaked in a palpable, and different, layer of weird. You’re out on the river and you’re drinking and partying but it feels different. You’re sun burnt, dehydrated, tired as fuck, and yet you’re still pushing ever onward. A decent amount of people have left the festival, having Monday morning shifts calling their name, but not you. Part of you knows that you should probably slow your roll but you have no plans of stopping. This is when we push onward in the name of greatness, sometimes at the expense of our own meat suits (bodies).

Nine of Wands 

It’s 6 am and the sun is coming up. For some stupid reason you decided to stay up all night and now you are looking down the barrel of a 3 hour respite before you have to take on the daunting task of cleaning up the camp site. This is the calm before the storm. This is the well earned and much needed rest before you head back out into the fray. Sleep on peaceful warrior, sleep on!

Ten of Wands

The car is finally loaded and you’re exhausted and dirty, but still feeling the dewy post-festival glow. Jenna is in the passengers seat and she is putting on the jams, an epic playlist compiled of the artsits you saw this weekend as well as some of the songs that hold special places in everyone’s hearts (read: Africa by Toto). “This drive is gonna be no problem,” you think to yourself an hour down the road. Then you notice that Jenna is passed out and so is everyone else in the backseat. This responsibility is your burden, and yours alone.

I didn’t go to one shittin’ festival this year because, fuck, they are a lot of work. But look out next summer, Northern California I am coming for you.

Want to book a tarot reading with me? Click here

The photos in this blog post are brought to you by me and festival season 2015. The only one I don’t own is the second one (yoga in the forest) which was taken in all likelihood by the wonderful Kenny Hoff.

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