Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Elder of Fire (King of Wands)

in Art, Tarot

Elderoffire A curandera (healer) squats on the earth in front of an altar honoring the ancestors during Los Días de los Muertosthe Days of the Dead. She holds a handful of burning herbs that direct waves of energy to dissipate the foul and bring in the sweet.  She lives in la época del mito (the Otherworld, the time of myth) as much — or more — as she does in the world of consensual reality. Her gaze, directed at the viewer, is potent and challenging.  Her ally is the iguana, who brings the medicine of the dreamtime.

The Elder of Fire reminds us to open up to the Otherworld, the world of energy patterns and spirits and Invisibles.  When we shift our inner reality, our outer reality shifts as well. 

The Elder of Fire was our Card of the Week a month or so ago.  A few of you commented then.   How does the card speak to you, now that you can see it?   Thank you, dear Readers.

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Lisa Hunt Wed - Aug 12th 2009 9:52 am

    Good card choice! I love the curandera’s expression.

  • Carol Wed - Aug 12th 2009 10:13 am

    Love the colours and the imagery Joanna – she sure looks like a wise woman who has lived an interesting and full life!!!!

  • judy Wed - Aug 12th 2009 10:40 am

    gorgeous, but she doesn’t LOOK like a native elder.. oops, wrong card!
    seriously though, folks…
    It is gorgeous and powerful, Joanna. If this card came to me in a reading, I would take it as guidance to stop, be still, and open myself up to healing.

  • karen Wed - Aug 12th 2009 11:46 am

    WOW – this is AMAZING. something about this card made me sit up and stare in awe. Really somthing tribal or ancestral. Her expression is just undescripable.

  • karen Wed - Aug 12th 2009 11:50 am

    I meant indescribable

  • Teresa Michelsen Wed - Aug 12th 2009 3:21 pm

    I love this card… especially the combination of herbs and fire, which is somehow resonating with me right now. I just harvested my basil and have fresh nectarines (which I can see on that altar) – and am going to infuse them with a burst of creativity that I’m feeling right now just looking at this 🙂

  • Stormy Twilight Wed - Aug 12th 2009 5:49 pm

    How lovely,
    She looks back at me offering/changeling me to open myself to the creative energies of the ancestors, and open myself to a truly unique form of wisdom. She is the dark sentience of the cosmos ad reminds me of whom we are born, and immersed, and whom we return.

  • Jennie Lin Thu - Aug 13th 2009 3:59 am

    OMG! She speaks so strongly to me, I thought I was looking at myself! And I’m a midwestern, suburban vanilla white woman! Without a Wand in me! Thanks so much, Joanna. Your art truly inspires and touches a deep human place in all of us.

  • Arwen Thu - Aug 13th 2009 7:39 am

    I see her as engaged. Urging me to be engaged in what I do. Reminding me to stay focused on what is mine. The iguana is intriguing. I get a sense of a messenger as well as a spy. Not sure why.
    That direct, uncompromising gaze is what grabs me the most. And the altar behind her…reminds me of that old adage one or two mothers have once said,
    “Girl, I brought you into this world and I can take you out.”
    I see her as a representative of the Virgin Mary and Hecate. Perhaps she is the pivotal mother of that triad…and what a strange triad that would be, eh?

  • joanna Thu - Aug 13th 2009 10:00 am

    Thanks. I’m so glad that “indescribable” gaze came through. I did a a photo shoot with a friend (much younger and not Hispanic) who kind of went into a trance while portraying – or perhaps mediating – the Elder of Fire. I took about 3 dozen photos and this one jumped out. I’m happy that I was able to change her features while keeping the intense expression on her face.
    Teresa – nectarines – umm I thought they were pomegranates, LOL! So cool how each person sees what they need to see.
    Yes I agree this is an intensely *creative* card – I was listening to a number of audio tapes on building a “soulpreneur” business while working on it, and I had to keep stopping to jot down all sorts of ideas that kept coming – zoom zoom zoom! I have plans, I tell you, I have plans! Both creative and business plans, LOL!
    Stormy – lovely words, thank you. Arwen – Virgin Mary & Hecate -yeah! I like that!

  • melissa Stratton Fri - Aug 14th 2009 1:59 pm

    This is by far the coolest card you have made thus far. It really has a lot of power and details behind it! If I wasnt already salivating at the idea of reading with this deck this card would have made up my mind to get it.

  • JLB Sat - Aug 15th 2009 1:56 pm

    The first thing which comes to mind after my eyes wander all around this card is, “She’s about to tell me something I don’t want to hear. Something I need to hear.”
    I have a feeling that I’ll be hearing a lot more from this Elder.
    As always, gorgeous work Joanna.

  • Cate Sun - Aug 16th 2009 5:04 am

    OK, this one is my favorite – I’m an elder, a fire sign (Sag) and have native blood as well. This card speaks to me, it really really really speaks to me. Gorgeous….

  • Ketzirah Carly Mon - Aug 17th 2009 7:05 pm

    HOLY CRAP! She’s amazing!!! I’m slightly afraid of her, which is awesome. WOW!

  • Cate Tue - Aug 18th 2009 4:55 am

    Yes indeed, this elder is somewhat scary, and so she should be as a wise woman in the fullness of her years, her knowing and her power. Will prints be available, Sister Joanna?

  • joanna Tue - Aug 18th 2009 7:22 am

    Melissa, so glad she speaks to you so strongly. Jade, love your take on her. Carly, you crack me up – thank you! Cate, prints are available now – I sent out the shopping cart link in the NL – it will be on the site after all 4 Elders are done.
    Here it is (sorry it’s so long) – price is $50 plus shipping:×11&price=50.00&units=1&return=

  • Liani Tarot Mon - Aug 24th 2009 12:59 pm

    I think that this is the best depiction of the traditional ‘King of Wands’ energy that I’ve seen. Wow! I love that it’s a female, to start with 🙂
    There is an element of strong perception that is wholly missing from many card depictions. Her gaze is so penetrating that we immediately understand that to get to the top of the wands pile, you have to have the fire energy AND the perception. Love it.
    A quirky blog with a spiritual bent for those who love tarot.

  • Dawn Shears Mon - Aug 24th 2009 7:51 pm

    You know, I’m a short time on a fast path here in the Neah-kah-nie area of the Oregon coast.
    I found your site and your cards soon after moving here, two years ago. Sent the link to your blog around…seems a few people here know of you (Gwendolyn at Wanderland, Lane deMoll…)
    I can’t wait until you finish this beautiful deck.
    Oh, in the order of manifesting through writing and art, Lane deMoll is writing a work of fiction…based on the reality of the magic of living here. You might want to check it out.
    it’s a bit of a shout out but we are doing some great energy work here and need to share.

  • MoonGypsy Wed - Oct 07th 2009 8:22 am

    She is one of my very favorite cards…i would choose Her for my amulet, most likely. i am a newly arrived Crone, and so…this image speaks volumes to me. Blessed Be!
    Brightest Autumn Blessings!