By popular request, this series will take an in depth look at the court cards individually, instead of in a group or as pairs which was my original concept. These are problem cards for a lot of people learning tarot, and even a lot of seasoned readers take awhile to develop true relationships to these cards. So while queering them does take a certain amount of taking the whole suit’s courts into account, I will peer into their individual roles in the deck and talk about how they queer.
For those totally new to tarot, there are four court cards per suit. Traditionally, this is the Page or Knave, Knight, Queen, and King. Modern decks may change that slightly—perhaps most well-known is the change from royalty to family roles, with daughter, son, mother, and father being the courts. This system is inherently problematic from either a feminist or an LGBTQ+ perspective. Assuming the King (or father, but we’ll stick with the traditional ascriptions for today) as head of the suit is patriarchal at best, and we haven’t even begun to delve into the heteronormativity of this. In fact, the court cards are one of the primary reasons I developed this series to begin with. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves though, let’s gently hop back a couple of steps and look at today’s card: the Page of Wands.
In the tarot, pages are usually considered messengers of the energy or events of the suit. They’re also new ideas and sparks, or potential that hasn’t begun to spread its wings yet. Traditionally then, the Page of Wands would indicate someone who brings new ideas and inspiration, or someone who has a lot of creative power festering inside of themselves without a true outlet. The fire is there, but the Page hasn’t quite learned how to make it their own yet. All of the pages represent potential of the suit, but potential of fire is even more powerful than this page realizes. Intuition, fervor, and so much more are running so deeply in a seeker who receives this card. The Page of Wands also does indicate new creative ideas, new impulses coming from out gut instinct, and new passions or excitements coming to the surface. This page can also indicate a sexual awakening that is on the horizon, regardless of one’s identity. Fire is passion, creativity, and intuition. It’s also sex, and I think that gets lost in a lot of conversations about the Wands, but that is a core function of their interpretations.
When queering the Page of Wands, we take everything we’ve already queered about the Wands, IE social justice, queer identity as it’s own passion, etc. and bring that into the idea of the Page as messenger. So you could be looking in a divinatory (IE predictive) reading at someone new to social justice or super fired up about a cause you’re looking to get involved with coming into your life. As a person in a different queer reading, this is likely someone newly out or who has just found queer community or LGBTQ+ friends for the first time, or someone starting a path of activism. That fire and spark for all things queer is fresh, new, and often contagious (in a good way). When looking at this interpretation of the Page, as an energy the cards are calling on YOU to find new inspiration as someone who creates positive change in the world. This card is a wake-up call, and meant to help you place that yearning that hasn’t had a home as one of queer activism. Alternatively, that creative spark still exists and is potentially amplified in a queer telling of this card—specifically though you may be called to put more of yourself and your identity into upcoming creative projects.
The Pages often come up when people are asking about their sexual or gender identity (and, uncomfortably, when they aren’t but are open to hearing “anything the cards have to say”). In these cases the querent is either still in the closet or hasn’t gotten truly comfortable yet. It also may be shifting. In any of these cases, if it’s a question of sexual identity, the seeker is likely to soon meet someone who will be able to stoke that fire and make them feel more impassioned about really living as that identity (whatever that looks like to the seeker. There’s no exact blueprint for queerness.) In short, an important fling or short term, decidedly queer relationship is on its way. If it’s a question of gender identity, it’s a little different. The querent has likely been out and transitioning or even living as their true gender for a little bit, though not a super long time. Often in these cases it’s a matter of trial and error to see what makes one feel comfortable in their skin, and the Page of Wands indicates really coming into one’s own in that regard—and once we feel more comfortable in our skin, we start to love and forgive ourselves, and self-love is an important fire to build and nurture too.
Finally, the Page of Wands also serves to remind us that change always comes. While this is true across identities, for LGBTQ+ people this is often an important acknowledgment when we are feeling frustrated or stuck, whether that means stuck in a town where we can’t meet anyone, stuck in a job with a transphobic employer, or stuck in our own bodies trying to figure out how to navigate them and feel comfortable in them. It is certainly a message that social change always comes. Of course, if surrounded by negative cards, that can be a warning that new fire is needed because the fight for justice could become a lot harder. That’s a type of social change too and a crucial application of a queer Page of Wands. I don’t want to overlook that. This is ultimately a positive card though, so that fight, that spark, that fire is settled deep inside of you somewhere. Whether you’ve been fighting the good fight for one week or one decade, the Page promises you have even more to give. It’s still a card of potential, no matter how far along on our path we think we are. There is always more. It’s not always negative though, and I certainly wouldn’t want to end on that note. The Page reminds us that social change is coming, and it doesn’t make a judgment on what that looks like, so if surrounded by or crossed by positive cards this Page is a welcome confirmation that things are about to blow up for us and our community in a big, beautiful, blazing way.