The Ace of Wands appears out of a dreamy cloud, a magic rod still green with leaves falling from it, held by a strong magician’s hand. In the distance, a dilapidated castle rises from a hill, a slim river snakes through the bottom of the card, and a few trees dot the landscape. It is a serene scene, open and full of possibilities. The image is also a simple one – emphasizing the wand in the center. It beckons the querent to ask, "is this wand meant for me, and if so, how can I make use of it?"
The wand made one of its first literary appearances in Homer’s well-known Greek story The Odyssey when the helpful and intelligent Goddess Athena uses hers to disguise the hero of the tale, Odysseus, into an old man and then later, with a wave of it, turns him back into his young, vigorous form once again. And the 13th-century magical spellbook or medieval grimoire, The Oathbound Book of Honorius, has specific instructions on how to select the right wand, including the time of day and the day of the week. It also states that it is important to use the wood of a nut tree (such as Hazelnut) and to select virgin wood, with new growth, just like the one in the Ace of Wands. Known best for their transformative nature, wands also represent the fire element in Tarot. Fire, like magic, transforms. It is powerful. Potent. Intense. If not handled respectfully, magic can recoil. Fire can burn. Both can become too much and get out of control. Some of the Wand cards show the darker aspects of handling the powerful element of Fire, but in the Ace of Wands, the luck of the Ace shines through, like the gift that is this powerful tool. The Wand. How will we use it? Obviously, we are ready to step up and become the Magician that is waiting inside of us, waiting to take the wand and manifest magic in our lives. The possibilities are infinite. Only our fears and our preconceived notions limit us.
When the Ace of Wands becomes a part of a reading, it is time to seize a glowing opportunity. We are being handed a potent, magical tool by the Tarot, and who but a fool would do anything but take it? We must be more magical than we thought. This card signifies eagerness and strength. We are ready for something transformative to happen – we’re on the verge of eclipsing ourselves in some way, of changing colors, of metamorphosizing. And the Ace of Wands is the lucky card up our sleeve helping us make it happen.
During times of transition and change, however exciting, a nourishing and strengthening herbal ally like Cordyceps can be the best medicine to lean on. Cordyceps is a parasitic fungus from the Himalayan Mountain ranges of China, traditionally grown on the larvae of insects such as caterpillars, and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to treat fatigue, overall weak health, kidney and respiratory diseases, and low sex drive. Because naturally grown sources of Cordyceps are now very difficult to find, it is best and more easily purchased synthetically grown on vegan sources such as oats in a laboratory. Cordyceps has long been linked with professional athletes as research has shown it improves the way the body uses oxygen, especially during exercise, since it increases the body’s production of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an essential ingredient in providing energy to muscles. Many studies reflect how it improves athletic performance as well as shortens recovery time. But its benefits do not end there. Its high antioxidant content exerts anti-aging effects, helps improve arrhythmias, reduces tumors, bad or LDL cholesterol, and inflammation, as well as blood sugar levels leading to Type II Diabetes. A majority of these studies were done with mice, but they reflect what Traditional Chinese Medicine has been reporting about Cordyceps for thousands of years.
Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, we can also reach stages of our lives where we enter into a type of chrysalis – where beautiful cataclysmic changes occur, and we emerge from them afterward completely transformed. We must be more magical than we thought. But if we reach for the Ace of Wands and Cordyceps during these prismatic times, we cannot go wrong.
*Tarot reading is based on the Rider-Waite Tarot Card deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith
- Harris, Karen. “A Brief History of Magic Wands.” History Daily, 7 June 2019. https://historydaily.org/a-brief-history-of-magic-wands/
- Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. San Francisco, Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, 2007. P182-183
- Tierra, Lesley Lac. Healing with the Herbs of Life. Berkeley, The Crossing Press, 2003. P73
- Tuli, Hardeep S., Sanhu, Sardul S., Sharma, A.K. “Pharmacological and Therapeutic Potential of Cordyceps with Special Reference to Cordycepin.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, 4 February 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3909570/
- Van De Walle, Gavin, MS, RD. “6 Benefits of Cordyceps, All Backed by Science.” Healthline, 9 May, 2018. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cordyceps-benefits