Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes
January 2019 Tarot Card Astrology: Two of Wands
The Two of Wands tarot card, Mars in Aries, will be played out in the night sky between New Year’s Eve this year until January 15, 2019. Not only will Mars travel through the first third of the tropical zodiac sign of Aries during this time, but it is also visible now in the night sky (in the constellation of Pisces in the sidereal zodiac). As soon as the sun sets, you can look straight up and see Mars directly overhead and then descending into the western sky to set sometime after 11 p.m. Mars is full of energy and ambition when he moves into his home sign of Aries, and can’t wait to get started with something. Use the suggested ritual work to connect with this drive and excitement if you could use a shot of adrenaline in your life. Be sure to check out all the articles, upcoming and past, on tarot card astrology.
- Seven of Cups: Venus in Scorpio – Thursday, December 20, 2018
- Two of Wands: Mars in Aries – Today’s post!
- Four of Pentacles: Sun in Capricorn – Thursday, January 3, 2019
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Two of Wands: Mars in Aries
- The Two of Wands is titled “The Lord of Dominion” and represents things that you are in charge of, such as your responsibilities, your territory, or anything under your authority. It suggests that you should take charge of things that fall in your domain, but leave alone things that are outside of your realm of control. I often call this card “independence in partnership.”
- Mars is the warrior and expresses qualities such as passion, excitement, desire, ambition, anger, and a willingness to fight for what is right. It is our energy and vigor. Mars rules Aries and Scorpio and is exalted in Capricorn.
- Aries is a cardinal fire sign ruled by Mars and is independent, pioneering, enterprising, explores courage, and is ready to “just do it.” Its symbol is the Ram and its glyph is the curved V of a ram’s horns.
- Two of Wands: Mars ruling the first decan of Aries
- The calendar dates, when the Sun passes through this decan each year, are approximately March 20-30.
- Mars will pass through the first decan of Aries from Monday, December 31, 2018 at 8 p.m. to Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 3 p.m.
- Best times for ritual work: Tuesday is Mars Day, and we have three Tuesdays in that time period, January 1, 8, and 15. Venus is moving towards an easy-going trine with Mars this whole time. We don’t have the nice mutual reception we had for the last two posts, but nevertheless Venus will help to soften the hard edges of Mars. January 15 adds generous and wise Jupiter to the trine. Unfortunately, Mars passes through a difficult square to Mercury, the planet of communication on January 8, while also closing in on a square to Saturn during this period. As with our Mars in Pisces placement from a few weeks ago, doing Mars work can be challenging and can backfire due to the aggressive nature of the planet, especially if you’re not already on good terms with it. So, approaching Mars from a place of connecting to and getting to know him is a more reliable bet. The candle magic ritual with color breathing can be adapted to this decan.
Mars in Aries
Mars is the warrior. He can be highly productive, giving energy to your goals and passion for things that inspire you. He can increase your vigor and stamina. Mars will fight for what he thinks is right. When not engaged constructively, though, Mars can be cruel, unleashing anger, frustration, vindictiveness, or passive-aggressive tendencies.
For good or evil, the qualities of Mars are strengthened in his home sign of Aries. Aries symbolizes the spring, the time when the earth heats up after winter, snow melts, seeds in the ground germinate, and the days are warm and bright, full of hope and plans. Mars lends his gung-ho, can-do attitude to this zodiacal place of growth and fresh starts. Perfect for the new year!
The square to Saturn, which closes in towards the end of our time frame, becoming exact on January 21, 2019, is key to Mars’ success. Saturn is disciplined, structured, and limiting. When these two play nice, Saturn is Mars’ commanding officer, telling him what to do and how to do it. If Mars will obey these orders, he can be victorious. But if his demand for independence gets the better of him, and being in Aries will increase this need, he’s likely to be cited for insubordination. The gentle trine from Venus and Jupiter could offset this, reminding him that he’ll get further in the long run if he plays by the rules now.
Image of the Two of Wands
The Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) image for the Two of Wands shows a man standing on a parapet, overlooking an expanse of land which borders a body of water and then recedes into distant mountains. He holds a globe in one hand, the other supporting a wooden staff resting on the low wall beside him. Behind him, another staff is resting on the floor of the rooftop balcony, firmly secured to the stone wall. Only one visible foot suggests that the other foot is elevated on the low space of the crenelation. This indicates a pose of victory, placing one foot on that which has been conquered. The fact that he looks over the distant land and out to the sea which could take him further, while holding a symbol of the whole world, combine to suggest that he desires to continue to expand his kingdom. The second staff, locked in position, with no personality to hold it, hints that an obedient viceroy will maintain this location while our hero moves on to the next.
Title of the Two of Wands: Dominion
Dominion means what you have control over. Not all of us are conquering kings eager to expand to new shores. But we all have our territory, the area that we are in charge of. Although this card can indicate that it’s time to expand our influence, it more specifically asks us to examine that area and know our boundaries clearly. It means that we should take charge of what we’re in charge of and not acquiesce to the overbearing influence of those who want to infiltrate our ranks. But the converse is true and we must respect the boundaries of others as well. The idea of independence (the fire element of the suit) in partnership (the number two) plays out here. I take care of my stuff and leave you alone, and you take care of your stuff and leave me alone, and we’ll work great together.
The Astrology of the Two of Wands
Mars is bold, daring, assertive, and competitive. In Aries he is inspired to channel these energies into starting something new, heading off the beaten track, and exploring new lands. He is independent, motivated, and a self-starter. Mars needs to head out into the world and do his own thing his own way. He wants to be in charge, but not of others: he only needs to have authority over himself. An astrological principle is that Venus brings together, whereas Mars separates. He will sacrifice relationships and burn bridges if that’s what it takes.
Mars in Aries never hesitates, he never plans, he never plays it safe. In fact, he is known for his impulsivity and spontaneity. He doesn’t have time to celebrate his victories, social time feels like stagnancy. As we see in the card image, having just conquered this castle he already maps out further attacks, one foot always raised to take the next step.
The first decan is the cardinal, or initiating, decan of the sign. Aries is a cardinal fire sign, and fire is considered to be what sparks action. Mars is a fiery planet. The suit of Wands represents the element fire. The Two of Wands: Mars in Aries is the epitome of let’s go, just do it, taking off, what’s over that horizon, try and keep up. The planet Mars displays all the unflagging focus of someone with the energy of youth and the direction of a goal. He doesn’t know how he’ll reach it, but that doesn’t hold him back. This decan receives the qualities of Mars in Pisces, the spark that leads to new life, and births it out into the world, ready for adventure. We’ll see this spring when Mars in Aries hands off to the middle, fixed decan of the sign, ruled by the Sun, the Three of Wands, when the drive slows down and maturity rests on its laurels.
Mythology of the Two of Wands: Mars in Aries
In the Ten of Cups, we saw the homecoming after a long and difficult journey. But for true adventurers, home base is necessary only to restock and head out again. The mythology of the Two of Wands: Mars in Aries is any story of adventure and derring-do. Examples include cowboy stories, space adventures, epic adventures, and any drama about conquering new lands and territory. Particularly when the conflict is an external one: overcoming threats posed by man or nature that would hold the protagonist back. Mars is always ready for a fight and doesn’t take time to think things through, he simply charges ahead, pummeling anything in his way. He is a lone hero, never turning to friends or partners. Rather, the card’s number indicates one-on-one conflict: hand to hand combat, duels, or “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us” type of one-upmanship.
The lonely adventure stories of Jack London come to mind for this card. I think stories of success best fit this category, so the following choice is not perfect, but I can’t help thinking of To Build a Fire. The Golden Dawn version of this card shows two crossed sticks with flames coming out of them, as if they had been used drill-and-bow style to start a fire. The London story centers around the necessity of building a fire, despite the limitations of frostbit hands, in order to survive treacherous conditions in the Alaskan Yukon territory. Stubborn independence and willingness to disregard or sacrifice others, themes found in this story, offer a negative expression of the Two of Wands: Mars in Aries.
Ritual for Two of Wands: Mars in the First Decan of Aries
If you would like to connect with the qualities of Mars in Aries, such as independence, motivation, starting new things, embarking on an adventure, or expanding your domain, consider doing ritual work with the Two of Wands. As noted above, I would recommend the candle burning ritual with color breathing for getting to know Mars. I’ll list the correspondences here for you to work with.
- Orphic Hymn to Ares, or the Homeric Hymn to Ares.
- Color: red
- Number: 5
- Incense: dragonsblood, garlic, sulfur, asafoetida
- Stones and Metals: iron, hematite, magnets, ruby, garnet, bloodstone
- Symbols: Sword, spear, warrior’s helmet, shield, pentagram or pentagon, five-petaled tudor rose, scourge
- Beverage: Teas from nettles, ginger, turmeric, or peppermint; or any combination of the above
- Food and Flavors: Spicy/hot food with cayenne or hot peppers, basil and garlic, or foods made with other Mars flavors.
- Clothing and accessories: wear red and/or wear jewelry made of Mars-ruled metals and stones (iron, hematite, magnets, ruby, garnet, bloodstone), or dress like a warrior or soldier, or whatever best expresses your intention
If you have any question about developing your ritual, please leave them in the comments! I’d also love for you to share your experiences with this practice in the comments.
Upcoming Tarot Card Astrology Posts for Capricorn:
Four of Pentacles, to be published on Thursday, January 3, 2019
- Four of Pentacles: Sun Ruling the Third Decan of Capricorn
- The Sun will pass through the last decan of Capricorn between January 10, 2019 starting around 7 a.m. to January 20, 2019 at 1:59 a.m. The Sun will pass through a conjunction with Pluto and then a square to Uranus during this time.
- Best time for ritual work: The day of the Sun is Sunday, of which there is only one during the time Sol is in this decan, Sunday, January 13, 2019. That day the aspects to Pluto and Uranus are both in full force, so keep your ritual work simple, practical, and down-to-earth, so as not to trigger backlash from either of these contrary planets.
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.