So what do Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Magic Wands have to do with Tarot? Quite a lot, as it turns out.
This past Christmas, Santa gave my husband and me a trip with one of my daughters and her family to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. All of us are big Harry Potter fans and it was so much fun to share the magic with my daughter, her husband and their three children. Thank you, Santa!
I have always wanted a magic wand and one of the fun things on offer there are the magic wands sold at Ollivander’s store. You can either choose a wand used by one of the Harry Potter characters or you can define your personality traits and the Ollivander’s clerks will recommend wands of different woods that are known through wand lore to resonate with that type of person. I chose Hermione Granger’s wand.
This beautiful wand, with its vine carving up the wand shaft, was the prettiest and the most feminine of all the wands in the store. Not necessarily wizarding priorities, to be sure, but I was immediately smitten with it and in the days we were at the park, I saw many others who had chosen the same wand. There must be a lot of Hermione Granger fans among us.
A VINE WOOD WAND with a DRAGON HEARTSTRING CORE
Once I got back from our trip, I was intrigued by the rich vein of wand lore J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, had put out there. She had chosen her wands for all the characters based on ancient Celtic and Druid traditions, so of course I had to learn about my new wand and why it had called to me so strongly. Hermione’s wand is made from vine wood and has a dragon heartstring core. Dragon heart, eh? I want to know more!
According to Ms. Rowling and Mr. Garrick Ollivander, who “has been selling wands since 382 BC and is widely considered one of the finest wandmakers in the world”;
“The druids considered anything with a woody stem as a tree, and vine makes wands of such a special nature that I have been happy to continue their ancient tradition. Vine wands are among the less common types, and I have been intrigued to notice that their owners are nearly always those who seek a greater purpose, who have a vision beyond the ordinary and who frequently astound those who think they know them best. Vine wands seem strongly attracted by personalities with hidden depths, and I have found them more sensitive than any other when it comes to instantly detecting a prospective match.”
About the dragon heartstring core he says;
“As a rule, dragon heartstrings produce wands with the most power, and which are capable of the most flamboyant spells. Dragon wands tend to learn more quickly than other types. While they can change allegiance if won from their original master, they always bond strongly with the current owner.”
THE WAND and the TAROT CARDS
It was the dragon heartstring that got me thinking about how this could all be related to Tarot, especially since the Strength card in my Wizards Tarot deck shows a woman with a dragon instead of the traditional lion. And with that compelling thought, I began my research into what it was about this wand that had called to me.
The symbolic meanings given by the ancient Celts to vines had to do with expansion, regeneration, fertility, connection, continuation, bounty and the spiral. Of the spiral symbols, consciousness, renewal, development and growth are the most prominent. Since I was already thinking of the Strength card in my appropriately-named Wizards Tarot deck, I wondered which of the other cards in that deck might best represent the traits inherent in my wand.
This is what I determined… Strength for the dragon heartstring. The Empress for the bounty, fertility and expansion of the vine. And The World for the consciousness, development and renewal of the spiral symbolism.
The Strength card is about taming your passions with gentleness, rather than beating them into submission. It represents an acknowledgement and acceptance of that part of ourselves and it requires us to befriend those passions as we work to incorporate them into our whole sense of Self. This is a powerful part of the Self and it is a protection when we need to call on it. Someone who might be considered to have the heart of a dragon would be fierce and powerful. But that part of us needs to be tempered by kindness and gentleness, too, or it can cause us and those we love to be burned by its fiery excess.
The Empress is about the creativity of life in all its forms. It can be about the birthing of life forms but it can also be about the birthing of ideas and books, art and music, anything new that we bring into the world. The vine on this wand seems especially apt here, as vines grow steadily over, around and through whatever is in their path. They are quietly, powerfully determined and seemingly never-ending, growing from a hidden depth. And they grow in a curly, spiral pattern to better anchor themselves for growth.
Which brings us to The World. This is a card of overcoming, of stepping out into newer, higher manifestations of our growth. This is the card of understanding and moving onward to the next horizon. In the context of this post, I find it very interesting that the woman in the image is herself wielding a wand, expressing her understanding of her personal power and her place in the world. As we move onward in our growth and evolution, we move on a spiral, circling upward to our highest growth, fulfilling our highest potential.
So it seems this is quite a powerful symbol, this wand that has come into my life. It represents very high ideals and the underlying expectations of achieving them. Let us hope I can do this wand as proud as did Ms. Granger.
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