COTD – 3 of Wands/Bricks R (Fenestra & Dante)


The number 3 symbolizes the generative force, creative power, multiplicity, and forward movement.  They are about planning and preparing, putting the details into place before beginning the work.  Wands are usually associated with the element of fire, inspiration, energy, passion, feeling, enterprise, ambition, matters pertaining to the “spark of life”.  They can refer to the growth and awareness of the self.  Wands are focused on discovering your true self, apart from others.

“You are seeing yourself in a detailed and complete manner.  You are clarifying your self-image and sense of personal direction.  You are making plans for becoming the self you privately want to be.” – Gail Fairfield

The 3 of Bricks from the Dante Tarot shows a male sitting with a woman’s head in his lap.  He seems grieving and upset.  She is stretched out on a bed and holding a lit wand.  Another figure (possibly female) is walking out of the scene.  Her back is to us but I get the sense that she is a healer who is departing after offering little assistance to the figure on the bed.  There is a sense of sadness to this card.  It almost feels as though the woman’s flame is about to flicker out and the male is mourning the loss of her light.  The female figure’s eyes are closed and she is very pale.  It’s as though she is losing her vitality.

The Fenestra 3 of Wands is a more traditional RWS image showing an androgynous figure standing above a waterway looking out towards the horizon.  Three staves stand nearby, each with a top that appears to be flowering.  The figure is holding onto one of the staves.  There is a sense of anticipation and eagerness in the image.  This person appears to be expecting something to appear on the horizon quite soon.

Both cards seem to offer a sense of moving on to a new phase – either a project coming to fruition or passing on to a new plane of existence.  Both are projects although of very different types.  In the Dante 3 of Bricks, I’m not sure which figure is the one that will be transitioning but I get the sense that both the man and woman will be in very different places going forward.  What is flowering for them?  I cannot be sure.  What is flowering for me?  It is hard to narrow that down right now because it is a work in progress.

Right now I am at a place where there are number of different options available to me.  I’ve bid farewell to several activities that had been consuming much of my time and now it’s time for me to focus my energies on my personal projects.  One of them is establishing myself as a Tarot reader.  Of course that means I have to slay my fear of marketing and promoting myself.  Perhaps that is what the figure on the bed in the Dante 3 of Bricks represents for me – that self-doubt and inner fears.  Once I am able to let them die, I can move on and find a way to manifest my passions and dreams  and leave those self-doubts behind (like the white clothed figure leaving the room in the Dante).

Okay, I had to take a break here.  I realized as I was writing the I wasn’t “feeling” this interpretation.  It wasn’t ringing true to me.  It might have been accurate from an intellectual perspective but it wasn’t right for me.  So I decided to do the dishes (I find this very therapeutic).  As I was washing a plate it hit me like a ton of bricks – this card is reflecting my fear of success.  I have the ability to have my projects come to fruition, achieve fulfillment.  However first I have to be willing to actually let them set sail.  I avoid letting anything set sail because I’m so afraid they won’t be successful and I’m even more afraid that they will.  How could I have missed it?

Like many people, I have spent years not fully pursuing my dreams because as long as they remain dreams at least there is the potential for happiness and fulfillment.  If I try and fail, I could probably deal with that because I would rationalize numerous reasons for the failure.  But if I try and succeed, a whole new world gets opened up.  If I succeed there will be a number of changes in my life, many of them leading to potential bliss.  How scary is it to be happy?  I’ve done this to myself on numerous occasions when it comes to my weight.  I have cheated on every “diet” I’ve ever followed.  As long as I stay fat I feel safe.  I don’t have to worry about being attractive or drawing undue and unwanted attention.  Being sexy and attractive in this society can be quite scary.  A lot of men feel they have the right if not obligation to make comments ranging from wolf whistles to frighteningly obscene ones.  My weight became a security blanket.  As a fat woman I didn’t have to worry about this kind of attention.  I used my weight as a political statement of sorts but in reality I was afraid to be sexy and attractive.  Becoming successful in my pursuits raises the same inner demons.

It feels like a relief to finally shed some light on this.  I can acknowledge it and work on it.  It won’t be easy and I’m sure there will be times when I’ll go backwards, but at least I’m feeling ready to address the issue.  There are a lot of reasons I fear being successful – changes being a main one.  I also realize that there is part of me that worries others won’t like me if I’m successful.  In school, being smart and getting good grades tended to alienate people.  As long as I didn’t seem too happy it seemed to reassure folks that I was human.  If I’m smart and successful – then what?  I know that sounds a bit arrogant but if you’ve ever been there (and feel free to fill in another adjective for smart – pretty, artistic, popular, athletic, etc.) you understand what I mean.  If we’re too successful, it tends to trigger jealousy and envy in folks.  And I need to accept that and move forward because those folks aren’t true friends anyway.  My true friends will support me and encourage me to be successful, not try to undermine me and secretly root for my failure.

I will be successful, happy, fulfilled, blessed and blissed out beyond belief.  That is my goal and I’m sticking to it.

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