The physical and emotional nature to which this card is attributed is dark, ardent, lithe, animated, impassioned, noble. The King uplifts a flowering wand, and wears, like his three correspondences in the remaining suits, what is called a cap of maintenance beneath his crown. He connects with the symbol of the lion, which is emblazoned on the back of his throne.--A.E. Waite

Air of Fire: Sun--steady force of energy.
The moral qualities appropriate to this figure are swiftness and strength. But he is sometimes inclined to act on impulse; sometimes easily led by external influences; sometimes, especially in trifles, a prey to indecision. He is often violent, especially in the expression of an opinion, but he does not necessarily hold the opinion about which he is so emphatic. He states a vigorous proposition for the sake of stating it. He is in fact very slow to make up his mind thoroughly on any subject, but always sees both sides of every question. He is essentially just, but always feels that justice is not to be attained in the intellectual world. His character is intensely noble and generous. He may be an extravagant boaster, while slyly laughing both at the object of his boast and at himself for making it. He is romantic, especially in matters of history and tradition, to the point of folly, and may engineer 'stunts' or play elaborate practical jokes. He might select some inoffensive nobody, and pursue him for years with every weapon of ridicule, as Swift tormented the unhappy Partridge, all without the least animus, ready to give the shirt off his back, should his victim be in need. His sense of humour is omnivorous, and may make him a mysterious figure, dreaded without reason by people who actually know nothing about him but his name--as a symbol of Terror. [Re: Richard I, they said: "'And now the Sultan trembles at your name. The people of Egypt are astonished, and the pagan is struck with awe.'"] 1
One of his greatest faults is pride; meanness and pettiness of any kind he holds in infinite scorn. His courage is fanatically strong, and his endurance indefatigable. He is always fighting against odds, and always wins in the long--the very long--run. This is principally due to his enormous capacity for work, which he exercises for its own sake, 'without lust of result'; perhaps his haughty contempt for the world at large--which however coexists with profound and ecstatic respect for 'every man and every woman' as 'a star'--is responsible for this.--Aleister Crowley

He indicates a strong-minded person, able to dominate others by strength of will. His power derives from a firm belief in his own rightness. He knows the truth; he knows his method is best. He considers it only natural for others to follow him.Š He is naturally honest, seeing no reason or value in lies. He is positive and optimistic for much the same reason; the Wands energy burns so strongly in him he does not understand why anyone would express negative attitudes.Š Such a strong personality can tend towards intolerance, unable to understand weakness or despair because he has not experienced these things himself. This impatient side of the King might bear the motto, 'If I can do it you can'.--Rachel Pollack

[King of Wands] finds it difficult to accept loss, and his main weakness is in his denial of personal weakness. A situation that offers no resolution may find the king butting his head against the wall, or the king may be the one who leads others through a period of despair and into the light.... he...can be long on inspiration and ideas and short on follow-through. The proud tenacity of the king can overrule his lack of perseverance, enabling him to find the breach in the wall and lead the way through it. If the wish to dominate takes hold of him, the king of wands will be ruthless. If he devotes his natural warmth and fiery enthusiasm and energy to the service of others, he will realize greatness. ... his ability to tolerate hardship can put him on the front lines ... the king loves adventures and challenge. Since, for him, the end supports the means, and because he is generally fearless, he is the quintessential guerrilla warrior, smuggler, or pirateŠ. He may also be attracted to explosives and firearms.
Everyone pays attention when the king of wands walks into a room, such is the force of his personality. Acquaintances admire more than love him, but from the people who are close to him he receives deep devotion, which he returns in full. Š The king is naturally strong; his fiery metabolism means that he is probably lean as well.--Jean Huets

1) Warriors of God, James Reston, Jr., p.264 {back}

Selected quotes about why I chose Richard I as King of Wands.

Coeur de Lion 


Vision fire

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