2 of Wands – Inspiration

Pamela Coleman Smith was a professional artist who was inspired by a wide variety of earlier tarot decks and fine art.


There are differences of opinions of which art inspired her 2 of Wands card.

Some say it was John William Waterhouse’s painting Saint Cecilia.

John William Waterhouse – Saint Cecilia 1895

A woman dozes as she sits by the sea. She may be waiting for something or someone. The girls, apparently her daughters, entertain her with music.

Another painting put forward, as an inspiration for Pamela’s two of wands card, is a painting by Edward Burnes-Jones titled Comes He Not.

Edward Burnes-Jones Comes He Not

Both paintings portray a solemn woman, by the ocean, awaiting something or someone.

The feeling of waiting in expectation is illustrated in the 2 of Wands, except with a male figure instead of a female, who holds a globe in his hand.

He may have so much he wants to say or share with someone, yet has to wait for them to arrive. He may be dying inside, desperate to share his plans or news. But for now he has to hold it in and wait for the right time, until something/someone arrives, before he can act on his plans. For now it seems he is in a holding pattern.

What do you think this card is saying?

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