This is a man, over 35, with a great deal of fire (Aries, Leo, or Sagitarius) in his chart. This could be a woman in touch with her masculine self. Inversions often suggest an element is out of balance. In this case, the fire element could be out of balance. An excessive amount of fire could manifest as rage, arrogance, or aggression.
This man has lost his power. The rod, or wand, in this man’s hand is filled with life and possibilities. The upright version of this card suggests a man taking control, while the inverted suggests he is losing his grip. His vision is flawed, and his temper might be getting the best of him. This man could become physically or mentally abusive. Most likely, he disregards other people’s boundaries. His abusive behavior might be exacerbated by something that makes him feel powerless, like a job loss or failed relationship. He could also be at risk from heart disease or stroke.
The other side of this loss of power, is the man who simply checks out, leaves, and gives up the fight. This is the man who leaves his family to buy cigarettes and never comes back. He’s the monarch who abdicates his throne. This man might feel he is more trouble than he’s worth, and is doing his community a favor by leaving. There is little his community can do to change him. He must learn to master his own fire.
The Suit — Rods, Wands, Staves, or Clubs
The Rod is a tool with a spark of life in it. This suit is associated with the element of fire, due largely to an ancient belief that fire is held captive in wood. Certainly, sensitive souls can feel the energy of wood, but we don’t expect it to combust on its own. When we refer to this suit as Wands, we acknowledge its power. Rods are creative and fiery. They can also feel like a burden in excess.
The Rank — King
Traditionally, kings represent men over the age of 35. Energetically, the kings represent authority and competence. These cards are not easily influenced.
There is nothing to fear with an inversion. Mary K. Greer explains in her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, that an inverted card may be interpreted in one or more of these twelve ways:
- Blocked or Resisted
- Delayed, Difficult, Unavailable
- Inner, Unconscious, Private
- New or Dark Moon (if you are reading cards from a round deck)
- Breaking Through, Overturning, Refusing, Changing Direction
- The Opposite of the Upright Meaning, or Lacking
- Misused or Misdirected
- The Upright Meaning Backward
- A Rectification or Cure
- Magical, Unconventional, or Humorous
In a spread, the King of Rods adds fire and intensity to others.
Magician: If the King of Rods (Clubs, Wands, or Staves in other decks) combines with the Magician in any position, it indicates incredible things will seemingly come out of nowhere.
Tower: If the King of Rods (Clubs, Wands, or Staves in other decks) combines with the Tower in any position, it can indicate someone acting as a catalyst.
Ace of Rods (Clubs, Wands, Staves): The King of Rods (Clubs, Wands, or Staves in other decks) in combination with the Ace of Rods (Clubs, Wands, or Staves in other decks) is explosive.
Ace of Cups (Hearts): The King of Rods (Clubs, Wands, or Staves in other decks) in combination with the Ace of Cups (Hearts in other decks) is explosive.
Ace of Swords (Spades): The King of Rods (Clubs, Wands, or Staves in other decks) in combination with the Ace of Swords (Spades in other decks) is explosive.
Ace of Pentacles (Coins, Disks): The King of Rods (Clubs, Wands, or Staves in other decks) in combination with the Ace of Pentacles (Coins or Disks in other decks) is explosive.