Phallic Symbolism in Tarot: What all Those Wands and Swords REALLY Mean by Veronica Noir

My evil twin Veronica Noir is back with a vengeance and she’s writing about her favorite topic – penis symbols in the Tarot. Why do I let this depraved woman write guest posts on my blog? I will never know…

Have you noticed how there seems to be a suspicious amount of phallic imagery in the Tarot? No? It’s just me? Well anyway…

Wands, swords, scepters, torches, pillars and walking sticks – it seems like anyone whose anyone in the Tarot is triumphantly grasping some kind of pole.

Before you scoff at this idea, I want to you grab your Tarot deck and have a gander. You will notice that nearly every Major Arcana card features someone holding a long, hard object. I am not being crude here – just telling it like it is!

king of cups

In case you were doubting this King’s potency, he is wielding a giant phallus in this left hand (Rider-Waite Tarot)

The Minor Arcana cards are no exception to this rule, either. The entire suit of Wands and Swords feature numerous phallus-like symbols on every card.

So what’s with all the phallus’s????? This is a question I have been meticulously pondering all week.

So lets start with talking about what a phallus (aka penis-shaped object) symbolizes.

A phallus represents male energy. Think power, potency, fertility, passion, action and extroversion.

The suits of Swords and Wands are “male” suits. The Swords suit deals with thought/mind/rationality, which are stereotypically associated with maleness in our culture (even though we all know that’s just silly!) And the Wands suit symbolizes passion and action which is, again, is often associated more with masculinity than femininity.

The other two suits in the Tarot – Pentacles and Cups – are female suits. The Cup and Pentacle both symbolize the womb. The suit of Cups is all about emotion, feeling and relationships, while Pentacles is about home, health and the body – all things typically associated with women.


Trumpet or phallic symbol? You decide… (Crystal Visions Tarot)

To sum things up, the Suit of Swords and the Suit of Wands represent extroverted qualities – and the penis is the perfect symbol of extroversion since it is literally extroverted. Vaginas and wombs are literally introverted, therefore, the female suits of Cups and Pentacles stand for introverted qualities.

I hope I haven’t lost you in all this rambling about penis and vagina symbols. Anyhow…

Try this:

Ask yourself “what is my relationship to power?” Now, choose a Tarot card. Notice if there is a phallic symbol on your card.

What is the phallic symbol doing? Is it penetrating someone from behind like in the Ten of Swords? Or laying limply on the floor like in the Four of Swords?

How is this symbol being held? Proudly or nonchalantly? Is the phallus a burden like in the Ten of Wands and Two of Swords, or is it something you want to steal, like in the Five of Swords and Seven of Swords?

Some other cool questions to ask are:

  • What role does passion play in my life right now?
  • What do I need to know about “taking action” in my life?
  • How is my masculine energy showing up for me?

Whenever a penis-like object shows up in a reading ask yourself what role it plays in that card. Then relate it to either power, passion or action. And voila! Magical insights explode onto the scene!

In the comments below, tell me what card you chose and what you think the phallus symbol means to you….can’t wait to read these comments πŸ˜‰

Veronica Noir is a lover of Tarot, writer of erotic fiction and The Daily Tarot Girl’s evil twin. She lives for cappuccino cheesecake, bitchy cats, eavesdropping in coffee shops, conspiracy theories and the occasional skinny dip.

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24 Responses to Phallic Symbolism in Tarot: What all Those Wands and Swords REALLY Mean by Veronica Noir

  1. Chani says:

    LOLz! Just read the article for the 1st time. Really insightful! All this talk about phallic and womanly symbolism got me thinking about how this applies to the other cards as well. I couldn’t help but think about the Sun and the Moon. For the Sun, there’s that naked boy on the horse, sitting all tall and proud with arms outstretched, and the sun in the background exploding out like an ejaculation…(yeah, I said it, lol). Let’s just say he isn’t compensating for anything! πŸ˜‰ And then there’s the Moon, all dark, shadowy, and inward like a vagina, which is practically explored territory for some, just like this card! πŸ™‚ And without getting too graphic, there’s this big round thing like a womb, some kind of “opening” or path running underneath it, leading to a pool of water…you do with that what you will. xD (Hey, it could symbolize “birth” and all the mystery surrounding it, how it can be a scary thing sometimes, and yeah…haha) Anyway, Thanks for the great article! n_n

    • Chani says:

      *ahem, “Unexplored territory” (me and typos sometimes, πŸ™‚ )

    • Kate says:

      Ha ha – Chani, I love how your looking at all the majors with a new set of eyes – Veronica would approve πŸ˜‰ I agree, there are all kinds of penis/vagina symbols in the major arcana as well as the minors – The Tower seems like the most obvious symbol of ejaculation and i had never even considered the Sun in this way…until now! So Thanks!


  2. carmen valentin says:

    Love this just what I need OMG.

  3. Alvina says:

    Dear Veronica,
    I asked myself β€œwhat is my relationship to power?” and draw Seven of Pentacles. As you mentioned above Pentacles are female suite, and picture shows a man leaning on his staff… His staff is kind of long and hard (I guess:))), and I can not even analyse that because I am laughing like a crazy and I am a grown up woman.

  4. Lady L says:

    This was an excellent blogpost it made me think about the cads in a new way and at the same time laugh outloud! I am looking forward to more of these posts!! Thank You for your input on how to interpret these symbols Veronica!! Your Blog is awesome Kate and your Evil Twin equally so!! Have a fantastic week! Namaste, Lady L

  5. Chang says:

    Yes indeedy, great insight on this mornings card!

    As far as the Judgement card (from Crystal Visions), I’m not sure what she has in her mouth (looks like a soprano sax, or is that soprano sex?) but those flowers are vulva-licious!!!

    Keep up the great work DTG!!!


    P.S. Hey Veronica, do you like Chinese?

  6. Sue says:

    I have to admit that was the best explanation I’ve been given to help me totally understand symbolism in the cards! I get it now!

  7. Wulfie says:

    lol Too funny. And insightful. There’s a tarot called the Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan that I was going to get until I saw the King of Wands. His hand is under his robe and…well…occupied. O.o You can see…oh my…on this review:

  8. Breeze1970 says:

    Wonderful insight with wit and wisdom. Wow, so many W Words. Well, I have the whole weekend to watch for the symbols now. Thanks

  9. Jamie Morris says:

    Dear Veronica–

    You are making me laugh out loud–at 6:52 a.m. no less! But like E.G., above, I appreciate that you are taking me “deeper” into this whole issue. And, it’s especially appropriate for me, as, for the last few weeks, I’ve been pulling (oh!) Wands from the deck with uncanny regularity. Someone wants me to take a hard (OH!) look at how I’m exerting my personal power. I need to grasp (whoah!) that masculine energy and allow it to fill (!!!) me up and make me a more potent (O!) actor in my own life.

    V. I think I need a cigarette.

  10. EG says:

    Same here…
    At the beginning I thought this girl was crazy, then I came to the “deeper”part, where she explains about male and femaile suits…This was the moment she got me…
    Excellent suggestions to ask our deck about our own male energies, also…
    Thank you, Kate&EvilTwin! πŸ™‚

  11. This was excellent! had me both laughing and looking deeper at the meanings and symbolism. I think your evil twin is here to stay, Kate!
    Thank you.

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