Of Tigers and Lotus

2 of Wands/ Staffs of the Roots of Asia Tarot

According to the LWB:

In this deck the staffs are the power of creative thinking, the fire of passion, all seen as evidence of the revelation of the Spirit through its creations.

Tigers symbolize the need to clearly recognize one’s own thinking as such.

The cards are supposedly showing us the inner conflict of having to make the choice between ruminating to find logical answers or rather follow our inspirations and intuitions in order to learn to trust our higher Self and communicate with it……

The Staff cards also show stylized long stemmed Lotus flowers, that to me look rather like bezel cups sometimes on flag poles.._lotus_flower

Lotus in Buddhist world view is often seen as the flower of wisdom – or flowering wisdom…


Here is an excellent site explaining the meaning of lotus flowers:



2 of Wands:


2 people with a lantern – like Lotus Flower atop a flagpole are on the journey through a valley – its mountainside morphing into the back bone of the Tiger in the foreground. The scene representing the spiritual journey, rather than an actual one.

Is the Tiger the real Animal?

Is it the symbol for our Animal nature, being in the way of following the difficult and often ascetic doctrines of Buddhist teachings?

(Thou shall not argue with your fellow traveller as to how to climb that mountain …

Exercise compassionate detachment to the hardships of the journey = towards your fellow pilgrims and towards yourself…. aaand the very real fear of the very real Tiger lurking…..)

The inner Tiger however at the same time is gnawing at the bones of these 2 Buddhist travellers is pointing out the heat of the jungle, the cold of the night, the hunger, the insecurity, the improper, maybe even lewd thoughts born out of loneliness and lust , the competitiveness…. everything the Dharma wishes to snuff out.

( “The Dharma” often refers to the Buddha’s teachings and their scriptural recension (e.g. the Vinaya and Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon), and can more broadly include the later traditions of interpretation and exegesis that the various schools of Buddhism have developed to help explain and expand upon the Buddha’s teachings. In later Mahayana tradition, this was seen as the 84,000 different teachings, that the Buddha gave to various types of people based on their needs.)

Will the flame of the Lotus lantern provide enough light to keep THAT KIND OF TIGER at bay?


Well, and then there is my rather more personal thoughts on the card:

I see a very un- Buddhist argument between these 2 people, one trying to persuade the other. The yellowish person wishes to move forward according to his/ her plan, the reddish maroon person is bending down submissive trying to persuade a different course of action, maybe a rest or a safer path…..

The Tiger: Is it the Animal of the wilds, the real danger to limb and health?

Is it the spiritual mount of the Hindu Godess Durga?

Is it the “inner Tiger” mentioned above?

To me personally Tiger has a very different meaning.

The Tigress was one of the Miahanits of Ulali Kham, my paternal Siberian great grandmother. She had one painted into the inside of her drum – so, in her honour, do I.

A Tigress called Durga was the beloved life companion of my other Gran, Elizza, my mother’s mom. She hand raised Durga and was in charge of her well being as well as that of all the other circus Animals. When Durga and the Tiger number was traded / exchanged for another large Animal act to another circus – as was common practice back then – Elizza went with her charges – over to another circus, working even one of the large ones like Sarasani, Althoff, Krone, Cirque d’ hiver  or wherever. She, at times for years, had to leave her then hubby and her growing sons behind….. she hand raised Durga’s cubs and trained them ….. Right until the war tore the circus apart…..

As you know, Elizza also read the Tarot. I have written about that at the very beginning of this blog….

On shamanic journey I see my Siberian great gran shape-shifting forth and back between Tigress and human form….. always bringing tough teachings……

Do I “see” Elizza and Durga? No, no so far –

But early in my teens I devoured everything I could about the Hindu Goddess Durga, after which Elizza’s Tigress was named. She is very close to my heart and I see her as part Tigress part Elder woman.

All these images shape my understanding, “my Lotus cup” of Tigers.

 😉 Shiny modern knowledge fit for living in the year 2014 versus the ancient backbone of shamanic family wisdom and alliances = 2 of Wands!?


For me Tiger will never only symbolize the need to clearly recognize one’s own thinking as such, but this exercise DOES clarify to me, just WHAT I see, when looking at the Tiger images in this deck.





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