Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog

August 21, 2007 § Leave a comment

During an online wild goose chase last week, I came across this painting:

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog

It’s called ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ and it was painted by Caspar David Friedrich in 1817. I just love this picture. It captures the romantic spirit of the golden age of exploration when there was still so much to discover. But what struck me most of all was what a great 3 of Wands image it makes.

Traditional 3 of Wands cards show a man overlooking the sea as ships travel to and fro. The usual meanings are leadership and vision; a pioneering spirit. The 3 of Wands represents a time of initial success and growth; a time when you begin to see the first results of your efforts and can get a sense of future possibilities.

The Wanderer in the painting has reached the mountain’s summit. More so here than in the usual 3 of Wands images, you get the sense of it being a stage – a resting place – on a much longer journey. You can see an even taller mountain in the distance, many miles away – a new destination. The Wanderer has achieved what he set out to do but, in doing so, has set himself on a path that goes further than he ever dreamed possible.


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