Four tall rods stand two on each side of the card. Each is budding at the top. A garland is strung between the outermost rods, which are also the tallest. From the garland hang flowers, large leaves, tendrils of ivy, and bunches of grapes. The garland hangs behind the two inner rods. In the gap between the two groups, in the lower third of the card, are two women crowned with leaves and flowers. They are waving posies as if in celebration. An archway is to the lower right of the card, also bedecked in flowering plants. To the lower left are three people, possibly dancing. A grand keep or walled town is behind them. The scene invokes the gaiety of a festival.
The rods are planted in a line, but for me they are effectively at the four corners of a completed foundation to a future house. Though the house itself has yet to be built, this milestone marks a commitment by the family that will eventually live there and the community they are entering. The foundation could not have been built without the help of the community, and now that the floor is laid and the first posts are erected, everyone involved is pledging their continued mutual support.
This card is the first tangible result of the Querent’s hard work. There is still much more work to be done, but while the concrete cures, the Querent can stand back and say “I made this.”. If the query involves a relationship, then the first steps to a long term relationship has been established. If a query about work, then a key contract or acquisition has been made. For any query that involves long term plans, this card is a positive one that marks the achievement of a milestone. If regarding the Querent’s personal or interior work, this card signifies the Querent has reached an understanding about themselves that will enable them to stand securely to inspect their progress.
While Waite has no different meaning when this card is reversed, I see a different meaning in my throws. Reversed or ill-dignified, this card becomes a flawed or false foundation. It gives the appearance of stability, but fails catastrophically under testing or stress. It can indicate those that helped the Querent did so under false pretenses and work done will fall apart later. It has also announced the milestone prematurely, giving the impression that progress has been made. It becomes as negative a card as the upright is positive. The Querent should pause and inspect the subject of their query with detailed scrutiny, as a flawed foundation is correctable when quickly discovered. If the Querent continues “building” on the flawed foundation, a Tower situation will rise, and fall, from it.