King of Stones (Wildwood Tarot)

The King of Pentacles.

Rich-man, leader, businessman, boss. Head gardener. Paterfamilias.

I drew the King of Pentacles yesterday from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot…and thought…meh.

I looked at his lovely rich robes, the vines, the gold, the abundance, admired the little toadstools at his feet…but wasn’t inspired.

But when I arrived home, I found my Wildwood Tarot had arrived. I shuffled the cards well, and drew the first one. The King of Stones. In the Wild Wood, stones represent the Earth element, and this King is the Wildwood’s Pentacle boss.

King of Stones Wildwood Tarot

The King of Stones, from the Wildwood Tarot by Will Worthington, John Matthews and Mark Ryan

Maybe it’s the moon-howlin’, or maybe it’s just that I love wolves. Perhaps it’s the way that snow-covered tree reaches out all around the wolf, or the shadows cast on the moon by those eerie clouds.

Like the King of Pentacles in traditional decks, this King represents an authority.

A steadfast, sound and trustworthy person, strongwilled, but not creative; successful, perhaps without a lot of imagination. This is also a character who is ready and generous with their resources, ready to help anyone in need, but unlikely to accept assistance from others.

A natural leader, someone to rely on:

He seems a very solid, stable chap, and I can well imagine him protecting all those who he feels responsible for, and taking on responsibility quite easily. Once again, this doesn’t scream romance – far more Gnomeo than Romeo.  And yet, there’s something so trustworthy and dependable about him.  Wild acts of whimsy are all well and good, but when the going gets tough, I’d like this King to be by my side!

Chloe Tarot

The Wildwood card comes across slightly differently. All of this, sure – but there’s something about that howling that adds a quality I don’t find in other decks.

The wolf has a message, it’s calling to it’s kin.

This ain’t no wild wolf howling at the moon – it’s the leader of the pack, announcing something to the world. Maybe it’s for safety – so the other wolves will know where it is, and where they should be. Or perhaps it’s an ancient wolf ritual – I find something of the Heirophant in the King of Pentacles, and perhaps this howling is like a call to prayer from a mosque, or church bells ringing.

Perhaps in the very next instant, all the little wolves come running round to be blessed and sent to bed by their leader? Or maybe it’s howling because it feels the slow turn of the wheel, life moving on, times a-changing. The young’uns have new ideas, new ways to hunt, new prey – it wasn’t like when this wolf was cutting it’s teeth. Time was when material comforts were highly prized, and richness in itself could make you a king. But now, it feels the world changing. I feel like this wolf’s howl is a call of tradition and authority. A reminder of who is boss, and whose rules we still follow.

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  1. Little Red says:

    Y’know Chloe, I totally agree! I got kinda caught up in the story of why an older ‘pack leader’ might howl and went down a sad little path for him. But I don’t think that’s the energy of this card…like you, I’m thinking at home in his environment, provider, howling for feast-times. Thanks for dragging me back 😉 Really looking forward to studying this deck with you over on the TABI forum! LR xxx

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