O Wildwood – what can you teach me?

Okay – over on the lovely lovely TABI forum* is a new study group dedicated to the amazing new Wildwood Tarot – there are a few of us over there having a little love affair and learning together as we discuss different cards. As well as individual cards, there’s a thread where people are posting their Wildwood ‘interview’ spreads, asking the deck what it can teach them, and sharing their personal answers.

*you need to be a member of TABI to access the forum – and this comes highly recommended! A tenner for endless Tarot conversations plus all sorts of other intriguing wonderfulness – go join 🙂

Aaanyway. Here are the positions in the spread:

1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
2. What are your strengths as a deck?
3. What are your limits as a deck?
4. What are you here to teach me?
5. How can I best learn and collaborate with you?
6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

I’m going to do mine in a circle – it feels right for the cards. I shuffled two ways I would never normally do – the swooshy-all-over-the-place, and face up. I wanted to stroke and glimpse every card as they ordered themselves. Let’s see…

wildwood tarot

1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?

Three of Stones – Creativity

I love it when this happens. Before I shuffled, I pulled out this card and gazed at it, drank it in, fell in love with it. I mean, could there be a sexier, earthier card in the deck? I’ve put the image below for your enjoyment. A green woman stands, as if ready to burst forward into something wonderful…but something holds her still. Her widespread hands grasp the two huge rocks she is born out of, you can almost see the energy zinging up her fingers, arms, into her body. And her legs? Rippling, undulating roots, gathering every nutrient in the earth. Like the Queen of Pentacles, she is born also of the oak tree – her face is covered with lush green oakleaves which fan backwards, also reaching back to cover the rocks.

So what of creativity? This card shows me exactly where creativity comes from – it is a life force, born of the earth. As the green woman meditates on the rocks and mossy land, she becomes slowly filled with this life force. And then you know with an incredible thrust she’s gonna propel herself forward into the world and be incredible.

So this deck, for me, is about the creativity we draw from the earth. It’s about being receptive to the energy of the woods, of the rocks, of the moss. It’s about transforming that energy into something positive, something that has the power to touch others.

2. What are your strengths as a deck?

Eight of Bows – Hearthfire

Another beautiful card, and one which speaks to me on a very personal level. The Eight of Bows shows a gathering of friends around a glowing fire. It’s winter, but they don’t feel the cold – their comradeship, their joy at being together, the trust, respect and love within this community is nourishing.

The Eight of Bows tells me I’m going to have a strong relationship with this deck – brought about by relating to others. Maybe the TABI forum is a first glimse of this! I already know that I’ll be using this deck when something very special is called for – for dear friends, for those who I know will understand its message. The strength of the Wildwood Tarot, for me, is the sense of community it will bring me.

3. What are your limits as a deck?

Two of Stones – Challenge

Perhaps these duelling hares represent the challenges of using a deck so very different to the others I own! More likely, it’s about balance – the traditional Two of Pentacles meaning. The Hares on the card are a perfect match for each other – they fight to knock the other down, but to the observier, it looks like each one supports the other.

I see here a need to balance the strong message in the Wildwood with other aspects of life. I’ve written previously about the overwhelming sense I have that the Wildwood is willing me back to a place of my ancient ancestors, calling me back to the woods, and that’s an almost irresistible call. But on the other hand, that’s not the life I want! I want elements of the Wildwood, I want consciousness of my ancestor, spiritual awareness of the green women within me. But I want train journeys with my walkman, I want long nights idled away on the internet, I want feminism and politics and the speed and coldness of modern life too. The Two of Stones tells me not so much that the deck is limited, but that it will not become my only deck.

4. What are you here to teach me?

The Green Man

Woohoo! Yep, this makes a lot of sense. I wanna learn what the Green Man has to teach. The summer solstice. I find it hard to see him separate from the Green Woman – they come to me as a pair – no knowledge of the woods is complete with one but not the other. But to focus on the Green Man. He is the guardian of the land (again, this is impossible without the equal energy of the Green Woman) – he is the holder of an ancient knowledge and a symbol of the fertility and abundance of the land. What does he teach me? Respect. Respect for forces I cannot understand. Respect for mossy stone as I tease my hands along it, respect for dead mouldering leaves as I kick my feet through. Respect for every element of the wild woods. This deck will teach me all of these things – not by simply telling me to respect them, for I already do, but by deepening my respect, by deepening my understanding.

5. How can I best learn and collaborate with you?

Queen of Arrows – Swan

The Queen of Arrows comes up for me a lot. She is a character who has seen the world at its very best, and its very worst. She has been through great personal joy and sorrow, and has taken these things inside herself in order to grow stronger and wiser. I see the Queen of Swords as an older woman, one of those incredible women you very occasionally have the privilege to meet, who from simply being in their presence, you feel you are learning. She is wise and sad, but also satisfied and strong. And in the Wildwood, her embodiment as a swan gives her a renewed grace and energy.

In terms of my collaboration with this deck, I hear that things will not always be sunshine and light. This deck, perhaps more t

han my others, will show me darkness and light in my life (and others’ lives). It will help me to come to terms with these realities, if I can learn to accept them with grace and a keen sense of justice.

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship? 

The Wheel

What a closing card. Yes – these really are the cards I drew. I’m loving the Wildwood even more now I know where we’re hreaded together. The Wheel, for me, has represented a sense of understanding where responsibility lies – of looking at a situation and acknowledging where I am powerless, and where I am not, and can/should act. This version tells me I will reap what I sow, and that at the same time, I cannot control it all. Through the creativity I draw from the earth via the Three of Stones, the sense of community I’ll gain via the Eight of Wands, the balance I’ll channel through the Two of Stones, the respect I’ll learn from the Green Man, and the understanding that comes from the Queen of Arrows, I shall begin to comprehend some of the greater forces that surround my tiny life. The Wheel is tired, creaky endings, and wonderful, dizzy beginnings – and through the Wildwood I will come to understand all of this. I can’t wait to begin.

Cards from The Wildwood Tarot by John Matthews, Mark Ryan and Will Worthington

Like this post? Please share it!

One comment

  1. Little Red says:

    Thanks Chloe and Xara! Yeah Xara, I think yr probably right! I think both ups and downs – today I came across the Six of Stones (exploitation) and was so happy – that's how I interpret the Six of Pents. But then the Five of Vessels (ecstacy) and was almost irritated – I like the traditional meaning and I don't want to lose that card!! Sigh.<br> LR x

Comments are closed.