Seasonal shift – fire into water

We’re approaching my favourite time of year.

When summer begins to fade…mornings are crisp and cold, I can see my breath, there’s mist on the canal but it’s bright. The air quality is changing and it’s just so beautiful.

In the Wildwood Tarot (and in many other decks), each season has a corresponding suit. The accompanying Wildwood Tarot Guidebook contains a circular diagram showing the wheel of the year… the seasons, the eight Pagan sabbats (festivals), and the corresponding tarot suits, numbers and major cards. It’s beautiful.

Wildwood Tarot Wheel of the Year
Wildwood Tarot Wheel of the Year

Summer is the time of fire, of wands (or ‘bows’ in this tarot deck). Gradually, now, we move towards autumn, represented in the Wildwood by water/cups/vessels. I can feel that. I tend to undergo a kind of ‘rebirth’ each autumn – I often describe this time as my personal new year. As the days get shorter and cooler, I feel an emotional shift take place within me.

The Woodward - from the Wildwood Tarot
The Woodward – from the Wildwood Tarot

On the Wildwood wheel of the year, The Woodward marks Lammas.

The Woodward stands at Lammas, 1 August, which falls as the summer wanes, between the elements of fire and water. He is associated with the full moon, where bows become vessels.

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

The Woodward is card 11, replacing the more traditional ‘Strength’ card. A burly-looking fellow with a long beard and plaited hair holds both a spear and a cup of wine. He looks out over the landscape, his posture is like a yogic ‘warrior’ pose – strong and steadfast. He is ragged but well-resourced.

When the individual is removed from a place of seeming security, they are stripped of the emotional baggage that holds them in a state of limbo. During this stripping away of illusory power, individuals find within themselves their true strength.

I can’t think of a card I need to see more right now. In my mind, I’m gearing up for a journey. After a wand-ish summer of ideas and DIY in the sunshine, I’m ready to take Swallow, my boat, off on an adventure. As days and weeks slip by and I keep…not going…I know that it’s because the place I’m in is too safe, too comfortable. Emma is right next door on her boat, we’re moored at a pretty, peaceful garden, all is calm, all is… well, a little bit boring actually!

The Woodward reminds me that strength is found when we leave our comfort zones. If this is my personal new year, and the start of a new emotional chapter, and if this is the beginning of the season of vessels… then what better thing to do than to set off on a watery journey.

Do you want a copy of the Wildwood Tarot Guidebook?

I have a spare book- I’d love to swap for something cool!

(Basically I bought the deck and book ages ago….then lost the cards…then bought it again. So I have two copies of the book!)

The Wild Unknown Tarot Guidebook is much more than a book-about-a-deck. It’s full of beautifully-written chapters on pagan festivals, human connection/loss of connection with the earth, our primal instincts, western/European/British folklore, Pagan festivities and more. It’s a great read and worth getting for the wheel of the year diagram alone.

The Wildwood Tarot Guidebook
The Wildwood Tarot Guidebook

This isn’t for sale – I’ll swap if for a deck you no longer use, tarot artwork, quartz or… what you got? Drop me a line at if you’re interested 🙂

On the other hand you probably should just go ahead and buy the whole thing…


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  1. Marianne says:

    I love the idea of your personal new year! I’m an autumn girl too, although sadly of late Sydney seems to be skipping autumn and going straight to… I was going to say winter, but it hasn’t even been that cold. We’re in a weird unseasonably warm limbo down here! I’ll have to live vicariously through your talk of crisp mornings as I am propelled violently towards sweltering summer!

    • Little Red says:

      It’s so sad when seasons aren’t….seasonal. Last year we didn’t have much of an autumn either and I’m certain it affected my winter (I didn’t have a brilliant time).
      Hope to assist you with words and photos re crisp mornings! xxxx

  2. Ellen says:

    Hi Beth. I am so exited! Autumn is here. The pumpkins in our garden are turning yellow and orange. It is raining and some leaves are already changing color. It feels like I am coming to live again!

    • Little Red says:

      Ah, it’s not just me then Ellen! I haven’t spotted any changing leaves yet but we’re getting there…

  3. Little Red says:

    Done! How lovely, thanks Caro 🙂
    I already have your address so will pop the book in the post on Monday…

  4. Emy says:

    I love this card! I’ll have to show my husband – I think it will resonate with him. He practices this “I’ve been through a lot face” even though he has a very kind and sweet face. 🙂 He also falls asleep at night thinking about being out in the wild alone post-wreck or post-apocalypse. He even has our sweet little kitty Squanchy right there by his side.. I just hope that’s not our other cat Beemo on his head! And of course, I keep a lookout for him as an Osprey (my spirit animal). I think Wildwood will be my next deck.

    Also, I just started your Alternative Tarot course. It’s great! Structured but not restrictive. And I very much enjoy your blog and all the links you’ve provided. Great job and best wishes for your future!

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