Tuning in – interviewing the Wild Unknown Tarot

My Christmas present to myself was the Wild Unknown Tarot, a newly-published deck by US artist Kim Krans.

As soon as I saw it, the Wild Unknown Tarot spoke to me with its intricate line drawings, simple symbolism, striking use of symmetry and powerful, carefully-used flashes of colour. Where other decks are laden with symbols and there is much to interpret and fathom, this deck offers just one or two per card – a spider, a branch, a feather, a stick. Furthermore, there are no people featured in any of the images.

Two of Wands

This does not make the cards any less ‘deep’ – indeed the starkness of the cards forces me to go further in my intuitive interpretations precisely because there is so little to go on visually. Rather than a rich visual feast, such as the Mary-el Tarot, these cards are each a perfect mouthful. Where Mary-el is becoming my me-deck and is the first I turn to with my own questions, the Wild Unknown is the deck I wish most to share with others, when I read face-to-face. The images are so striking I don’t feel that I have to decode a mystery for my querent, only draw upon my own knowledge and intuition, which I find vitally stirred by Krans’ clever and delicate artwork.

So, I wanted to celebrate my newly-acquired love by interviewing this deck using the TABI ‘interview spread’. The positions are:

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?

The Lovers, The Sun, Seven of Cups, Mother of Wands, Eight of Swords, Ace of Cups

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

This is a deck of connections, of choices and of choosing well. A soul reaches out towards that which it wishes to partner with, that which can fulfill it – or part of it. Sometimes when this happens, we can’t articulate or even recognise what is taking place – the connection or yearning goes on below the surface. With The Lovers, I tune in to my own intuitive soul and find it reaching out towards these cards, and the cards reach back. It asks me to open my eyes to the many connections I can find in the natural world around me, and to listen more carefully to the earth.

2. What are your strengths as a deck? The Sun

This deck brings warmth, light, healing energy and joy. Kim Krans writes in the accompanying leaflet the simple keywords: ‘New vitality, assurance, enlightenment.’ The card bursts forward from the cloth in a dazzling explosion of warmth; doves fly out to each corner, pushing the card’s limits. The Wild Unknown will nurture and teach me, if I will allow it. If I can accept and integrate the difficult lessons of many other cards, I can experience that bursting sense of life.

3. What are your limits as a deck? Seven of Cups

The burden of The Lovers’ choice can be confusing, and the rigid lines of this card suggest it will not always be willing to show me the way. This is not a deck for clear-cut yes and no answers, but a prod to my own natural instincts. Krans describes this card thus: ‘Illusion, deception’, encouraging this view further – as I have already discovered, in using this deck I must rely far more on my intuition to guide me and bring forth its messages – the cards may tease me or decieve me, but deep down I will know what I find in them. The deck will only go so far in the information it will give me…after this it is over to me. Trick is to listen carefully, to watch closely, to marry my instincts with these images as the two geese in The Lovers who intuit each others’ movements and emigrate in perfect unison.

4. What are you here to teach me? Mother of Wands

A teacher of passion and energy. The Mother of Wands. Krans writes: ‘Attractive, vibrant.’ The Wild Unknown can allow me to access the part of myself that embraces life (like The Sun) and lives it fully, in the moment, with confidence, self-assurance and generous fire. The Mother of Wands is not afraid of herself or her gifts, and others love her because she makes them feel this way about themselves too. This is a deck I wish to share, I want to use it to inspire others the way the Mother of Wands does.

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

Eight of Swords. Here is a lesson in perspective. Here again is a choice – to tuck ourselves away and hide from our fears and insecurities, or choose instead to confront these things, to see that they are surmountable and to emerge and develop past them. The cocooned butterfly is not ready to emerge yet – she’s scared of the swords that surround her. But she can’t see what we can – that she is the flash of colour on this card, that once she spreads her wings she can go beyond
those limiting swords and use her mind – the element of air – to move far above them, leaving them behind.

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

Ace of Cups. Here is a new opportunity for soulful exploration. The Lovers shows the Wild Unknown forming a union with my heart as we begin to work together – here, we see the outcome. Ever-renewed, the Ace of Cups is the beginning, again and again, of a new journey – falling in love, filling up with emotion, embarking on a new creative endeavour. The opportunities are potentially endless.

So this deck is here to offer me choices. Do I take the cards at face value – they are beautiful enough, after all – or do I allow them to prompt deeper explorations? The latter, of course. These cards, stripped of the complicated symbolism I love so much in other decks, gives me space and peace enough to tune in to my own intuition. In the small number of readings I’ve already done with the Wild Unknown, I’ve felt messages appearing from within me which may have been drowned out by the visual noise of other decks. Whilst as work of art this deck is simply stunning, as a tool for divination – for me – it allows for whole new level of interpretation.

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