Posts Tagged ‘Wildwood Tarot’

First of all, Blessed Imbolc Eve! This is one of my favorite holy days, as I love this time of recharging and I am a dedicant to Brigid. May you be cozy, safe, and guarding your energy now.

OK, today’s card features the Salmon, an important and honored creature in Celtic lore as it represents wisdom. While salmon were important for nourishing the body, symbolically they nourish our spirit and mind. What does the Queen of Vessels say to you today?

Blessings!

Thistle

QUEEN OF VESSELS – SALMON

READING POINTS: Deeply caring and kind, the Queen’s spirit draws upon the great honesty, generosity, and self-sacrifice that she sees in you. She brings joy to the darkest places and addresses the most difficult problems with grace and civility.

MEANING: Sacred in most shamanic systems for many reasons, the Salmon’s ability to swim upstream to its birthplace and spawn is one of its most remarkable feats. The journey leaves the Salmon exhausted and most die in the attempt; thus, they represent self-sacrifice and wisdom. Salmon were said to swim in pools overhung by hazel trees and to eat the nuts of wisdom that fell in autumn.

TRACKS & PATHWAYS: Virtue, kindness, simplicity and devotion, a caring individual, to cherish or pamper, joyfulness and recovery, and security

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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The Wildwood mythos is mysterious and, as its name suggests, wild. The Green Woman archetype balances some of the wildness by connecting us to the physically and spiritually nurturing aspects of this mythic land. It’s time to seek some of this wildness but temper it with the healing energies of this figure. For some, it might be time to initiated into the Wildwood.

Blessings,

Thistle

The Green Woman

READING POINTS: Appearing at a time of rich nurturing and protection, of learning and initiation, when loving and fertile relationships (both human and universal) abound, the Green Woman mediates the sacred sovereignty of the Earth’s soul and can show the path to understanding and communion with nature. But with this blessing comes responsibility. Remember that this glorious, magnanimous and generous spirit can live through you, radiated by the sacred breath of life and given to others who need guidance and healing. Learn from the abundant and joyous spirit of the Earth and be at one with the world and your true self.

DESCRIPTION: The Green Woman, disgorger of nature, crowned with ferns and wild roses, breaths the divine word of life. Her calm, serene expression is steady and full of graceful sovereignty. Around her neck is the golden Celtic gorget representing the sun throughout the year. The golden amber cup before her has within it the milk of love and nurturing and the sheela-na-gig on its side represents the life force of all women. The Green Woman symbolizes the forest at midsummer. Here, amid the luxuriant foliage, small animals and birds of the Wildwood live and build their homes, creating a whole ecosystem within the branches and a safe haven for the innocent and vulnerable beneath its roots.

MEANING: The Green Woman encompasses the female archetype of wildness and green energy. Her presence balances that of the wild man and represents the earthly manifestation of female solar energy and the rich bounty of the Great Mother. She also represents the goddess of the land, sometimes expressed as Sovereignty, who challenges all comers to brave her tests and to offer to those who succeed the gifts of inner kingship and love and a deepening bond to the riches of the Earth. From her pours the glorious light of the midsummer sun, blessing everything it touches with life and boundless energy.

This figure is complex and subtle but highly dynamic in her interaction with anyone who seeks to understand the nature of the Wildwood mythos. She mediates the sacred blessing of earthly fertility and the beasts that inhabit it and forms a deep bond with the seeker who wishes to attune to the rhythm of the Wheel of the Year.

In the Arthurian tradition, she validates the kingship of Arthur by bringing him the sacred sword and establishes him as a guardian of the Hallows of Britain, sometimes appearing as the Lady of the Lake, who fosters both Arthur himself as well as the young hero Lancelot. In other stories she manifests as the Flower Bride, sought after by more than one of Arthur’s great knights and offering the deep bonds of matrimony and joy to those with whom she shares her bounty. At its heart, her sacred role is the initiator of the human individual into the realm of the Wildwood.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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Of course, protecting ourself is just a normal human response. This card also refers to protecting others who are more vulnerable, so keep an eye open for someone or a group that is facing violence, discrimination, emotional attacks, and so forth.

Have a good Monday,

Thistle

Four of Stones – Protection

Meaning: The newly risen sun brings hope and renewed vitality to the vulnerable. Shelter and protection for the weak or the spiritually wounded is the responsibility of us all.

Reading Points: Many trials and tribulations surface during our lifetime, and being able to endure such times is the sign of a strong heart and healthy spirit. Finding a personal place of emotional safety may require patience and a stoical dedication to the quest, but for those who have weathered adversity and known loss, the light of life and love will always burn brightly within them. By building on a foundation of ethical beliefs, boundaries, and skills, we can be assured that when the test comes we are secure in our self-knowledge and confidence. The human ability to recognize and feel compassion for those who need help is just as important.

However the storm may tear at our own inner place of protection, we must keep the faith that the sun will rise again for all those in peril and offer fresh opportunities and spiritual rewards. Such is the law of karma, that each act of selfless protection and mercy for those in need revitalized the spiritual warrior with a sense of peace and divinity rarely found in common practice.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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The Green Woman is here today to aid our healing journeys, whether we need physical or emotional healing. Forgiving ourselves for mistakes as well as forgiving others is key for many.

Blessings,

Thistle

Seven of Stones (Healing)

Description: A Green Woman sits cross-legged at the center of a circle of seven low and weathered stones. In front of her on the ground lies a man dressed in the garb of a hunter. The Green Woman holds out her hands, palms down, over the body, streams of energy shooting along her fingers.

Meaning: After physical or emotional sickness or injury, a time of inner rest and rejuvenation is required. Patience and peaceful healing comes from a spiritual source. Wholeness and recovery will follow a serious physical or emotional wounding.

Reading Points: One of the deepest stages of healing and recovery after any emotional trauma or physical injury is forgiveness. If the healing is from a relationship issue, we often hold onto the pain, mistakenly believing that it keeps us close to the source of that pain. Sometimes, we hang onto sense of loss, loneliness, and betrayal associated with the failure of the relationship. Regret can also be associated with these feelings as one questions one’s own motives and actions. If you have acted with integrity and sincerity, there is no need for regret; it is a waste of energy and healing focus. If regret is present, more work may be required to understand its underlying causes. One of the elements inherent in bringing healing and closure to any situation is acceptance along with self-forgiveness. We are neither perfect nor omnipotent and, therefore, we make mistakes. The acceptance of these simple truths can bring healing to the suffering soul.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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Living in the very materialistic and production-oriented society that we do, it can be hard to give or to receive. But when we have enough that we can be generous with others who need it, we are saying to the Universe that we trust it will provide and that we don’t have to hoard resources. And accepting the generosity of others can help us reach a place where we can be generous ourselves. Notice how in the card, the energy flows to the individual as well as away.

Also, don’t forget that there are different kinds of generosity – some of us don’t have money to give but have time, encouragement, and wisdom. Blessings come in many forms.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Thistle

NINE OF VESSELS – Generosity

MEANING: Nature’s open-hearted, spiritual cauldron has a welcome for those who approach the waters of knowledge with compassion. They are blessed by regeneration.

DESCRIPTION: A cross-legged figure sits with his arms as if in blessing. Energy flows from him in all directions: downwards into three vessels below him; upwards into three vessels above him; outward into two vessels on either side of him. The ninth vessel sits in the hollow formed by his legs. It glows with light and energy rising from the base chakra.

READING POINTS: It can be easy to forget, when we reach the pinnacle of our prowess, power, and security, that life is cyclical and what we enjoy during the times of plenty are the products of previous toil and effort. Just like the wise farmer, we must manage good fortune by planting seeds for the future and by helping those facing hard times. This generosity will always come back to you a thousandfold if it is gifted with selfless good will and a common humanity. To recognize and acknowledge that you are merely a conduit for this abundant enriching blessing, and to let it flow through you and into others’ lives, allows your good fortune to circulate and your positive momentum to carry others with you. By freely giving of your time, support, and energy, the blessing of the divine surrounds you. In this cynical and material world, such things may seem to have little value, but those who have experienced the process in their own lives understand that, in the words of Theodore Rubin: “Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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This seems a very timely card as we head into the dark part of the year that can be so difficult for many folks. We hold the Sun within ourselves to call forth in times of darkness – let it shine for others but mostly let it shine for yourself to guide and warm you.

Blessings,

Thistle

THE SUN OF LIFE

ROOTS & BRANCHES: The creative fire, light of the land, the furnace of potential, the inner sun, the primal melting pot of matter and energy, the heart of eternal life

READING POINTS: A powerful symbol of light and fertility, the Sun of Life heralds a season blessed with joyous enlightenment, robust health, and emotional harmony. As the glorious rays of cleansing sunlight spill into the shadows of your heart and life, so the warmth reaches into your very bones and energizes your spirit. It is time to let the inner sun at the core of your being shine for all to see, bringing warmth, light, and harmony to others, and by doing so to connect with the consciousness of the universal mind. The Sun of Life also beckons you to see beyond the noise and clatter of human reality and become aware of the vastness and generosity of the cosmic soul.

MEANING: Viewed as if from the center of the summer Wildwood, the Sun of Life is surrounded by fecundity and growth. The power and importance of the sun cannot be overstated as the bringer of life, warmth, and light into the human world. Many Stone Age sites were created to mark the rising of the sun, especially at Midwinter. This was done not only out of respect for the various solar deities but also because the sun meant the coming of plentiful food and the return of life after the death of winter. It was a very real and practical salute to the source of primal power that meant survival and comfort during the warm months of the year to the ever-renewable promise of the sun’s return after its sojourn below the horizon during the winter months. Without the light of the sun on our world, life would never have begun, let alone evolved into the vast, complex, and varied sprawl of fertility we now see across the face of the globe.

On a more complex level of human consciousness, the Sun of Life represents the next step into awareness of the universal mind. After the initial movement from the potential still point of the moon, the sun beckons us beyond the Earth-Lunar relationship to an awareness of concepts on a solar level. At the heart of the sun is the secret process of nuclear fusion from which everything we perceive and comprehend on a physical, galactic level was created – and will one day return to. The figure at the heart of this process reminds us that we really are made of the matter of the universe. Our physical bodies were created from the waste matter of the cooling and turning of the sun. We are truly at one with the cosmos and the same interactions between matter and energy that bind the sun together, work both within and through us, moment-by-moment.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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Wow, today’s three cards definitely hit home for many of us who watched U.S. election results with bated breath before giving up and going to bed last night. Today, we might take a breath, but then we have work to do.

Remember that injustice is a result of believing falsehoods, ego and pride ruling the spirit, and people setting us up against each other. Don’t fall for it – we can rebalance the scales. And remember that balance is NOT about getting everything you want. It’s about ensuring everyone gets what they need.

Blessings,

Thistle

TWO OF ARROWS – INJUSTICE

MEANING: The scales of natural justice have been skewed by false judgments, ignorance, or arrogance. Sitting in judgment with unbalanced scales to an untrue premise, however ardently or sincerely, will not prevail. The bow is broken and useless through prejudice and misuse.

DESCRIPTION: The enthroned and faceless figure of Justice sits like a statue, her feet resting on an ancient wooden longbow. Her eyes are bound and she wears a simple white gown. Above her head are the uneven scales, one plate bearing a feather, the other a few coins. She holds two arrows in her arms.

READING POINTS: False conclusions and unjust decisions, based on disinformation and motivated by fear, greed, and prejudice, can cause innumerable problems. Either mistakenly or deliberately distributed to pervert the course of natural justice and the revelation of the facts by those who fear the truth and wish to manipulate the situation for personal control or gain, this propaganda will not survive honest, wise, and impartial scrutiny. In many worldly situations the truth becomes hijacked and twisted to become a false message, designed to confuse and instill fear in those seeking clear insight. The wise seeker questions and tests false messages and discerns the validity of a harmful accusation. Perversions of the truth will always bring frustration and bitterness to the individual or group that deploys such dishonorable tactics. The perpetrator of lies and falsehoods will always be judged as an unreliable source, bent on mischief and destructive interference. For the victim of the injustice, the best defense of the truth is always more truth.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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Well, this card certainly fits me today in a very literal sense – I had my third treatment of the new chemo yesterday (which is working rather well) and will be resting and healing in the coming days. But healing can be as much a mental and emotional journey as a physical one. Take time today to focus on what you need to heal and forgive yourself for any poor decisions in the past. Learn from them and let them go.

Blessings,

Thistle

Seven of Stones (Healing)

Description: A Green Woman sits cross-legged at the center of a circle of seven low and weathered stones. In front of her on the ground lies a man dressed in the garb of a hunter. The Green Woman holds out her hands, palms down, over the body, streams of energy shooting along her fingers.

Meaning: After physical or emotional sickness or injury, a time of inner rest and rejuvenation is required. Patience and peaceful healing comes from a spiritual source. Wholeness and recovery will follow a serious physical or emotional wounding.

Reading Points: One of the deepest stages of healing and recovery after any emotional trauma or physical injury is forgiveness. If the healing is from a relationship issue, we often hold onto the pain, mistakenly believing that it keeps us close to the source of that pain. Sometimes, we hang onto sense of loss, loneliness, and betrayal associated with the failure of the relationship. Regret can also be associated with these feelings as one questions one’s own motives and actions. Yes, if you have acted with integrity and sincerity, there is no need for reqret; it is a waste of energy and healing focus. If regret is present, more work may be required to understand its underlying causes. One of the elements inherent in bringing healing and closure to any situation is acceptance along with self-forgiveness. We are neither perfect nor omnipotent and, therefore, we make mistakes. The acceptance of these simple truths can bring healing to the suffering soul.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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What an appropriate card for many of us as we start the week. I know I’ve got some clutter issues to deal with – both mental and physical – and feel this card may be the push I need to get going on some of it. Hope this one speaks to you all as well.

Blessings,

Thistle

Seven of Bows – Clearance

Meaning: A time to make decisions and choose priorities. Focus on what you really need in your life and what it is time to dispose of and cut away, especially if it is worn out and broken or no longer meets your needs on the journey of life.

Description: A worn, broken and splintered bow rests on the ground. Six half-prepared staves stand to one side. A bonfire burns off timber waste. The smoke curls through the trees and up towards the sky, but the flames are bright and small showers of sparks light the evening sky.

Reading Points: All things must change and evolve, and however well prepared or carefully constructed your tools and skills, new challenges and obstacles may require rethinking and relearning. Bows wear out and eventually fracture under constant use, stress, and tension. Arrows were put through damp and strenuous flexing and lose their strength and accuracy. Change is a natural part of the process of renewal and although it can be painful (pain brings change and change brings pain), it must be seen as a positive turn of the wheel and necessary for new life to begin.

Welcoming the clearing of the old and worn and preparing the ground for new growth is vital. New shoots and spring saplings will be starved of light and nutrients in the soil if the ground is not cleared. Old boughs and stumps should be removed to ease the process of saving goodbye to a tool or concept that has outlived its practical life. By allowing the passing of the old and the clearing of the ground to take place with an element of welcoming and exceptance of change, the feelings of relief and poignancy may aid the healing process, giving comfort.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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As I’ve said before, people say “don’t judge,” but the fact is that we do it all the time and it is part of assessing whether something or someone is right for us. Not everything is worthy of your time and energy. Don’t buy too much into the negative understanding of the word judgment – it is key to helping you find your way.

The Great Bear

READING POINTS: The only thing in life that is assured is that if you wait long enough, it will change. How you survive that change and who you are after it is up to you. The major elements in this process is judgment of yourself and others. This may relate to an assessment regarding a personal matter or situation, and could be linked to the process of forgiving. It may also relate to a group or social decision. In the process of judgment, both as an individual an on the universal level, honesty is the key. Be honest, be forgiving, be patient, but most of all, be assured change is at hand. Remember, the universe has a long memory. Nothing is ever forgotten.

DESCRIPTION: Between two yew trees lies an ancient burial mound of the kind known as a passage grave. Upon this a polar bear crouches, keeping watch. The initiate has been laid to rest, covered by earth and stone, and now wants to be reborn, guarded by the shamanic sentinel of the mound. The traditional religious and political concepts of right and wrong, guilt and innocence, have no place here, for the judgment that takes place during the time of rebirth is both inward and mystical, and yet outward and universal, reaching far beyond the narrow confines of human civilization and conventions. The constellation of the Great Bear stands out in the sky, indicating the entrance to the otherworld to which the seeker proceeds.

Fear of death and damnation have mutated into a distorted view of the card known traditionally as Judgment, as a calling of righteous souls from their graves by an angel on Judgment Day. But the universe is much simpler than religious theologies would have it. The laws of evolution and cause and effect have more to do with divine judgment than human morals. If, on a personal level, life is squandered in the pursuit of vainglories and pretentious ambition, the painful void left within an individual’s soul will make itself known through despair and frustration. On the earthly or universal sphere, if we abuse the ecosystem and lay waste to world resources, nature will find a way to redress the balance by its own evolutionary means. Nature is not vindictive, just practical. By the same token, if time is spent education and understanding ourselves, this investment in wisdom will help us live our lives with a deeper respect for all humanity and nature. Life will be enriched by the joy and beauty of the universe.

The Great Bear is the guardian of the forest ways and holds up the power of life and death over those who transgress those laws. After experiencing the stages of being stripped and laid bare, the initiate experiences renewed strength and wisdom and is reborn into a place of quiet stillness, peace, and rest that allows the healing process to be completed. The new, whole, reconstituted person lies hibernating, full of potential, ready to meet the coming spring and with energy and joy.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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