Posts Tagged ‘Wildwood Tarot’

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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So often, people associate happiness with things that are quite limited: while on vacation, while spending money, while only with certain people. This is only a superficial happiness; it comes from many more basic sources when we live in a way that brings us the kind of stability we need, fulfillment from things we do in our life, and so forth. Don’t underestimate the power of a more subtle happiness.

Blessings,

Thistle

Ten of Vessels – Happiness

Description: A waterfall foams over rocks from a low cliff decked with trees. The cascade creates dozens of separate water flows, which fall into a river below. Near the bottom of the waterfall, 10 vessels are arranged and the water fills them to overflowing.

Meaning: Generous fulfillment of desires from a source that is pure and cleansing. Reward for patience and love given selflessly. True emotional stability and freedom.

Reading Points: With the deep and profound calm of true and lasting happiness flowing through your life, a sense of homecoming, safety, and beauty shines from an individual that lights others’ lives and is infectious to everyone. Healing rays of affection and warmth radiate from your inner core. For those in love, the joy is in the sharing of tender and intimate support and understanding. Giving love and seeing that love reflected in the eyes of the one you care for is the most powerful and healing magic known to mankind.

For those who thrive on happiness derived from the fulfillment of ambitions in life goals, happiness is fueled by the essence of affirmation of self-worth and ideals. Being effective and productive in the practical world brings a sense of stability that can be shared and used as a vehicle to motivate and inspire others. No greater act of humanity can be achieved than by showing the way and opening a person‘s heart to the possibility of happiness. However much we love, however much we achieve, we empower ourselves to be emotionally alive by excepting that the circuit of life requires giving, as well as receiving. As we revel in the bliss of the journey, we remember with gratitude patients, wisdom, and synchronicity that brought that blessing into our lives.

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

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The three cards this morning featured TWO bear cards plus the Woodward, but the Queen of Stones called out. As I have noted before with this card, she wants us to understand our power and to use it wisely and to protect the land. The bears connected to King Arthur, but let us not forget his kingdom fell when he didn’t protect and honor the sovereignty of the land. The Wasteland ensued. What can we do to honor our power and the land itself?

Blessings!

Thistle

Queen of Stones – Bear

Meaning: The ancient ancestor of the modern bear, the cave bear hibernated in caves during the cold northern winter. Neanderthals buried their skulls here and even shared their caves during some periods. Often linked to Arthurian legend, the Bear remains a symbol of the power and protection of the land.

Reading Points: Richness and plenty surround you. Your bounty and welcoming nature make you popular with all. Many depend on you, and your natural sensuality makes you powerful attractive to others. Pragmatism and generosity open doorways at every point.

Tracks & Pathways: Power and generality, punctiliousness, a demanding individual, confidence, frankness, assurance, and property.

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

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Good Monday, everyone! This card may not look terribly positive, but remember this is a Green Woman being pierced by the arrows and bound by vines. She (and we) have the ability to grow past the wounds and weaknesses that are holding us back and making us doubt. Get back out and try again for whatever you’re trying to do. Yes, we might fail, but that’s how we learn and do better the next time.

Blessings!

Thistle

Seven of Arrows – Insecurity

MEANING: Ungrounded fears and confusion lead to instability and panic, self-torture through guilt or delusion and the need to deal with fragmented or rejected aspects of personality. 

DESCRIPTION: At the center stands a Green Woman clad in leaves and with hair that seems to grow from her head like vines. Her arms are raised in blessing, but arrows pierce her flesh and fly towards her. 

READING POINTS: Some of our greatest fears and self-destructive drives are born of emotional insecurity or lack of self-discipline, crippling an individual’s ability to make timely decisions or responsible action. Sometimes, these dark, ungrounded fears are the product of panic or guilt planted by inappropriate parenting or the lack of ethical education. Unreasonable emotional expectations and feelings of abandonment can also fuel a lack of emotional stability and stable grounding in practical life. Finding one’s feet in this environment takes serious inner work and real self-appraisal to reveal the true nature of the undermining issue at the heart of your fear. We may not be able to change the past, but we can learn to evolve strategies from the lessons of life and apply them to future scenarios. 

This process may also involve forgiveness for past failures, either of other individuals, belief systems or, more importantly, oneself. Forgiveness of oneself is a vital healing mechanism to deal with self-inflicted wounds associated with the burdens of guilt and self-recrimination. Understanding and acknowledging the motivations behind past mistakes stimulates the process of establishing a secure and healthy emotional foundation from which new beginning can arise. 

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

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This card description is short but speaks volumes. Sometimes we have to use our best judgment (which is not a bad word, by the way) when dealing with others and even making choices for ourselves. Today is the day to step up to it – best of luck with it!

Blessings,

Thistle

King of Arrows – Kingfisher

READING POINTS: You may need to exercise judgment, power, or force of will. The king is impartial and helps you to see clearly what you no longer need to hold onto. Use your strength to cut yourself free of what weighs you down.

MEANING: This tiny bird, both sexes covered with the colors of the rainbow, is equally at home in the air or in the water. With its remarkable ability to dive into the water and catch fish, the Kingfisher has been symbolic of ancient wisdom and lore for centuries.

Tracks & Pathways: Intelligence, strength, watchfulness, counseling, and the ability to judge true from false.

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

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In our current world, many of us are in mourning – but a collective mourning for rights lost, empathy for others lost, and a world that is teetering closer to a reality most of us will not like. Listening to historian Heather Cox Richardson yesterday, she pointed out that this is also a moment to be creative and to look toward rebuilding our world the way we want it to be. This will take a lot of work and a lot people who are used to being on the sidelines stepping up. But first, I think we should let ourselves mourn what we have lost.

Blessings,

Thistle

Seven of Vessels – Mourning

MEANING: This is a time to honor what is dead and mourn for what has gone. Learn the lesson of letting go by offering thanks for cherished memories and being at peace with the past. 

DESCRIPTION: A human skull painted with an array of designs including spirals, zig-zags and wavy lines, lies at the foot of a tree. Around it are scattered typical grave goods: five cups, and oil lamp, and an offering bowl. 

READING POINTS: Mourning begins the process of recovery after failure or bereavement. This process may even be unconscious, for we often do not realize what things were significant until they are gone. Mourning serves to ritualize the process of being at peace and honor the passing of what is important and significant in a personal relationship. It allows the tidal flow of emotions to rise and fall naturally through the psyche, and bring a sense of closure or completion and peace. This may take time, of course, and some losses are felt more acutely than others as mourning is a very personal and individual process, sometimes taking years to complete. 

In Ireland, the wake exemplifies one way of processing and dealing with loss by turning the ritual into a celebration of life and achievement. The celebration of the completed journey and the beginning of a new one has been a part of the human mourning process since the dawn of time. Whatever the loss, whoever the wake is being held for, let them go with love, and honor their passing with fond memories. Hold the golden, beautiful moments of life close and let their passing not go without a note of reverence for a life fully lived. 

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

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While society looks to supersede the past, we shouldn’t forget the lessons we can benefit from when we look to tradition and ancestral memory. Tradition can be changed to serve the present.

Hope everyone’s week brings what you need to keep facing challenges presented and to build the life you need.

Blessings,

Thistle

NINE OF STONES – TRADITION

MEANING: Reverence for past wisdom and sacrifice. The ability to relate to ancient knowledge and pass on the lessons of ancestral memory and ritual. 

DESCRIPTION: In front of a circle of nine tall stones sits the cross-legged, horned figure of the shaman from the Gunderstrup Cauldron, hands raised, with the serpent of wisdom in one hand and the torque of lordship in the other. Above the scene, a full moon rises. 

READING POINTS: Whenever we reach back into antiquity with sincere reverence and respect, seeking insight and wisdom, we commune directly with both the esoteric and practical memory of the human species. The myths, rituals, and traditions of past tribes remain imprinted on the human psyche. Whether you believe this to be the effect of morphic resonance or the spiritual echo of past lives dedicated to the reverence of the Otherworld, the mystical traditions have a real purpose and meaning that you can draw upon, even in our frantic modern world. Through the study of ancient mystical traditions, we see how closely linked we are with the past and how little we have changed as a species. We are still driven by the primal needs and fears that faced the first humans. We still look at the night sky with wonder and awe. We still look at the ocean and feel the pull of the unknown. To reach back and invite past traditions to enlighten and enrich your life is to draw on ancient strengths that are freely available to those seeking wisdom, sustenance and consolation. 

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

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We haven’t seen this serious but generous figure in a while. It’s quite timely, as many of us gather energy from the time of the summer solstice. Don’t waste that energy – get busy with projects that are important to you and prime the pump of your creativity.

Blessings!

Thistle

THE GREEN MAN

READING POINTS: The Green Man is generous in his bestowal of creative, fertile energy and he will move you to a new level of confident and assertive dynamism. This is a time for both giving and receiving the natural flow of life both inwardly and outwardly. Be prepared to find a new and thriving drive to begin projects, relationships, and even new ways of living your life and fulfilling your world. Now is the time to experience being at the apex of the cycle of life. Enjoy it!

MEANING: The Green Man is a symbol of the flourishing heart of the male aspect of nature. One of the most ancient images of the connection between mankind and nature, his face has looked out from the stones of temples and churches for centuries. Even in the dim and chilly heights of Christian cathedrals, he looks down, often sardonically, on the people far below. Constantly returning in thinly disguised ciphers such as the Green Knight, Jack in the Green, and Robin Hood, his face, disgorging leaves, peers out from the rich, dark, fertile heart of the forest and challenges you to respect and revel in the joys of the natural world. His aspect can be fearsome and frightening as he protects the wild beasts of the forest. They know his voice and his presence well, for he is a much one of them as he is the conscious spirit of the land, and the interaction between nature and beast is constant and intertwined.

The fecund cauldron is under his ever-watchful eye and the joyful exultation of creation and fertility are seen the Cerne Abbas giant, proud both in his manhood and his protective power. He is a giant figure indeed, mature in his power and patient in his resolution.

The Green Man is every vigilant and unerringly stoical in his guardianship of the sacred land. His warning to respect the laws of nature and the beast of the forest area best heeded, as his challenge to those who abuse his generosity can be fierce and severe indeed. Yet his heart is great and his spirit is warm and full of primal joy. His face is not hidden from those who can see through the thickly tangled fronds that encompass and enfold the Earth. His bounty is rich and nutritious and soaked in the golden rays of a fertile summer sun.

DESCRIPTION: The face of the Green Man gazes from this card with a challenging and blazing stare. Golden summer sunlight radiates from the leaves that burst abundantly across his glowing face and reach across the heart of the sacred land. In front of him is the cauldron of thriving and regenerating nature, which is both a preserved and storehouse of the vital energy of creation and stability. It represents the throne of kingship, currently empty, and the Green Man guards it with the spear of power and the horn of plenty, ready for the king who will take his place and stand as defender of the land.

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

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This is a thoughtful card to start the week with; it encourages us to take our visions and begin to make them real. Time to stop being a dreamer and becoming a do-er, making those dreams a reality.

Blessings!

Thistle

The Seer

Reading Points: The time has come to focus your power and let it flow through you. Many dreams or desires related to the creative emotional process are ready to be applied in your day-to-day life and you must now give vent to those hidden or suppressed longings. This may relate to healing, sexual relationships, or partnerships. Now the manifestation of inner spiritual or esoteric insights into your practical and physical daily life will bring profound rewards and results. It is a sign of maturity. The seer also relates to creative impulses such as art, mechanical skills and crafts, and the joy of bringing pleasure and knowledge to others.

Meaning: Place at the heart of the wheel and the Wildwood in the quadrant of water, the seer represents insight that is gained from the stillness and weirdness of the sojourn with the Hooded Man. She stands at the heart of an interpersonal universe and can mediate that knowledge and help to externalize this energy to power, wisdom, or creative endeavor in the material world.

The seer acts as an oracular mediator of the feminine intuitive and imaginative principal, but her mediation is based on grounded energy and skill. This is symbolized by her feathered cloak, which represents the flight of thought and intellect, matured and stabilize to her deep-rooted power, grounded in the memory of the call just earth.

The seer stands at the center both of the wheel and of the individual in our world, facing the showman. She stands not only as a guide to the soul but as a catalyst for the manifestation of creative and artistic work. Ideas maybe filtered through the shadowy realm of dreams and trancelike states, but the inner archetypal mediator that forms these ideas into works of literature, song, or dance is the seer. It is she who inspires the emotional link to the book or piece of music or brings a tear to the eye at the end of an emotional film or laughter at a funny story.

With her inherent ability to balance emotion, intellect, and will power, she spurs us on to create change in our material world and is a skilled mediator of all the elemental force that is found within the Wildwood. She fosters the positive exercise of will, but through emotion and commitment and resulting in an outer material effect. This is one of the purest and most blessed forms of earth magic.

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

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