Posts Tagged ‘Wildwood Tarot’

This card indicates kindness and wisdom but also a quiet and contemplative time. In Celtic myth, Herons are associated with the gods. This card tends to be very open to interpretation, so feel free to share your perspective!

Blessings,

Thistle

KING OF VESSELS – HERON

MEANING: Greeting the dawn, often alone, the Heron is reputed to be gifted with psychic perception and reflection. The guardian of many esoteric secrets, it is said to stand at the gateway between life and death and to act as mediator on the soul’s journey to the Celtic otherworld and reincarnation.

TRACKS & PATHWAYS: Artistic ability, honesty and integrity, purposeful equality, responsibility, consideration of others, affection, support and companionship.

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

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This is a heavy card with a dense description. But it can be a hopeful card, despite its seriousness. Look for the touchstones and something constant as you journey, whether in mundane life or spiritually. Blessings!

THE POLE STAR

READING POINTS: The power of universal lore is at work here, either within the individual or permeating a web of circumstance that will bring profound change and new spiritual hope. The Pole Star of prophetic guidance and inspirational knowledge has risen and will guide you on your forthcoming journey through the forest. If you hold this ancient and basic truth near the core of your being and navigate by it you cannot go far wrong; it is there as a talisman as well as a symbol of the universal cycle of nature. Whenever you are feeling lost in the dark Labyrinth of life, remember that the laws and primal matter that bind the Pole Star and fuel its giant heart also formed you.

MEANING: The Pole Star symbolizes universal law, higher spiritual knowledge and power. The first breath of creation formed the stars and binds them together as constants within the visible universe. Our own star, the Sun, reminds us of the awesome power that burns at the heart of these stellar giants and yet that they are only the sentinels of our own visual reality. The Pole Star reminds us that there is a greater, unseen power in the universe, one that can manifest and balance the enormous gravity, light, and energy that form the heart of a star and yet also weaves the subtle interactions between the subatomic particles that exist in multidimensional states that we can only theorize about.

Since the dawn of time, stars have been revered and studied as they traversed the sky. For the first travelers, the Pole Star offered a constant navigation aid as the star fields wheeled about its fixed position. Long-range calendar predictions and mathematical equations also developed from these first attempts at astronomy. Research suggests that the pyramids were laid out in the shape of constellation of Orion and ancient people saw mythical beasts, gods, and history laid out pictorially in the twinkling star patterns of the night sky. Like the Sun and Moon, the stars moved through the heavens in a regular, predictable cycle, some vanishing beneath the horizon during the summer and reappearing during winter. Mythical stories of great hunters and slain warriors honored by the gods and placed forever in the night sky were handed down through time and developed into ancient religious practices.

DESCRIPTION: The pure white light of the Pole Star illuminates the dark void of the universe and casts its radiance upon the Earth. The star represents the remotest power in the celestial sky and the interaction and fusion of particles that produce heat and light. Stars rise above the Earth, beckoning our searching minds to reach beyond our own solar system and grasp the vastness of space. The swirling clouds of stellar dust that formed the heart of the stars spiral outward into infinity and turn with the cycle of the universe. The blessing of the Pole Star radiates to the Earth across the abyss and reminds us that the same stuff of creation that fuels and binds these mighty sentinels of the night sky burns within us. Latest research shows that stars are initially formed as a sphere within a ring or circle of matter, echoing the cup and ring symbols found carved on stones of prehistory that may represent the seed of manifestation and the source of creation itself. The blessing of the stellar world bathes the Earth and the human spirit with healing and regenerative energy.

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

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Hope everyone has a lovely day.

NINE OF ARROWS – DEDICATION

MEANING: The spiritual warrior dedicates their arrows of inspiration by playing the bow as an instrument of summoning. The inner oath helps keep one on a balanced footing by dedicating skills to a great good.

DESCRIPTION: A figure, clad in skin robes decorated with patterns of leaves, stands in a clearing amid the Wildwood. She is holding a bow as though it were an instrument, the back of the bow cradled in her arms and an arrow held against the string as if it were the bow on a fiddle. Around her, repulsed by an invisible shield, are another eight arrows.

READING POINTS: To heed the calling to dedicate one’s life to any skill, spiritual path, belief system, or philosophy requires sincerity, self-discipline, and hard work. It is a sacred summoning that requires time and effort. For those who hear the calling and become spiritual warriors and protectors of the land, responsibility and sacrifice are also required. To deny that the human species has had a negative effect on the planet’s climate and atmosphere seems totally redundant. The growing awareness of our individual impact on the ecosystem may take on greater significance in the future.

We cannot predict what effect our avarice and rapacious exploitation of the land will eventually produce, but the dedicated defender of the soil must protect the living legacy we leave for our children. To teach by example the value of respecting other’s beliefs and philosophies in honoring the land is immensely important. Sometimes a simply daily ritual reminds us of the oath we have taken to conserve and protect the environment. Dedicate yourself to the task of preserving the land and be a part of making the difference.

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

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Alright, today’s card seems fitting for a Monday, so I hope you all got some good rest. The Ace of Bows suggests the need to be ready to learn, adapt, and focus. Have a good day!

Ace of Bows: Spark of Life

Against a shimmering background of leaves and beaches, a stout, rough-hewn hunting bow shimmers with the fire of life itself. The tip of an arrow rests on a heap of kindling chaff, and curled bark is bursting into flame as the tip flashes with brilliant incandescent light.

Meaning: As the turning of the cosmic axis generates the spark of life, so the kindling of a flame sparks the necessary light and warmth in our lives. The drill-bow suggests the human element, our partnership with the environment in which we live and the mastery of its gifts. Be prepared to learn new skills, adapt to a changing environment, and focus and tune your instincts to the task at hand.

Reading Points: By shaping, directing, and persevering with the tool that both hunts and nutures fire, we kindle the spark that starts the process of creation and empowerment. This takes skill, effort, commitment, and persistence, but the universe always responds with enlightenment, challenge, and opportunity. This is the nature of the human relationship with creation, and leads to a deeper awareness of the part we must play in the great scheme of things.

Harnessing the energy inherent in the bow, and the skill and endurance needed to loose the hunter’s arrows accurately and efficiently, are as primal and ancient as human existence itself. Every native tribe on Earth developed the bow as a tool and choosing, shaping, and tuning the bow stave and the arrows is a time-consuming and demanding craft that hones our skills and widens our knowledge of all the materials required in the ancient art. This also includes the habits and patterns of nature associated with the prey the hunter seeks and may infuse the archer with a new respect and reverence for the creatures that inhabit the Wildwood.

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

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Now is not the time to hang back – move forward with plans and take productive and creavite ACTION today. The Archer is here to encourage us.

Blessings!

THE ARCHER

READING POINTS: The dawn of a new adventure, folded in the web of universal potential, waits for you to string the bow of your imagination and loose the arrows of creativity. This is the time to be bold and commit to the hunting of new life and a better relationship with the world, as well as the fulfilment of wholesome ambition. Take a moment to gather your tools and steady your state of mind. Take careful stock of what you want to achieve, why, and how you will go about it. Then harness your potential by filling your quiver with all the talents, knowledge, and cunning you possess and string the bow of burning gold” with the “arrows of desire.” Take a deep breath and be calm. I tis time to let your soul take flight.

MEANING: The bow’s importance for most of early mankind, both as a tool for survival and for defense, cannot be underestimated. It is for this reason, perhaps, that it has also become a spiritual symbol, and the drawing and releasing of an arrow is sometimes seen as a ritualistic practice in its own right. For many, the bow is a powerful link to our past, and the patience required to master it connects the Archer with ancient life-or-death experience.

The Celts placed written spells on their arrows and Sioux Indian “medicine” arrows were painted with geometric designs and held special ritual significance, so that from early times the use of the bow took on a role in the harnessing and transmission of the will. Stringing the bow gives the wood a potential for the release of energy, drawing the bow controls and harnesses that energy, and releasing the arrow with intent finally sends the archer’s will through the air to its target.

Just as spells and curses were loosed through the air by hunters and shamans, so we must ourselves tune in to this ancient process and become archers with quivers full of ideas and desires, capable of forming and focusing our aim in the steady drawing of our will and then loosing our creative and intellectual drive in a controlled and effective way.

The key to a smooth and accurate release of the arrow is a steady and relaxed state, both physically and mentally. As hunters in the forest, we need patience and cunning, as well as an intimate knowledge of the Wildwood, to move with stealth toward the quarry. Then, with a cool and deliberate aim, the arrow must be released, itself containing something of our will and of our spirit on its flight toward its goal.

DESCRIPTION: The Archer holds the broad longbow poised in the act of release. The bow is of the Meare Hearth design, the fletchings are of good feather, taken from the right wing, and the arrowhead is flint. The Archer’s gaze is focused and steady as she looks beyond the arrow into the sky, holding the tension between the bow and the sinew bowstring with controlled and relaxed intent. She wears a simple amulet and appears serene and confident yet full of purpose. By her side wait two great hunting dogs, messengers of the power she holds within herself.

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

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This card looks harsh, but it is saying not to fear nature and change – sometimes we must be stripped bare before a transformation can occur. Sometimes we must lose almost everything before we can rebuild things the way that will work best for us. Do not run away from this challenge – it will make you better and stronger.

Blessings!

The Journey

Reading Points: It is time to face the inevitable to let the bones be laid bare and acknowledge the deepest aspects of your fears and desires. Do not fear change, because this is also a time of purification and realignment. This change may seem extreme and destructive, but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive and static or sterile modes and concepts must perish. A celebration of the past or an acknowledgment of the passing of one part of life may be required. Let the threads of the old slip from your fingers with joyful remembrance and enter this time of withdrawal and renewal with patience and calm.

Roots and Branches: The leap in the dark, the funeral of illusion, Wayland Smith, the dance of death, The Washer at the Ford and the Dark Mother, defleshing the corpse, purification by fire.

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

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Is it time to acknowledge past missteps or perhaps that you’ve just grown past a thing? It can be hard to face these things, but there is new opportunity and joys just beyond that.

Have a great Monday!

EIGHT OF VESSELS – REBIRTH

MEANING: By looking at the past, acknowledging our mistakes and learning from them, we grow and attain new wisdom. The future waits to be unfolded by our positive action as we become “The Eighth Vessel” and receive powerful rejuvenating energies of rebirth.

DESCRIPTION: From the middle of a fast-flowing stream, we see an ancient cauldron hanging form a great chain. In the trees above it are three smaller cauldrons. Water and energy flow from them, filling the great cauldron, which in turn overflows and fills four more, which sit on the rocks below and overflow into the stream.

READING POINTS: Rejoice! A time of renewal and potential is here. The cycle of rebirth and healing brings inner peace and confidence. Once you accept that all the blessings and gifts of life can be yours or, indeed, already belong to you, the fear of asking is gone. It is time to shed the skin of the past and accept and utilize the overflowing potential of the present that is freely available to you. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Do not be afraid to ask, “Why not me?” See potential where others only see barriers. See challenge as others see impossible odds. Apply all that you have learned through experience and toil to any problem and you will not fail. You have striven to survive and absorb insight; you have endured loss to retain your integrity. All of these trials have made you stronger, wiser, and more effective. Drink of this new fountain of opportunity and renew your life objectives. You have endured the past ¬– its gifts were hard won; now the challenge of the future unfolds. Grasp it and shape it in your hands as you would have it manifest in your life.

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

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We saw the Green Man a couple months ago, but in a more serious context with two other cards (exploitation and prudence). He alone is here to guide us today, and he makes it clear it is time to have confidence in ourselves and to get started on something new.

Blessings!

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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What a perfect card as we head into a weekend! Sorry that the card has been MIA the last two days; we’ve been a bit hectic but I foresee that calming down in week or so. Have a great Friday and weekend!

Ace of Vessels – The Waters of Life

Meaning: The waters of life retain the ancient wisdom ready for reawakening. The moonlit pool of the universal soul retains all memory, ready to renew the inspired quest.

Reading Points: The suit of Vessels represent the primal mystery of human emotions, and the Ace focuses on the very essence of these powerful, yet elusive, traits. Since prehistory, emotions have been represented by the element of Water and, however far we have evolved, we are still largely ruled by our emotions and instincts. Our powers of reason, intellect and science have given us mastery of the oceans and skies, but what propels the driver to explore, invent and build is still human desire and curiosity.

Biologists would argue that our emotions are simply a manifestation of the ancient evolutionary process and are covered by the limbic system or mammalian brain. What influence the ancient reptilian brain (on which the mammalian brain sits) has on our emotional reactions is still a mystery. Our emotions need to be harnessed for positive ends, and suppressing our basic emotional needs will lead us to rebel and become detached. Gather your emotional energies and keep them in balance for health, creative, and loving interaction with all nature, including the sometimes irrational and destructive energies of humankind.

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

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This is great timing for our household! We just finished listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear last night, and we are feeling the urge to overcome our creative fears. The Wildwood deck is clearly in support of this. Hopefully, this helps some others out there too.

Blessings and have a great Tuesday!

THREE OF STONES – CREATIVITY

MEANING: An artist listens to the inner voice and hears the wind song of the universe. The courage, freedom, and skill that allow the artist to mediate this energy must be refined and focused for effective and meaningful achievement.

READING POINTS: The practical manifestation of creative energy requires a clear and open channel to the inspirational forces and impulses of the universe. Just as releasing your dreams and desires into the universal consciousness always brings a response, so the the releasing of creative energy invites into the artist the healing and enriching fuel from which further insight and visionary stimulus flows. This emotional and spiritual relationship with divine inspiration allows the subconscious mind to delve deeply and summons the intuitively creative power that catalyzes work. Artistic beauty takes many forms and presents itself in a variety of ways, but the relationship with the subconscious formative energy, whether through music, painting, sculpture, or poetry, reminds us of the personal and intimate connection we all should share with the universal consciousness. 

DESCRIPTION: A huge trilithon stands amid bushes and rocks. On the left-hand pillar is a great aurochs from the painted caves of France; on the right is an ancient horse known as Przewalski. Standing between the stones, one hand on each, is a Green Woman, from whose feet roots of energy spread out as she draws upon the strength of the stones and the earth. 

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

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