Having finally received the long-awaited Wildwood Tarot (illustrated by Will Worthington, co-authored by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, and published by Connections), I decided to interview the deck using a variation on the Elemental spread I've used before. So, a question each for fire, water, air, earth and spirit:
What can you teach me about acting in line with my beliefs? Eight of Bows - Hearthfire
This card reminds me that surrounding myself with like-minded others will help me to act in a way that matches what I believe in. I see two different suggestions here. Firstly, that such people form a support from which to decide what I want to do, as well as to help clarify my beliefs. Secondly, hearing other people's experiences can be an inspiration.
With particular reference to this deck, this feels relevant in two different ways. On the one hand because TABI has already set up a study group dedicated to this deck, in which I hope to take an active part. On the other, because John Matthews, one of the co-authors of the deck, will be speaking at the TABI Conference this year (as well as at the UK Tarot Conference). So, two distinct opportunities, both on-line and IRL to come together with others to talk about this lovely deck, share experiences, and explore what I value and how I can put those values into practice.
What can you teach me about dealing with my emotions? 21 - The World Tree
I notice first the maze in front of the World Tree. This tells me that this deck can help me find a meditative place that will allow me to better cope with emotions. Using it may itself be a structure that helps calm the mind and emotions, and approach questions from a place of readiness to engage with whatever answers will come.
The Tree itself connects Above and Below, as well as uniting all the seasons. So, the Wildwood can help me feel more centred, more connected to all aspects of myself and the World. From this place of calm and understanding, I can better deal with any emotions that arise.
What can you teach me about thinking and communicating clearly? 14 - Balance
In this card we see two dragons, red and lilac, twining around the trunk of a tree. Below the tree is a rock, carved with a face.
What this suggests to me is an ability to hold on to opposites, combine them even. Instead of seeing things as black-and-white, the Wildwood can help me see either side in any issue, to hold ambivalence and the idea that two contrasting views may both be true. From this place of deeper understanding, I can then communicate this in a balanced way.
There is also a sense of groundedness, of connection to the past. This deck, with it's ecological focus and primeval archetypes will help me think about things from a more community-based, earth-based perspective. It does this while speaking in myth and metaphor, and will encourage me to communicate in this way, too, a more playful approach.
What can you teach me about staying grounded and focused? 0 - The Wanderer
I love this image of a figure stepping out onto a rainbow. It feels so full of spontaneity and opportunity, a desire to explore and discover, to trust in the world. However, I can't say it feels particularly grounded!
Nevertheless, the message I take from this is that it is when I feel playful, when I am enthused and excited, willing to explore, that I am best able to focus and manifest things. If I am bored or doing things by rote, my focus goes and I feel no energy. So, paradoxically, it is when my spirit flies free that I am actually able to creatively focus and be productive.
What can you teach me about listening to spirit? Seven of Bows - Clearance
Ah, so, I need to discard the old, the broken, what doesn't work, or is just excess to requirements. If I listen carefully, I will discover what I need now, rather than what I needed yesterday or what I cling to just because. The Wildwood will pull no punches, burning away what is unnecessary and challenging me to remake my life, my plans, my approach to spirit.
I really like this card! It is challenging but also hopeful. And underlying the staves ready to be made into fresh bows, there stands a wise old tree, acting as support, watching what goes on. This deck is like that tree, stable and grounded, wise with the knowledge of nature and time. And so I will be able to make changes and listen to what I need to hear now.
Well, after that, I'm very much looking forward to exploring this deck more. Stay tuned ;-)