Thursday, 5 May 2011


Drawing still from the beautiful Wildwood Tarot, illustrated by Will Worthington, authored by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, and published by Connections, today's card is the Seven of Arrows (Swords).

Very different from traditional depictions, instead of someone slyly running away with something, here we see a Green Woman pierced by flying arrows and entwined in prickly vines.  Hand to head in a classic swooning heroine pose, I'm surprised to see the book say: "Her arms are raised in blessing,"

In some ways this card reminds me more of traditional Seven of Wands images - someone feeling attacked, but raising the question whether these attacks are creations of their own mind.  In this sense, the Seven of Arrows, associated with the element of Air, with the mind and communication, does seem more fitting for this representation. 

The book states: "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."  It recommends practising forgiveness as a healing mechanism.

I notice the skull that seems to peer out from the rock beneath her feet, making her footing in the world seem perilous, but it is just a rock.  The vines that capture her do not look like living things, in strong contrast to her own foliage.  And if the arrows are in fact thoughts and fears in her own mind, then the picture that emerges is one of someone fearing the worst.  If she can get in touch with her own strength, her connection to nature, and if she can let go of her own fears, these perils will disappear.

I am grateful for the times when I can forgive myself.

I am thankful for journeys into nature that feel deeply healing, calming the mind and spirit.


  1. I love this interpretation.... I find the 7 of Swords to be one of the most challenging cards to wrap my mind around to due to its subtleties and number of quite different meanings. This interpretation is gentle yet still reflects the essence of the card. I think no matter what meaning one attributes to the 7 of Swords, insecurity is the underlying factor in most of them. I think I'll incorporate this meaning into my own practice.... :-)

    1. Hi Olivia,

      Wow, you've been digging into the archives! And yes, I do see insecurity in the Seven of Swords, though not always. Sometimes, it's come up for me as doing research. Though I guess even then there's the question of why you feel the need to do the research... :) Will check out your blog, thanks for the link!

  2. Hi Chloe another digger here! Could you tell me if there is a quality difference between the two publishers of The Wildwood Tarot? (Sterling Publishing Co Inc (US) and Connections Book Publishing Ltd ( UK). I know the card stock isn't that great, Its more about difference in colour and cutting quality. Thanks !

  3. Hi ,

    I share your opinion, in the picture the Green woman is not bleeding, what make me think the arrows are not hurting her physically.

    Another point I notice is the place, I think is inside the Worldtree. In some places, for example Scandinavia, the people use to bury their deads in Burial Mounds where there use to grow oaks, and can imagine this because the bone and skull in the picture, and behind the woman there is a kind of wood. For me, this place represents the underwolrd (the inconsiusness) so it is easy to imagine that for one standing in this place the insecurity is natural.

    1. Oh, what an interesting interpretation, Jaime! Yes, I can see how this could represent the underworld or unconscious, a place where insecurity abounds, without necessarily being justified. If we can come to terms with our own shadow, then the unconscious is a place of creativity... :)