The third spread given in the Wildwood Companion book is the World Tree Spread, based on Major Arcana 21.
The positions are as follows:
1) Roots - What is the root of the issue?
2) Branches - What are the possibilities of the issue?
3) East - What do I take with me?
4) West - What do I leave behind?
5) South - What do I hope for?
6) North - What do I fear?
7) The Way Through the Woods - What enables me to engage with the issue?
8) The Wisdom of the World Tree - The hidden wisdom of the issue.
My son is going into hospital on Tuesday, so I thought I’d try out this spread around this issue. The cards I drew were:
1) What is the root of the issue? 13 - The Journey
Although this isn’t a big procedure he’s going in for, there is always the risk when going into hospital and having a general anaesthetic that he might not wake up. However, as most readers say, this card is probably mostly not about actual death, and this is highlighted by the re-named Wildwood version. Still, perhaps there is something here about my fears related to this hospital visit.
A different way of looking at it is that, afterwards, we are going to have to do things somewhat differently with Big Boy. So, we’ll have to let go of the status quo that has reigned for the last year and a half, and get used to something new. However, it won’t be a complete change, so also a message about checking what is still useful from our old ways of doing things.
2) What are the possibilities of the issue? Nine of Bows - Respect
Based on previous experiences with the NHS, I may have to face up to some of the people I come across. Although I respect their knowledge and professionalism, I must also stay true to myself - no-one knows my son better than me. So, if something feels wrong, I need to try to stay respectful but firm. Other times, my Dear One has been in the hospital with me, and so we could support one another, but this time it’ll be just me. I may, therefore, need some of this Wodwose’s fierceness, to allow me to stand up for what I feel is right.
3) What do I take with me? Ten of Stones - Home
I take with me a sense of centredness, of family and support. I take with me all the love in our family, so although I may be alone in the hospital, I can lean on the wisdom and strength of my forebears, as well as of my family and friends.
4) What do I leave behind? 14 - Balance
This is a hard one! I leave behind a feeling of having found a balance, of knowing what I need, and what BB needs. We are going to have to readjust, to find a new balance, a new mix of what works and what doesn’t.
5) What do I hope for? 5 - The Ancestor
I hope that this will be a positive opportunity for learning about what BB needs, and I hope that the medical establishment will prove themselves knowledgeable and helpful. I hope the wisdom of science will come to the fore, in a way that is human and helpful.
6) What do I fear? King of Arrows - Kingfisher
I have sometimes associated the traditional King of Swords with surgeons. The Kingfisher, too, has some of those characteristics: darting in with sharp precision to get what he wants done; taking a somewhat distant perspective rather than getting himself immersed in the emotional content of the situation. So, I fear that the surgeon will be cold and clinical. I see how this contrasts with the Ancestor - I want someone who is wise, but still compassionate. However, being clinical does also have advantages, if he is professional and accurate.
7) What enables me to engage with the issue? Six of Bows - Abundance
Knowing that I am supported on many levels - that I have an abundance of help and love at hand. I am supported emotionally by friends, family, and even the tarot. I am supported practically by medical professionals, by BB’s nursery, by child carers who have worked with him for a while now. All of these aspects focus in on BB, and remembering this will help me get through this visit.
8) The hidden wisdom of the issue. Seven of Bows - Clearance
The hidden wisdom seems to be that I need to let go of old attitudes and beliefs that will no longer help me - such as, perhaps, my negative feelings towards medical staff, as well as my distrust in my ability to deal with them by myself. Also, I need to let go of old ways of doing things with BB. However, this does mean that we can start to do things differently - different can be good, I remind myself.
This feels like a reading with just a couple of themes. The idea of letting go comes up in the Journey, in the Seven of Bows, and in the West position of the spread itself. The idea of needing to tap into my support networks and strength, both internal and external, comes in the Nine of Bows, the Ten of Stones and the Six of Bows, as well as in the Ancestor. My difficulties with medical professionals are likewise highlighted in the Nine of Bows and the King of Arrows, but the overall message seems to be that I need to let go of this, too.
I really enjoyed using this spread, and can imagine it being useful in a lot of situations. It's not that great if you have limited space, as the spread is 6 cards high! Also, at first I was somewhat confused by the positions, having East to the left and West to the right. However, I assume this is because North is associated with the element of Earth, and hence is close to the roots of the tree.
As is sometimes the case, I felt I was perhaps a bit close to this reading to be clear in understanding it, so any suggestions and insights would be much welcome.