Saturday, August 17, 2013

Into the Wildwood

Yesterday my Wildwood Tarot came (Mark Ryan/John Matthews).  I love it.  It's a pretty intense, and very beautiful deck, not only because of the artwork (Will Worthington) but because of the depth of meaning - the focus on archetypes and uncovering the core meaning of an issue. As I read through the book and held the cards, I was left with a feeling that my other decks were kind of fluffy in comparison.  That's not really fair or true, but it was how I was feeling.  I don't know if I want to use this deck for email readings - I wonder if it's too philosophical for that.  I am considering keeping the deck and using it for readings for myself and family members.  Also it will take some time to feel out some of the cards.  For instance, the 2 of Arrows (Swords) is meant to mean Injustice in the Wildwood Tarot, rather than the common meanings of denial, indecision, attempting to find harmony between two disparate things, etc.  I love the meaning of the 7 of Arrows - "Insecurity."  It's brilliant - isn't insecurity the root of most of the traditional meanings of the 7 of Swords?

I've heard people say in reviews that this is a very powerful deck, and I definitely get that.  I did a "break-in" reading with just three cards, and it was painfully accurate.  I am looking forward to continuing to work with it!  The crux: do I use reversals with this deck or not?  It is technically possible... the deck backs allow for it, and most of the cards are similar to traditional meanings.  But the deck creators did not have this in mind when they made it.  If I use the Wildwood only for personal meditations, etc., it won't matter at all.  If at some point I choose to use this with "strangers" I might revisit the topic.  Something about this deck feels so deep and primal that I'm not sure I even want to use reversals at all, or that they'd even really be necessary!

Wildwood Tarot
Illustration: Will Worthington

One final note: I've noticed that some people trim these cards, like they often do with DruidCraft.  I also trimmed DruidCraft because they were truly so large that it was a turn-off to think of using them regularly.  I did it, it turned out great, and it's one of my favorite decks.  However Wildwood is a really normal size!  I would cringe to think of cutting it.  It's a great, average size, and shuffles just fine.

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