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The Wildwood Tarot: Wherein Wisdom Resides

Based on seasonal rhythms and ancient festivals, The Wildwood Tarot gift set draws inspiration from pre-Celtic mythology and shamanic mysteries. This stunning new tarot card deck introduces us to classic forest archetypes–including the Green Man and Woman, Archer, and Blasted Oak–and explains how to use them as a meditation system, divinatory oracle, or reference. Will Worthington’s powerful pagan images connect us with a long-lost world that can help us make sense of our own.

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3 comments on “The Wildwood Tarot: Wherein Wisdom Resides

  1. A must have for tarot collectors The Wildwood Tarot is a long awaited remake of the Greenwood Tarot. This time around, it is John Matthews and Will Worthington who breathe new life into Mark Ryan’s creation. I must say, I was taken aback by it. This tarot is a must-have for tarot collectors, specially so if you like pagan/celtic themed tarots.These cards are bordered white, numbered and labeled at the bottom. However, the back of these cards is plain: dark green with a thin white line forming a rectangle within the card.The Major Arcana are numbered and labeled at the bottom. All the standard names from the Rider Tarot have been changed on these cards.0. The Wanderer – 0. The Fool1. The Shaman – I. The Magician2. The Seer – II. The High Priestess3. The Green Woman – III. The Empress4. The Green Man – IV. The Emperor5. The Ancestor – V. The Hierophant6. The Forest Lovers – VI. The Lovers7. The Archer – VII. The Chariot8. The Stag – VIII. Strength9. The Hooded Man – IX. The Hermit10. The Wheel – X. Wheel of Fortune11. The Woodward – XI. Justice12. The Mirror – XII. The Hanged Man13. The Journey – XIII. Death14. Balance – XIV. Temperance15. The Guardian – XV. The Devil16. The Blasted Oak – XVI. The Tower17. The Pole Star – XVII. The Star18. The Moon on Water – XVIII. The Moon19. The Sun of Life – The XIX. The Sun20. The Great Bear – XX. Judgment21. The World Tree – XXI. The WorldIt’s hard to pick just a few Major Arcana to describe! In The Journey (Death), a raven is depicted on top of the skull of an antelope pealing away the remaining meat. A huge Moon it seen on top, and other ravens flying away on the distance. In The Guardians (The Devil), the skeleton of a bear is depicted standing in the entrance to a cavern. Finally, In The World Tree a huge tree is prominent, the four seasons neatly depicted in its leaves. There is a door at the base of the trunk, with a circular, labyrinth like pathway in front.The Minor Arcana are labeled with at the bottom. The standard symbols of swords, wands, cups or pentacles have been replaced with arrows, bows, vessels and stones, respectively. As expected, these represent the elements of air, fire, water and earth, but also a season in the celtic tradition (arrows – Imbolc, bows – Beltane, vessels – Lammas, and stone – Samhain). The imagery on these cards is sometimes evocative of the elements their suit represents.On the pips, you may expect to see a number of the suit symbols depicted in within the imagery of the card. In addition, there is a keyword added to the label. The court cards follow the Rider Tarot tradition, labeled as page, knight, queen, or king, but the people have been replaced with animals.These tarot come in a kit which includes a guidebook. The guidebook is organized as follows:RETURN TO THE GREEN. Preface by Mark RyanTHE WILDWOOD SONG. Preface by John MatthewsPART ONE: INTO THE GREEN. An Introduction by Mark RyanPART TWO: THE PATH THROUGH THE FOREST. The Cards and their MeaningsPART THREE: FINDING YOUR WAY. Working the CardsPart One – I think this is an essential read. Mark Ryan’s introduction fleshes out the foundation of this tarot. He explains how his journey started toward the culmination of the Wildwood Tarot. He explains what the Tarot is and what it isn’t. Finally, he describes how the cards of this tarot conform to the Wheel of the Year.Part Two – Each Major Arcana is explained in two pages including a b/w picture of the card, Description, Meaning, Reading points and a series of key words called Roots and Branches. In contrast, each Minor Arcana is explained in one page. The explanations of pips only include a b/w picture of the card, Description, Meaning, and Reading points. Instead, the court cards include a b/w picture of the card, Meaning, Reading points and a series of key words called Tracks and Pathways.Part Three – Several Tarot layouts are presented. These include: The Pathway Spread (3 cards), The Bow Spread (7 cards), and The World Three Spread (8 cards).This is an interesting remake that was worth waiting for. I may not recommend this one for beginners, but certainly a must for tarot collectors.

  2. exquisite deck! Being very picky about tarot decks, I hesitated for a good month before buying this deck, but since it arrived I haven’t worked with any of my other decks. although it is loosely based on the Rider Waite system, some cards do have different meanings. Nonetheless, I’ve found the deck to be so fluid and intuitive that the differences do not hinder my interpretations. I’ve found it to be like settling down with a dear friend. Each morning I look forward to sitting on my front porch and doing a quick read. It is very nature base. Indeed, all of the court cards are animals, and the deck is full of Old World imagery. It is very lovely and refreshing. I’m so very thankful to have added this deck to the family.

  3. Wonderful illustrations, different interpretations! I first saw this on Amazon with the pre-order and knew I had to have it — the illustrations on the box and the overall approach (ancient, pre-Celtic) definitely drew me to the deck. Once I had it in hand, I was not disappointed.The deck is loosely based on the traditional Ryder-Waite but reinterprets all of the Major and Minor Arcana into a very different mythos and tradition. The explanations are complete for the symbology and interpretation and the book/deck overall gives you enough guidelines as far as the organization of the deck to help grow your own understanding of the readings. Loved the new reading layouts – they had several that I had never seen before without relying on the traditional 3-card and Celtic Cross.As far as the artwork — the picture on the box is a good representation. Subtle and expressive and not redundant – all art adds to the interpretation.Only complaint with the deck is that the cardstock and printing, while okay, is not as high quality as some of the European decks that I have. It is better than some decks, but the cards will wear faster than I would like.

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