The Wildwood Tarot

Look to the heart of a primeval forest where deep ancestral wisdom lies to help make sense of your world today. With beautiful images by Will Worthington, The WildWood Tarot can be used as a meditation system, a card oracle,  a Tarot Deck, or as a well-source of profound spiritual knowledge. The cards draw inspiration from pre-Celtic mythology and a belief system steeped in shamanic mysteries. It’s easy to quickly access the magical lore of the Wildwood through descriptions of each card revealing its historical and mythological background as well as its divinatory meaning.

Wildwood Tarot book cover

Guidebook

A 160 page guide book covers the individual meanings of the cards, as well as insights from the lore this deck is based on. From the Green Man and Woman, Archer, and Blasted Oak, authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews introduce forest archetypes based in the seasonal rhythms and festivals of the ancient year. Step back in time to better understand where your life’s path may lead. There is also a complete bibliography to take you deeper into your studies.

This is a 78 card Tarot deck, but the names, suits and meanings of the cards make it very friendly to those who prefer to use oracle decks.  The Four Suits are: Arrows, Bows, Stones and Vessels. Each card has it’s name as well as a meaning on the bottom. 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 Fool
1. The Shaman – I. The Magician

The Seer Card

The Seer (High Priestess)

2. The Seer – II. The High Priestess
3. The Green Woman – III. The Empress
4. The Green Man – IV. The Emperor
5. The Ancestor – V. The Hierophant
6. The Forest Lovers – VI. The Lovers
7. The Archer – VII. The Chariot
8. The Stag – VIII. Strength
9. The Hooded Man – IX. The Hermit
10. The Wheel – X. Wheel of Fortune
11. The Woodward – XI. Justice
12. The Mirror – XII. The Hanged Man
13. The Journey – XIII. Death
14. Balance – XIV. Temperance
15. The Guardian – XV. The Devil
16. The Blasted Oak – XVI. The Tower
17. The Pole Star – XVII. The Star
18. The Moon on Water – XVIII. The Moon
19. The Sun of Life – The XIX. The Sun
20. The Great Bear – XX. Judgment
21. The World Tree – XXI. The World

Here are some more of the images from the Wildwood Tarot cards:

7 of Arrows - Insecurity | 10 of Vessels - Happiness | 3 of Vessels - Joy | Queen of Vessels - Salmon

Additional larger images are available if you click on the alternative views on the Wildwood Tarot product page>

Urban Farming, Druids, Trees and Street Faeries – View from the Eye

In the midst of the urban problems in London, and all the shakeups and downs coming from “the Street” comes some hope for a different way of dealing with difficulty from The Urban Farming Guys  “This is the epic story of a band of pioneers–several families who have uprooted from comfortable suburbia & made their homes for good in one of the most blighted zip codes in the U.S.–64127, Lykins neighborhood, inner-city Kansas City. Each of us, standing with our neighbors, believe there is hope, but we know that money alone will not solve the problem.”

This just proves you can get back to nature in the city. If you wonder at the roots of the current set of issues we face, just check out the Salvage series  of articles by John Michael Greer in the ArchDruid Report.  But it’s not for the faint-of-heart. It’s more for those who are willing to face the future and wade in and do something.

Speaking of doing something to solve problems, here’s one for the Druids and other tree-lovers.  A 13-Year old was inspired by trees and came up with a solar cell tree that produces 20-50% more power than a uniform array of photovoltaic panels. This story comes from Inhabitat.com – a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

Just look around, and you will find wonder to behold. Beth Hansen-Buth, the Faerie Artist (and my twin sister), pointed me to the Fairy Street Fashion of Finland. (We’re half-Finnish). For those of you who who embrace the Fae Lifestyle, music, art etc., you should check out these outstanding Faerieworlds events>

“Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!” ~William Butler Yeats

 

Dryads, Trees & the Fifth Element

by Alferian Gwydion MacLir, author of Wandlore

Note: Alferian will be at Eye of Horus Saturday, July 30th, to for a wandmaking demo, booksigning and Q&A

Wandlore BookThe dryad is the spirit of the tree, its essential pattern. It is a living being linked to the tree and growing with it, but at the same time it is a trans-temporal and trans-spacial creature, living in the Astral dimension as much as in the mundane world. When a branch falls off a tree or is pruned, the dryad spirit is still in the wood. It is not really correct to speak of “parts” of a spirit, but one might consider the spirit of the wand to be part of the tree’s consciousness. Some writers suggest that trees withdraw their life from a branch when they sense it is going to be cut and there is doubtless something to such observations. Nevertheless, in my experience, the spirit always remains in some degree and can be awoken by enchantment when the branch is crafted into a wand.

Now, of course, orthodox mundane botany does not usually accord consciousness to trees. In the Alferic tradition and in most schools of Druidry, trees are considered to have spirit, mind, and consciousness, as well as will and emotions. Indeed, in my experience, trees have a larger proportion of emotion than intellect in their souls. They do not ratiocinate the way we do, but they do ponder and brood. As Tolkien so rightly observed in Lord of the Rings, many trees today are sleepy. If the druid touches them and makes contact with their dryad spirit, they sometimes at first seem sluggish and hard to reach. Other trees respond immediately to such attention with the same kind of reaction many of us would have if suddenly touched by the mind of another being.

Still, it is misleading to anthropomorphize dryads. They share many of the spiritual qualities with us, but they do not think or live like human beings. In their present incarnation, trees are fixed and immobile. A great deal of their attention is directed into the ground through their roots and outward into the air through their branches and leaves. They do move, of course, in the process of growth and in harmony with the winds, rain, and sunlight. Deciduous trees drop their leaves and grow new ones, many drop seeds or flowers. So there is a great deal of activity in trees but it is the sort that, in humans, remains largely unconscious. We too produce seeds and eggs, grow hair and nails and new skin, and throughout childhood our whole body is growing. Even in adulthood the body changes shape. But trees have very different bodies and their spirits are diffused throughout their bodies without the distracting narrow focus of a brain steeped in language. Thus trees, unlike humans, have never suffered from the dichotomy of mind and body. If their consciousness dwells on different parts of their being, it is on the roots, the trunk, and the branches. The leaves are the most sensitive organs of trees, but the bark is also very sensitive, flowing with tree-blood underneath, just like skin.

Although many of the woods are traditionally associated with one of the four classical elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth), dryads are spirits that do not fall simply into one of these elements. Rather, they embody the fifth element recognized in the Taoist system: Wood. They are representative of all of the four elements combined into a fifth that is a living organism. Trees are the pinnacle of the plant kingdom, as humans are often imagined to be the pinnacle of the animal kingdom, filled with nobility, grandeur, often great age, and wisdom that comes from a long life in one place. We are indebted to them in ways that are often incompletely realized: in the gift of oxygen, wood, and paper trees have made human civilization possible. They are, thus, mystically speaking, the midwives of all intelligent life and human creativity. The Quintessence is often described as Spirit, but it is enlightening to consider this “Fifth Element” as Wood for the trees point upwards to the sun, stars, and heavens, to the invisible Spirit, which is not an “element” at all, but the essence that underlies all manifestation.

©2006 The Bardic Institute, reprinted from www.bardwood.com by permission