Eight of Vessles β€” The Wildwood Tarot

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Will WorthingtonArtist: Will Worthington

Authors: Mark Ryan & John Matthews


I want to learn the meanings of the cards. I am practicing finding meaning in the image before I look it up. I do have a lot of trouble focusing. It is difficult to ask a question when I don’t want to know anything, really. All I want is peace and happiness. Health is implied. Wealth is not. I suppose I don’t need a question.


The future is always uncertain. Anyone who thinks the future is certain is either self-deceptive or miserable. With this mindset, predictive use of the tarot deck doesn’t interest me. The present is always certain, tho it is generally impossible to see the certainty of the present in the present moment. Despite how certain we often are about what we think happened, the past fades into greater and greater uncertainty as time wears onβ€” it is the future in reverse. Thinking such jumbled thoughts of uncertainty, I draw the Eight of Vessles.


I generally see cards in a positive light. They are affirmations. The keyword on this card is β€œrebirth.” In the Hindu religion, the concept of what we call β€œrebirth” is really β€œredeath,” for each birth necessitates its own death. After the final death there is no birth, whereas after the final birth death still has yet to come. The small vessels are individuals whose life pours out into the big vessel. The big vessel births itself once again into smaller, seemingly individual vessels. Nothing is truly individual; each necessitates the other. This continues the final death: birth as the river, the unifying entity, that place in which all souls are one. But is this truly the end? For the river itself flows on.


The authors write, β€œYou have endured the past, its gifts were hard won; now the challenge of the future unfolds. Grasp it and shape it in your hands as you would have it manifest in your life.”

Nine of Arrows β€” The Wildwood Tarot

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Will WorthingtonArtist: Will Worthington

Authors: Mark Ryan & John Matthews


The authors place arrows in the element of air, thus making this card correspond to the Nine of Swords in the Marseille Tarot.


The book written for this deck lends itself to personal-insight readings more than readings about others. If I want personal insight about my relationship with another person, that is one thing. If I want to gain insight for another person, that is impossible. I am not a psychic and cannot see into the other person whatsoever, even if I feel perfectly capable of offering options on what someone might do in a given situation. No matter how much advice we give each other, change must always come from within. It takes insight to turn knowledge into wisdom. I do not believe in wielders of psychic magic, able to find all answers in the cards. I do believe there are many ways of gaining insight. Although another person may help you gain insight, there is no one who can give you insight but yourself.


I bring up this point because I don’t think this card would be useful for the person for whom I pulled it. Sometimes people don’t even want insight. Sometimes too much insight is too much and it needs to wait. Sometimes people want escape. Sometimes escape is necessary. Insight can come later.


That said, I will go on with the authors’ interpretation of this card. β€œThe spiritual warrior dedicates their arrows of inspiration by playing the bow as an instrument of summoning. The inner oath helps keep one on a balanced footing by dedicating skills to a greater good.”


In a few words, this card asks us to heed the calling of the spiritual warrior and defend the soil to leave a living (as opposed to sterile) legacy for our children. It suggests a daily ritual as a reminder-oath to conserve and protect the environment. Some people dedicate their lives to such a calling, some their lifestyles, and some a few minutes a day at most. We can all do more; it is a matter of dedication and desire.


The Nine of Blades is often called the nightmare card. I have spent much time seeking wisdom through my overpowering nightmares and thus choose to call the Nine of Blades the card of the prodigal dreamer. The keyword on this card is “dedication.” It takes great dedication to turn a nightmare into a dream. What is the strength of your dedication? Are you still fool enough to see this nightmare as a dream?

13. The Journey β€” The Wildwood Tarot

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Artist: Will Worthington
Authors: Mark Ryan & John Matthews
This card corresponds to the Death card in the Marseille Tarot.
“The first step is to ask the initial question,” write the authors. “This is the most overlooked part of any divinatory system… the act of asking focuses the mind. The desired answer or even the real question itself may be buried so deep in our own subconscious that we need the help of Tarot to reflect our own unknowable truth.”
The truth is, I have not been asking a question other than which card will it be? what will it show me? When I pull cards for this blog, I am not searching for insight. I merely seek the ability to understand the cards more thoroughly. But if I want to get a better answer, I have to ask a better question.
This deck has caught me unawares. The book is extremely well written. I do not just want to jump to the card and see what it means. I want to read the book, understand where the authors are coming from, and move from there. I am the sort who reads instruction books cover-to-cover. I hope my book will be so enticing to others.
From the bookβ€”
It is time to face the inevitable, to let the bones be laid bare and acknowledge the deepest aspects of your fears and desires. Do not fear change, because this is also a time of purification and realignment. This change may seem extreme and destructive, but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive and static or sterile modes and concepts must perish. A celebration of the past or an acknowledgement of the passing ofΒ  one part of life may be required. Let the threads of the old slip from your fingers with joyful remembrance and enter this time of withdrawal and renewal with patience and calm.
I had trouble calling my death card “finished” for a long time. I was trying to illustrate death as something that begins in childhood and grows with life. Death is there all along; it is nothing new. I drew people of three ages dancing with snakes that grew with them, both the snakes and the people enjoying life. Death enjoys life. Over and over, death enjoys life. Still, something was missing. That something was death itself, a fourth stage of life, like the four seasons of the year. When I added the skull, death became complete. I was not afraid that death was part of life; I was afraid that death was part of death.
Here is a celebration. Before the birth of my child, celebrate the death of my self: my selfish-self: my self who wanted to be only-self for so many years and had “too much to” do to be devoted to another self. I think it would be a good thing: to say good-bye thoroughly to what I no longer need, that I might greet with purity what I desire.
I am excited for this death and birth of life.