Card of the Day: The Green Woman

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is the Green Woman from the Wildwood Tarot.

5b609218-13b0-4880-9c54-1cdfa93d315fIn the Wildwood Tarot the place of the Empress is played by the Green Woman.  I really dig the Green Men/Women mythological stories.  They’re often these mysterious figures who defy definition and understanding and I find them such intriguing mystical characters.

This card felt SO great as a card to have drawn just before the Inauguration and the protest march that my wife and I are going to on Saturday.  The Green Woman is such a powerful female figure, exactly what I’d like to embody on Saturday, and heck, everyday.

Sometimes the Empress is read as being a gentle maternal lady surrounded by woodland creatures, and sometimes that’s fine, a gentle earth mother to give you a hug and a cup of chamomile tea is just what you need.  But this Green Woman is not that gentle lady in a flowy dress.  This Empress is a powerhouse of creative energy, sexuality, and presence.  She doesn’t recline meekly, when she’s in the room -BAM- you notice her.  I picture her leaf and moss cape growing as she wears it, moving through the room and catching everyone’s eye.  It’s not a cruel unattainable smirk that she wears, but this charismatic magnetic smile that invites you in, but commands respect at the same time.

All of that and she still manages to be nurturing, teaching us to embrace our connection with nature and to build those relationships that help us grow in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.  That way we can turn around and own our power and use that inner strength to defend our marginalized brothers and sisters.

Feel that fire roaring beneath her cauldron, and look at the way she radiates lights all around her, almost like she’s her own source of light in a darkened wood.

And that’s my wish for all of you out there.  Find your strength and make your own light, and then shine it into the dark places.

I’ll see you all on Saturday for the protest marches, and then I’ll see you showing up to fight institutionalized racism and sexism and homophobia and ableism and all those other -isms that the new President Elect stands for.

Wear your Pussy Hats with pride and may the strength of the Green Woman go with you and continue to inspire you!

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Card of the Day: Three of Stones

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Today’s card of the day is the Three of Stones from the Wildwood Tarot

With this deck I both like and don’t like the fact that they have keywords printed on img_2032the minor arcana cards.  I like the intuitive cue that a word can have when working with this as a new deck, but I also don’t like having that word overwrite what comes to me intuitively.

Stones represent the suit of Pentacles in the Wildwood Tarot and I love that choice.  It’s so perfectly earthy and grounded and I like the idea of stones instead of coins which I’ve often seen done instead of pentacles.

 The figure on this card reads two different ways to me.  I see her growing out of the earth in one reading.  Blossoming out of the brown earth and unfurling her leaves.  She’s rising from the earth as we watch her.  And it’s kind of neat to see the seasons reflected in her.  We can see the brown earth that means winter, that light green over her legs that shows the first tendrils of spring, the green leaves over her chest make me think of summer, and then the turning color of leaves read fall to me.

The other way that I see this is I can see her unfurling from the center of her body, putting down roots and just expanding to fill this card.

And I like both of these readings for creativity.  I feel like it embodies all different kinds of creativity.  It’s a creative thing to garden and raise plants and it’s a creative thing to create art with paint and ink on a canvas.  This card is showing that spark that ignites those creative passions inside us that drive us to make and to keep exploring and expanding.

Card of the Day: Page of Bows

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Today’s card is the Page of Bows (Wands) from the Wildwood Tarot.

img_2030The card depicts a stoat perched on a fallen tree.  In the background we can see a waterfall and wild greenery fills out the image.  It’s such a welcoming a happy image as I sit at my desk with snow falling outside, blanketing my world in white and then later in slush and salty grit.  This window into a the lush greenery of a late summer scene is so inviting.

The stoat stands a little bit warily, watching us to see what we’re going to do as we enter their space.  In this frozen moment in time anything is possible, the stoat could leap out and attack us, it could take flight and vanish into the bushes, or it could stand and watch us a while longer.

It seems to stand, watching and wary but not afraid which embodies the energy of a Page card so well.  Pages represent childlike people or energies or situations in your life.  It hasn’t yet been burned by the fire energy of the wands suit although it’s starting to learn about it.  The stoat has a coat that changes colors with the seasons and that is a great representation of the flexibility the Page is representing/encouraging.  When you have a flexible sense of yourself you can more easily adapt to the rapid fire changes that the fire suit holds.

All those things make it easier to be brave and creative and to try out new things and experiment with fresh ideas.  Let the Page of Bows be you guide through the forest so you can dance with the fire and (mostly) not get burned.

Card of the Day: Eight of Arrows

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Today’s Card is the Eight of Arrows from the Wildwood Tarot

img_1380 This card has the keyword Struggle printed on it and it corresponds to the Eight of Swords in the RWS deck.  The figure in the card seems lost in the bitter cold, treading through a mess of fired and broken arrows.  Perhaps they’ve just come to the sight of a battle that has been fought or perhaps they seek entry into the warmth of a camp where they have no kin.

They have wandered a long time in the ice cold wastes.  It brings to mind the Old English poem “The Wanderer“.  In this poem the Wanderer has lost his liege lord and all his kinsfolk and so he wanders the frozen land alone in search of somewhere the belong.  But with no family to speak of and no lord to vouch for him, he finds himself turned away, unable to find shelter or warmth.

Since long years ago
I hid my lord
in the darkness of the earth,
and I, wretched, from there
travelled most sorrowfully
over the frozen waves,
sought, sad at the lack of a hall,
a giver of treasure,
where I, far or near,
might find
one in the meadhall who
knew my people

In the RWS card the woman depicted is blindfolded and bound.  She does not exert her own agency.  In this depiction the person in the card is reaching out.  Making their way into an unfamiliar camp.  She carries her own light out in front of her, the lantern can represent a lot of things, but here it feels to me like an offering, the strangers can see that she brings something with her, despite her weary countenance and tattered clothing.  Perhaps she was a mighty warrior in her past and she is seeking to serve again, to be a part of something.  She is struggling through deep snow and biting wind.  The snowy background looks bleak, but she knows she must keep moving, keep trying to find a new place where she will be welcomed.

The message here is that although you may be slogging through the deep snow and you want to give up, you must keep going.  You never know what the next camp may bring.  You must rely on yourself to keep moving forward.

Card of the Day: The Archer

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Today’s card is The Archer from the Wildwood Tarot

img_1382The Archer is the seventh of the Major Arcana in the Wildwood Tarot deck.  This is where the Chariot is in the RWS decks.  The Chariot normally means swift decisive action and I love the symbolism and images in this version of the card.

There are echoes of the Chariot here, the two hounds hold the space of the Sphinxes and you can’t get more swift than an arrow loosed from a bow.  The position of the arrow here gives a new twist to this card.  The Archer holds the arrow, she hasn’t fired it yet.  It takes a lot of strength and discipline to hold an arrow nocked and wait.  That’s a recurve bow as well.  Newer compound bows make it much easier to hold position back there, fletching at your cheek, but the old ‘Robin Hood’ style requires your strength the entire time until you release the arrow.  I think her holding the arrow unreleased here is indicating that swift decisive action is ready to be loosed, but that you should be focused and disciplined about where you target your actions.

There’s a message about the stored potential energy that’s held in the tensioned wood of the bow and the taut string.  It’s poised and ready to be wielded in service to the Archer as she hunts her prey.  She’s had to work hard to build her strength in order to use her bow, and she takes careful aim.  She is literally declaring her intention here.  So there’s a powerful message about focusing your intentions behind your actions and projecting your will outward into the world.

When you see the Archer, know that you are powerful and be ready to loose your arrows into the world.