Menu of Contents
I. Origin of the Wildwood Tarot deck
Major Arcana Wildwood Tarot Deck
Minor Arcana Wildwood Tarot Deck
1. Bows Suit – Wildwood Tarot Cards
Ace of Bows
2 of Bows
3 of Bows
4 of Bows
5 of Bows
6 of Bows
7 of Bows
8 of Bows
9 of Bows
10 of Bows
Page of Bows
Knight of Bows
Queen of Bows
King of Bows
2. Vessels Suit – Wildwood Tarot Cards
Ace of Vessels
2 of Vessels
3 of Vessels
4 of Vessels
5 of Vessels
6 of Vessels
7 of Vessels
8 of Vessels
9 of Vessels
10 of Vessels
Page of Vessels
Knight of Vessels
Queen of Vessels
King of Vessels
3. Arrows Suit – Wildwood Tarot Cards
Ace of Arrows
2 of Arrows
3 of Arrows
4 of Arrows
5 of Arrows
6 of Arrows
7 of Arrows
8 of Arrows
9 of Arrows
10 of Arrows
Page of Arrows
Knight of Arrows
Queen of Arrows
King of Arrows
4. Stones Suit – Wildwood Tarot Cards
Ace of Stones
2 of Stones
3 of Stones
4 of Stones
5 of Stones
6 of Stones
7 of Stones
8 of Stones
9 of Stones
10 of Stones
Page of Stones
Knight of Stones
Queen of Stones
King of Stones
II. Author and inspiration of the Wildwood Tarot deck
Based on the four-season melodies of nature and features from ancient festivals, Wildwood Tarot was released by John Matthews, Mark Ryan, inspired by pre-Celtic myths and Mysterious anecdotes about the gods (shaman). The deck takes you to a beautiful world that is home to classical forest-based prototypes, including humans, archers, oaks, etc., and a detailed interpretation system that links specific features of these prototypes with the traditional Rider-Waite Smith system.
Wildwood Tarot deck is for contemplation, meditation, and reference. The pagan-like nature imagery system of artist Will Worthington – co-author of The Druidcraft Tarot – will connect you with a world that seems to have been lost for a long time – where we can understand who we are when we are in harmony with that world. This is a deck for those who love the nature/ pagan theme and is suitable for all Tarot readers.
The Wildwood Tarot Handbook introduces us to traditional druid prototypes including Green Man, Green Woman, Archer, and Blasted Oak; it also explains how to use the cards as a system of meditation, fortune-telling, or ritual. The deep knowledge of author John Mathews and the attractive drawing of the artist Will Worthington has created a masterpiece called Wildwood Tarot deck. This deck is inspired by the Wheel of the Year and Celtic myths to highlight the message that the mountains bring to humans.
Each card is a fascinating treasure of knowledge about the culture, philosophy, element, and meaning of each timeline on the wheel of the year, which requires a certain understanding of it. Changing the names of the cards in this deck as if the author encourages us to discover the profound meaning of the card whether you are a beginner or an experienced Tarot reader. The Wildwood Tarot begins with the image of The Wanderer (The Fool) preparing to step on the rainbow, which is a metaphor for our journey into the world of Wildwood.
In the opening of “Return To The Green”, Mark Ryan mentioned the Greenwood Tarot deck, the predecessor to the Wildwood Tarot deck. Mark noted that all the hidden things from the “other world” in Greenwood were cherished and applied by thousands of people. They want to know the occult prototypes that exist in Wildwood and the system of Wheel of the Year. Due to no more releases in recent years, Wildwood Tarot is gradually taking over the position of its predecessor. The highlight of this deck is ecology, ancient perspectives, legends about forests in Western terms.
III. Packaging of Wildwood Tarot deck
Wildwood Tarot deck and the guidebook are arranged in a “drawer” box. The image on the cover of the book is from the Hooded Man (The Hermit). The cover of the box is an image of Ancestor (Hierophant), a very majestic figure that exudes the appearance of a snow deer and evergreen leaves. This image creates a solemn meaning for the deck. There are two compartments inside the box for arranging cards and the book, with a small finger-sized hole that makes it easy to take the deck out of the box.
The book is divided into three parts: Part One – Into The Green, Part Two – The Cards And Their Meanings, and Part Three – Finding Your Way. Mark Ryan recommends in “Part One – Into The Green” that the best advice he was ever given was to “Read the book, meditate with the cards, then put the book away and do your own thing.”
The cards are presented in a book with a black and white scan, a brief summary of the position of each card on the wheel of the year, card description, the meaning, the focus and the emphasis, called “Roots and Branches” listing the keywords. (Note: Court cards have no description, and Pip cards have no keywords). The introduction page for each suit includes a quote, the position on the wheel, elemental attributes, and combinations (keywords/qualities for each suit).
Instructions on how to read Wildwood Tarot deck include a three-card spread (The Pathway), a seven-card spread (The Bow), and an eight-card spread (The World Tree). After the spread, the author has included a visual part (The Hermit’s Cave). At the end of the book is a blank page for taking notes.
Cards are 3 x 4 ¾ inches (~ 7.6 x 12 cm) in size. The back of the card is black, with a slight white border of ¼ inch (~ 0.6 cm), each corner has a small white flower, the left-right border has copyright notes. With such an asymmetrical design, it is impossible to know whether the drawn card is upright or reversed. The front of the card has the same white border. The card name is printed in black ink at the bottom of the card: the Major Arcana cards show the number and name, the Pips cards show the number and suit name, with the card’s keywords. Court Cards show the name, suit name, and keywords.
IV. The structure of the Wildwood Tarot deck
The Major Arcana of Wildwood Tarot
In his introduction, Mark Ryan addresses the gender issue in the deck. The first thing to mention is that each of us has two qualities – masculinity and femininity. The gender perception of the prototypes being masculine or feminine is largely due to the author’s intentions. However, there are some exceptions, such as The Moon is described as feminine and the Sun is masculine.
Ryan also shows how to ask questions (which he has divided into how to build questions, how to choose a Tarot spread and explain how to spread cards), destiny and Tarot, and the basis for Wheel of the Year. He takes us through four seasons, with four corresponding suits and cards, one by one.
The Minor Arcana of Wildwood Tarots Meanings
The four suits of Wildwood Tarot are:
- Arrows (Swords/ Air element/ Spring);
- Bows (Wands/ Fire element/ Summer);
- Stones (Pentacles/ Earth element/ Winter);
- Vessels (Cups/ Water element/ Fall).
The Court cards are King, Queen, Knight, and Page.
1. The Bows suit meanings
“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved” – William Jennings Bryant.
Position on The Wheel: Summer, from Beltane day through the summer solstice to Lammas day.
Keywords and expansions: Creative, Develop, Reckless, Science, Pursuing philosophy and mystery, Good ability is nurtured by the will.
2. The Vessels suit meanings
I know that I have savored the hot taste of life
Lifting green cups and gold at the great feast.
Just for a small and a forgotten time
I have had full in my eyes from off my girl
The whitest pouring of eternal light.” – Bilhana
Position on The Wheel: The period from Lammas day through the autumnal equinox to Samhain day.
Keywords and extensions: Feeling, Relationship, Romantic, Compassion, Forgiveness, Instinct, Elation, Confidence, Sadness, Nature of the heart.
3. The Arrows suit meanings
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein
Position on The Wheel: Spring, the period from Imboli day through the spring equinox to the day of Beltane.
Keywords and extensions: Imagination, Dream concept, Strategy, Prophecy, Communication, Ambitious, Mischievousness, The nature of intellect.
4. The Stones suit meanings
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau
Position on The Wheel: Winter, the period from Samhain day through winter solstice to Imboli day.
Keywords and extensions: Achievement, Possession, Material security, Practical skills, Physical capacity, Ambition on earth, Nature of the world.
Wildwood Tarot deck really is a deck of cards with artistic nuances that give a sense of mystery, with strong support from the natural world, and consistency of concept throughout the cards. The art style of Will Worthington in this deck is far different from the forerunner of this deck – Greenwood Tarot – which was sketched by Chesca Potter. The two stand on two different artistic viewpoints, carrying great powers, but at some point, one side will stop and reestablish.
V. Exploring the Symbolism and Imagery in the Wildwood Tarot
1. Elemental Influences: Unveiling the Power of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water
In the realm of tarot, the elemental influences hold profound significance, and the Wildwood Tarot deck masterfully incorporates these elements to enhance its symbolism and tap into their inherent power. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, the four fundamental elements, each bring their unique energy and symbolism to the cards, enriching the reading experience.
- Earth represents stability, grounding, and material abundance. It embodies the physical realm, connecting us to our bodies, the natural world, and our sense of security. The Earth cards in the Wildwood Tarot deck evoke themes of fertility, growth, and endurance, inviting us to nurture our foundations and manifest our desires through practicality and resilience.
- Air symbolizes intellect, communication, and the realm of ideas. It represents the power of the mind and encourages mental clarity and innovation. The Air cards in the Wildwood Tarot deck inspire us to engage in introspection, seek truth, and harness the power of knowledge and communication to navigate challenges and inspire change.
- Fire embodies passion, transformation, and vitality. It is the element of action, creativity, and ambition. The Fire cards in the Wildwood Tarot deck ignite our inner fire, urging us to embrace our desires, take courageous steps, and pursue our passions wholeheartedly. They symbolize the transformative power of self-expression and the energy required for growth and renewal.
- Water signifies emotions, intuition, and the subconscious. It represents the depths of our feelings, intuition, and spiritual connections. The Water cards in the Wildwood Tarot deck invite us to dive into the realm of emotions, explore our intuitive wisdom, and navigate the ebb and flow of our inner world. They offer insights into our emotional well-being and guide us towards greater self-awareness and healing.
The Wildwood Tarot deck offers a profound and all-encompassing approach to tarot readings by embracing these elemental forces. Inviting us to embrace the energies of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, it gives us the freedom to delve into the depths of our being, make our aspirations come true, and set off on a transforming journey of self-discovery.
2. Animal Allies: Decoding the Wisdom and Significance of Animal Symbolism
In the Wildwood Tarot deck, the presence of animal allies adds a layer of depth and wisdom to the readings, allowing for a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Animal symbolism has long been revered for its ability to convey profound messages and insights, and the Wildwood Tarot harnesses this power to enrich the tarot experience.
Each animal depicted in the deck carries its own unique qualities and symbolism, offering guidance and representing archetypal energies. From the wise and patient Bear to the swift and elusive Lynx, the animal allies in the Wildwood Tarot serve as messengers, bringing forth their inherent wisdom and inviting us to connect with their primal instincts.
Animal symbolism provides a bridge between the human and natural realms, offering a profound connection to our instinctual nature and the wisdom of the natural world. By exploring the meanings associated with specific animals in the Wildwood Tarot, we gain insights into our own strengths, challenges, and patterns of behavior. We tap into the primal energies and archetypes that reside within us and discover a deeper sense of self.
Moreover, animal allies in the Wildwood Tarot can serve as guides through life’s journey. They bring forth their unique characteristics and qualities, such as the independence of the Wolf or the adaptability of the Fox, encouraging us to embrace these traits and navigate our path with courage and resilience.
By decoding the wisdom and significance of animal symbolism in the Wildwood Tarot, we unlock a wealth of insights, connecting with our primal instincts, embracing the wisdom of the natural world, and embarking on a transformative journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth.
3. Seasonal Wisdom: Understanding the Seasonal Cycles and their Tarot Correspondences in the Wildwood Tarot
The Wildwood Tarot deck beautifully weaves in the concept of seasonal wisdom, connecting the cycles of nature with the tarot symbolism. Each season holds its own unique energy and symbolism, reflecting the ebb and flow of life and offering profound insights into our personal journeys.
In the Wildwood Tarot, the seasons are represented by four key cards: the Spring Equinox (The Archer), the Summer Solstice (The Guardian), the Autumn Equinox (The Wheel), and the Winter Solstice (The Ancestor). These cards not only correspond to specific points in the seasonal calendar but also embody the spiritual and energetic essence of each season.
Spring, a time of new beginnings and growth, is represented by The Archer, symbolizing clarity, vision, and the initiation of new endeavors. It signifies the fresh start and the potential for expansion and transformation.
Summer, the season of abundance and fruition, is embodied by The Guardian. It represents protection, fulfillment, and the bountiful harvest. It signifies a time of reaping the rewards of our efforts and enjoying the richness of life.
Autumn, a season of change and reflection, is reflected in The Wheel. It symbolizes the cycles of life, the turning of the wheel, and the lessons learned through transformation and release. It encourages us to embrace change and find balance in the midst of transition.
Winter, a time of introspection and wisdom, is represented by The Ancestor. It embodies ancestral knowledge, introspection, and the stillness of the soul. It invites us to delve deep within ourselves, connect with our roots, and seek inner guidance.
We obtain a greater awareness of the natural rhythms of existence by comprehending the seasonal cycles and their Wildwood Tarot correspondences. We match ourselves with each season’s energy, accepting its blessings and difficulties, and discovering harmony between the outside world and our interior landscapes. Our tarot readings are improved by this seasonal wisdom, which provides direction that is in sync with the cycles of nature and empowers us to travel through our individual journeys with more awareness and peace.
VI. Deepening Your Tarot Practice with the Wildwood Tarot Deck
The Wildwood Tarot deck offers a rich and profound avenue for deepening your tarot practice. Its unique blend of elemental influences, animal allies, seasonal wisdom, and intricate symbolism invites you on a transformative journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth.
1. Exploring Tarot Spreads and Rituals with the Wildwood Tarot
Tarot spreads and rituals serve as powerful tools to deepen your connection with the Wildwood Tarot deck, allowing for a more focused and meaningful reading experience. By exploring the tarot spreads and incorporating rituals specifically designed for the Wildwood Tarot, you can unlock new layers of insight and enhance your spiritual practice.
Tarot spreads are structured layouts that determine the placement and relationship between cards during a reading. When using the Wildwood Tarot deck, customizing spreads that align with the deck’s themes and symbolism can offer a more cohesive and profound experience. For example, a spread that explores the elemental influences of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water in specific areas of your life can reveal deeper insights into how these elements interact and impact your journey.
Rituals, on the other hand, add a sacred and intentional element to your tarot practice. They create a sacred space, focus your energy, and establish a connection with the Wildwood Tarot deck. Rituals can involve purification practices, such as cleansing the cards with elements like sage or crystals, setting intentions before the reading, or incorporating meditation and visualization techniques to deepen your intuitive connection with the deck.
By exploring tarot spreads and incorporating rituals tailored to the Wildwood Tarot, you invite a more profound exploration of the deck’s symbolism and archetypal energies. This approach creates a synergy between the cards, the reader, and the cosmic forces at play, amplifying the depth of the readings and opening channels for spiritual growth and self-reflection.
Furthermore, the process of creating and exploring personalized tarot spreads and rituals with the Wildwood Tarot cultivates a deeper understanding of the deck’s unique language and symbolism. It encourages a more intimate and intuitive relationship with the cards, allowing you to unlock their hidden wisdom and tap into your own inner knowledge.
2. Connecting with Intuition: Developing a Deeper Relationship with the Wildwood Tarot Deck
Developing a deeper relationship with the Wildwood Tarot deck goes beyond mere interpretation of the cards. It involves cultivating a profound connection with your intuition, allowing it to guide and inform your readings. By tapping into your innate wisdom and developing a strong intuitive bond with the Wildwood Tarot, you unlock a realm of deeper understanding and insight.
Connecting with your intuition begins with stillness and presence. Taking the time to ground yourself and create a calm and receptive state of mind before engaging with the Wildwood Tarot allows you to access the intuitive guidance that resides within. Practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or quiet contemplation can help quiet the noise of the outside world and attune yourself to your inner knowing.
When working with the Wildwood Tarot deck, allow your intuition to guide your card selection. Instead of choosing cards randomly or by a set pattern, let your intuition draw you towards the cards that hold the answers you seek. Trust the messages that arise as you lay them out, allowing your intuitive senses to decipher the symbolism and connect with the energy of the cards.
As you deepen your relationship with the Wildwood Tarot, pay attention to the subtle nuances and impressions that arise during readings. Intuition often communicates through feelings, sensations, or flashes of insight. Trust these intuitive whispers and let them guide your interpretations, allowing the cards to become gateways for intuitive downloads and profound revelations.
Practice active listening to your inner voice when engaging with the Wildwood Tarot. As you study the cards and reflect on their meanings, listen to your intuitive response. Notice the thoughts, emotions, and images that arise, for they hold valuable insights and messages from your deeper self. Over time, this active listening strengthens the bond between you and the Wildwood Tarot, creating a symbiotic relationship of trust and collaboration.
Developing a deeper relationship with the Wildwood Tarot deck is an ongoing journey. It requires patience, practice, and a willingness to surrender to the intuitive flow. As you honor and cultivate your intuition, the cards become more than symbols on paper—they become channels for profound wisdom, personal growth, and spiritual connection. Embrace the power of your intuition and let it illuminate the path as you embark on a transformative journey with the Wildwood Tarot.
VII. Tarot Spreads and Interpretations Using the Wildwood Tarot
Tarot spreads and interpretations are the heart of a tarot reading, and when applied to the Wildwood Tarot deck, they unlock a world of profound symbolism and insight. The Wildwood Tarot deck offers a unique tapestry of imagery and archetypal energies that can be explored through various spreads, each designed to address specific areas of life or illuminate particular aspects of a situation.
When working with the Wildwood Tarot, customizing spreads that align with its themes and symbolism enhances the reading experience. For example, a spread that delves into the elemental influences of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water in relation to a specific question can offer a more comprehensive understanding of the energies at play. Additionally, spreads that explore the seasonal cycles or animal allies within the Wildwood Tarot can provide rich layers of meaning and guidance.
Interpreting the cards in the Wildwood Tarot requires a deep understanding of its unique symbolism. Each card holds layers of meaning, and their interactions within a spread offer intricate narratives. The Wildwood Tarot’s connection to nature, the cycles of life, and primal archetypes adds depth to the interpretations. It encourages readers to explore the elemental, animal, and seasonal influences present in the cards, bringing forth a nuanced understanding of the messages they convey.
The Wildwood Tarot also encourages readers to rely on their instincts and unique connections to the cards. A more flexible and intuitive interpretation is possible when you trust the intuitive impressions that surface throughout a reading. Readers can provide insightful advice by fusing conventional tarot meanings with the unique symbolism of the Wildwood Tarot.
Wildwood Tarot deck reveals all-natural animations (green) as well as other religious orientations. The stories throughout this deck will be easily readable by the Tarot reader at all levels and can be applied to all ages and all walks of life.