Samain and the waxing gibbous Holiseason Moon
Saturday gratefuls: Joe and Seoah. Murdoch. The Long Time Friends. (we may be in the process of renaming ourselves.) Jamie. His sadness. Jon, coming up today. Steak and potatoes. Veggies. Alan. Tara. Rich. Marilyn. Susan. CBE. Irv. Wildwood Tarot Deck. The unseen, the Otherworld. The occulted. Life in all its mystery.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Wildwood Tarot
Tarot: The Queen of Vessels, Wildwood Tarot Note: all images here are covered by ©willworthingtonart. If you wish more information, see Wildwood Tarot.
As you can see, I’m learning a new deck, the Wildwood Deck. Both the Druid Craft Deck and the Wildwood Deck have their roots in Celtic myth and lore. I need to get more systematic about my study of kabbalah, tarot, and astrology. I used the Druid Craft for oracle draws, one card in the morning, learning it as I considered each card on its own. I have more to learn about the Druid Craft deck, but I believe I have its essence.
The Wildwood Tarot is a collaboration and one of the collaborators, John Matthews, I know through his work on Celtic holidays. The deck explicitly aligns the tarot with the Wheel of the Year, my sacred text. Lots to learn, absorb.
Using decks that have Celtic influence allows me to go deeper, quicker. That’s one help. The other help is the general learning I’ve done with the Tarot and Kabbalah class and the Tree of Life Spread class. Both of those used the Rider-Waite deck more, so I got a good feel for that, the most often referenced deck created in the 19th century.
Tarot decks build on the past, on other decks. on particular traditions. The learning, then, is cumulative. For instance, the pips, the numbered cards, ace through ten, have general meanings. Ace’s being about potential and tens about completion, for example. 2’s thru 9’s represent a journey in that suit toward fulfillment of the Ace’s potential. Just as the Major Arcana begins with the Fool setting off on a journey of self discovery. The court cards also share meaning across decks.
I plan to learn the Wildwood Deck in depth, starting today. I’ll go through each suit, follow the journey, see what I’m looking at when I draw each card. The court cards, too. With the major arcana I will cross check with the major arcana in the Rider-Waite deck. Building knowledge, crossing decks.
No readings yet. Either for me or by me. My first tarot reading will be with Mark Horn, who taught the Tree of Life Spread class I took in October. He seems knowledgeable and kind. A learning opportunity for me. How does he use zoom? How does the querent pick the cards, for example? How does he choose a spread? How does the whole session work?
Elisa told me during her reading of my chart that the best way to learn astrology was to learn your own chart. In depth. I took the Torah and the Stars class to do just that. As I imagined, Elisa and Luke’s sessions each focus on a different aspect of the chart: Sun sign, rising sign, planets, houses, aspects, north/south node. I’m rewatching my session with Elisa, comparing her analysis there with what I’m picking up in the class.
I’ve gotten serious enough about this that I sent off for my birth certificate. I’ve been using 9:30 am as the moment of my birth, but I don’t know where I got that. The exact time has significance since it determines what sign was rising as you were born. My rising sign, Aries if 9:30 am is right, is, according to astrology, the mask that you wear in public. I appear to people as an Aries, rather than an Aquarius in other words.
If I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it with the facts I can nail down. I plan to finish watching that reading today.
A season of exploration in territory I never imagined I would take seriously. I’m two-faced about it still. One face turns toward the Enlightenment, toward reason and logic, toward empirical verification, and the scientific method. That face sees no need to look under the surface. Following Wittgenstein: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” & “Only describe, don’t explain.”
The other face, my happier face, turns toward mystery, toward myth and fairy tale. Toward small r religion. Toward the ineffable, the unseen, the occult.
Why happier? More fun. I mean. Bohr or Hansel and Gretel? John Locke or Ovid? Homer or Wittgenstein?
Of course these are false choices. How do I know? Because I choose both sides-though usually not at the same time. But. The forced choice illustrates the bifurcation in my mind.
Tennessee Ford sang the Cry of the Wild Goose. In it is a line: “I must go where the Wild Goose goes.” I must go where the mystery goes. Where my novels have come from. Where my life direction found root and where it now finds nourishment.
This fourth phase of my life has a Janus face. That enlightenment face looks backward, toward my past. But, I’m not abandoning science, reason, or logic. Not at all.
I am embracing, leaning into, following the thread that, over my life, has given me heart, depth, creativity, joy. One clue is in that three letter word, joy. Simcha. A character trait in mussar. A sign of connection with the sacred. Of the soul peeking through.