Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Caitlín Matthews | A Question of Time - Part 1

When you read for people, they frequently want you to tell them the time-scale of their reading.  Generally speaking, divination is not time-bounded because it’s happening outside time and space if you’re doing it within any kind of spiritual context, which is how I usually read. 

All divination is a matter of asking the gods and spirits of the Wildwood in humility, listening and interpreting without inserting your own opinions. Divination gives us a snap-shot of things we are asking about here and now: tomorrow or next week will change as we also change.

However, there are ways of looking at possible time-scales or openings, which bring us into direct contact with the Wheel of the Year and the seasonal opportunities that are offered.  For example,  every December the midwinter festival of Christmas/ Yule/Solstice comes around: every year you are in a different and unique condition, but the seasonal opportunity to come home to the hearth of the family, to the still-point of midwinter is still offered to you.  Maybe you just became unemployed or December is a miserable reminder of those who aren’t there to share this opportunity? The years of our life can be seen as a spiral of remembrance, restatement, resolution and return if we take the gateway.

Take out the Wildwood Book and open to page 26 for the Wheel of the Year chart.  Lay out the major cards on the floor, or on a table or bed, giving yourself lots of room.   Now place the Courts around the outside edge of the wheel.  Here I’ve just turned the wheel with Winter at  the top rather than Summer:


                      WOLF   BEAR   HORSE   LYNX

A   OTTER                                                            KINGFISHER  S
U                                                                                                      P
T   EEL                                                                  SWAN              R
U                                                                                                      I
M  SALMON                                                           HAWK         N
N                                                                                                     G
    HERON                                                               WREN
                       STOAT    FOX    HARE    ADDER

Below are the times of year which accord with Courts, dividing the time between each of the eight festivals that are the turning points of the year as the sun succeeds: these balance the Sun cycle of equinoxes and solstices with the Moon cycle of the four Celtic festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasa or Lammas. Each court oversees 89-92 days, with each individual card being dominant for 22.¼-23 days.  You’ll note that the turning points of the year all fall under the aegis of the Knights who are the movers and shakers of each court.

ARROWS are active in the  Spring Quarter which runs from Imbolc to Beltane:
KING       Kingfisher  - 1 February- 22 February
QUEEN   Swan            23 February-  15 March
KNIGHT  Hawk           16 March-7 April 
PAGE        Wren             8 April-30 April

BOWS are active in the Summer Quarter which runs from Beltane to Lammas:
KING        Adder     1 May-23 May
QUEEN    Hare      24 May-15 June
KNIGHT  Fox         16 June-8 July
PAGE       Stoat       9 July– 31 July

VESSELS  are active in the Autumn Quarter which runs from Lammas to Samhain:
KING        Heron       1 August-23 August
QUEEN    Salmon    24 August-18 September
KNIGHT   Eel           19 September- 11 October
PAGE        Otter        12 October -31 October

STONES are active in the Winter Quarter which runs from Samhain to Imbolc:
KING        Wolf        1 November-23 November
QUEEN     Bear       24 November- 13 December
KNIGHT   Horse     14 December-6 January
PAGE        Lynx        7 January -31 January

Spend some time meditating on the shapes and patterns that you observe here and then go onto the spread below, which builds upon these patterns.  You’ll notice how certain court cards share a dynamic with the Majors in their season.

copyright: Caitlín Matthews 2012

1 comment:

  1. Been revisiting Caitlin's postings - thank you for these offerings, I do enjoy the exercises.

    Noticed that the bows/wands and arrows are reversed (timewise) between the Greenwood and Wildwood decks. I referred back to the book and couldn't find the reason(s) for this. This seems to be a common "switch" among general tarot interpreters, esp. between swords and wands.

    Is it ok to rearrange the dates assigned to the court cards? For instance, I would put the Page/Wren at the earlier dates because of the more "wintery" look of the card.

    Thank you