Wednesday 16 November 2011

Caitlín Matthews | Court Cards | Part 2

Following on from her work in Part 1, here are more exclusive exercises from Caitlín Matthews, focussing on the Court Cards of The Wildwood.

So are Courts just representative of people or can they be other things also?  In my reading of the other day, 6 out of 9 cards were courts: some of these were aspects of the client, but others were trends or work that she was engaged with. In this spread, you draw unseen one Major, Minor and Court card and read them in three different ways, permutating the cards until you’ve read them in all three positions.  This is part of the wisdom of what I call ‘sticking with the cards you first drew.’  And yes, we‘ve all groaned on turning over our cards and shameless stuffed them back in the pack and drawn some others, haven’t we?

It means that you get to read all three cards as a person, as a situation, process or event and as a challenge to draw on the wisdom that resides within. Why would you want to do such a thing? This three pronged reading often reveals our habitual behaviour, our ideal approach to things and also a different way of looking at things. It reveals how much we are doing things for the praise, placation or planning of others rather than for ourselves.
We can chose powerfully from all the possibilities and make our own reality more shapely in ways that serve our soul. 

ROUND:                                       ONE     TWO      THREE
The self I show to the World:          Court,  Minor,  Major
The situation/process/event
I’m learning from:                          Minor, Major,  Court
The guidance I can draw on:            Major,  Court,  Minor 

This kind of patient permutation yields tremendous insights. Here’a brief example:  
ROUND:                                      ONE             TWO                THREE
The self I show to the World:         Page Stones,  6 Arrows,         Mirror
The situation/process/event
I’m learning from:                          6 Arrows,       Mirror,           Page Stones
The guidance I can draw on:            Mirror,          Page Stones,   6 Arrows 

In round one:  The Lynx as Page of Stones shows a watchful, cautious person who likes looking studious; he’s undergoing a transition from one condition to another, and learning patience and awaiting the right moment.

In round two: Here is someone who’s experimenting with different possibilities, maybe learning from dreams. The guidance comes from studying and careful consideration.
In round three:  The self that is revealed is someone who enjoys showing how much he is ready to sacrifice himself.  He is learning to read the signs more closely. The guidance lies in discovering that there are other ways of dealing with things and that there is a way out from all this self-sacrifice, which brings only painful admiration from others.
Here, the querent’s habitual behaviour is shown in round 3, while round one shows his ideal solution and round 2 reveals a completely different way of handing things. 

Throughout our lives we take on different personas and aims: these express our preoccupations at the time, the blessings we came to deliver or the way we seek to appease or please others. It takes a while before we find our true self.  Using the courts only, chose to lay out as many of the 16 cards as you need to represent the different aspects of yourself through your life to date. The headings might break down your life into decades or periods of growth, according to what significant phases it has taken. 

Make your own headings; here is an example: 

Who I was born to be:  0-5                     King Stones
What I explored between 5-12.               Page Vessels
The seeds of growth: 12-18.                   Knight Arrows
Experiments in beaming down: 18-28.    King Arrows
Becoming myself: 28-38                        Queen Bows
Cresting the wave: 38-49                        Page Bows
Deepening the Way: 49-59                     Queen Arrows
Transmitting the wisdom: 59-69              Knight Stones
What I express next: 69-                         King Vessels 

You can also add some minor and major cards to each line of this life-line if you need: chose or draw them unseen: what do you find?

Find your own words and expressions to describe the four suits. These are some examples, but use your own instinctive feelings and thoughts to understand them:  

ARROWS are direct, piercing, focused, angry, oppositional, argumentative, dangerous, scientific, good with concepts, etc.
BOWS are strong, flexible, forceful, supportive, intentioned, creative, good with words etc.
VESSELS are compassionate, merciful, containing, reserved, artistic, good at expressing emotion, etc.
STONES are enduring, hard, remembering, wise, obtuse, humane, good at numbers etc.  

King, Queen, Knight, Page each have their own dynamic or mode of being. In your own words, use adverbs, expressions or phrases to describe the four royal beings: here are some examples, but yours may be very different. Be original! 

KINGS are commanding, authoritative, stately, unbending etc.
QUEENS are gracious, accessible, demanding, trend-setters,  etc.
KNIGHTS are chivalrous, bold, adventurous, out there, mobile, etc.
PAGES are serviceable, patient, able to liaise or connect,  etc. 

These first two sections in learning the Courts  puts the ball very much in your court so that you discover for yourself something about the cards. In the following parts, we will look at the Wildwood Courts in more detail.

Yes - there are MORE exercises from Caitlín come - so why not become a follower of the Wildblog and make sure that you never miss a posting!

copyright: Caitlín Matthews 2011


  1. This is going to be a fantastic workbook when it's all published Caitlín, thank you!!

  2. I don't think this will be published as an adjunct to Wildwood Tarot - publishers rarely do follow throughs in this climate. However, I will be using much of this material in courses and in our next tarot - the Steampunk Tarot: Gods of the Machine - which comes next year.

    Caitlin Matthews