Monday 19 December 2011

John Matthews | Between The Darkness and The Light | Poem


(A modern Christmas Carol) 

 It is within the darkness and the silence
That the magic of Christmas starts;
Somewhere between the glimmer of lights
And the first breathless moment
When children come
Stumbling like new-born angels
Into morning light.
Within the darkness and the silence
We sit, watching wonder
Burst into form; where we
Enter the ringing silence
In which the first bells of Christmas
Sound the music of the soul;
Where the morning joy begins
With a single carol
To a half-forgotten tune.
It is here, between the darkness
And the light,
That we wait, uncertain,
Seeking the moment
That challenges us to believe
In a freshly minted miracle
Born every Christmas Day. 


Dear Friends and Fans of The Wildwood Tarot.
As the scared stillness of  the Winter Solstice draws near, I would like to wish you all a happy, blessed and restful time. May all your dreams and desires find fruition in the coming year. If you like secular Christmas carols you'll find my own offering, beautifully set to music by David Seitz and performed by the St Joseph Valley Camerata from Misawaka, Indiana. Thanks to Alison Cross for spending ages on getting the words and music to sync and setting them so magically with snowy images. 
Thanks to your enthusiasm the Wildwood Tarot continues to break records for sales, and Mark and I plan to celebrate this by holding workshops and other events in 2012. So, if you’d like to explore the depths of the wood even further, watch out for upcoming announcements...
Yours, from the heart of the Wildwood,

Monday 12 December 2011

Caitlín Matthews 2011| Wildwood Courts | Vessels

We reach the third suit of the Wildwood Tarot Courts.  Today explore.....

VESSELS – Autumn 

KING of  VESSELS      Heron
The heron stands patiently on one leg for a fish to swim by. Herons are supreme fishermen, living near rivers, lakes and estuaries.  Their huge size, with a wing-span as wide as an adult human’s armspan, is no disadvantage for it has grace in the air and in the water. No-one who has seen them in flight ever forgets the spectacle of their M-shaped wings and the long legs stretched out behind.  It perches on its nest at the top of bushes or trees.  Since the native crane rarely visits Britain’s shores, the Heron takes its place as a bird of mystery and oracular divination.  Behind the heron is a hollow yew tree, the longest living tree in the whole of Britain, often growing to huge girth as its centre slowly hollows out, until the hollow centre can be big enough for several small children to stand inside, while the tree is still growing older and stronger.

As a person in your life: The loving and generous King of Vessels is a way-shower and mentor whose tolerance gives him a peaceful demeanour.  Very often he is the catalyst that helps groups and gatherings to gel, for he gives a place to each  individual.  His consideration for others derives from an innate compassion. As a friend, he is respectful of your space, giving you the freedom to explore what your heart teaches. Can be weak or ineffectual or inclined to milk situations for pity.

As an aspect or process: Using diplomacy.  Keeping a broad-minded perspective.  Promoting equality.  Offering support.  Standing as sponsor, godparent, referee. Moody or melancholic.

As an event/happening:   An exhibition, art-show or creative display. A support-network or help-line.  A scandal or cause célèbre. Dependency.

Questions: Where is tolerance needed?  Who is depending upon your support?  What is your loving duty here? What needs nurturing or fostering?

QUEEN of  VESSELS      Salmon
The Salmon struggles upstream to the source of the river where it was first spawned, in order to spawn a new generation.  The salmon’s amazing journey from fresh-water to the sea and back again at  the end of its life is one of nature’s marvels.  The upstream climb to its spawning ground exhausts the fish, but still it struggles to come home in order to give life to its descendants. Above Salmon’s head is the hazel tree with the nuts ripening. In Irish legend, the salmon of wisdom swims in the pool of Conla or the well of Segais in order to eat the nuts that drop from the hazel-tree. Hazel is the tree of wisdom, and its properties include cleansing the blood and healing skin conditions.

As a person in your life: The Queen of Vessels is tender-hearted and kind.   She is sensitive and intuitive, and has a wide romantic streak.  She has a psychic or empathetic ability that can see into your condition, making you feel comfortable or maybe unsettling you with her enchanting vision. As a friend, she makes the best confidante, resonating with your emotional condition, for her words are guided by the heart. While she can cherish and care, she can also be over-protective or smothering. Can also leave herself open to other people’s needs or abuse.

As an aspect or process: Proceeding virtuously. Being emotionally mature.  Taking on or beaming out projections. Captivated by illusion or being impressionable.

As an event/happening:  Comfort. Psychic perspectives. Dreams or visions. Security issues. Intrigue. Unworldliness. Over-sensitivity. Self-sacrifice.

Questions: What do you most resonate with here?  Where are you leaving yourself open or unguarded? What is enchanting you?  What do you need to devote yourself to?

KNIGHT of VESSELS        Eel  
The Eel swims soundlessly up the stream as the sun sets. Overhead the birch tree shades the stream. On a nearby rock, the engraving of an Iron Age sword is imprinted. Eels have the most mysterious life cycle and make the longest journey of any of the court card beasts. Spawned in the Sargasso Sea near the Bahamas, the young, transparent elvers make their way across the North Atlantic to European river-mouths. Making their way between water-courses, they often wriggle overland to find another waterway. When they are mature as silver eels, they return to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.  The birch tree was one of the first native British trees to emerge from the ice after glaciation. Its numerous properties include detoxification and tonifying of the whole nervous system.

As a person in your life: Knight of Vessels is a charming, cultured and gallant person. Sensitive and imaginative, he takes dreams seriously and can pen a verse or song for any occasion.  He runs on a high emotional current.  As a friend or lover, he is attractive and congenial to be with, exploring the shores of love and friendship imaginatively.  Can be a seductive, smooth-talker who plays the field, or an addictive personality who plumbs the very depths in order to be immersed in his own illusory fantasies.

As an aspect or process: Emotionally cogent. Discovering how to merge with a concept or find accord with a person.  Promoting harmony. Exploiting an emotional situation. Cheating on someone.

As an event/happening:  A reception or welcoming. Compliance or accord.  A quest. A union or merger. Introspection.  Fantasy.

Questions:  What is the nature of your contract? What are you getting access to? Where are emotions running high?  What needs to be expressed sensitively?

PAGE of VESSELS            Otter
The Otter peers out watchfully from a rocky perch overlooking the fast flowing river. Above him are the branches of the willow tree while in the crevice of the rock grows Hart’s Tongue Fern.  Otters are the most accomplished, balletic swimmers underwater.  They have to clean their fur in fresh water after being in salt water, so you will see them coming or going from a river or estuary,  at dawn and sunset.  Their playful gambolling is a delight to watch.  The Willow Tree is a source of salycilic acid, and the natural alternative to aspirin.  The Hart’s Tongue Fern grows vigorously in damp gorges and rocks in the shade. It cleanses the internal organs of obstructions, clears the eyes, heals wounds and reduces fever.

As a person in your life: The Page of Vessels is a good sharer who applies himself to things with deep intuition.  He is reflective and  joyful by turn, making him playful and a delight to be with.  As a mediator, he can help facilitate resolutions.  He is a loyal friend who is both cooperative and supportive.  Can be emotionally vulnerable, easily swayed or selfishly absorbed in his own troubles.

As an aspect or process: Contemplating things with a considerate heart.  Learning trust.  Serving with love. Refusing to listen. Living only in the imagination.

As an event/happening: Meditation. Forgiveness. A blessing. Stories that support the soul.  Conflict resolution. Fair play. Abandonment.  Fawning and flattery. Jealousy.

Questions: Where do you need to let your feelings show?  Who is getting closer to you? Where do you need to let beauty into your life?  What deeper trust is being asked of you?

copyright: Caitlín Matthews 2011

Monday 5 December 2011

Caitlín Matthews | Wildwood Courts | Bows

In this second blog post exploring the four suits of the Wildwood, we explore.....

BOWS – Summer 

KING OF BOWS      Adder
The entwined adders upon the sun-warmed rocks are striving for dominance. When they mate, this entwining dance covers a wide area of ground. Adders are the only venomous snakes in Britain, but people are rarely bitten by them as sudden movement or vibration causes them to move away. After basking in the open sun, the adder will usually lie curled upon the ground in grass or heathland.  Each adder’s skin is distinctively unique, just as much as any human’s fingerprints are unique to the individual. Out of the rocks grows thrift, a plant with antibiotic qualities.