Monday, 30 April 2012

John Matthews | The Controversial 6 of Stones


This has been consistently seen as a controversial card. Because the 6 of Discs is generally associated with plenty, why does the 6 of Stones in the Wildwood Tarot show two people begging for a crust in a desolate and fire-riven wilderness? The answer is really quite simple. This card is not just about acquiring vast wealth and plenty – it’s about what we do with it. In the current climate it seems scarcely necessary to mention that we squander it. Just as the banks have taken our money and played games of chance with it that have left hundreds of people and businesses (not to mention whole countries) bankrupt; so there are countless examples in the world of people and institutions squandering the riches given us by the earth.

The meaning of the card as given in the Wildwood Tarot book makes this clear:  “The human race's capacity to exploit planetary resources to our own detriment is motivated by a flawed belief that we have the right to do so. As we slowly come to terms with the profound effects of global climate change and the irreversible effects this will have on our children's lives, the human race still struggles to deal with the unresolved issues of how to feed the billions of new human mouths born every year. How we will resource the education, health and social service requirements of entire generations to come seems like a question too painful to consider. With world financial safeguards and systems breaking down and faith in any government ability to tell the truth and act with integrity, our social moral codes and once familiar "norms" have reached an all time low. We all need to be aware of the price our children will pay of our over-exploitation of the planets resources.”

All of this we know only too well; and the future is less than brilliant because of it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose not to squander our wealth, in whatever form it comes. We can take the riches and plenty offered by the earth and make good and wise use of them. We can take everything we have and use it to make a better world. Whether we do so is another matter altogether, but the opportunity is still there.

Another meaning for this card could be: everything its place; everything working according to its kind. Here is the original image we intended for the card, though in the end it was changed because it did not fit so well with the rest of the suite:

“We see the world as if though the faceted eye of a fly. In each facet is a different image. Six are of carved jewels, each a different type, each one dug out of the earth. The rest show insects; bees, ants, flies, worms - each one busy about its life.”

This was meant to show how the riches that surround us, or that we take from nature, can be seen as a harmonious whole, and in which the riches we posses are all in balance.The card is thus actually a lot less negative than one may at first think – rather, it’s a warning to put our resources – both natural and self-created, to the best possible use, to look for harmony where there is currently chaos; to build on the fortunate things that come our way rather than wasting them.


  1. Squandering our existence is also a possible interpretation, is it not?

    I love this deck, thank you gentlemen!

  2. I love the deck, but some cards really puts me off. one of it is this card! It contradicts with the traditional meaning and it just makes us (at least for me) hard to interpret the card! When it came out in the reading, I kept on asking myself, is it a positive card or is it a negative card?

    now I feel like crossing the key word and change it to "receiving & giving" instead of "exploitation"...

  3. All made in their own time and place to be seen the way they are seen.