Tag Archives: waking the wild spirit

Looking back on five months of “decks of the week”

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For my 100th public post on this blog I’m going to look back on the “deck of the week” project that was the reason I started blogging here again pretty much exactly five months ago. So far, I have used 21 decks in 22 weeks (17 of them have been tarots, the remaining four were oracles, one of which was a non-card oracle). I think this is totally worth a toast!

Those have been 22 very different weeks in terms of my tarot-related activities.

Sometimes, I did a lot of readings in one week, like with the Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA, Waking the Wild Spirit, or Deviant Moon (unfortunately, I can’t show you most of the readings here so you just have to believe me). The one thing I’ve stopped pretty soon is doing daily draws/readings. I just don’t have that many questions. As a result I currently don’t participate in exchanges all that much, and I also don’t read much for myself. I’m also doubting that readings are as interesting to the readers of this blog as they are for me (and hopefully my sitters). I may eventually go on to borrow the idea of Tarot Bonkers to read in second person or the one of Sharyn’s daily draws with more or less “impersonal” associations (and an interesting quote). Or I may try and read for fictional/historic characters that are somewhat well-known like Satu did a while ago (I especially liked the ones for Eve and Voldemort).

In other weeks I felt more like contemplating a certain aspect of the deck as a whole (e.g. gender in the Deviant Moon, flora and fauna in Waking the Wild Spirit, Hubble space telescope photos that have been used in the Quantum, the Classic suits, or relationships between men during the Renaissance inspired by the Da Vinci Enigma). That has always been fun, especially since all of these studies happened because I suddenly got curious about something…

In yet other weeks I’ve done experiments or exercises with the respective deck (e.g. rearrange furniture and write a Halloween story with the Margarete Petersen, read about Star Trek episodes with the Balbi, do a reverse tarot reading with the Songs for the Journey Home, try out unusual reading methods with the Da Vinci Enigma, chat away with the Silicon Dawn). I’ve also enjoyed those a lot, mainly because I like trying new things. I’ve come across several other great ideas for future experiments on other people’s tarot blogs, so I may use a few of them eventually.

Sometimes I read a lot of background material (like with the Discordian Deck and a little with the Da Vinci Enigma), and sometimes I read nothing but the cards. Often, I just explored individual cards and decks on the side while I was doing a reading (usually for myself). I’m aware that combined readings/card reflections aren’t the best way to present insights, so this is another aspect of this blog that may benefit from some changes.

And sometimes I just blinged the hell out of a card or two (Deviant Moon, Thoth [not a “deck of the week” yet], International Icon Tarot). I’m sure there will be other candidates for that approach.

I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t as happy as I thought when I had the chance to reconnect with old favorites (e.g. Housewives, Ironwing). This led me to the decision to focus mostly on my (nearly) unused decks in my selections for this project. I was also surprised – once again – how well I could read with non-scenic pips (Balbi, Classic, Oswald Wirth, and also the Discordian Deck), and how much I enjoyed that. Finally, I was surprised by how much I liked decks that I felt hesitant about at first (Balbi, Discordian), and how right I was about thinking I’d enjoy others (Key to the Kingdom cards, Silicon Dawn).

I once used two decks in one week (Discordian, Fantastic Menagerie) because I feared one of them (the Discordian) wouldn’t read well enough for me, but quickly noticed that not only had I erred in my assessment of this deck, I also didn’t have the time to look at two decks in just one little week. I also used one deck for three weeks (Silicon Dawn) because I had been looking forward to exploring it during my holidays and then extended the exploration for the entire duration of my time off work. I don’t plan to repeat this with another deck, but the Silicon Dawn was definitely worth it.

The main “trick” for me with this project was not to allow myself to use a different deck just because I don’t like the one I’ve picked for the week (exceptions were my short interlude with the Story Cubes, going back to the tarot deck of the previous week to fulfill an exchange agreement that I couldn’t do with an oracle, or one reading with an erotic deck for an exchange where only those decks were allowed). I found that I can get along with nearly every deck for a week (the Celtic Wisdom Sticks  were the disastrous exception, closely followed by the mess of the Northern Shadows – but I still stuck with each them until the week was over).

I have decided to let go of four of the decks I’ve used (Waking the Wild Spirit, Quantum, Celtic Wisdom Sticks, Tarot of Northern Shadows). I most regret not clicking at all with the Northern Shadows, but pretty pictures really don’t make up for incredibly sloppy research and egomania. I’m actually really glad that I managed to pick some decks for the trade/sale list since I don’t consider myself a collector for collecting’s sake. My idea still is to have a library of working decks, and I’d rather have a small one of tried and tested ones than an ever-extending one of decks I barely get out in a year. I have also acquired seven new tarots/oracles (most of them from fellow Aeclectic members) since I started the project, three of which I’ve already used.

The most-clicked post (excluding the Pagan Blog Project ones) was Bling the Deviant Moon! and the least-clicked one was Why “Deck of the Week”?. The Deviant Moon is one of the most searched-for decks, closely followed by the Margarete Petersen. Most people come here by way of a Google image search, but I hope that some of them also stay around for some of the text.

So far, the project has been totally worthwhile. It kept me using my decks and it made me explore new ones that I hadn’t used before. A week seems a good time to get at least a basic idea of a deck and its compatibility with me, so I’ll stick to that schedule. Anything less would be stressful, and anything more would make me procrastinate because there’d always be next week… Since I’m easily bored, a good deal of variety is key to sticking with something for an extended period of time. I’ve found a lot of interesting things to do with a tarot (or oracle) deck, and I’m sure I won’t run out of ideas anytime soon.

I also have a question or two for you readers (feel free to answer any or all of them):

  • What kinds of tarot/oracle posts on this blog do you like best? Why? (Excluding the ones for the Pagan Blog Project, because those are a completely different category of writing for me.)
  • How do you feel about the posts from the “reading” category, especially the ones that aren’t also “experiments”? Do you like them? Why (not)?
  • Would you like to see some other kind of tarot or oracle-related posts that I haven’t written so far? (I’m not saying I’ll fulfill any wishes but you may just inspire me!)

Please feel free to add any other comments you’d like to make about this project and my way of blogging about it. I’m very curious! I’d also like to get a better idea of your interests and preferences so I can better judge what of my writing is of public interest and what is better kept behind the scenes. After all, I don’t want to bore you!

And now all I have to say for today is: Good night!

Revisiting the Waking the Wild Spirit new deck interview

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Once again, my week with a deck is over and I feel it might make sense to look back on the New Deck Interview I did with it.

These are the cards and positions I drew.

What do I need to learn from you during this week? – Strong Spirit / Lord of the Wild (Emperor) 

I did reconnect a little bit with little bits of my shamanic practice and had lots of “special animals” appear in my path, so that was nice. It could also be a matter of season, though, so I’m not putting too much weight onto this. And gender hasn’t been on my mind more than it generally is, so no new insights on that front, either. Honestly, even looking back I still don’t know what this card is supposed to mean to me.

How can I learn best from you?Magical Spirit / Cunning Man (Magician)

I did neither light a candle nor did I take the deck anywhere. We did have beautiful weather here, though, so I enjoyed some nice moments of sunny (and chilly) fall days. Just like the card above, I’m not sure what to make of this, even in hindsight.

Our future relationship? – The Gypsy / Knight of Fire

As I initially suspected, I will definitely pass on the spare copy of this deck, and maybe this one, too (if anyone wants it).

It’s strange, the Waking the Wild Spirit deck should suit me in so many ways, with its emphasis on nature and familiar plants/animals, but it remained slightly off for me the entire week. I’m not quite sure why that is. It could be the fairies with the pointed heads, it could be the weird “Riverdance” poses in some of the cards, it could be the hairstyles. Or maybe this deck and I just don’t click like I hoped we would when I first got it.

There are four cards in this deck I really, really love (clockwise from top left):

  • Dream Weaver / Wisewoman (High Priestess)
  • Full Bloom / Nine of Earth*
  • Wildwitch / Queen of Fire
  • Wise Counsellor / Healer (Hermit)*

* I wrote more about these two cards when I did my “Balance the Moment” exercise.

The rest of them, however, are far from that. So maybe the question is: Do four great cards justify keeping an otherwise “meh” deck? Or should I just make copies of these four images to look at them when I want and give the deck to someone who’ll love many more of the cards?

Right now, I’m leaning towards the latter…

Flora and Fauna of Waking the Wild Spirit

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Since some of the plants and animals stood out in my readings this week, I decided to look through the deck and make a list of the ones I could identify. (I once did the same with the Greenwood Tarot where it yielded a few interesting insights.)

Animals (bold = more than one appearance):

  • birds
    • bird of prey (buzzard/hawk, falcon/kestrel)
    • owl (barn owl, little owl)
    • crow/raven
    • swan
    • blackbird
    • swallow
    • heron
    • dove
    • magpie, jay, stork, seagull, kingfisher, blue tit, finch
  • mammals
    • horse/unicorn
    • rabbit/hare
    • deer/stag
    • fox
    • cat
    • dog
    • hedgehog, badger, mouse, bear, wolf
  • reptiles/amphibians
    • frog/toad
    • snake
  • other
    • butterfly (several kinds)/moth
    • snail
    • shell (several kinds)
    • spider, bee, stag beetle, centipede, wood louse, worm, fish

The most common animals are birds in general (especially birds of prey and owls), horses, and butterflies/moths. That is, if we’re not counting humans, fairies, or elves.

Plants:

  • flowers
    • poppy
    • cornflower
    • daisy
    • bell flower/bluebell, rose hip/briar rose, rose, forget-me-not
  • trees + leaves
    • beech
    • ivy
    • holly, chestnut, oak, maple, linden/lime, yew
  • vegetables + fruit
    • strawberry
    • apple
    • blackberry
    • tomato, artichoke, carrot, potato, corn, string bean, garlic
  • other
    • fungi (fly agaric, parasol, morel(?), boletus(?))
    • wheat

The most common plants are poppy flowers (which is perhaps to be expected since the creators name is Poppy Palin) and corn flowers.

Several cards have plants and animals that could be identifiable if I knew more about the different species:

  • leaves (Magical Spirit, The Gypsy, Spring, Fledgeling, Wise Counsellor)
  • flowers (Wild Harvest, Full Bloom, Blood Bond, Spirit of Love, Mother of Life, Awakening Spirit, Wildwitch, The Storyteller)
  • birds (Tools, Hovering, Spiral Dance, Seed)

All the flora and fauna of the deck are indeed native to Europe (except the unicorn), which means they feel familar to me and I can read them comparatively well. That said, I still have looked up several plants to find out if they have any particular characteristics or uses or mythologies attached to them.

Finally, here are some numbers:

  • 24 cards feature animals but no plants (besides generic grass or trees)
  • 14 cars have only plants but no animals (besides generic bird shapes)
  • 22 cards have both identifiable plants and animals
  • 18 cards feature neither plants nor animals (some show generic trees or grass, or bird shapes, but no identifiable species)

Revisiting yesterday’s reading

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Turns out that my volunteer group meeting (that I read about yesterday) was cancelled because the woman who runs it got sick…

So, how does that change my interpretation of the cards?

1. What’s At HandFree Spirit / Wandering Minstrel (Fool)

I gained some unexpected free time to use however I like.

2. Past InfluencesSpiral Dance / Six of Fire

The “mysterious intrusion” I pondered yesterday could be whatever virus or germ caused the group leader’s sickness.

3. Ponder ThisSpirit of Change / Rebirth (Death)

The meeting quite literally “died”!

4. What To DoThe Trickster / Page of Air

Yesterday, I wrote:

Maybe I can turn my oddness (as indicated by the Free Spirit) into such a role so that it will contribute to positive outcomes? At the very least this tells me to stay true to myself and not conform to any rules that don’t feel right to me.

Today, I believe this means I have the time to work on another project where being a trickster might become relevant.

From Fool to Trickster by way of Death?

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Tomorrow is a meeting of my hospice work volunteer group (a bit like supervision), so I thought I’d ask about that today.

For a spread, I picked one that Amanda04 posted on AT today (she says it’s from the Tarot Nova fortune-telling spread sheet and has no name).

—-1—-
2–3–4

1. What’s At HandFree Spirit / Wandering Minstrel (Fool)

Will I feel like a fool again because I’m following my own “guiding light” in my own way? The last time, I said that I wanted to focus on a specific kind of hospice work and the woman who runs these meetings questioned my motives for that in front of the whole group. While I understand why she wanted to find out a bit more about my motivations (and actually suggested she ask me instead of assuming things), I still felt judged by her before she even asked the question, let alone heard my reply.

By the way: I’m sorry, dear readers, if these frequent references about being oh-so-different are getting on your nerves already. But it is an almost daily experience for me to feel very much unlike “the others.” You see, I’m not just into strange things like tarot and shamanism, but I’m also queer myself and partnered with a transgendered person, and I’m one of those high-IQ people — combined that makes for countless opportunities nearly every day and in nearly all circumstances to feel very, very “different” from whatever the majority is in terms of gender, sexuality, relationships, IQ, and/or spirituality…). In other words, it’s just how my life is. So if these references bore or annoy you, please just scroll past them or click away altogether since — unlike me — presumably you do have the luxury to just go elsewhere to be more comfortable.

But now let’s get back to the reading I meant to do.

2. Past InfluencesSpiral Dance / Six of Fire

Wow, this is surely a very, very persistent card! Third appearance in three days and as many readings!

Today, I’m zooming in on the large foot at the right edge of the card. What kind of creature does it belong to? Looks like a big bird of prey to me (an owl perhaps?). Or maybe it is a cat’s paw? *googling images to compare* *cat paw wins*

So, there’s a mysterious intrusion, not quite visible, not entirely in the picture, but still “there”, still present. Could be referring to what I said above about the last meeting and me feeling like a “monster” due to the reaction to my request. (I had wanted to focus on visiting people who were in the final phase of dying instead of visiting people who could very well live another five years. Have you ever tried to explain why you wanted to be with the dying rather than with the living? Let me assure you, you will feel like a monster at some point, no matter how good your intentions are…)

3. Ponder ThisSpirit of Change / Rebirth (Death)

The baby looks much older than it actually is, which makes me think that the woman who runs the hospice service may have a hard time with my seemingly inappropriate “maturity” when it comes to my volunteer work. I haven’t even completed the training, yet, but I’m already asking for something that even many experienced hospice volunteers find very difficult. It seems as if I come across as asychronous within myself. I’ll keep that idea in mind for the meeting tomorrow. I think she may also want to be a bit more of a teacher to me instead of an equal.

Of course, this is also about death as such here, which is why I believe I might benefit from pondering the main topic of my volunteer work some more. After all, it is a difficult thing to handle for many of us, and the woman may be wondering about my seriousness/trustworthiness if she perceives me as too eager to be around dying people. (The issue of trustworthiness is further underlined by the Magician-like appearance of the wizard here.)

Finally, this could also point to a chance for a new start between the two of us.

4. What To DoThe Trickster / Page of Air

I take this bird to be a raven, despite its very un-raven-like shape (but Raven is indeed a trickster in several First Nations cultures/mythologies from the Pacific Northwest to Siberia, so I’ll go with the card title here). The role of a trickster is to break rules and conventions, which usually leads to positive results (sometimes for everyone but them). They are also big on shapeshifting (including gender changes).

Maybe I can turn my oddness (as indicated by the Free Spirit) into such a role so that it will contribute to positive outcomes? At the very least this tells me to stay true to myself and not conform to any rules that don’t feel right to me.

——-

Okay, any other reflections on this reading will have to wait — I’m too tired to make much sense anymore today. I have a feeling that I’ve meandered away from my initial focus again, resulting in making this not exactly my best post or reading, but I’ll publish it nonetheless.