Card study: evergreen trees

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 3.31.33 PMThe Wild Unknown one of my favorite decks because it is ripe with Pacific Northwest imagery. I love the use of an evergreen tree to symbolize the emperor. Evergreens symbolize virtue and longevity. They are tenacious in establishing their roots and will grow tall, towering over other trees in the forest. They also represents the New Year, interestingly. The emperor often symbolizes the opportunity to build something new and strong.

Card study: foxy!

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 3.29.41 PMI love the fox for this card. Yes the seven of Swords can symbolize that you were someone is not being completely truthful. But this can also be strategic and self-protective and not necessarily malicious. The fox here asks us to see through any deceptions that we or others might be putting up. But he also advises us that sometimes keeping to ourselves can be best in tricky situations.

Card study: Three of Swords

Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 2.40.34 PMThree of Swords. This is not a card anyone enjoys seeing even though it reflects a truth we all experience. This card indicates there is heartbreak in our lives. It might be past heartbreak that continues to haunt us. It might be heartbreak we are doing our best to prevent, even though it might need to happen for growth to occur. Heartbreak is inevitable. As Mary Oliver wrote, ‘It is better for the heart to break, than not to break.’

One of my favorite things about this incarnation of this card from the Wild Unknown deck is that the swords are all bound up together. No pain exist in a vacuum. There are painful experiences in which one is not to blame. But this doesn’t refer to those situations. This refers to painful situations in which all involved play a part. We all must figure out our contribution, however small, so that we can begin to untangle ourselves from the pain. The wonderful book Difficult Conversations outlines ways for us to communicate more honestly and productively and ALWAYS from a place that acknowledges feelings. It focuses on the idea that in many situations, all players contribute in some way, small or medium or large, to painful experiences. If we are to move forward, we must figure out how we contributed and help others do the same. We are the tangled red threads in this image. We can stay bound up and messy. Or we can unweave this tangled web toward a new freedom.

Card study: shapes and colors

IMG_20180618_143657_556I love the rich imagery in #thewildunknown deck. Artist Kim Krans uses color and shapes vividly to convey intense and layered meanings. I love the new meanings offered in this card through the images represented.

I love the use of the god’s-eye in this card. This symbol signifies the ability to see things unknown but felt. What became a children’s craft to many Westerners is originally a sacred Mexican symbol for seeing beyond the physical eye and seeing the unknown. How powerful to see it here.

Krans understands lines and how they can convey complex ideas. All of the lines here work together on this card to create a space that feels enclosed yet safe. The diamond pattern in the Wild Unknown deck is used to different effect. Sometimes it is suffocating, while in cases like this, it is enveloping in a loving way. And I especially love the contrasting colors: the soothing and calming blue which is a lovely contrast to the fiery yellows and oranges. Our mind’s eye works best when passion is part of the lens.

Card study: Snakes in cards

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 7.30.11 PMI love using #thecosmictarot for client reads. They are so rich and the symbolism really helps people connect to the reading. The creator relied heavily on the informative and (fairly) universal framework of Jungian symbolism in crafting this incredible deck. I especially love how this deck invites clients to find images that resonate with them and interact with me through symbolic interpretation.

Yesterday I did a reading for a client going through major transformation. When this card came up, the imagery of the crumbling buildings and the figure under assault really resonated with her. I also pointed out the snake which symbolizes transformation in the lower left. We discussed what was happening with the snake and if that resonated with any sabotaging she might have been unintentionally doing with her transformations. I love writing about snakes because they are so rich in symbolism. Their shedding skin advises us to shed what no longer serves us so that we can emerge new and reborn. Our new skin might be tender; it needs us to get moving in order to toughen it up for this new leg of our journey. But we have the opportunity, like the snake, to experience continual renewal.