For today’s post, I have decided to do another Tarot deck review. This time I am reviewing The Wildwood Tarot by Mark Ryan and John Matthews. The deck is illustrated by Will Worthington, and I have to say that this deck’s illustrations are really gorgeous! Like with all of my Tarot reviews, I will note that individual readers are going to jive with different decks, so my opinions and experiences with a given deck may not be true for everyone.
The deck is one that I have had for a couple of years, but I only just began to work with it more regularly. It is a truly lovely deck that does have the feeling of entering into an Enchanted Faery Woodland. The writers of the deck have also set it up so that it can be used throughout the Wheel of the Year, which makes a lot of sense given that John Matthews is also one of the writers of The Arthurian Tarot (which was the first deck I reviewed), and he and his wife developed a Hallowquest with that deck that is taken throughout the seasons of the year! It seems that Matthews and Ryan, who wrote this deck partially based on his older deck The Greenwood Tarot (which is out of print, and I have never had the pleasure of using Ryan’s original deck), together decided to utilize Wildwood archetypes and the Wheel of the Year in conjunction with one another.
The suit names are changed from the traditional names in order to better align with the Wildwood themes. Wands become Bows, Swords become Arrows, Cups become Vessels, and Pentacles become Stones. The Major Arcana cards are greatly redesigned, in that some of them are completely changed, or even given elements of more than one of the traditional cards. It is still a system of 22 Major Arcana cards numbered zero to twenty-one, but the evolution of the Fool’s Journey (in this case the Fool is renamed The Wanderer) is altered to more align with the natural landscape of the Wildwood, and with the energy of the Celtic Otherworld and of Faerylands! It is something that I am feeling a greater connection with over time, and I adore using this deck for meditation on the archetypes held within. I have had some of my most powerful Tarot meditations to date using this deck! I will also note that this deck has my favorite illustration for The Lovers card that I have ever seen to date. The card is The Forest Lovers and depicts Robin Hood and Maid Marian in a handfasting around a tree, making it a perfect addition to this deck!
I have to say that this deck has so much to offer for internal development, as well as giving insightful readings. It is a deck that has grown on me over time, and has slowly become one of my favorites! I hope that you have enjoyed reading my thoughts on this deck. Have you ever read with The Wildwood Tarot? Do you desire to start reading with it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is the cover of the box for this deck. I found the image on https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Wood-Tarot-Wherein-Resides/dp/1859063187.
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- The Wildwood Tarot by Mark Ryan and John Matthews