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Duality Cards: Justice and The Empress

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There are some cards in the tarot that seem to foster a good kinship with each other, however unlikely they may seem to fit. Others are antagonists of each other, representing energies that conflict the core essence of either card as an individual message. Both are important, and both need to be expanded upon. It should also be stated, that one card can have multiple benefactor cards.

One such alliance I see in relation to the Justice card is the Empress. I think that the message of the Empress can help show the sweetness of the fruit born from Justice. Justice, as we have mentioned, is a card about mental clarity to follow the truth. The Justice card seen here (from the Ostara Tarot) shows Justice as blind, unaided in the potential distractions and biases that naturally exist in this world.

However, what starts out as a quest for Justice, for the fair and right course of punishment or action, can quickly become a search for vengeance. When one person or creature is wronged, there are those who are quick to say that the same should be done to the offender. I am not here to argue that this point in and of itself is meaningless, but I do think that it should stated that vengeance is not justice. Vengeance attaches an emotion of revenge or rage to an action. This does not apply to self-defense. Self-defense is in a whole other category. These messages are bigger picture and do not apply to immediate physical or bodily threats of harm. 

Justice is not always an easy fight. Read any history book to see how justice came to many groups of people way to late. I was recently watching the movie 42. This movie is about Jackie Robinson, and the racism he faced as he became the first black man to play in professional baseball. This movie is a beautiful story, but one scene spoke to me in particular. One white player went to Branch Rickie, nervous and concerned from a death threat he had received by small-minded bigots. Branch, unconcerned with this player’s fear, showed him a whole file of death threats sent for Robinson. He said that all this hatred was actually promoting empathy for Robinson.

Obviously, segregation in itself is unjust, but the unintended consequence from many peoples’ hatred was an ability to see how wrong it was. Empathy goes a long way. That is why I chose the Empress today. There are other cards that could be paired with Justice, and have great messages to give. But empathy, led by an unconditional duty to promote understanding and truth, can keep justice away from vengeance. Vengeance and revenge do not promote a higher integrity even though they are natural feelings. It is natural to be angry at the wrong-doings of others. It is natural to wish at times that others felt the pain we feel. But empathy opens a door that revenge cannot close.

We do not have to agree with others to show them compassion or empathy. We do not have to believe all the same things in order to break bread with another person. We can be empathetic towards people who are different. But if that other person promotes violence, speaks with racist or misogynistic words, or condemns others as inferior we can use justice to fight for correct actions to remove these people from power, the podium, or our communities. It goes both ways. We do not have to listen to someone spewing hate, but we do not have to respond with hate either.

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Card Comparison: Justice

Wolflings,

We now look at the two Justice cards from the two decks I own: The Wild Unknown and the Ostara Tarot. These two decks are very different in style and use of symbolism. In these comparisons, I look to what each image is representing, and how they speak to me in terms of applicable use during a reading. I aim to see the similarities and differences they carry, and how both have a lesson to teach us.

There are some images that will speak to me, or perhaps to you, more. There may even be a favorite. That is okay. They are both still valuable in terms of understanding the deeper connections to be had in applying these cards in real-life scenarios. Let’s jump in. Please remember that these are my interpretations. You may see things differently, which is perfectly fine.

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Going from left to right, we have Justice from the Wild Unknown. There are two cats, one black and one white, facing forward with their tails intertwined. Between them is a diamond cut down the middle, representing the color of the other. Above them, a sword points downward, almost touching the diamond. The background has straight lines that come from every corner to the middle.

The two cats represent opposing contrasts, the same outlines, physical being, or metaphor can carry both the light and the dark. There is also an interpretation of how beliefs can be made from simple variations. White is purity. Black is bad luck. These beliefs are not based in anything other than superstition, and superstition does a disservice to actual reality.

The diamond further emphasizes this point. If the color of these cats was so accurate in representation, why does the diamond reflect the color of the other? I believe that this shows that there is no such thing as absolute balance. We carry both the light and the dark within us. We have the options of inflicting either love or fear in all actions and choices. What is important is how we make those choices. How can we, as imbalanced beings, create balance and change? How can we achieve the greater good when we carry the weight of baggage of both energies?

I think this answer lies in the sword. A sword is mute unless wielded. We can stay silent to the things that we find unsettling, disturbing even. We can refuse to create action, hoping instead that the divinity and supreme karma of nature will even the score, but as we all have seen, that is not always the case. We must pick up our sword, and be a warrior for truth, including our own. We must recognize that Justice is not a prophecy. It is a fight for greater understanding and possibility of being in service to all.

Moving to the right card, we have a woman blindfolded. This is a traditional representation of Justice, as it should be blind. She is human in every way, except for the long wing on her right arm. She carries the scales, weighing both a heart and a feather. She stands in an exotic land with trees and mountains behind her. This interpretation is both more on the nose, and more obscure.

First thing that is noticeable is her one wing. This in no way can a representation of balance. She cannot fly with one wing, and she has lost the use of her other arm. I think that this further drives the point home that Justice is not so simply to attain. She could be representing the balance between the human form and wild nature, but in this circumstance it seems to be more crippling. Which I think is the point. We have the need of both our modern human form, and a need for the wild drive in us. We are messy creatures, seeking the authenticity of our wild selves, but we also need the rule of law to guide us.

The scales and her blindfold are seen often. The scales are meant to represent how we weigh cause and consequence, right and wrong. Here we have a heart and a feather, and they seem to be the same weight. How so? Is the heart light because of a choice to be unburdened by judgement and ridicule, or is it so because it has never experienced the weight of the world? The feather is going to light, so how do feathers carry the biggest birds? This may show that what is right for one is not for another, but Justice supposed to indiscriminate, able to fit all? Not necessarily. Justice for one may be seen as a loss for another. Justice is not so easy to identify. Just take a look around to see how much discourse is being spent on what is truth.

What is true is that actions have consequences. The land she is surrounded by is beautiful, lush, full of resources. If we wanted to claim and harness this land for profit or self-service, we would harm and hinder growth. But if we work with the land, if we work with what is provided, we can use what we need without stripping or depleting the needs of communal enterprise.

Based on both cards, I would say that the Wild Unknown Justice speaks more directly to me. It makes a more lasting impression on how I work with the card meaning. That is not to say that the Ostara Tarot Justice is one I don’t like. I actually really like this card, and it presents a lot of things to go deeper on. I personally do not like analogy of Justice as a blindfolded woman. I understand the reference, but I think in order to engage and make decisions about this world, for this world, we need to have our eyes open to highlights and the horrors. We need to see how things are to decide how we want them to be.

**I hope you will comment and let me know what you think of these, or your own cards. This card is a hard one, but it so applicable right now. Much love Wolflings!

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October Cards: The Fire Ant and Justice

 

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Dearest Wolflings,

We traverse now into some extreme territory, extreme energies, and extreme potentials that could shift the ground. Extreme does not necessarily mean bad, but they do require some intense energy on our part to keep true. The two cards this month are the Fire Ant, and Justice. Let’s get into these cards so we can make October one that honors our higher soul selves.

**I would like to mention here that if honoring your higher soul self is simply getting out of bed, making the coffee, or getting out the door, that is honor. Honoring your higher soul self is doing what you need right now, despite where you are. That is enough wolfling**

The Fire Ant is obviously in the element of fire, and the Fire Ant exists at the base of the elemental pyramid. They represent the smallest amount of consciousness because their main goal is only to follow orders. It makes me think of the movie A BUG’S LIFE. At the beginning the ants are carrying foods towards the rock to give to the grasshoppers. They are at the base of a big tree, and a leaf shakes loose and falls to the ground, blocking the line that the ants follow. An ant freaks out, declaring that he is lost, and cannot find the line. When another ant suggests that they go around the leaf, he says that they cannot do that. They must follow the line.

The ant eventually gives in, but this rigid belief system in order above all else means that little is left for contemplation or discovery. Fire Ants are incredibly thoughtful because they are sensitive and serve the colony, but when triggered they move into mob mentality. Mob Mentality is incredibly dangerous. We need to be able to sense for ourselves what is right, fair, or realistic. It is hard in this time to not get tribal. It is hard to not simply take sides, and we will eventually take sides when we step into the Justice card. But we need to make that choice based on our individual quest for soul evolution and soul honoring, and not based on what those close to us say.

For October, use the sensitive and thoughtful nature of the Fire Ant to sense and feel the warm of others, or the burning of others from opposition or oppression. Use this sensitivity to fuse yourself into life for the greater good and balance of the world.

The Justice card is (in my opinion) one of the hardest cards in the Major Arcana. Yes, even more the Tower. This is because Justice is constantly thought to be a search or a quest for balance. It is this to some extent, but this card is more than just seeking what is right or fair. This card is about how we as stewards for the Earth, the animals, and each other can seek balance and fair settlement even though we as humans are so incredibly flawed. We are messy, and are often outside of the spiritual ecosystem that will feed us, but we must continue to weigh what is fair and true based on our sensitivity that does ebb and flow.

We also must learn and work with the ebbing and flowing of the world. Justice of what is right and fair means that we must often accept loss and heartbreak for the ultimate balance of the cycle. Some people are roaming this earth, enjoying all the nourishment when they do not deserve that freedom. Some people have had every form of loss or opposition thrown at them, despite their good character. Justice is a life-long pursuit towards the empowering rationale of reality and public force and service.

**I will spend the next month pulling images, stories, lyrics, art, and anything that reminds me of these cards. If you think of anything, please share. These cards manifest in so many different ways for people. **

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9 of Cups

9 of Cups and the Bear

Wolflings, let us deep dive now into the 9 of Cups (I will be discussing the Bear card at a later time). This card is often considered the “wish” card, implying that when this card shows up in a spread the things we wish for will come to pass. I think this notion is a little overindulged personally, and I think there are other aspects of this card that are much more potent than a wish. Wishes, dreams, and hopes are incredibly powerful, and I do not wish to dumb these needed aspects of life down. But I think that when it comes to this card, the message is more accessible in achieving the wishes of emotional integrity, and following the dreams of living in emotional wellness.

So let us go in deeper within the boundaries of this card…..

From the deck the Wild Unknown we see 9 cups arranged, almost in the way we would see at a dinner table or gathering. A crescent moon is found at the top, completely the circle. This shows that although the arrangement is almost complete, there is still room for collective creativity and growth that stems from personal possibility and accountability.

One of the biggest things I see with this card is the effect of community, strength in numbers, or support system. No one in this world makes their life ring without having the chorus of others. We all need someone or more to help us achieve what we wish. We need to be part of the table, the conversation, the collective integrity of whole growth. When we have those who are loyal, who help us lead our best and whole selves, we find comfort, security, or safety.

This card also shows that it is never to late to find emotional wellness. Even when the cards are stacked against us. Even when we face loss, grief, or trauma. When we let the spectrum of light, uplifting emotions down to deep, troubling emotions flow and open our hearts, we can actually find more emotional wisdom to become wholesome and honest. This is also greatly served by having a support system who will nourish and walk by our sides.

When we become conscious of our deep wishes and dreams, we can become more poised and capable of finding gratitude. If our deep wish is to connect with lost friend, a family member who we haven’t spoken to, or to achieve a great and emotionally fulfilling success, we tap into what we have to help us, and what we potentially still need. When we are honest that what we want isn’t always in our higher self-interest we can go deeper into what would help our self-interest in the most effective way.

One thing that I see with this card is the combined and mutual efforts between self and the universe. When we send out our best wishes, coupled with the gratitude of what we have here and now, the Universe receives that information, but the Universe is not responsible for us. We are responsible for ourselves, and the Universe. That does not mean that Universe does not hear us. She hears everything in our hearts, but we must take the initiative and start to enact the changes that we wish to see. We must start the process of attainment within our own ways.

When we follow our heart minds, and what they are really asking, we can unfold new possibilities. We can create a new emotional chapter, one that is more honest about our personal and communal evolutions. We can seek greater things. We can feel the conviction of new or awoken integrity to heart truth. These are medicines that will keep when the other things in the world are a struggle. When we can look to the hardships in life, and see them as a way to prosper and grow in a new way, we open the new chapter with much strength and intelligence.

 

**This is one of my favorite cards, and a beautiful look into the month of September, and how we can achieve what we desire emotionally. Please let me know what you think of this card. Stay wild wolflings!

Much love,

Ashlie

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Finding Gratitude and Journal Prompts

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We often hear that saying “Gratitude is attitude,” and we know the connotation. When we are grateful, it shapes our attitude. When we recognize what we have, what is working for us, or what is a true blessing in our lives we restructure our foundation. We become a little more untouchable to the horrors of the world because we don’t lose sight of what we have.

This all sounds well and good, but it is not an easy practice. When we are told repeatedly that we should just be happy, that our suffering is trite because someone out there is worse off,  this diminishes our emotional barometer. Just because someone out there is worse off doesn’t mean that your emotions or your circumstance are meaningless.

What should be spoken more is finding the balance between the two. We need to be able to express our emotions, and take time to sit in our darkness. Forgiveness and release are great emotional healers, but they need to come when called. Each one of us decides when that day comes. We need to be able to be angry, sad, frustrated (place your emotion here), but it must be kept in perspective.

We need to take time to recognize the good, the blessings, the light that has been shining us. One easy way to do that is take time to write everyday in a gratitude journal. These writings do not have to be paragraphs or pages. They can be a few sentences. They can be short and sweet, and they can be anything.

The other night I was grateful for a TV show. This morning I was grateful for coffee. Right now I am grateful you are reading this. You have no idea how much it means to me that you are taking the time to digest my words, these words that I pray find and serve you well. Take a few minutes each day to recognize the blessings you have. These tiny little blurbs will be of service. They are like little fortune cookies that you wrote for yourself.

Try starting a few times a week. Try these prompts that I have listed below. Gratitude can be found in anything because everything is sacred. Enjoy Wolflings!

  • What in the natural world are you grateful for?
  • What was something you went through that felt excruciating, but now you are grateful it happened?
  • What is a material object you are grateful for?
  • What is something small/ insignificant that you are grateful for?
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2 of Swords and Eucalyptus

I am always thinking of correlations between the tarot cards and the world, reducing and extrapolating the meaning of a card into a synergistic relationship with something else. This could be a poem, a quote, a movie character, a crystal, or an essential oil. I have recently started using a lot more oils in my personal and spiritual life, and I wanted to see how oils were connected. How did the smell of an oil invoke the memory of a card? How did the impression create the path towards an image, even if they seem so unrelated?2 of swords and eucalyptus

Because the 2 of Swords is the tarot card of the month, I really want to find an oil that represented and resonated the core qualities of this card. As mentioned in my card description which can be found here, I recognized that one of the things that always sticks out to me about the 2 of Swords is the duality. Even the picture of the The Wild Unknown deck has both the Sun and the Moon. The two swords are crossed, either in a protective or attack position, and the Sun is behind the swords, but a full moon blocks the light.

This, at its surface, represents to me both the need for truth and action, intuition and conviction. The light of the Sun brings forth the truth, however harsh, but the moon represents the intuitive, the fluid nature of numerous cycles and ripples or movement in water. This suggests that the truth is attainable, but a core part of ourselves may be blocking that truth. We may think we have come into the light, but there is still a resilient shadow. In order to be skillful, calculated, or effective on our path we need both. Why then does this card feel so hard? I think the answer lies in the number. We have only just begun. Like those who learn the skill of the sword, they must move with the sword and learn the bite of the edge. Those who use the sword must not rely only upon talent or teaching. That will go a long way, but the presence of the moon speaks to finding intuition in movement, learning to trust the path, even if it is not what it seems.

How then does this relate to the chosen oil, Eucalyptus? In order for the duality of both truth and intuition to be in equilibrium, there needs to be as little resistance as possible. There is needs to be clam understanding, calm approach, and a molding of both protection and action. This is why I think of the 2 of the Swords when I smell Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus heals, reduces pain or inflammation, has a slight converging of sweetness and bite.

Eucalyptus can also tend to be overpowering, which is why little is key. Which is where we are at when we enter the 2 of Swords. We have just begun to materialize our vision, dream, or idea. We need to focus on the small amounts that help us grow and start a dialog, and not drown ourselves down with the excess.

Thank you so much for reading, let me know your thoughts in the the comments. Stay wild Wolflings!

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August Tarot Card: 2 of Swords

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One of the things that I love most about tarot cards is the layers of relativity. There is so much to unpack with each picture and message that it is no wonder that those who learn tarot are often lifelong students. I am always looking for ways to go deeper into the cards, because that is how the meaning of each card manifests. When it takes the physical form of numerous situations in our lives is when it becomes more than just one interpretation.

To be honest, I am not sure how I want to tackle each month. There is so much that I want to discuss with each card. Scents, flowers, people, fictional characters, actions, cause and consequence, light and shadow. All of these could come forth in Tarot card of the month. There could be relevant articles, pictures, art, movies, or unknown connections that I have yet to see. What I do know is that this is the exciting part of tarot. I have always loved to see how tarot cards reveal themselves each day.

For the month of August, the 2 of Swords will be a major focus card. Others will be pulled, discussed, and shared, but I am being called by my guides to really dig deep right now. Maybe it is just a backlash from such an exhausting summer school semester that I feel detached in my own way from the cards. Maybe it is just a new revelation that came in the subconscious river up the cord and into the mind. Whatever the source, I am being called to go deeper into the cards, to really unpack them, and to go slow.

I hope you will join me, and let me know how the 2 of Swords surfaces for you over the next month. My hope is to post something everyday on at least one of my platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or here. My hope for this is to keep the flow of the card moving and growing, so that every day reveals another breadcrumb on this trail. Also, please understand that this is not the only way to learn the cards. In fact, this is not how I initially learned. I pulled all the cards that I could all the time. I was so intensely invested in learning and discovering each card that I may have missed some messages that were coming from an individual archetype.

This isn’t a huge project, but it is a endeavor that I am finally realizing in manifestation. I would love to hear how the 2 of Swords comes around in your life. Stay wild wolflings!

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The first book I learned to read tarot with, and how a glossy page can make all the difference.

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Do you ever stand in a bookstore, your eyes darting back and forth between the titles, unsure of which one is the right keeper of knowledge? When I first started to read tarot, it was out of necessity. I needed to put a pulse back in my chest, and a roar back in my throat if I was to brave another year. I went to the bookstore, knowing that I wanted a book worthy of this step. But all the titles professed the same action. They all held promise of expansion and depth, spirit making strides.

I finally settled on this book: The Key to Tarot: From Suits to Symbolism; Advice and Exercises to Unlock your Mystical Potential by Sarah Bartlett. Why did I settle on this book, because it felt beautiful in my hands. The hard, chocolate brown cover felt appropriate. The pages were colored. The pages were glossy. There was something about the shine, the texture, the lift of reds and blues from the page that made me settle on this one.

This book is a great beginner’s book because it goes into each card well for a beginner level. It includes exercises and meditations to connect more deeply into yourself and the craft. It also has some good spreads that I still use today. I must admit that I no longer reach for this book that much, but as my very first tarot book, it was a star-find. Other books that I have purchased since then have not fully compared to this book. Perhaps it is my nostalgia. Perhaps it is glossy pages and way the spine creases into the skin of my folded legs. I don’t know, but I love this little book.

I had placed this book on a shelf after I read it, and moved on to other titles. I came across some journal posts from when I first started reading, and I realized how much writing I did when I was travelling through this book. I wrote in my journal constantly. Everything was somehow related to the meanings of the cards that I was slowly absorbing with this book. I din’t think too much of it. I read the journal posts, smiled at how far I have come, and went about my day.

That was about a week ago. Since then I have gone through many books on my shelves, packing the one that I know I want to keep, but will not read for some time. Others, given away as donations. I pulled this book down off the shelf I was going through and again felt that tinge of nostalgia, like looking at an old picture of myself. I really wanted to go through some of the meditations and exercises again to really see how my tarot interpretations have become layered.

If you are new to tarot, document everything! Write it down, film it, take pictures, draw it. However you do it, just do it. Document your travels because it will become a map. It will show you how to rejoin an old part of yourself that perhaps has slithered deep into the dusky layer of the subconscious. Document so you can look back and see what your gut thoughts were. Don’t take the interpretations in the pages (no matter how glossy) as gospel. Make your own choices and see what is right for you. For example, the book mentioned here reads Court Cards as other people. I have never found Court Cards to be representative messages of other people. Never. Do what feels right, and keep it documented so you can come back with a seasoned heart later for reconnection.

You can find Sarah’s book here, along with many other books that she has written. This is not an affiliate code. I think this is a great little book if you are a tarot novice, or looking for your first book. I would love to hear the books that guided your path, tarot or otherwise. Much love wolflings!

 

 

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The Fool: Tarot Deck Comparisons

The Fool tarot comparisons

One of the best things about tarot cards is that the meaning of the cards is never stale. The roots of each card are alive, spreading the nourishing gift of emotional sustenance. There is no one formula for each card that applies undoubtedly to other decks, or to each reader for that matter. The same reader can use two different decks for the same, or similar questions, and come up with very different responses from two alike cards. Obviously, these are my own thoughts, and there is no one right way to read or compare the cards.

I want to share some thoughts I have for The Fool from my two tarot decks, The Wild Unknown and the Ostara Tarot. If you look back to my old school posts, you can see that the Wild Unknown was my first deck. It was the very first one I learned to read. I finally made the purchase to acquire a second deck, and I chose the Ostara Tarot. I chose that deck actually because of The Devil card in particular (but that is a different post for a different day).

The left card is The Wild Unknown depiction of the Fool. The right is the Ostara Tarot depiction of the Fool. I will share the similarities of each card, the differences in meaning, the pros and cons of each card, and the one (if there is one) that speaks to me the most.

The Fool from The Wild Unknown is a baby chick, perched and ready for flight. Above the branch the expansive sky is golden, showing that it is a treasure to be one of the few creatures in this world that can navigate this path. It is endless and full of light. Below the branch is bleak, darkening into the depths of the plummet. Clearly this precipice is going to take heart and guts. Both above and below are unknown. Above brings freedom. The sky brings possibilities and the ability to grow.

This is also seen in the other Fool. A young girl grasps her broom. She has already taken flight. Although what is behind her is also dark, the obstacle that struck me was the way the artist depicted the tumult of wind. Her hair is blowing behind her, and birds all are around her, always trying to brave the way. Here, this Fool shows that although the leap of faith was taken, the path is not just smooth sailing. She will be confronted with dangers and threats, even though this is clearly the path she was destined for.

One of the main differences that I see in these cards is the perception or perceived feeling of preparedness.  The chick looks small and frail, but animals are always so inspirational to me. No matter how unable and weak they seem, they were made for their environments. Thousands of years of evolution have allowed such small babies to take the most daring of leaps. The girl, on the other hand, has more of the traditional look of the classical Fool. She is young. She is so ready for her adventure that she doesn’t even notice that her shoes are untied. But if you look closely, she has red elbows and scratched knees. This isn’t her first attempt, but she kept trying.

Both of these young Fools speak to new beginnings. The pros of the Wild Unknown are the clear demonstration of following your calling. If birds who are meant to fly, but never can, they will mostly likely die. The pros also show that the journey is worth more than anything. The chick is surrounded by flowers and comfort, but still she knows she must fly. The pros from the Fool from the Ostara Tarots shows the layers of the journey. The young girl has bloody knees, and a wind that could overpower her. But she persists. She dares to fly amongst the birds and the height.

In truth, I don’t find one speaks to me more than the other. I will say I love the Fool from the Wild Unknown. I love the idea of following what must be done before our physical forms go back to the dust and the stones. I relate to that Fool perhaps a little more because for a while I tried to make my way on the branch, where there was true comfort. The flowers show that the start is not a bad place. But the fact that I hadn’t leaped into my own sky meant that the deep depth felt like it was encroaching more inch by inch.

I would love to hear what you think of these cards, or of the Fool in your cards. You can find the Wild Unknown deck at www.thewildunknown.com. I purchased my Ostara Tarot deck from Amazon. These are not affiliate links.

We all have been the Fool at some point, and it is a beautiful place, despite the obstacles. Stay wild wolflings.