Sample Reading with the Robin Wood Tarot by Diane Wilkes
The querent, a divorced, 37 year old male, had moved from
various cities in the last few years. He had a good job in one town (Location
A), but was "itchy" to move on again to a new, considerably colder place
(Location B). He wanted to know what he could do to become happy and settled in
one place without wanting to move on again in a few years.
Card One - Gain From Pattern Card Three - Need to Know About
Pattern Card Two - Loss from Pattern
Card Four - Stay in
Location A Card
Five - Location B
Card Six - Action to take to be happy Card
Seven - Action to take to be happy in one place
As I laid the cards out, all the cards were reversed except the first card,
which was what the querent gained from moving around. This said to me that he
was still searching for the right balance, the right mixture to find his
"home." The reason he keeps moving is because he hasn't found it yet and,
until he does, he's willing to keep looking. Settling for something is abhorrent to him. The
question he needed to ask himself (based on these cards) is, "Am I expecting
too much, is my vision too idealized? On the other hand, it may well be that
there is still something he hasn't yet found that makes him truly happy,
balanced, serene. And there's nothing wrong with high expectations. Only he
can determine if his are unrealistically high or if he asks for a lot from the
world because he is willing to give everything to get it.
Card One: Gain from Pattern - Temperance
The Robin Wood Temperance is a particularly dynamic rendering of this card,
showing the querent's willingness to expend any effort necessary to achieve a
true harmony with his world. That one foot is on the ground and the other is
in the water shows that he likes things to be different (he might want to look
into a place that has a varied landscape and/or climate), and he feels
comfortable with movement. This may sound hokey, but the Archangel Michael's
presence in this card indicates to me that, when the querent is in the right
place, he'll know it. That he is still searching indicates to me that he
hasn't found his place...yet.
Questions that come up with this card also reflect the angelic presence I
mentioned. Is the querent expecting perfection (ie., "Heaven") and so is
constantly disillusioned? In terms of relationships, are his expectations
never met? Does he want to remove himself from any situation that doesn't
offer complete harmony? These are questions for the querent to ask in terms of
what he gains from his constant moves. The three balls the figure juggles are
spiritual, material, and mental abundance (wealth). Which of these three is
getting short shrift in his life right now?
Card Two: Loss from Pattern - Knight of Swords, Rx
As I said, all of the cards from here on out were reversed. This card
indicates that building emotionally fulfilling relationships is almost
impossible when the querent is always "in flight" (even when he is physically
there, he may mentally be somewhere else). When one is always moving (and this
Knight is the quintessential mover, allowing no emotional ties to impede his
flight), one can't possibly put down roots. Most people really want to
put down roots, but the cards that came up (no Pentacles, the Eight of Wands, the
Knight of Wands, and this card) says the querent is not most people in that
regard. The only way he can be happy where he is (and I am getting ahead of
myself a bit) is if he is truly satisfied with his surroundings. He is not one
who can settle for less. Not happily, anyway. The Knight's steed is Pegasus, a
winged horse. This querent must fly.
But there is more to putting down roots than living in a place for a sustained
period of time. I wondered if the querent had found his true vocation. This
card, along with Temperance, indicates a very mentally active, possibly
brilliant person who has yet to find his career niche, so he may continually
keep moving without finding his true vocation. I think that, once that
happens, he will find a place that satisfies him.
Card Three: What you Need to Know - The World, Rx
This is the card (along with Temperance) that makes me wonder if the querent's
expectations are grounded in reality. Mary K. Greer says of this card that
it's all about learning to dance within the constraints of the world (Saturn
is the Golden Dawn ruler of this card, after all, and Saturn is the planet of
restrictions, limitations, and structure). The reversal emphasizes a
dissatisfaction or disinclination for accepting real-world limitations and
structures. So I would say "what the querent needs to know" is which of his
dreams for himself jibes with his present reality and which are pipe-dreams (I
suspect some fall into each camp). But let's not forget, reversed or not, The
World indicates great mastery and ability, and if he could find his niche, the
dance of life would be a more joyful one for him. Finding that niche is what
this reversal may be all about.
Card Four: Location A - Ace of Wands, Rx
If this card were not reversed, I'd be encouraging the querent to stay where
he is. The Ace of Wands is a card of great vitality and potential. I was
inclined, in light of its radiance (pun), to say that there may be an
opportunity he is overlooking where he is. Energy, vitality, forward
movement...it's all here. The reversal could speak to the querent's attitude
about the situation, the "itchiness" to move again. Even if Location A isn't
where he ultimately ends up, there may be an opportunity here that could lead
him closer to the "promised land" of his soul. There's new life to be found
in Location A, if he is willing to excavate it a bit.
Card Five: Location B - Eight of Wands, Rx
The querent was urged not to be too hasty to move to a place as extremely different from
home as Location B is. (Look at this card! The earth looks like it's covered in
snow! Isn't the tarot wonderful?) This card of movement and taking immediate
action is mitigated (but not eradicated) by the reversal, which made me
to think very carefully about his next move. This move needs to be grounded
(there's that word again!) and made in concert with very specific goals. I
suggested he not
make any too sudden moves.
Each wand in this card is a bit different from the others. There are many
options to consider. The querent would be wise not to move until he considered them all.
Card Six: Action you need to take to be happy - Knight of Wands, Rx
As opposed to the Soldier of Fortune Knight of Swords, this Knight is the
ultimate idealist. He has to have a vision, a dream to fulfill, a wrong to
right. A mission. The reversal tells me (along with the other cards I've
mentioned) that the querent hasn't found that mission yet. Once he does, he'll be
unstoppable, and any move he makes will be in harmony (Temperance) with that
raison d'etre. And look...in his hand, he carries that Ace of Wands...
Card Seven: Action you need to take to be happy in one place (not moving
again) - Three of Cups, Rx
The querent needs celebration, and like-minded people, in order to be content.
to work on a shared goal, and not engage in empty recreations that don't truly
satisfy him. This card carries an inherent risk--instead of following his
dream (wherever that dream may lead), he could become diverted, lose himself
in festivities and social engagements. This would be a diversion, not true
happiness. And in his soul, he hungers for true happiness. This card can
speak to temporal pleasures (wine, revelry, and song) or a life of true
artistic synergy. It is literally in the querent's hands.
These cards all seem to mine a similar theme. Even the breakdown emphasizes
action (three wands, two knights) and the Majors (Temperance and the World)
speak to the querent's need to create a life that fits with his idealistic, inner
dreams and desires.
This all sounds good, you say, but what's the concrete advice? I'd say that
he needs to really look into his greatest aspirations and make a physical
move that corresponds to them. Could be Location B, could temporarily be
(but probably not forever). I suggested the client consider remaining where he was
a bit longer...until he was sure he was finding his "direction home."
Images © 2003 Llewellyn Worldwide
Review © 2003 Diane Wilkes