Sample Reading with the Tarot of the Secret Forest by Lucia Mattioli
Reading by Diane Wilkes

This reading came at approximately the same time of the querent's birthday, so I created a spread of "gifts" for the coming year for three paramount issues. The Secret Forest deck has two sides, so I read them both. The in color version was the obvious "gift" and the card back suggested what was hidden or needed to be brought into the light in order for the "gift" to be opened.

Card One: Home - Three of Cups

The querent's home life was not ideal, by any means. The Three of Cups showed a woman fey, limited and constrained within her flower cocoon, yet her oversized and colorful wings suggest her dreams are too large to be constrained forever. Because Cups speak to issues of love and emotions, the querent needs to consciously seek relationships that allow her to flower, not ones that limit her. She needs to approach things positively, expecting people to be in concert with her on a feeling level. If her relations continually to douse her dreams, she needs to expand her family circle in a way that she receives the emotional support she requires. The reversal of this card shows a much less complex and stark image, suggesting that at present her world seems rather grey. She needs to cultivate a life that is in glowing technicolor.

Card Two: Health - Knight of Swords

A flightless bird is the steed of this particular Knight of Swords. It is awkward and gawky--and even larger than its rider. This suggests to me that the querent is a bit overwhelmed by what it will take to become healthier. Illness is riding her; she is not in control of the reins. I get a sense that she is not working with her body, but sees it as an enemy, something that must be subdued. When you look at the reversal, there is a symmetry to the figure that is not in the colored version. Perhaps the querent needs to work with her body, as opposed to trying to wrestle it to the ground. If she chooses to accept the idea that she and her body are a team, she might be able to become powerful again. The fact that this is the Knight of Swords tells me that, while her illness is not in her head, her intellect needs to play a role in her recovery. Some form of walking meditation or other combination of physical and mental activity might be strengthening.

Card Three: Self-Actualization - Death

The querent is all-too-aware that major transformation is called for in order for her to feel empowered and self-actualized. She stands at the precipice atop the gnarled and tangled bones of trouble that have been her experience. In order to move towards a calmer and more positive future, she must take action. However, she is unsure which action to take and the direction in which she needs to move, leading to the Hanged Man impasse that has been her recent past. She is wise to survey the scene in front of her--she fears making the wrong move with good reason. But at some point, she must move. The black and white version of this card shows the skeletal body of the figure in a way the colorful image does not. This emphasizes both the querent's inner strength (bone is a very hard, if fragile, substance) and the urgency of realizing what is most vital, what is beneath the outer layers of a life and bone-deep important. When the querent looks within for her soul answers, her way will be clear and she will make her leap. It can't be the leap of faith of the Fool, but what she has lost in innocence she has gained in sinew.

While the querent's current situation is challenging, the year ahead offers her the gift of support in the home, with the reminder to create some new family members of choice, the ability to become more connected to her body and become healthier, and finally, the gift of true and vital transformation. She should not underestimate the power of her dreams and the strength she has to foment them.

Images 2005 Lo Scarabeo
Reading and page 2005 Diane Wilkes