The Greenwood Tarot Review by C.J. Rose green1.jpg (15906 bytes)
deck by Mark Ryan and Chesca Potter
pub Thorsons, an imprint of HarperCollins, 1996
half traditional card titles
order caty-wampous except Fool and World
suits are wands, cups, arrows and stones
courts are princess, prince, queen and king
illustrated pips, captions
backs non-symmetrical

If you would like to purchase this book/deck set, click here.

purpose: The Ancestor (Hierophant)

Although authors are named Mark Ryan and Chesca Potter, text is in first person
singular, invoking boyhood Sundays in Clumber Park, whats left of Sherwood Forest in
Nottinhamshire. This deck intends to lead us to the lore of inner primal wildwood.
The book (118 pages) aims, to give a backdrop to the Wheel of the Year which was the
basis of pre-Christian mythology, medieval Christian theology and the classicism from
which the Tarot developed in the early part of the Italian Renaissance.

The Wheel begins with Imbolc on February 1st, circles through Spring Equinox, Beltane
(May 1st), Midsummer, Lammas (August 1st), Autumn Equinox, Samhain (November 1st) and
ends with Midwinter.

Card titles mix traditional order this way: The Fool is a butterfly; The Ancestor
(Hierophant) is an elder reindeer; The Pole Star overlooks our blue planet; The
Archer (The Chariot) is androgynous; Justice is a young stag; The Lovers wear leaves
and birds; Balance (Temperance) is a caduceus of sea horses; The Greenman (The
Emperor) has a falcon for familiar; The Greenwoman (The Empress) has a dragon for
familiar; The Blasted Oak shows broken limb on fire; Strength is a cougar with a
lynx; Reflection (The Hanged Man) holds moon and mirror; The Wheel is a tapestry in
night sky; The Guardian (The Devil) is an elk skeleton; Death is an elk skull; The
Hermit shines on an oaks doorway; Judgement is a white bear; The Seer (High
Priestess) is an owl; The Moon is an egg in a marsh; The Shaman (The Magician) holds
smudge stick and skull rattle; The Sun shows a human light body and The World Tree
sprouts from a labyrinth.

Of formulating questions for a spread, Ryan/Potter write(s), In Arthurian legend,
various Round Table knights attempt to find the Grail. In some texts Peredur or
Percival is the Grail winner and mediates between the Otherworld and the physical
world. In others it is Galahad who appears to die after looking for the Grail.
Central to the mythos is the asking of the Grail question: Whom does the grail
serve? This relates to the basic question at the heart of human existence, e.g.,
Who am I? What does my life mean? What is the nature of reality?

By way of answer, The Ancestor greets you as you walk up the path that leads to the
forest. He is a creature of myth, half-animal, half-human, but carries the wand of
wisdom and the drum that summons all who can hear to gather and watch the sun rise.
The Ancestor is blessed by the land and the divine knowledge that floats from the
stars. The gateway formed by the silver birch trees either side of the path marks a
new commitment and a point from where you cannot turn back. The tress act as a
reminder to follow the path and know you are on a journey with a beginning and an

See more cards from the Greenwood Tarot Deck

If you would like to purchase this book/deck set, click here.

Images Copyright (c) 1996 Mark Ryan and Chesca Potter

Copyright 1998 C.J. Rose

This page is Copyright 1998 by Michele Jackson