Wednesday 1 May 2019

The Wildwood Tarot Stag Card: Strength or Justice?

I thought I'd draw a tarot card for Beltane morning and I was drawn to use my set of The Wildwood Tarot. The Stag appeared.

This half-stag half-human shamanic figure wielding a drum and an axe feels right to me for the energy of May Day, inviting us to dance to the beat of the wilderness.

However, book that comes with boxed set says the card is traditionally aligned with the Spring Equinox and represents the natural law and universal balance. It is about recognising when wrong might have been done in the past, and putting it right - especially in regards to the environment.

The card is numbered 8, which in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck represents Strength, but in The Wildwood Tarot represents Justice. There's actually quite a few decks that transpose those two cards in the Major Arcana, but for people who are used to Rider-Waite-Smith type decks, it can seem odd.

Personally, I think you can see both Strength and Justice in this card. It reminds me of The Druid's Prayer, which moves from strength through knowledge to justice and then to the love of all existences:
Grant, O Great Spirit/Goddess/God/Holy Ones, Thy Protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of Great Spirit/Goddess/God/Holy Ones/the Earth our mother, and all goodness.
Beltane is a time for love - usually the passionate kind - but also love of the Earth and nature. That is a message that needs spreading more than ever before, and both strength and justice are needed to make a difference.

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