- Paperback: 118 pages
- Publisher: Thorsons Pub; Gmc Crds edition (December 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1855383845
- ISBN-13: 978-1855383845
- Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Greenwood Tarot: Pre-Celtic Shamanism of the Mythic Forest Paperback – December, 1996
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The imagery on these cards is powerful. You would be able to see (with a simple internet search) all of the cards for yourself, prior to purchasing the deck. The quality of the artwork is consistent throughout the deck, and I particularly appreciate the dedication to European shamanic theme. Having studied Celtic, Mongolian, and Native American shamanism for almost two decades, I can say with confidence that these cards tap into the older and deeper secrets of the European tradition, rather than just the stereotypes, or by sampling from other traditions. The card stock is high quality and these cards feel wonderful in the hand. While they are slightly larger, and I have small hands, they are not too difficult to manipulate.
My only disappointment with the deck is the use of color and aesthetics, in general. I believe they were illustrated to mimic a woodcut style, but given the small size of the cards, it just makes the images look blurry and washed out. I always assumed this was a picture quality issue when viewing the cards online, but no, the haziness is inherent in the illustrations themselves. Also, I think the white borders do not highlight the pictures as well as a darker color (or no border) would. Many times, the cards are shown online without a border, which is slightly misleading, because I think the white borders make them look slightly cheap. Lastly, the back of the cards looks just like one of the cards, which is also the cover of the book, and makes front/back difficult to distinguish at first. It wouldn't be a big deal in a regular twenty dollar deck, but these are expensive cards, and they would look much nicer with a solid or patterned green back.
The chart that everyone talks about as being "hard to find" and "rare" is just a 4 page poster to show a layout, which can be found online. It is not large enough to use as a spread cloth, nor is it particularly insightful, illustrated, or embellished, it's just typed words on white paper. It's "rare" because most people would throw it out. Honestly, I wouldn't pay a premium for it.
The book it good. I wouldn't buy it on it's own, and you could make due without it, but it is well worth making sure you have it to accompany and delve deeper into the cards.
Now that I am finally ready to listen to nature’s song, I hope I will be able to tap into new insights. It's going to take me some time to understand the manner in which these cards speak, because they aren't structured as a traditional tarot deck. The sequential order is different from RWS tradition and it's an entirely different way of thinking to process. The cards are large and sturdy, and big enough to facilitate meditation and projecting into them. I love that about them and look forward to trying tarot dreams out with them. Putting one card underneath my pillow every night.
The cards are a little larger than standard, certainly much thicker. Height 4.75 in x Width 3.25 in x Depth 1 inch. The artwork looks to be done in color pencil , and some cards are more vibrant than others. They're not jewel colors, but they work with the deck. They shuffle nicely and will hold up to use over time. Handle with care! You'll likely be making a pretty large investment in these, they don't go for cheap.
I dream of days ahead in which I’m sitting in the garden, a light breeze is blowing and the contents of my tea cup are perfect. I will shuffle these cards in my hands and reflect back to a time in which I was freed from my physical body and roaming amongst the beings from other planes of existence, happy and free. And so it may be.
“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun."— JRR Tolkien
Interviewing the Greenwood Tarot cards:
♡ What is your most important characteristic?
Nine of Stones. Tradition. Here we will be gathering our wisdom the way it used to be done, through a sacred circle ground and according to the cycles of the moon. Through your intuition you will be connecting back to the past, while your body remains in the current state it is in. You will wander lands of mystery, yet to be discovered by your psyche. Prepare for a long journey of rituals and self-discovery.
♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Six of Cups. Reunion. I will reunite you with your old self, lost knowledge and a wise part that you may not yet be connected to. Here, you can find peace while the outside world continues to spin and so the cycles of life remain perfect. All is as it should be, but here you will be embraced. Here you can find solace in nature’s teachings.
♡ What are your limits?
The Shaman. True and powerful healing comes from a shaman, who uses the elements to heal. He is a teacher and a real practitioner, and for healing and knowledge it is bed tot go to them. Also, it is a sign to follow your own guiding light. You are the healer of your own life, and responsible for those around you. Bear that responsibility with integrity.
♡ What are you here to teach me?
Death. Of course… my life lesson. Letting go of the material belongings, stripped of all life and anything that has been added over the years. You will be taught, you will be an oracle and you will find truth that will change you forever. Nothing to conceal you from the change that is coming.
♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Justice. Embracing your natural birthright and zodiac of Libra. You stand guarding something precious, and should decide when it is to be treasure and when it is to be a tool. You will have to learn when to strike and when to stand at attention. Using natural teachings to protect yourself.
♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Knight of Wands. Fox. Quick adaptation in order to survive. Learn to move amongst the wild ones, learn the tools used by shamans and learn to survive. There will be new tricks coming up your sleeve, but you must trust your sense of intuition and communion with spirit.
♡ Which card do you want to show off?
Nine of Wands. Respect. I stand as a challenge to see if you really want to learn the ways. You will have to undergo a transformation in order to really value these sacred teachings. If you want to enter, I will lead the way once things are clear. You will need to respect my traditions.
♡ How do you see me?
Page of Wands. Stoat. Very energetic,very hyper. You tackle big projects and undergo transformations according to the psychic weather. With your enthusiasm, you will still have much to learn.
I nearly flipped. Flipped! A meditation I did years ago in which I found myself in contact with my totem animal for the very first time ended up being a stoat. I remember it coming out a the pond to greet me in my vision, and it was as lively and playful as one would imagine enchanted forest folk to be. It made me smile to get this confirmation, it’s very inspiring.
♡ How do you see yourself?
Ace of Wands. Spark of Life. I am a tool for magic and inspiration, bringing into physical manifestation that which is first consciously evoked. I can help spring energy into action, so that life may continue to go on. I am a positive energy in your life, to use as a tool to heal yourself and others.
These messages are very deep and took me a while to decode. The messages don’t become apparent to me at first, and I need to spend time projecting into the card and interacting with the illustrations in order to get the right messages from it. I can tell it’s an advanced deck to use from my very first interactions with it, but feel that the illustrations lend themselves to picture stories and interactions.
It took me a very long time to really understand what this deck is about, but I hope to share stories with you in the future. For now, into the woods of intuition we go!
Now, onto the actual deck itself. All of the majors are unnumbered and do their own thing as far as style goes. The whole feel is this tribal/shaman effect. This is easily passed off into Native American spirituality, had the author/designer not been careful. Instead there is a feel of a pre Celtic style that caught me off guard. Pre Celtic tribalism possibly dating from 10,000 years ago!
The accompaning book is a great study guide, as well a spiritual lesson in the modern global environmental movement. This is call for alarm accross the globe. It puts things in perfect perspective for me. That makes the meanings of these rather abstract cards deep. While these would not be great for beginners, the cards are more of an excercise in deep myticism regarding the Earth itself.
Some new publisher should pick this deck up and give it a second chance. If those who are luck enough to have a copy of this set, use it with the ancients in mind, with hopes that future generations get to see it.