This is a reading I did a couple of weeks ago, or thereabouts. I hadn’t used the Magician’s Deck in quite a while. I must admit that, when I first received it, aside from a handful of cards I felt the deck was very cold and sometimes uncomfortably alien. When you consider that its goals are to map out a level of reality behind the universe, maybe that makes sense. In other words, its angels go back to their roots of beings who keep the gears of reality turning, and they are not the anthropomorphic (arch-)angels we may be familiar with.

What struck me when I did this reading is how warm the card images appeared to me now. It’s almost like I had a different deck in my hands, and I was pleased to work with it again. Sadly, my cards are all curled along the vertical now; I’m not sure if that’s because of my storage pouch (which is oversize but still a snug fit) or because that’s the nature of the paper. But they are no less usable, and being in the throes of my new Greenwood romance at the time, I asked: What energies are flowing through the Greenwood Tarot?

Reading. Click for full-size (and non-blurry) view.


The center cards were quite relevant. I felt Man of Nature indicated I was on target with this reading, as the deck is built on its creators’ view of the natural world and the seasons. This card generally indicates a man who is working with nature and its cycles, and focusing on the natural world in his life. When I actually drew this card, I thought it was describing the nature-focus of the Greenwood deck itself. Revisiting this reading later, I realized it was more likely showing me the male creator behind the deck, Mark Ryan. Ryan is well-known for his love of the forest, and the Robin Hood mythos; and he has continued the Greenwood legacy in his Wildwood Tarot.

The crossing card shows the Man is in relationship with the Hierophant, which is something bridging the inner world to the outer. I feel that this shows the relationship between Mark and the Greenwood’s artist, Chesca Potter. I’m of the opinion that her art is otherworldly; not only in its style, but because it resonates with me and sticks in my inner vision in a way that no other deck has ever done. To me, that’s the mark of visionary art.

While these center cards show a relationship between these two people, I can’t say that it shows a conflict; although I lean towards that interpretation because I can see the Hierophant at a higher level of being, than the Man of Nature; and because the Hierophant could have shown up in the west/water position, to show those energies coming in through vision and dreams without being in conflict.


The east/air position is the Fate Giver. This card is most easily summarized as being akin to the mythological figure Clotho, who spun the threads of life. It shows beginnings (here in a position of beginnings!) and new things coming into existence. I believe it shows that the Greenwood was destined to be birthed by the creators; and that it can bring new things into life by the virtue of them being spoken of over the deck. In other words, it has the power to create by the speaking of its readings.


The south/fire position shows Star Father 1, a somewhat abstract card to me. It’s another card of creation, and I find it interesting to see two creation cards in this reading. It reminds me that the Greenwood deck was ignored at its creation, as it was so new and different compared to most tarot decks and systems at the time. (Aeclectic Tarot only has it rated at 3.5 stars!) I feel this emphasizes the Greenwood’s tendency to do things differently.

The south is also the position of the present, and directing towards the future. I believe it shows the Greenwood is able to empower the present and help to drive the future. Perhaps the energies behind it aren’t the most adept at being forceful ā€” the Star Father is, to me, a card of potential while fire is a masculine, get-it-done kind of energy. The Father is male so they are in sync, but I feel any change that flows through the Greenwood is going to be a gradual one.


The west/water shows the Resources card. I feel this indicates the deck has a very strong water energy behind it. I believe this indicates a strength in doing readings on watery topics ā€” notably, things related to dreams, psychic and emotions. It is also a very emotionally resonant deck (at least for those of us who are in sync with its art and mythos), and I believe that is built into the deck according to Resources here.


Finally, north/earth is Guardians of the Inner Desert. This card “protects the Inner Mysteries,” something people often don’t think they need when doing inner work (or Inner work). In this position, I believe it is a caution not to dive too fast into the Greenwood. This is a position of nature, and I find it interesting to have a cautionary card here, in a nature-focused deck. Is the deck attuned to energies that can overwhelm one who works with them carelessly? For those who don’t know the Greenwood, the deck attempts to go back to a pre-Celtic nature cycle, and it isn’t all sunshine and roses. It includes a healthy respect for the forces of nature, including those that are harsh and can shake us up.


There you have it, my interpretation of the energies behind the Greenwood Tarot, according to the Magician’s Deck. I wish I could use the Magician’s Deck more often to learn it better, but it doesn’t seem isn’t readily adaptable to daily life or mundane situations. So it will take more time for me to find suitable opportunities to work with it. In the meantime, as my learning is still rudimentary, my interpretations here may have stumbled a bit but hopefully convey what it’s like to read with this deck. And it still tells a fair story about the Greenwood, in my opinion!