Mark addresses comments and concerns about Wild Magic: The Wildwood Tarot Workbook

You sent in your questions, and Mark Ryan answered. Steve Nobel grills Mark with your questions, he makes Mark think hard and fast!
  • What made you write “Wild Magic” in the format it’s in?
  • Why are some of the core cards switched around in the Wildwood from their original placements in the Greenwood?
  • Why is there no information about reversals in the Wildwood Tarot accompanying book?
  • Why is the 5 of Vessels interpretation so different from what we normally see in the 5 of Cups?
  • What advice do you have for people who are in the southern hemisphere trying to apply the festivals of the Wheel of the Year to their own seasons?

Plus the possibility of a Greenwood tarot REPRINT!

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Take a good look at the Wildwood cards, see some card spread ideas and excerpts from the book while Mark is talking.

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See the Transcript below!

Steve:                       Hello. Welcome. My name’s Steve Nobel. Today I’m speaking with Mark Ryan on his work. Many of you know that Mark is an English actor, author, action director, and voice actor. He’s performed in several major musicals in London’s West End. He’s appeared in dozens of films, best known, perhaps, for his role as Nasir in the British t.v. series, “Robin of Sherwood,” and recently working on a number of films, such as the Transformer films, and more recently, “Peterloo.” He’s a sword coach fight director and an accomplished author and has written the “Greenwood Tarot” and the “Wildwood Tarot.” His latest offering is “Wild Magic,” which is designed to be a “Wild Tarot” workbook. All of this published by Eddison Books. His website is thewildwoodtarot.com.  Hi, Mark.

Mark Ryan:           Hi, Steve. How are you, mate?

Steve:                       I’m all right. Now, before we get into the world of tarot and magic, can I just ask you about your acting life? What’s been happening, generally, for you in the acting world?

Mark Ryan:           Oh, it’s been quite a rich potpourri and tapestry of various adventures. I just played Peter Pan. I was in “Peter Pan,” playing Captain Hook in San Diego. Fantastic cast and produced by the Lythgoe Family Panto organisation, directed by Bonnie Lythgoe. It was great fun, I have to say. It’s one of those characters that if you are asked to play Captain Hook, you don’t even say “When? How? Where?” You go, “Yes, please. Thank you.”

I immediately jumped on that, and we had a great time. I hadn’t done Panto … Panto was my first real stage experience in 1970, in Manchester, at the Opera House in “Cinderella.” I was one of the chorus lads. In fact, I did explain this to Bonnie, I was actually the backend of the pantomime horse at one point carrying Hugh Lloyd. Do you remember Hugh Lloyd from “The Gnomes of Dulwich” and various other comedy shows. I had Hugh Lloyd on my back for a while being the rear end of the pantomime horse.

The idea of going back and doing Panto was both curious and a bit of a challenge, but I felt it was something, A, I’d enjoy and, B, would be great fun to do with a fun cast. We had a great cast. It was a great laugh. We did great business. It’s San Diego. Of all places. San Diego.

Steve:                       Was there a chance to do some sword fighting in that role?

Mark Ryan:           We did, indeed, do a sword fight. I fought Peter Pan around the stage. I actually choreographed a little bit of a fight because … Well, it’s one of those things. Some actors are just … They’re natural with this stuff, and it’s easier to pick up a fight, and be safe, and all that kind of stuff, and some people aren’t. Luckily, everybody who was involved with this was very open-minded, and we actually had a little fun with the sword fight. It was very simple, very safe. It was easy to remember. That was the reason I did it because we were doing dialogue in the middle of it. It was one of those things where, if you’re actually trying to remember a sword fight and do dialogue at the same time, it’s one of those things where you really have to have your head together because it can go horribly wrong, so you have to-

Riley Costello was playing Peter Pan. It was brilliant. We both chatted to each other because when you look at people in the eyes on stage, and I’ve done this during fights and other things, sometimes you look at each other, and you go, “You have no idea what’s coming next.” I’m sure the people looked at me during the course of the show and went, “He’s no idea what’s going next,” because, obviously, it’s Hook. You’re allowed to ad lib a lot with the audience, so I ad–libbed a lot with the audience. Then, you’re trying to fight your way back into the dialogue and bring the show back to where it’s supposed to be.

Riley Costello was Peter Pan. We did a little sword fight together, but it was also Ashley Argota. She was brilliant. Clarice Ordaz was in it. David F M. Vaughn, I’ll call him by his full name. David Vaughn was in it, as well. He plays Smee. We had a lot of fun. Audrey Whitby was in it. She played Wendy. She’s fantastic. Cast was great. We had a lot of fun. As I say, those moments with Riley were great because when you’re trying to actually do dialogue and a sword fight at the same time, unless you have a lot of time to rehearse it, it can be quite challenging. Riley handled it very, very well, as well as flying. All that. They flew him all over the place into the scenery there. We had a couple of mishaps, but it was a great show, great fun to do. That’s what I did in December.

Steve:                       Wonderful. Now, we’ve already spoken before in other interviews about your journey, as well, with tarot. Just in general, where are you at now? You’ve been at it a long time, diving into the world of tarot and magic. Where are you at now with all of this?

Mark Ryan:           Well, it’s been a long and interesting journey, and I don’t think in the classic sense it’s an end to the journey. I think it’s an evolution. One of the things I wanted to do with “Wild Magic” was to talk about that evolution, and where to go with it, and where magic and science has gone with it. For me, this whole thing started probably 1989, ’79, 1979 in Los Angeles. There was a store there called the Bodhi Tree, which is much lost and lamented store in Los Angels on Melrose Ave. I actually lectured there a couple of times about the Greenwood Tarot, funny enough.

The Bodhi Tree was this big esoteric bookstore, which had the most amazing atmosphere. I bought, probably, my first tarot deck there. It’s bizarre because the name of the actual deck has completely gone out of my head, but I remember looking at it, and looking at the pictures. It was recommended to me by one of the people in there. I remember taking it back and looking at it and going, “This does not speak to me at all. I don’t understand what this is trying to say.” The pictures were very chaotic and very, almost like curtains stamped on to the cards in the sense that it looked like a collage. The imagery didn’t speak to me. That was the first inclination I got. Although I was fascinated by the concept of tarot, it was also a very personal thing.

I think shortly after that, at somebody else’s advice, I did buy a Rider-Waite deck, which I found most accessible, certainly, and the imagery more accessible, and the system more accessible. Yet, it still, in a way, didn’t come naturally. I had to struggle with the framework, which is why it partly … We developed the Year system for Greenwood Tarot. The Kabbalistic system, again, just wasn’t easy for me. I did try to work on it, and get my head around it, and get it into feeling like a natural system. The Kabbalistic system just did not work for me. That, again, was part of the motivation. It wasn’t just the imagery. It was the system that the imagery was based in that just did not feel a natural fit. That’s when I realised that tarot cards are extremely personal. Your access with them, to them, can be as personal as talking to a little personality.

That was how that all started. It took 20-odd years for me to work that part of it out and go, “Okay. Maybe you should actually seriously look at the concept of designing, building a system that works for you.” Obviously, on the part of that journey was … Along came a show called Robin of Sherwood. My exposure to that part of the esoteric back story in Europe, and particularly Britain, which that, immediately, was accessible to me. I grew up with that. I understood that. That was part of that evolution of building a system that was more accessible for me personally, but I obviously hoped that it would be more accessible to people who are interested in that part of the Wildwood esoteric side of it and to Europe. That’s how it started.

Steve:                       Okay. Brilliant. Your fans have been sending in all kinds of questions, so I’m just going to send them to you and see what you’re going to say to them. Is the Wildwood Tarot suitable for a brand new tarot reader?

Mark Ryan:           I think it is. I think it really depends on where you want with the imagery. A lot of criticisms or comments that I’ve read online from people that have been using the deck, what they say is, “This is a completely different system to most of the systems that are out there.” It’s based on the Wheel of the Year system. Don’t go into it thinking that the way that the cards … As in the Rider-Waite or the imagery in the Rider-Waite, and even the elements in the Rider-Waite, they’re not the same. It’s different. We did it purposefully like that because that’s how instinctively it felt. John and I, and Chesca and I, both felt the same thing, that instinctively and intuitively the way that we looked at the animals, and the seasons, and the Wheel of the Year was a much more natural flow of energy, if you like, of these archetypes.

A lot of first-time readers that go into tarot will look at this. If it speaks to them, then, probably, they’ll stick with it because that’s the system that talks to them. For readers that have probably started out with a different esoteric system, one based on Kabbalah, say … Again, I’ve nothing against Kabbalah. It’s just not a natural fit for me. They may find Wildwood or Greenwood a little bit different. Well, just see it, try it, work with it, and see if it speaks to you. A lot of the stuff I read online around the imagery, particularly Will Worthington’s artwork, which is absolutely brilliant, is that the imagery speaks profoundly and clearly to people. Do they get an immediate hit of the imagery? The imagery’s been described as just brilliant, which it is.

Steve:                       Okay. Brilliant. Your fans have been sending in all kinds of questions, so I’m just going to send them to you and see what you’re going to say to them. Is the Wildwood Tarot suitable for a brand new tarot reader?

Mark Ryan:           I think it is. I think it really depends on where you want with the imagery. A lot of criticisms or comments that I’ve read online from people that have been using the deck, what they say is, “This is a completely different system to most of the systems that are out there.” It’s based on the Wheel of the Year system. Don’t go into it thinking that the way that the cards … As in the Rider-Waite or the imagery in the Rider-Waite, and even the elements in the Rider-Waite, they’re not the same. It’s different. We did it purposefully like that because that’s how instinctively it felt. John and I, and Chesca and I, both felt the same thing, that instinctively and intuitively the way that we looked at the animals, and the seasons, and the Wheel of the Year was a much more natural flow of energy, if you like, of these archetypes.

A lot of first-time readers that go into tarot will look at this. If it speaks to them, then, probably, they’ll stick with it because that’s the system that talks to them. For readers that have probably started out with a different esoteric system, one based on Kabbalah, say … Again, I’ve nothing against Kabbalah. It’s just not a natural fit for me. They may find Wildwood or Greenwood a little bit different. Well, just see it, try it, work with it, and see if it speaks to you. A lot of the stuff I read online around the imagery, particularly Will Worthington’s artwork, which is absolutely brilliant, is that the imagery speaks profoundly and clearly to people. Do they get an immediate hit of the imagery? The imagery’s been described as just brilliant, which it is.

To me, if you’re starting out, start out with this deck. See if it speaks to you. It may not, or it may be the deck that you go, ” All right, I don’t want to try anything else. This one talks to me. I’m going to stick with it,” but for people who’ve read other decks first and tried other systems first, they might at first look at this and go, “I don’t quite get how this works.” Once it clicks into their consciousness, I’m sure they’re going to go, “Okay. This works.” That seems to be the results that most people online that I’ve looked at, who have said very nice things and thank you, all, for saying so many nice things, and people who have spent literally hours doing YouTube dissertations on even unwrapping the box. I’ve seen a couple about people talking about unwrapping the box. Just those alone, people have been extremely kind. It’s extremely humbling to have people talk about this in the way that they do.

Yeah. I would say, “Yes. Go for it.” If it’s your first time, reading, it, go for it.

Steve:                       Another question here is, why are, then, is there no information about reversals in the Wildwood Tarot accompanying book?

Mark Ryan:           We did address that in “Wild Magic.” In fact, it got into the whole thing about reading reversals. It’s one of those issues that sometimes you have to put your own perceptions aside and go, “Well, people do read …” I’ll answer the question this way, I don’t personally read reversals. I prefer to read the imagery as it was meant to be seen. Within the reading that you do, or the layout that you do, there will always be a reversal, if you like, of the imagery to show you what may be standing in the way, or what may be … The challenges, or what you need to deal with to move forward.

I always feel within the layout that you do, there’s always a reversal within the pattern that you’re getting. The idea to me that you would read a card upside down never really worked for me, but even as one of the authors of this system, I understand that people who have learned to read reversals want to read reversals. However, it’s to something that I can honestly say I look at and go, “Yeah. That, again, that’s a natural flow.” Caitlin addressed this in “Wild Magic.” She did an entire section about reading reversals in the book because she was much more adept than I at doing that. She talks about that in “Wild Magic.”

Steve:                       Why are some of the core cards switched around in the Wildwood from their original placements in the Greenwood?

Mark Ryan:           Well, recently when I wrote the “Greenwood” I know this sounds a little, maybe, even too esoteric, but, again, it just felt natural at the time that I did it. There’s a lot of mythos about the West. I wanted to talk about the sunrise rising in the East, and setting in the West, and how the West was always seen … When people head west, they, basically, head out and over what we now understand is the Atlantic Ocean, whether it’s towards Atlantis, whether it’s to America, or wherever people are heading, that concept of heading where the sun rises and the sun sets, to chase the sun, and follow the sun that way.

I naturally put a lot of the elements that I associated with the West on the left side of the circle itself. When I sat down with John, and we talked about it … I understood there was a traditional meaning why some of these actually should be on the other side of the cycle. We kept North and South, of course, and the Winter and Summer. We just kind of reversed it around to see how what that did to the system. To be honest, to me, again, it didn’t really affect the energy flow. It just simply placed some of those elements into a more traditional map of tarot. John and I talked about it a lot, but I decided, with him, that that was probably less … We’re doing so many untraditional things to the system that having a slightly more traditional flow like that with the core cards and stuff might help people access the system who are used to a more traditional system.

That’s why we did that. To me, it didn’t harm the natural flow of the energy. I was, “Okay. Let’s try it and see what happens.” We’re soon going to know. If it messes up the system, we’re going to get emails and letters, but everybody seems to like it, so it’s stayed that way. Again, in the original deck it was simply because of my perception of East and West and mythos related to the sun travelling through the sky. That’s why we did it that way originally. It’s worked just as well now. We’ve put it back into a more traditional framework.

Steve:                       Now, what made you write the “Wild Magic” in the format it’s in?

Mark Ryan:           Well, there’s been some … One or two of the notes that I’ve seen from folks … Again, of course in the emails … I’m not going to name names, but I hope this addresses some of the questions, is that there seems to be a lot of complaints about the size of the actual font, which I think is a 10, which is a pretty standard … I’m looking at the book right now. Maybe it’s just me, I can read this quite clearly. It doesn’t seem cramped to me. There’s plenty of white or clear space in the book and in the actual breaking down of the major arcana. It doesn’t seem cramped. It’s perfectly legible. I’m sure that if there are questions about that, I don’t know, in the future, maybe, we can do a bigger book and lay this all out with bigger pictures, full size pictures, and larger print.

Obviously, it was a decision by the publisher, both Eddison Books and Sterling in New York. The book fits rather nicely right into the box that the Greenwood Tarot comes in. It’s exactly the same size book, as the accompanying book, in “Wildwood Tarot.” That may be just the standard way that they do it. We tried to pack in as much information, I thought about that as well, as we could be ranging all over the map is … Again, that’s kind of got a few people criticising the book, which we can talk about later on if you like. It really was a decision by the publishers, but looking at it right now, even as I’m looking at it where pages are full, it doesn’t seem cramped, and I can read it quite clearly. I don’t really know how to address that one.

Steve:                       Will the U.V. finish be extended to the U.S. printed of the “Wildwood Tarot?”

Mark Ryan:           Now, that’s an interesting question. I know that both Nick and Stephane at Eddison … This is a decision that they made following … Just to show that we do actually listen to people out there … People, if you have a criticism, or you have something, we do listen to it and look at it. If we can do something about it, we will. There’s a couple of people … I don’t know how much use of the decks that they’d had. I suppose if you used the deck every day, if you’re a professional reader, as well, you’re going to battle some of the cards a little bit.

There’s some complaints about the thickness of the actual card stock itself, which I have, obviously, an original Greenwood, which I’ve had, I don’t know, 20 years or so, more than 20 years, 30 years, and it still works quite well. The Wildwood one, one of the original ones I’ve had, it seems to have held up pretty well under the constant, regular use, so I’ve had no problems personally with the card stock.

It was something that Stephane and Nick wanted to address, so they did this batch of this U.V. laminated finish to the deck, which I have to say, is absolutely beautiful. My understanding is that for a big run of thousands of decks, which is what usually goes onto the market from publishers like Sterling, it does add a bit more of a cost to each deck. I think Sterling was happy with what the pricing of the deck was. By the way, they’ve been tremendously supportive, so they’ve been fantastic. They opted to stay with the standard finish that was working, apparently, quite well and not go with the extra thickening, laminated finish, which has sort of been an experiment here in Europe. I think it’s been very, very well received.

I don’t know what the future plans are for future larger batches of the book to be produced. I think the laminate is a nice idea. It certainly helps the thickness of the cards, but I understand it does at cost when you’re doing a big run.

Steve:                       Yeah. Why is there a flexi-bound version of “Wild Magic” showing on Amazon when the book is printed as a paperback?

Mark Ryan:           Hahaha!I have no idea. Maybe I should consult the cards. I don’t know. I think it was a simple misunderstanding at the beginning. The whole concept of the workbook was an idea of a flexi spiral-bound at the back of the book. It’s a great idea, by the way, but it was never what this book was intended to be. That was always my understanding that it wasn’t going to be spiral-bound. I don’t know where the idea came from. It was, obviously, a miscommunication between Amazon and the publishers.

What I’ve seen, which I thought was absolutely marvellous, was that, I think somebody … There’s a picture of it online. You can walk into any one of these big printing stores and actually have the book spiral-bound for about five bucks. If you actually want to have a spiral-bound version, you can walk into one of these … I’m trying to think of the names now of these big companies that do printing, and office supplies, and all that. They’ll do it for you for about three bucks or so, three fifty. They’ll put a spiral into it for you.

I know a couple of people who have done that, and I have to say, it looked rather impressive. I understand why they want that because they want to be able to open the book out, make notes, or have it open without having to have a bookmark or something. I think that’s a great idea. It may be something the publishers will consider in the future. It was simply, I believe, I know John has tried to address this online, as well, on the Wildwood Facebook page run by Alison, Thank you so much. She’s a dedicated girl. Ali fields all these questions, and sends them to me, and says, “I think this one’s for you here. I don’t know what this one’s about.” Alison Cross has been brilliant running the Wildwood Facebook page. Any our site, by the way. John responded to that and said exactly what I’ve just said because neither of us ever expected it to be a spiral-bound book.

– Note from Eddison Books: The Flexi-bound option is a mistake from Amazon! The book is only currently available as a paperback. 08/03/2018 –

Homemade DIY of a flexibound Wild Magic. Made by Alison Cross.

Click on the picture to read her review of Wild Magic.

Steve:                       Now, this one sounds a bit random. I’ve seen a blog post that says I can freely make myself a Greenwood Tarot. Is that right?

Mark Ryan:           The answer is, “No.” I’ll deal with this one because I’ve sort of a semi-announcement to make about that because it’s been something that’s been … I’ve been approached about this over the years about, can we do a reprint of the Greenwood? I am actually, right now … I know this is going to cause all kinds of rummagings online, but I am actually exploring doing a limited print run of the Greenwood Tarot, self-publishing it myself. I believe I have all the permissions needed to do that. I know there is a website that is selling “Greenwood Tarot” and various books from Chesca. I’ve written to that lady. She has not responded to me. I’ve written to her saying, “Who gave you permission to do this?” She’s not responded. I’m not going to say who her name is, and if you want to go and find it-

She’s doing this completely without my permission. As of right now, I am the sole arbiter because I own the rights. Chesca, wherever you are, and if you’re listening, please contact me because if you do hear this, I’d love to hear from you, A, but as I am the only functioning owner of the rights to “Greenwood Tarot,” I am going to publish a self-published small run of an exclusive version because there’s been a lot of versions online, which have been counterfeited. We believe THAT there’s been various publishing, what we say, counterfeiters out there reproducing and selling these decks for a lot of money. I believe that as being a criminal enterprise, let’s put it that way. Anybody that has an original Greenwood by Harper Collins, hang on to it because it will do nothing but go up in value.

What we decided, what I decided to do, anyway, is to put it back into a very limited circulation with a special edition of “Greenwood.” We’re working on the best way to do that right now, so anybody that’s got any issues regarding that, please contact me directly. If you don’t, that’s what I’m planning to do. No, you can’t just print them off line and do that because it’s a contravention of my right, in both intellectual rights of the artwork, and I do have intellectual rights to the artwork because, as I’ve explained to various people, there were several times with Chesca actually, when we discussed the cards, couldn’t draw the cards. She did, basically, was struggling to come up with some of the imageries.

I, actually, on multiple occasion … We sat down, and I drew what I believed the card should be, and that was what she based her artwork on, so my imagery regarding some of the cards, particularly some of the more esoteric cards, which we based some of the work in Wildwood, directly came from me. The imagery of the lady coming out of the water, the soul in the boat, and all that kind of stuff was directly out of my experiences when researching this, soul journeying, whatever you want to say it. All that artwork was based on a lot of my experiences, and our experiences together. Chesca and I did go to the White Horse of Uffington, and [inaudible 00:25:20], a lot of those places. We experienced that stuff together.

As far as I’m concerned, I had a lot of input, intellectual input, into the actual physical manifestation of the cards. I believe I have the rights. We do that artwork and re-present it as it was originally. We’ll do it on a limited basis and see how it goes. That’s the plan at the moment. Anybody’s to say. Anybody that’s got any objections, please contact me directly.

Steve:                       Okay. Now, the question is, why is the 5 of Vessels interpretation so different from what we normally see in the 5 of Cups?

Mark Ryan:           Crikey. A lot of these cards, don’t forget, came not out of the traditional system. Well, I know exactly why this card came about, but it differs from the traditional card, I honestly couldn’t tell you. Anybody out there that’s got a definition of what that traditional card was, please, again, log into wildwoodtarot.com or write into the Facebook one. I couldn’t tell you what the reading was. Obviously, 5 of Vessels: Ecstasy, it means to do with the balancing of an enjoyment of life as opposed to not enjoying life, that drumbeat of the souls, for a time to join in the dance. Energy when you’re bathing in the cosmic life roots of exultation and sincere ectasy.

Now, I don’t know if the 5 of Vessels in the traditional deck was a negative reading, but I mean, for me, obviously, 5 being a mystical number where this was, was all about, “Don’t forget to stand still sometimes, smell the roses, and enjoy life,” because we live in a very pressurised life. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to live in a peaceful, sane, or semi-sane, environment. Be thankful for and to enjoy the blessings that we have.

Steve:                       Well, I’ve got a final question for you, Mark. What advice do you have for people who are in the southern hemisphere trying to apply the festivals of the Wheel of the Year to their own seasons?

Mark Ryan:           Yes. This is an interesting question, and it’s one I was asked when I was in Australia because I did a tarot chat down in Australia when I was down there doing the fan convention. It was one of the things that, funny enough, we had sort of addressed in our own minds, but we didn’t put it into the book. I have actually suggested doing a … Not a redrawing, but adjusting the actual seasons and the animals, funny enough, to a more southern hemisphere-orientated version. That was a chapter in the book. We did talk about putting into this book, or a separate book, or a separate worksheet.

I’ve been thinking about the different animals down there, as well, which represent the same sort of turning of the seasons that would align with the European, northern hemisphere animals. For that, I was reading a lot of the traditional outback, Aboriginal concepts with animals because, as you know, the Aborigines have a very intimate relationship with nature and with animals. It’s something I have explored, and it’s something that we have discussed either doing as a chapter in the book, or even as a separate book. I would love to get into that more. In fact, I did a little bit of research on that already.

Again, if there’s any publishers out there that’s interested in doing a southern hemisphere version of the tarot deck based on the original southern hemisphere animals and even the stars in the sky, of course, are different. I’d be very happy to talk to them. This is something we have thought about and addressed. I would love to do something, maybe a chapter, an additional chapter in “Wild Magic” should we ever get to do another version of that or a bigger book of the “Wild Magic,” with bigger pictures of the artwork.

You don’t really appreciate this artwork until you see it full size. When John and I did the tour in America, we went to various places in Seattle, and one of the people that was actually attending brought with him his iPad. We actually projected the cards. They’re like six feet by four feet. They may have even been bigger at one point, like nine feet by six feet. It’s not until you actually see those images at that size. You could almost walk into the card. It was so impressive that you start seeing details that Will put in that it’s difficult to spot just on a card.

When you see them six feet by four feet, or nine feet by five feet, whatever, you suddenly go, “Wow! The detail. The intricate detail that Will put in there!” I’m not being funny. You could almost … You feel like you could stand up and walk into the imagery itself. Maybe one day, we’ll talk about doing a 3-D version of it, or something, that you could do that with projecting it. We’ll initially be sitting down looking at it, mentally stepping into the image. That would be fantastic.

Steve:                       That sounds like an amazing project that has potential there. You know, I thank all of the fans who’ve wrote all this kind of great variety of questions. I’m sure your answers will generate more questions, actually, Mark.

Mark Ryan:           I’ll just address this one quickly if you’ve got two minutes. One of the criticisms I did read was about my personal ramblings about the archetypes, which to me is an important part of this. One of the criticisms was, “Well, it’s not a workbook.” Well, it may not be the standard type of workbook, but what I wanted to do was introduce people to the concept of putting yourself into the place of the archetypes. When people talked about a couple of things about name-dropping, I said, and I’ll repeat it here. Talking about Anthony Hopkins, Sir Anthony Hopkins, is not name-dropping. He genuinely represents the emperor, to me. To meet somebody who resonated with that energy, the generosity, the skill, the charm, a man that knew … He knows exactly where he is in life. He’s got his kingdom there in front of him. He has power, but he rules it with such grace. That it is epitome of that. He’s one of those people that, I think, around the world, people instantly recognise.

I was asking people, “When have you been these archetypes?” These are personal stories that I put into the book. They’re not about ego trips. It’s not about name-droppings. I was trying to explain, these are the times that I’ve realised the archetypes have worked through my own life. This is, to me, is part of the work of this book, is to look at yourself and go, “When have I done this? When have I been positive, negative, when I’ve been supported, when I’ve been destructive? When have I done this?” That, to me, is part of the roadwork of the book because it is real work. It takes work to do that.

That was one of the other questions that came up. I understand it’s not your traditional workbook, but if you read the book and understand what I’m trying to get you … Challenging the individual to do, there’s plenty of work there, trust me, to be done for a person to look at themselves, inspect what they’ve done, and go, “Did I act in the appropriate manner in that situation?” There’s plenty of times that we’ve all made mistakes, and we’ve all done, probably, things that we go … We regret, and go, “We should have done that differently.”

That was part of the work that is in this workbook, is dealing, confronting sometimes, those aspects of yourself. That, to me, is real work.

Steve:                       Thanks once again, Mark. Just to remind people, your website is thewildwoodtarot.com. No doubt we’ll be chatting again, Mark, on this very subjects.

Mark Ryan:           I hope so because that hour has absolutely just rocketed past. You always have the most challenging questions, Steve. I’m sitting here scrambling in the back of my brain. Anyways, thank you so much. That was great fun. I love chatting with you. It’s really nice.

Steve:                       Likewise, Mark. You take care.

Mark Ryan:           Take care, mate. Yes. God bless.

Wild Magic: The Wildwood Tarot Workbook

Mark Ryan & Steve Nobel

Invoke the power of the Wildwood, of the Green Man and Green Woman, and of the living archetypes of the forest such as Robin-in-the-Hood, with this new companion to the bestselling Wildwood Tarot.

Authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews take us across time, to the pre-Celtic world of the forest that once cloaked much of the world, where primal forces roamed free and opened doorways into the otherworld of the Ancestors. With chapters on the Lore of the Wildwood, shamanic methods of exploring the inner reaches, and meditations designed to enable powerful, personal encounters with Wildwood archetypes,

as well as the authors’ own insights on ways to read the cards plus an intriguing glimpse into what science can tell us about the tarot, the book takes a new and informed look at a set of ancient traditions applied to our lives today.

The Wildwood Tarot

John Matthews & Mark Ryan

To walk among the age-old trees of the wildwood is to journey back in time, to a place of great simplicity and deep understanding. In this re-awakening of the original Greenwood Tarot, Mark Ryan and John Matthews introduce us to the classic forest archetypes of the Green Man and Woman, the Archer, the Hooded Man and the Blasted Oak. Will Worthington’s rich and vivid images bring this ancient world to life and make it possible to feel the magic and power of the wildwood.

THE WILDWOOD TAROT draws inspiration from pre-Celtic mythology and a belief system steeped in shamanic wisdom and forest lore. Based on the seasonal rhythm and festivals of the ancient year, it connects us with a long-lost world – one that can help us to make sense of our own.

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Wild Magic: The Wildwood Tarot Workbook

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