Take Control of Your Posture with The Alexander Technique (Podcast)

Take Control of Your Posture with The Alexander Technique (Podcast)

After 10 years of back pain, Richard Brennan discovered The Alexander Technique and was pain-free after 6 weeks. 

Now an Alexander Technique expert, Richard Brennan teaches people to take control of their own posture. In this interview he talks about his latest book ‘The Alexander Technique Manual’ 
Richard Brennan explains what the Alexander Technique is, and shares the story of how Alexander first developed the technique.
The Alexander Technique is a way of moving, this includes everything from simply walking, to running in playing football and tennis.

Watch here!

Listen to stories about people with long term pain healed without surgery, get some great excerpts from the book. Special sections on playing sport, reducing stress and tension and pregnancy and back pain.

Download to listen on the go.

Subscribe so you never miss an episode!

We publish a new podcast every 2 weeks on interesting Mind, Body, Soul and Health topics

Read the interview

Steve:   Hello and welcome. My name is Steve Nobel and today I’m speaking with Richard Brennan on his book, the Alexander Technique Manual. Now, Richard has studied the Alexander Technique since 1983, and has been teaching full-time since 1989. He travels widely, giving talks and courses on the technique. He’s a director of training at the Alexander Technique Centre based in Galway, Ireland, and he’s a leading figure in helping people resolve back and neck problems. His belief is the root cause of most back pain lies in poor postural habits. He is the author of this book, the Alexander Technique, and we’re going to speak with him now. So welcome to you, Richard.

Not everyone’s heard of the Alexander Technique. Can you just give a description of what is it, and what’s it broadly for?

Richard:             Yeah. It’s quite a profound technique, but very simply, throughout our lives, we develop postural habits, and we go about our activities with far too much tension in the body. It’s a technique where I make people aware of the tension and gives you a tool to let that tension go.

Steve:   Brilliant. How did it all begin?

Richard:             Well, Alexander was an actor, a reciter in the 1800s and he developed a voice problem. Onstage, he started to lose his voice, and he tried everything, medication, exercise, but nothing seemed to help. Then, he realised it was something he was doing himself, so he studied himself. He looked and recited in front and saw that he was pulling his head back with quite a lot of force, which was depressing the larynx, and affecting his voice.

When he was able to see it and change it, his voice became perfect again. He went back on to the stage and he started getting on with reciting again. Then, his fellow actors started saying, “Well, I’m getting the same problem as you,” so he started helping his fellow actors. Then, doctors got wind of it, and then, doctors started sending him patients that they didn’t know what to do with.

Steve:   Amazing. In the book, there’s a section here that says ‘Taking Responsibility’. “Many people carry on for years enduring unnecessary pain, not realising that anything could be done for them. We need to face up to the fact that we have to take responsibility for our ailments, and not expect other people to have all the answers.” Of course, modern medicine, people go there for the pill and the bit of solution, don’t they? But this asking us to take more responsibility.

Richard:             Yeah. I mean people don’t advocate responsibility on purpose. They just don’t realise that they’re doing something to themselves, which is causing the pain. I am a pretty good example of that because I had managed back problems and sciatica for about seven years, and it just got worse and worse and worse. My father is a doctor. He couldn’t do anything. All the surgeons couldn’t do anything. Then, I turned to alternative therapies, and they didn’t do anything, either.

Then, I realised it was the way that I was sitting. I was a driving instructor at the time and it’s the way I was sitting in the car, which was exacerbating the problem. I would go to someone like a chiropractor, they put me back into place, and then, I would go back into my old habits, and the back pain will be back within two days. It’s only when I realised what I was doing and was able to change the way I was sitting that the actual pain went for good.

Steve:   Is posture a major problem for a lot of people, do you think?

Richard:             Absolutely. Absolutely. The main reason is everyone goes to school. Everyone is bending over a desk between the age of five and the age of 18, so there’s a lot of postural habits that get … You go into a classroom, everybody is actually bending their back as they’re writing, and then, they just think that’s normal after … It’s actually 15,000 hours at school plus homework. That’s a lot of time in a basically bad posture.

Steve:   And a lot of people, of course, me included, sit at a desk for long hours of the day over a computer or looking at a computer so, again, Alexander Technique is very useful for that. What kind of problems happen with this? Or was it kind of just manifested in many, many types of ways?

Richard:             Well, the most common is back problem, 49% of the population in the UK and most of the Western world, 49%. That’s nearly one in every two people have some sort of back problems every year.

Steve:   Wow.

Richard:             That’s huge. But it can cause breathing problems, like people get asthma, and people get other … And that is posture-related, too, but those are the knee problems, hip problems, ankle problems, and a whole range of shoulder, neck problems. It’s vast. Arthritis is another postural, you know, after years of misusing the body, arthritis sets in, which is basically wear and tear, so we’re wearing ourselves out before time.

Steve:   So back pain, you mentioned, is universal. I have suffered with a lower disc problem. I had a MRI scan. They said it was a problem between the fourth and fifth vertebra. I’m not sure if it was cartilage or whatever. That kind of produced sciatica, which comes and goes, here and there, which is incredibly painful, as you’ve mentioned you have it. If you’ve got this kind of condition, is Alexander Technique something that once you’ve got it, you can actually alleviate?

Richard:             Well, you know, when I had my back problem, there was no MRIs in those days. This was back in 1980s, ‘1, ’82. I had an x-ray, they injected radioactive fluids into the spine. They took x-rays and there was no disc left between L4, L5 and S1, so all the three bottom vertebras was completely worn. What they did was they said, “Look, what we need to do is remove what’s left of the disc, and then, fuse the last three vertebraes.” Says, “You’ll never be able to bend again, but at least you’ll be out of pain.”

I actually signed up for the operation. It was only after to talking my father, who is a GP, he said, “Whatever you do, don’t have the operation because I am seeing the people afterwards, and they’re usually worse,” so I cancelled the operation. Eventually, when I got around to doing the Alexander Technique, within six weeks, my back was absolutely fine …

Steve:   Wow, that’s incredible.

Richard:             … and I haven’t had a day of back ache since.

Steve:   I mean that’s incredible, isn’t it? Do you think that this is something that really should be in every office, in every school room?

Richard:             Yes, I do. I do. Because, you see, we’re spending a vast fortune on the National Health Service. A lot of it is posture-related. So if you caught it early, when the children were at school, you can have a much healthier population. That would save billions, absolutely billions.

Steve:   Gosh.

Richard:             And people ignore it. 49% of the population has back pain. What are we doing about them? We’re just producing more and more painkilling drugs.

Steve:   Someone should have a word with the government. I’m not sure they’re particularly listening, this particular government.

Richard:             Well, I’ve tried over here in Ireland, and the politicians are just … They’re too busy.

Steve:   Right. Another massive area the book covers is stress. Now, I’m sure most of the listeners to this podcast are no strangers to stress. I’ve worked in the city for 10 years. It’s high-pressure environment, work, money, going home, the mind doesn’t stop thinking. For me, stress is also not just a physical thing, but it’s also a mental, an emotional thing. How can Alexander Technique impact all those levels?

Richard:             Well, one of the major principles of the technique is the body, the mind, and the emotions, and the spirit are not separate, but they’re intuitively connected with one another, okay? When I stress myself, if I feel stressed, the muscles are also going to be stressed. If I release the muscle tension, you will feel less stress. It’s as simple as that. If someone would come to me, I would work with them for 10 minutes. They would come in in a stressed state, and then, they would leave after half an hour completely unstressed. So you work on the physical, but most people will feel the benefits emotionally and mentally as well. They go out feeling calmer.

Steve:   And stress again, the NHS must deal with a lot of stuff around stress, surely.

Richard:             Sure. A lot of mental issues are stress-related.

Steve:   Coming back to posture, I’ve done yoga and Pilates and martial arts, and they all have their own view on posture. What does Alexander Technique say about it? Is anything radically different than yoga, Pilates, and martial arts?

Richard:             You can apply the Alexander Technique to yoga, and you can apply the Alexander Technique to aikido or Qi gong or whatever. It’s something you actually apply to an activity, so it’s not an activity in itself. You can’t go and say, “Well, I’m going to go and do my Alexander Technique,” like, “I’m going to go and do my yoga.” It is an awareness technique and the philosophy behind the technique is we all started with perfect posture.

Go and look at any three-year-old, they are moving beautifully. They are standing straight. They’re not standing up straight. They’re not tensing their body. They just stand straight. That posture is already inside us. All we need to do is to let go of the muscular tension that’s actually pulling us down into ourselves, and then, the perfect natural posture just comes through.

What you do with the technique is you don’t do anything. You stop doing something. You stop doing your postural habits, and then, when you stop doing your postural habits, the right posture is there already. We have a whole series of postural reflexes, which are just dying to work if we let them.

Steve:   Now, the book comes with a whole range of things. One of the things I was really interested in, which I was surprised at, was when it comes to walking. I would have thought that walking, naturally, we have a good posture. Is that not so?

Richard:             No, not at all. Not at all. When children walk, they actually walk fairly straight. If you watch your child walking towards you, they’re very upright and they’re very straight. But if you go to a shopping market or shopping mall, and you watch people walking down the corridor, they’re actually walking kind of like a pendulum. They’re going from one side to the other side, just like if you’re walking when you get off a boat. What you’re doing there is actually walking, you’re pulling yourself down into a hip, and then, you lift a leg, and then, you pull down into the other hip, and you’re just wearing your hips out.

Steve:   Another one that was very interesting, a lot of people drive. You’ve got to listen to this. Now, you say car seats cause back problems. What can we do about driving?

Richard:             Well, I use a wedge. I put a wedge on the seat. You see, I was a driving instructor, so it was the seats in the car that gave me my back problem, because I was sitting 10 years pretty much all day in the car seat. Then, I realised that the car’s slope back, the seats slope way back, maybe as much as 15 degrees. So I just get a wedge and I put it on the seat and I make the chair flat. I don’t know how old you are, but if you went back to the 1950s, all the cars had kind of bench seats and they were much more L-shaped.

Steve:   Yeah.

Richard:             Now, our car seats, because of the shape of the car, they’re more V-shaped. So you need to get back to an L-shape kind of seat because that’s much better for your posture.

Steve:   Now, I’m a writer and you say in the book, “It’s amazing how many people hold their pens when writing, and how it creates muscular tension.” What can we do about writing?

Richard:             Well, Alexander has his own school. He actually formed his own school because he said, “We teach children lots of things, but we don’t teach them how to hold the pen.” The computer, you’re taught Java, you’re taught Microsoft, but you’re never taught how to sit at the computer, so you’re missing the basic thing. You’re actually looking at the way you do something.

Steve:   A good friend of mine is an Alexander Technique teacher, and I used to work with him. Whenever I was sitting opposite of him, I always used to sit a bit more upright, or when I was having tea with him, I was always much more aware of my posture. The one thing he told me was about the neck, and I know in your book, you talk about the kind of freedom of the neck. Again, this is a big problem, isn’t it, around the neck that we create all kinds of tensions around the neck, don’t we?

Richard:             Yeah. The head actually weighs about 12 pounds of weight. That’s six bags of sugar. That’s a huge amount of weight. Now, most people carry their head more forward than their body, so the neck is actually under quite a lot of strain, even when you’re sitting watching TV, even when you’re driving, or using computer.

Steve:   What about swimming? Because when I heard about this, I was thinking, when I swim, my neck is kind of in a very strange position, especially doing breast stroke, and I couldn’t think of a way of how I could change that.

Richard:             It’s more you pay attention and you just think of the neck becoming more relaxed. You just think of the neck muscles softening …

Steve:   Really?

Richard:             … and then, you’re not holding the head with so much tension. Now, obviously, if you’re swimming, you have to hold your head out of the water because if you relax your neck completely, your head falls in the water, and then, you can’t breathe. So, obviously, there’s common sense here, but maybe you can hold your head with not quite so much tension as before, so just thinking of the neck muscles softening can help that.

Steve:   Great.

Richard:             There is a guy called Steven Shaw and he specialises in using Alexander Technique for swimming.

Steve:   Now, there’s a whole section in the book on sports. You mentioned swimming. Now, I was a great football fan and very into playing football and tennis. Now, I did have a knee injury from a very young age, right knee dislocated. I wish I would have had some advice like this when I was a young kid. I had endless problems with my right knee. What can be done about things like football?

Richard:             Well, I’ll just give you a story of my son. He was a keen tennis player, and he ran a lot. Every time he played tennis, he’d sprained his ankle. He had some Alexander lessons from me, but also from somebody else as well. They worked out that actually it was the way he would run differently when he had his shoes on, so what he did he started playing tennis barefoot. Then, he went to the Royal College of Art in London and he designed the shoe called the VivoBarefoot Shoe. When he was wearing these, he never got any problems with his ankles. He realised it was the way he was reacting to his shoes that was causing the problem, so just becoming aware of that.

Also, when you have Alexander lessons, your whole body is just much freer anyway, so when you go and play tennis, or football, or horse-riding, you’re not so likely to be injuring yourself.

Steve:   This principle applies to playing musical instruments. I didn’t realise that many musicians gave up their careers because of aches and pains and injuries generated by the way they stand, sit while playing.

Richard:             Yeah, people like Madonna, people like Paul McCartney, quite a few famous musicians. But, just regularly, I live in Galway and the whole musical community, so I get a lot of people coming to me. Just holding the guitar with too much tension for too long can produce a pain in the shoulder, or a pain in the neck. So, again, just teaching them how to sit, stand or whatever and hold their instrument in the easiest sort of way, the pain just go away. The pain just go away. Pain is always a sign that something’s going wrong. If I can find out what is going wrong and change it, then I can eradicate the pain.

There’s an interesting story, actually, of George Bernard Shaw, the writer. At the age of 80, he was riddled with pain. He has pain in the neck, he has major back problems. His hips didn’t work properly, he had knee problems and ankle problems. So he booked a lesson with Alexander, not for any of this reason, but because he had a heart problem and the doctors given him a few weeks to live. So he goes along to Alexander and when he gets to the front door, he can’t even get up the three steps to ring the doorbell. He’s so frail. Everyone would think George Bernard Shaw is just about to die, and he’s on his last legs.

Anyway, he eventually gets into Alexander’s teaching room. Alexander takes one look at him and said, “Look, I can’t do anything for you unless you promise to come every day for three weeks.” After the three weeks, George Bernard Shaw writes a letter, says, “Dear Mr. Alexander, I just want to thank you because all my aches and pains have gone and the doctors can’t find the angina anymore. I’m walking five miles a day and swimming every morning, which I haven’t been able to do since I was 14.”

Steve:   Incredible.

Richard Brennan:             Yeah. “However, you have left me with one problem I didn’t have in the first place. Now, that I’m three inches taller, none of my clothes fit me anymore.” Then, he went on and lived for another 14 years. The only reason he died, he fell out of a tree while he was pruning it, so he’s up apple trees at the age of 94.

Steve:   Incredible. I didn’t know.

Richard:             Yeah, I know. I know.

Steve:   Well, this is going to appeal to some people, I’m sure: Pregnancy and childbirth. Now, there are some great images in the book of a woman with a great bump in front of her. Of course, this puts a great strain on the human body, doesn’t it?

Richard:             It does, it does. Yeah. Again, when someone did childbirth or in pregnancy, the more tension that they have in their body, the harder the pregnancy is going to be, the harder the birth is going to be. Someone who has a more relaxed body is just going to have an easier time there. Also, back problem is a really big problem with people who are pregnant. A lot of pregnant moms get back problem and the Alexander Technique can actually definitely help with that.

It just gives people an easier time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re pregnant or whatever you do. It just helps you to move through life with greater ease.

Steve:   It’s a beautiful book, Richard. Who is it really aimed at? Is it aimed at anyone?

Richard:             Pretty much. Anyone who wants to be more conscious of what they actually do. Anyone who wants to improve something. You might be a musician want to improve your playing, you might be a runner who want to have better performance, or you just might want to improve the way you sit at the computer. If anyone wants to improve something, or if they have any aches or pains and they don’t know why they’re getting them, this might throw some light on them.

Steve:   Richard, thank you so much. Now, if anybody interested in Richard’s work, do check his website, alexander.ie and, yeah, Richard, thank you so much for your work. I’m sure it’s touching many people brilliantly.

Richard:             Okay. Thanks, Steve.


Richard Brennan is the director of the Alexander Teacher Training College in Galway, Ireland. He lectures extensively throughout Europe and the US, and has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years.


This highly effective technique for releasing muscular tension throughout the body teaches new ways of sitting, standing and moving that put less stress on our muscles, bones and joints. This step-by-step illustrated guide shows you how to move with comfort and ease and relieve and prevent common aches and pains, simply by taking control of your posture. By adjusting the way you do things you can avoid putting your body under strain, and achieve
a more relaxed muscular system. Let go of tension, and discover a new sense of lightness and well-being in
your day-to-day life.

Price: £14.99 RRP
ISBN: 978-1-85906-408-5

Making sense of your moods and emotions with Andrea Harrn

Making sense of your moods and emotions with Andrea Harrn

Psychotherapist and author Andrea Harrn talks to Steve Nobel about how mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and positive psychology theories are woven together to create The Mood Cards. 

Psychology doesn’t have to be complicated.The Mood Cards offers a fun and accessible way to help you identify and explore your moods and emotions.

Andrea explains how she designed the cards to help teachers, psychologists, mental health professionals and hospice workers connect with, and help their clients open up about their moods and emotions. Andrea talks through a couple of cards with Steve, giving examples of the questions she may ask her client and the issues surrounding each emotion.

Watch here!

Listen to Andrea and Steve chat about emotions, psychotherapy and get a closer look at the emotions including Anger, Acceptance, Forgiveness and Disapointment.

Download to listen on the go.

Subscribe so you never miss an episode!

We publish a new podcast every 2 weeks on interesting
Mind, Body, Soul, Personal Development and Health topics.

Steve Nobel:                       So, hello and welcome. My name’s Steve Nobel and today I’m speaking with Andrea Harrn on The Mood Cards. Now, Andrea’s a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, intuitive healer, and expert in emotional intelligence, and she’s the creator of The Mood Cards, published by Eddison Books. Now, these cards are based on cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, and positive psychology. There are 42 cards in the box, showing a variety of emotions, ranging from happy to sad to resentment to guilt to stress. Each card comes with guided questions for self exploration, plus an affirmation for positive thinking, and her mission in creating these cards is to bring peace and understanding to the word through emotional intelligence, empathy, forgiveness, and love. And a good website to check out these cards is themoodcards.com. Hi, Andrea.

Andrea Harrn:                    Hello, Steve.

Steve Nobel:                       Can I ask you … I really think they’re brilliant, by the way. I’ve been looking through them and I can see so many applications for these. Can you say something about how you came to create these cards?

Andrea Harrn:                    Yeah, sure. Well, I’m working in my therapy, and I’ve been a psychotherapist for over 18 years now. I was noticing that a lot of people found it really hard to find the words to express their words and feelings and their emotions, and I was actually looking for a product myself that I could show to people with the different types of faces and expressions, and there was nothing available. So I just started to work on my own set of cards.

Andrea Harrn:                    In the beginning I imagined that this was something that I was just gonna use for myself. But as the idea developed it sort of grew and grew and I could see that there could a good use for this with other therapists, because if I was looking for it then I guess other people might be looking for that as well. As the idea developed, I began to realise that this could actually be a great tool for people that aren’t even in therapy, just being at home on their own and maybe struggling with how they think and feel. The idea developed over a period of time, and it eventually became the product it is now, which is a product that is suitable for adults and children and also the professionals to use, and teachers, and anyone really working with vulnerable people.

Steve Nobel:                       Great. I was going to ask you that actually, because they have these kind of very child-like faces, don’t they on these, kind of round faces with different expressions, but I guess everyone can relate to that.

Andrea Harrn:                    Yeah, the point was I wanted to keep them very simple, so I didn’t exclude anybody. I did toy with the idea of making the faces fancier, but I just really liked that that’s not necessary, and actually simple is good, because what the faces do is they act as a mirror to whoever’s looking at them, they act as a mirror to that person. So in a way, when you’re looking at the card you’re reflecting your own impression onto the image, and the image is looking back at you. It’s that simple form that helps people to open up, because there’s no barriers there.

Steve Nobel:                       Do you think, it seems to me this way, that there’s a greater need for emotional intelligence in our modern day world? We’re kind of trained educationally to think and to do stuff, but what about emotional intelligence?

Andrea Harrn:                    Well, I think that it is something that is very important, because if you look at the way society is and other societies are [inaudible 00:03:23] in a way to think certain ways or believe in certain ideologies, or religions or ways of doing things. Even in families, families are built up with certain structures. Actually it’s quite hard for people to break away from that, and sometimes you feel that you can’t be who you are because you’re born into a certain society or to a certain culture.

Andrea Harrn:                    What the mood cards does is it helps you to think for yourself. So they can actually be quite challenging to a person using them, because as it gets you to really think things through, and it might go against what you’ve believed or to avoid in the way that you’ve seen life or thought about life, and really understanding it through emotions is a great way to do it, because emotions is what drives us. When we drive with our emotions our moods influence the way we behave, and of course, having emotional intelligence can help us to understand who we are, and have better relationships with people. If we can understand, especially when things go wrong, if we can understand what it was that happened to us in that process of things if things go wrong or maybe go right, then we can look at how to make things better in relationships, or having better connections with people, more understanding.

Andrea Harrn:                    So yeah emotional intelligence also opens up self-awareness, and it opens up empathy, and deeper connection. That has to be a good thing for societies.

Steve Nobel:                       Yeah, no, I come from an averagely neurotic British family, that’s my background. Certain emotions felt almost like taboos. There were certain feelings that just would not seem to be allowed. Do you think that’s kind of a general thing for a lot of families?

Andrea Harrn:                    I think that sometimes people aren’t given the opportunity to express themselves and feel that they’re being listened to. For example, if you are feeling a certain way and you are wanting to express that, but you weren’t given that space to express it, and you don’t feel like you’re being listened to. In the end you just begin to clam up and hold all those emotions in. That’s why people have problems in mental health, because they’re not able to express themselves properly, they’re not able to be heard, and to use other people to bounce ideas off. It can feel for some people that there’s no point in telling anybody how they feel, or if they do tell somebody that they’re gonna be talked over or told that they’re wrong.

Andrea Harrn:                    So yeah, it’s good to be able to express yourself and to give a person the chance to listen to you and you to listen to them. That’s really what I wanted to create the cards, because I wanted to bring an easy way really for people to look at how they’re feeling, and to have conversations with others. For example, if you’re using the cards with a friend or with your partner, or maybe for a parent using it with child, the questions on the cards actually allow people to open up, because it’s not the person asking the question it’s the card that asks the question. So it does allow people to open and answer in an honest way and hopefully be listened to.

Steve Nobel:                       I never really thought much about the difference between a mood and an emotion, but I guess there is one. What’s the difference?

Andrea Harrn:                    Well, I mean both of them are temporary so nothing is permanent. For example, if you wake up and you’re feeling angry when you first wake up, by lunch time you may feel quite happy because your day’s gone well. So I would say that you could wake up in a bad mood, but you can be in a good mood later on in the day, something good happened. Emotional thinking is more instinctual. It might be when somebody does something and you immediately go into a feeling of hurt or disappointment, and you feel that in your body. So it’s more of an instinctual biological response. To be honest moods and emotions there’s a crossover in both of them. More or less they’re both really doing the same thing, except that I would say that a mood can be longer lasting, and emotions tend to come and go.

Steve Nobel:                       Yeah. Now your cards are based on CBT, mindfulness and positive psychology. Can you say something about how all of this works together? How have you woven all these different things together?

Andrea Harrn:                    Okay well it would really be, the cards are a reflection of how I work as a therapist. So I’m an integrative therapist and many therapists will be working in an integrative way. So you know lots of models and study to become a therapist and a counsellor, but you never just stick to one model anyway, because life’s not like that and people aren’t black and white, so it won’t work that way. So really what I’ve done in the cards is the cards are reflection of how I work.

Andrea Harrn:                    For example with the mindfulness, it’s really about paying attention to the mood or the emotion that you feel, not trying to push it away, but just looking at it and sitting with it for a while, and being able to accept yes this me, this is how I feel. And that’s really important to do that because if you don’t do that then you’re just burying it and pushing it down or fighting it or resisting it.

Andrea Harrn:                    Then CBT, which is cognitive therapy, is a really useful way to break down problems, and look at how your thinking might be affecting the situation. For example, some people have what I call a negative script, everything about them tends to be, it might be nothing’s going to work, people don’t like me, I’ve got no friends, I’ll never get that job, things don’t go my way, that would be a typical negative script. So what CBT aims to do is look at how a person thinks about a problem, and then break it down and see is that actually true, is there evidence for that, okay if that is the case what can you do to move forward from that. So it’s quite a structured process. CBT is quite structured by it aims to move somebody from thinking negatively about a situation, to be able to see a different perspective, and hopefully to come out seeing a brighter side or a learning that you can take forward.

Andrea Harrn:                    Then the positive psychology is more to do with changing mindset, having positive thoughts, thinking about life in a more positive way. That also includes, well on the cards it is about the affirmations, and being able to give yourself positive statements. The thought is just a message that we give ourselves, and it’s just as easy to give ourselves a nice little or a helpful thought than it is to give ourselves a bad thought or a negative thought. But it does take practise to learn how to do that.

Andrea Harrn:                    I have separated the cards out into three different areas of working on the cards, and usually what I would suggest is people start with the mindfulness, which is looking at the image. And then also the statements and the words on the front and the image which you can work with as well. Then moving on to the three questions which is the CBT moving on to the affirmation. So why I’ve done in that way is I’ve found that a lot of my clients were looking at positive affirmations, and saying that they didn’t work for them because they hadn’t really moved to that point where they could say a positive affirmation. There was still work to do, there was resentment, or hurt, or disappointment or trauma that hadn’t been worked through. So if you could imagine if you’d been through a trauma or something really difficult, say something like I really love myself, it’s like sticking a plaster on top of a huge wound. So you work through the wounds and the injury before you can come out and give yourself the positive affirmation and actually feel, yeah this feels right for me now.

Steve Nobel:                       Yeah, I guess these cards have a wide range of applications from schools to therapy sessions. Can you say something about, kinda, the applications you envision for these cards?

Andrea Harrn:                    When I first created the cards, I didn’t really know, I sort of did it intuitively, I went through the process of creation of them, and I hoped that they would reach the right people. My intention was these cards will reach the people that need these cards. I couldn’t have imagined at the time how wide this would reach, it’s actually amazing and the publishers have done an amazing job of also making sales of the cards. I think they’re in about 14 languages already, just in three years, which is incredible. I know from the feedback I get from people that they are being used at the moment I know that they’re being used by therapists, psychologists, counsellors. They’re being used in hospices, they’re being used in children’s homes, they’re being used in youth projects, the kids that are on probation, or kids that are getting into trouble, they’re being used in schools, they’re being used by mental health workers.

Andrea Harrn:                    Yeah, there’s lots of cases and at junior schools and primary schools. I am really happy that they’re reaching into schools as well, because that’s such a good place to be teaching children about emotions. When schools talk about results, you know SATs results, and other results, well you know so many kids don’t do well at school because there’s so many emotional problems going on. I think especially nowadays with so many children coming from difficult backgrounds, poverty, and chaotic family life, refugees. There’s a whole array and reasons why kids can’t do well at school, and these are emotional reasons, so it’s actually, I feel really happy that they’re getting into schools now.

Andrea Harrn:                    It’s so simple to use the cards as well that they can be used by children from about three or four upwards. So yeah they’re being used in lots of places, and of course by individuals buying them just for themselves to use for their own self-awareness and their own self development. They’re being used by couples as well to help to understand each other, because quite often you can be with somebody for twenty years and not really know what makes them tic. But somehow using the cards, the questions on those cards gets people to open up in a way that they might have ever opened up before. It does deepen connections.

Steve Nobel:                       Great. Now I’ve picked four cards just to give people a flavour of this, and let’s go through. The first one I’ve pick is this universal, probably universal, anger with a big red border with a ‘grrrr’ around it with a round face and kind of grimace. Can you just take us through this card?

Andrea Harrn:                    Yes sure. Well you’re right, anger is something we all feel isn’t it? I know that I felt angry a few days ago, and it did take me awhile to process that. But what I noticed in my own anger is that it was me that was really suffering. So the meaning of the card is to actually help people to see, well what is it that’s actually causing you to feel angry. When we talk about what it is that’s made you feel angry sometimes you can even laugh about what made you feel angry, because it doesn’t always sound that serious when you speak it out. So the first question, “What is causing you to feel angry?” To actually pinpoint what is the problem here. Is it something simple like somebody pushed in front of you in a queue, or is it something more of an anger that somebody’s done something terrible to you? So it’s about putting things into perspective.

Andrea Harrn:                    The second question on the card is, “How is your anger affecting you and those around you?” I think that’s an important question because when we hold on to anger it’s us that suffers isn’t it, Steve. We’re the ones that are feeling knotted inside. So also thinking about that question, how is it affecting you, how does it affect you physically? Are there knots in your stomach, are you clenching, are you getting hot? Also, what’s your behaviour like, because when you’re angry it might be affecting others around you. So it gets you to think through actually what is happening when I’m angry and how many people are affected by my anger. Then it asks, “what could you do differently?” So that will help you to just think, well maybe I should just walk away or go for a walk and do some deep breathing, something like that.

Andrea Harrn:                    Also, the third question, “Are there possible explanations?” So that question helps people to look at maybe see the other side of things, look at things from other people’s point of view, or perhaps just check out that you’re not making assumptions. Then the affirmation is about being aware of the anger and knowing that that will pass, so it’s not a permanent state.

Steve Nobel:                       The second card, acceptance, with a blue border this time. A bit of a different faced with a statement at the top, “I take life as it comes, there are some things that you just can’t change.” Acceptance.

Andrea Harrn:                    So should I do this card for you, Steve, and that might help you, yeah? So I am just wondering the first question that I might ask you is why you chose this card, acceptance?

Steve Nobel:                       Well, it seems to be a nice follow on from the anger. I chose kind of a difficult one and the a nice easy one, and acceptance to me seemed one of those things, something that I work on a lot. There just really are some things you can’t change. Of course there are some things that you can do things about. So this card really for me is about self-acceptance and accepting external things, around me which I might not like particularly.

Andrea Harrn:                    Okay, so the first question on the back is, “What does acceptance mean to you?” It will mean something different to everybody I’ve asked, but what does it mean to you, Steve? Acceptance as a concept, what does it mean to you?

Steve Nobel:                       It means accepting the parts of myself I might not like very much. For example, my vulnerability, I might not like feeling vulnerable. But it’s accepting that I do have these different aspects of myself, and to love all of those parts or to accept all those parts of myself. Also, accepting what I consider I would say difficult people. Trying to accept them, that that’s the way they are, rather trying to change them. It actually leaves me feeling much happier during the day doing this kind of practise.

Andrea Harrn:                    Yeah, so that would be the second question, “How does it feel inside?” So when you come to that point in acceptance what does that feel like for you inside of you?”

Steve Nobel:                       Yeah, a lot more relaxation, less fighting, less struggling, more going with things, more helped me put my energy towards things which are probably more constructive.

Andrea Harrn:                    So in the future, thinking about acceptance, how can that take you forward if you keep going with this sort of acceptance, how do you think that can help you in moving forward in life?”

Steve Nobel:                       Less worrying, less struggle, less putting energy into things which is a bit pointless in putting into. So it makes me more productive in a way, because I’m actually choosing to my energy into things which can be moved forward, rather on stuff that’s just almost like banging my head against the wall.

Andrea Harrn:                    Yeah, wasted energy.

Steve Nobel:                       Yeah, totally.

Andrea Harrn:                    So do you want to say the affirmation?

Steve Nobel:                       Yeah. I gratefully accept all that comes my way as an opportunity for personal growth and learning. That’s nice, I like that one, very nice.

Andrea Harrn:                    So with the affirmations, they’re not always gonna feel like the right affirmation for people, but I offer that opportunity for people to think about the affirmation, and then maybe if it doesn’t feel quite right to make their own affirmation or change the affirmation slightly that’s fine. It’s not a fixed affirmation that has to be your affirmation. It’s a suggestion of an affirmation. When I’m working with clients I find that they really like the affirmations, they don’t want to change them. It seems to work quite well.

Steve Nobel:                       Great. Now the third card is disappointed, and there’s a kind of grey boarder. I expected more, you know the face is slightly less than happy face.

Andrea Harrn:                    Yeah, so that’s something that causes a lot of problems for people, is disappointment with others, and it’s about expectations. People have their expectations quite high. A lot of people have high expectations than others, and other people can’t make them because they don’t know what they are. So unless it’s a specific agreement that you have with someone, if I do this for you you’ll do that for me. It’s specific, people don’t know what is expected of them. So where expectations are too high, that just leads to disappointment. But nevertheless when people are feeling disappointed, it’s important for them to be able to express it and not just to have the answer that I shouldn’t expect so much, because if you’re feeling disappointed you’re feeling disappointed. It’s important to be able to express why.

Andrea Harrn:                    So the first question is, “Why are you feeling let down, why are you disappointed?” And that gives people the opportunity to just express it, whatever it is, however much it might seem a big thing or a small thing, however it may seem to somebody else, to the person that’s disappointed it’s real, and it’s hurtful, and it’s affecting them. So the first question gives people the opportunity to talk about the disappointment. Who’s let you how do you feel, and also be empathic if you are working with somebody else on this, let them express themselves, be empathic, be kind, be compassionate, this person hurts and they’re disappointed.

Andrea Harrn:                    So and then it talked about that, then you can talk about expectations. Where your expectations realistic, did you expect that to happen? That gives people that opportunity to think, well actually maybe I was just hoping for something that was never going to happen anyway, or perhaps that this is just typical that this person always does this so why am I surprised, you see what I mean? It helps people put it in perspective.

Andrea Harrn:                    Then the third question is, “What can we do to make sure that you no longer let events or behaviour of others affect you?” So in that way it might be well, I know this person always cancels me at the last minute when we have arrangements. So what can you do to no longer let that affect you. Well, I won’t make arrangements with that person, or I will do this or I will do that. So it’s quite a logical practical step that people can begin to take, because it’s about empowerment really as well. Empowering yourself and not being let down by others but actually being in control of the situation, deciding how you are going to manage it, and how you’re going to be in control so you don’t have to be let down by anybody.

Steve Nobel:                       Great. Now the last card is forgiving. A nice green boarder, slightly more smiley face, “We all make mistakes.” This is obviously a much more optimistic and healing card isn’t it?

Andrea Harrn:                    It is. Would you like me to do this one with you, Steve, and ask you the questions?

Steve Nobel:                       Sure, okay.

Andrea Harrn:                    Okay, so do you believe that we all make mistakes?

Steve Nobel:                       Yes, totally.

Andrea Harrn:                    Yeah. So the first question is, “How easy or hard is it to find forgiveness in your heart?”

Steve Nobel:                       Well to answer this one, being in the spiritual world I should say, it’s very easy, but I’m not going to say it is always very easy. I’ve noticed in myself actually I need to feel everything in myself completely, before I can ever come to a point I could let it go or forgive it. I can’t do it immediately, it sometimes takes me a day or two if it’s very strong to just process all the stuff inside of me to come to a point where I know, okay I’ve felt it all fully. I need to feel it fully, what’s going on and then, not necessarily express it without feeling it. When I’ve come to a point of neutrality, then I find it’s okay, but I have to go through the process first.

Andrea Harrn:                    Yeah, I think that that’s quite understandable and normal and perfectly acceptable to do that, because we’re human aren’t we and if we’re hurt by someone, then to just forgive somebody straight away, I don’t know, it might happen, but I guess it depends by how hurt you by someone, or what they’ve actually done to think about forgiveness straight away. Would that be saying that well that didn’t matter or you weren’t bothered if you weren’t bothered that it wouldn’t hurt you that much, but if you are bothered than yeah, it’s normal to want to take that time to process.

Andrea Harrn:                    But forgiveness isn’t forgetting, there’s a difference between forgiving someone and forgetting what they … you know still remember what somebody’s done, but you might reach that point when you can forgive them. Actually forgiveness helps you. When you do forgive how do you find that it helps you when you can forgive someone?

Steve Nobel:                       Well, I like the saying, “Forgive but not forget.” I think as you said I think it’s important because there are lessons in life that we can learn from even difficult experiences, rather than just go ah forget about it. So I think what’s the learning and this, how can I learn and grow, and forgiveness kind of lets go of the hard edges of it, lets go of the kind of angst all the story of it. So for me forgiveness is letting go of the story, but absorbing the lessons. I’ve found in my life that I’ve learned so much from the hard knocks as much as from the lovely hugs you know. You do learn from hugs. I think it’s letting of the story of it that keeps us bound in the patented or maybe recreating it.

Andrea Harrn:                    Also, I think it’s similar to the anger card as well. When you’re not forgiving somebody what you’re holding onto is anger or resentment or hurt. All of those negative emotions. You’re the one that suffers when you’re not forgiving. When you can forgive and let it go, actually it frees you up, it frees your energy up for better things and more important things. It’s sort of letting go it’s a cleansing isn’t it, forgiveness?

Steve Nobel:                       Totally. It really feels like a weight is gone.

Andrea Harrn:                    Exactly, exactly. It moves you out of conflict because when you’re not forgiving it there’s a level of conflict there isn’t there?

Steve Nobel:                       Yeah I’ve got a fair amount of scorpio’s on my chart, so I can understand the power of this card. Scorpio’s don’t find it easy, I’m not scorpios I haven’t got a lot in there, so I have to really feel the angst of it and then I’m okay, then it’s gone then it’s fine.

Andrea Harrn:                    Yeah and just as well Steve that this first box, the main colours was relating much to the colour of the chakras as well. When I created the cards I had to sit with all of these feelings and facts. This is a bit of my personal journey here because everyone of these cards, I couldn’t just sit and write it, and create it, I had to actually go through all of these emotions. When I was going through them it was, I connected to where felt the emotions in the body and that helped me to connect with the colours of the chakras and see where those emotions are held. It was a powerful process for me really to go through creating these cards. It was quite hard to write them in the beginning …

Steve Nobel:                       I guess that makes them more powerful doesn’t it?

Andrea Harrn:                    It was really powerful, it was powerful. It was, I had to go through everything myself. That’s why it took a long time to create them. I’ve let them go now. It took me a long time to know that I could let them go, and now I’ve let them go emotionally, and they’re just doing what they need to be doing, they’re out there in the world.

Steve Nobel:                       Well, I highly recommend people to check these cards out. The Mood Cards published by Edison books. Andrea thank you so much for speaking with me.

Andrea Harrn:                    Thank you.

The Mood Cards

Make sense of your moods and emotions for clarity, confidence and well-being

Psychology doesn’t have to be complicated. Based on cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and positive psychology, The Mood Cards offers a fun and accessible way to help you identify and explore your moods and emotions.

Each card includes guided questions for self-exploration plus an affirmation for positive thinking. Whether to help you manage difficult moods, approach relationships more skilfully, become more sensitive to the needs of others, or simply be able to communicate and listen effectively, using the cards will encourage you to be con dent in who you are, expand your emotional intelligence and help you move forward in a positive way.


Understand deep emotions

Explore more complex emotions and behaviours for healing, happiness and inner peace.

Based on mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy and positive psychology, this pack demystifies psychology and mental-health labels, and offers a fun and accessible way to help you identify and explore moods, feelings and emotions.

Following the success of the original bestselling MOOD CARDS box, this new, stand-alone volume offers 50 cards to help you work with more complex emotions and behaviours, so that you can embark on a deeper journey of self-discovery. Learn more about your issues and obstacles, and how you operate in relationships and work situations, and gain new insights and perspectives that will take you forward to success and a healthy work/life balance. Each card includes guided questions for self-exploration plus an affirmation for positive thinking, and the pack is suitable for personal and professional use alike.

Q&A with Mark Ryan on Wild Magic and the Wildwood Tarot (Podcast)

Q&A with Mark Ryan on Wild Magic and the Wildwood Tarot (Podcast)

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!

Watch here!

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

Want more Wildwood? Hear from Wild Magic’s Co-author John Matthews here in this secret video ->

Download to listen on the go.

Subscribe so you never miss an episode!

We publish a new podcast every 2 weeks on interesting Mind, Body, Soul and Health topics

Prefer to Read?

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.

You may also like:

Wild Magic: The Wildwood Tarot Workbook

Interview with acupressure expert Laurent Turlin

Interview with acupressure expert Laurent Turlin

Steve Nobel sat down with Laurent Turlin to interview him about his book ‘Heal Yourself with Chinese Pressure points’

Laurent talks about your qi, and how your qi can become stagnant, and how acupressure helps relieve stagnant energy to nourish your organs.

Steve:   So hello and welcome. My name’s Steve Nobel and today I’m speaking with Laurent Turlin on “Heal Yourself with Chinese Pressure Points: Treat common ailments and stay healthy using a 12 acupressure point system.” This book is a wonderful introduction for beginners. Explores 12 key acupressure points for treating common ailments and conditions according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. And this book explores how to use these 12 key points to treat a range of conditions, from headaches, sciatica, and fatigue, to insomnia, motion sickness, and even a sore throat. Now Laurent is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and qualified acupuncturist, where he practises in a clinic in Paris.

Hi Laurent.

Laurent:                Hello.

Steve:   Hi. So can I ask you, many people are really familiar with acupuncture as a complementary form of treatment for conditions. I mean I’ve had it many times. But many are less familiar with acupressure. Can you just say something about acupressure?

Laurent:                Acupressure is the very first thing everybody does from the beginning of humanity. For example, when you have a shock, you touch or press the zone where you have had the shock. This is acupressure, it’s healing to relieve the blood and the qi stagnation. So acupressure, now we can specialise with acupoints, but it can be done anywhere on the body when you have a pain, self-administered, like with intuition it’s just a natural reaction, you know.

Steve:   Yeah. Can you say something about qi stagnation, and what is qi? Many people may know this, but just in case they don’t.

Laurent:                qi is energy. What is qi? Everything is qi. It can be a dense energy, solid, energy in movement. And in the body we have 12 meridians, 12 channels, and the qi goes in each of the 12 meridians to nourish the organs. Qi equals life. So when you mesh some points with other points, you create the formula and you can have synergy to treat yourself, for example, for back pain or headaches.

Life is movement, so when there is a blockage, there is pain. Chinese medicine is about moving the stagnant qi. And the blood? The blood is the substance of the qi. Qi is young. It’s immaterial. And blood is material, it is you. So the qi needs blood to circulate, and the blood also needs qi to be able to circulate. So when you bruise yourself, the blood is stopped in that area. The pain breaks the flow of circulation.

Steve: So what kind of things cause qi stagnation? You mentioned bruising, is there anything else that causes stagnation?

Laurent:                Yeah, emotion. Frustration and anger creates qi stagnation. Especially around the liver. Now tomorrow is the Chinese New Year of the Dog. This is the New Year Chinese is celebrating spring. Every season we nourish special elements and special movements. And in the Spring, the Chinese nourish the liver. And the liver is very important. It’s one of the most important organs in Chinese traditional medicine. The liver is the organ which creates the impulse, the qi, and the blood, and it regulates all the glands. It is the endocrine system, the endocrine glands. The liver nourishes the tendons and the fibres in your body, to your eyes and your brain. So the liver is very important because it is the ‘boss’ of the circulation– the flow and circulation and also your stresses. And we can say the liver digests your emotions.

Steve:   Yeah.

Laurent:                When you feel an emotion, if you receive bad news, something happens and you get frustrated and get angry, your liver is trying to digest these emotions, you can have qi stagnation around the liver. It can also lead to qi stagnation resulting in a heavy feeling on your chest, and feeling of having something in your throat, in sadness, and also for men, genital organ pains. For woman, PMS. And even migraines.

So, Chi stagnation can come from your internal emotions, can come from external shock. It can come also with the season. For example, you can have a qi stagnation if you are outside, you don’t have enough clothes, and of course you get super cold. If you have any deficiencies in your internal terrain, the cold can go, for example, into your lumbar. You can have a qi stagnation in your lumbar because the cold and the humidity go in the channels and go inside your skin and create all sorts of stagnations.

And you can have qi stagnation by having bad posture. Bad posture or torticollis. Torticollis is when you have a pain or something in your neck and you are in your car, you open the window and you drive, for example, for three hours – that’s a lot of wind. And this wind goes into your neck and the qi can stagnate.

Steve:   Now I know you’ve got this 12 main points, and I know there are a lot of points on the body, but there are just 12 you’re going into. Why these 12?

Laurent:                Why these 12? Because I studied Chinese medicine in China, and I have read a lot of Chinese medical texts. These 12 points are from the optics Chinese medical books. Zhen Jiu is the flow of acupuncture and moxibustion. And Zhen Jiu is a very fine mix of medication. There are four principal points in acupuncture and in moxibustion. And the idea for this book it that everybody can use it. They don’t need to know what is diagnostic, what is yin, what is yang, what is deficiency, what is plenitude, and what is the cold or heat. So this is book is for everybody. These 12 points are chosen because they target and treat the main areas.

So the idea is to give 12 key points. It’s for people that know nothing, but just want to do something before they go to see the doctor, before going to see the acupuncturist, or to call the emergency services. The purpose is not to say, “Here are 12 points – now you can do everything.” No. It’s a guide so you can help yourself.

Steve:   It could treat a lot of things, can’t it.

Laurent: Yes absolutely, for twenty years now I have been doing acupuncture. The emergency point between the top lip and the nose has a lot of applications.  It is a great, wonderful point to help someone that has passed out. And its also wonderful for the Lumbar (lower back) pain. You know if you have a such a great pain that you can’t stand up. It’s really hard for you to move and you just, even can’t walk. And you practice acupressure, and then acupuncture with needles, and you can ask to the patient to move, after this treatment, the person can stand again. Not to run, to do the New York marathon but he can walk. For example, if has to take the train for his job, he can do this.

Of course acupressure doesn’t use needles and its not manipulation, but really it’s energy. The Japanese do Dao-ing, Chinese do Qi Gong in the morning or so. That’s one treatment. These practices nourish life.

Steve:   Nourish life.

Laurent:         Nourish life. When we touch or treat our selves we just make our energy balanced. In our occidental world, to touch someone it to steal something they’re in need of. And in Oriental countries and in Africa, where they touch themselves, especially in India, they treat they touch they massage, it’s very normal. But still, us in occident (western cultures), there is always a connotation when we touch ourselves. We need to touch, we need to have contact, I say this in my lectures in Paris, press yourself, touch your family, your loves, your children, your friends, and with the acupoints something happens. It helps you to open your mind and maybe, your heart.

Steve:   Beautiful book, Laurent and full of lovely illustrations. And it goes through all the 12 points and lots of different issues such as asthma, or ringing in the ears, or back pain, or sinusitis, or pains, just generalised pains in the body. So it’s a very good book. If you’re interested in this kind of form of complementary medicine, I encourage you to buy this book.

And, Laurent, thank you for taking the time to chat with me.

Laurent:                Thank you so much. It was a pleasure.

Heal yourself with chinese pressure points

Laurent Turlin
with Alix Lefief-Delcourt

This perfect introduction for beginners presents the 12 key acupressure points for treating common ailments and conditions, according to the principles of Chinese medicine.

After a simple overview of the meridian system of energy channels in the body, plus easy-to-follow instructions on different massage techniques, you are then introduced to each of the 12 points in turn, and how to use them to treat a wide range of conditions, from headaches, sciatica and fatigue to insomnia, motion sickness and even a sore throat! Clear illustrations and diagrams are included throughout, along with tips on other useful complementary treatments.

ISBN: 978-1-85906-056-8

Wild Magic: The Wildwood Tarot Workbook (Podcast)

Wild Magic: The Wildwood Tarot Workbook (Podcast)

Interview with Mark Ryan


Steve Nobel interviews Mark Ryan, co-author of Wild Magic.
They talk Wildwood tarot, an amazing tarot reading and discuss the human psyche.

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.

Watch the video on youtube! As mark talks you through the deck, the relevant cards pop up in front of you.


Wild Magic: The Wildwood Tarot Workbook

ISBN: 1859064124

The Wildwood Tarot; Illustrated book and deck

ISBN: 1859063187

Use the ISBN numbers to order from all good Book Shops!

Want more Wildwood? Hear from Wild Magic’s Co-author John Matthews here in this secret video ->

Download to listen on the go.

Subscribe so you never miss an episode!

We publish a new podcast every 2 weeks on interesting Mind, Body, Sould and Health topics

Prefer to read? See the transcript below!




The Druid Animal Oracle (Podcast)

The Druid Animal Oracle (Podcast)

Interview with Philip Carr-Gomm

Philip Carr-Gomm Quote, Podcast

Philip Carr-Gomm is interviewed by Steve Nobel about his book – The Druid Animal Oracle. They discuss the history of Druidry, animal power and how the cards have helped Philip in his own life.

The Druids, like the Native Americans, revered animals as sacred guides, guardians and protectors. Now you can bring the power of this ancient Druid wisdom into your life, with this beautifully illustrated oracle.

This stunning book-and-card set allows you to access the wisdom of the animal world drawn from the wellspring of ancient Celtic tradition. By contacting the spirit of the totem animals, you can share in their intuitive knowledge and power, and receive healing, strength and guidance for your own life journey. Consult the animal lore given and interpret the card spreads to gain powerful insights into your life situation and receive positive guidance for the future.

Audio Podcast Only


Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/eddisonbooks

Druid Animal Oracle spread


► Illustrated Book and Cards
ISBN: 1859060072

►Just the deck
ISBN: 1859061729

Use the ISBN numbers to order from all good Book Shops!

Prefer to read? View the Transcript below!

Philip Carr-Gomm QUOTE on the Druid Animal Oracle