Welcome to The Spirit of Nature Oracle. When you look at the wonderful paintings that adorn these cards you may see faces looking back at you. They all belong to one of the oldest spirits of the natural world – the Green Man. Images of this extraordinary being are found as far away as Brazil, but most often in medieval Cathedrals across Europe – set there by the masons who built these vast stone forests. Wherever you go to encounter the natural world – to your garden, to a park, or to the deepest countryside, the Green Man is there, waiting to open a deeper awareness of nature and the world around us.
The Green Man is Back!
Re-released as The Spirit of Nature Oracle, this ever popular deck is inspired by the beauty and nature of the Celtic Ogam tree alphabet. This oracle will help you gain new and profound levels of awareness about yourself, your relationships and where you are headed.
‘It is wise to listen to the voices of trees,’ wrote the second-century Roman author Tacitus, ‘for they tell us much that we might otherwise forget.’ Trees have been seen as the holders of memory, and the stewards of tradition, from the earliest times; they preserve age-old lore and wisdom within themselves and in artefacts made from them. Whether we imagine individual trees or the great dark forests of northern Europe, the lore and imagery of the woods have become both iconic and emblematic. Pieces of bark, even stones, inscribed with letters from the ancient Celtic alphabet known as Ogam have been used to arrive at divinatory readings for at least 1,600 years, while actual trees have been considered sacred by most cultures at one time or another for a much longer period.
From the book
GREEN MAN WISDOM:
No one knows their fate
Fate is a door that can swing in both directions. We may endeavour to know what our own personal fate is going to be, but to do this can be a double-edged sword. Who has not wondered what the future holds in store, only to be brought up short with the thought that to know such things changes everything, effectively taking away our freedom of choice? True fate comes from recognizing each moment for what it contains, and acknowledging a fated or fateful chance that brings us closer to the path we are meant to be walking. Fate is not written in stone, however, for we have choices which open up before us every day. Neither does fate control which of the paths we take, for it merely guides us towards the realization of our potential. To understand this brings strength and an age-old wisdom that teaches us how to live in harmony with the circumstances that fate may have put in front of us. If you draw this card, think what it is that is truly motivating you.
The oak has been called the first among trees – not surprisingly, since it is often the tallest and most imposing in any grove. In Britain it is frequently called the royal oak, while to the Druids (whose name means ‘Oak Wisdom’) it was the central tree of their mysteries, acknowledged in Ireland as the tree sacred to the Dagda, father god of Celtic tradition who, like the oak itself, never failed to give hospitality to all who asked for it. Appearances of the oak in myth and folklore are so numerous that it was clearly recognized as a sacred tree from the earliest times; indeed, it was held in the highest honour by the Norse people and the Greeks, for whom the oak represented Thor and Zeus respectively. The use of oak wood in shipbuilding – from Jason’s great ship Argo, which had a branch from the sacred oak of Dodona in its hull, to the floating castles built to defend Britain from the French armada – has added to its reputation for strength and endurance. ‘Hearts of oak are our ships, hearts of oak are our men,’
runs the old song.
GREEN MAN WISDOM:
Destiny moves us to do great things
Our destiny is not fixed or unalterable, nor is it already woven into a picture. Like the spinning spider, whose long supporting threads create the web’s shape, we also need to discover the framework of our lives. When we have learned to find and follow the thread of our destiny, we can begin weaving around the supporting threads of our life story. To understand the nature of our destiny, we can observe our life’s work and experience, our aims, gifts and desires. Our greatest achievements have come about when the thread shaped itself without our thinking about it, when thought, mind and soul were one. The wisdom of the Green Man encourages us to follow our deepest desires, in order that our destiny can reveal itself in the outer world.
The spindle gets its name from its primary purpose – the making of spindles for use in weaving. This has given it a powerful association with the weaving of destiny, bringing into its sphere the deities connected with the sacred arts of spinning and weaving. The weavers of Norse mythology (the Norns) had close connections with the spindle, as did their Greek counterparts, the Fates, who spun, wove and cut off the thread of life. The symbolism was the same in each case: these goddesses wove the thread of each human life into a vast tapestry representing the whole of creation, and by cutting the threads of a living person they could instantly end that life. Stories tell how certain heroes found their way into the underground caverns where the destiny goddess dwelled and were able to change the direction of their fate by reweaving or unweaving part of the tapestry, yet the pattern was said to be so complex that only the goddesses could follow a single thread. Spindle also has an association with childbirth, probably recalling the destiny woven for every child before it is even born. The Fates themselves sometimes assisted at heroes’ births.
GREEN MAN WISDOM:
Vision lights the way ahead
Vision sees beyond the surface of things. It allows the perceptions to grow wiser and the heart to see further than it otherwise might do. Every day we see a surface appearance of reality that can be both reassuring and misleading. Because it seems normal, it tells us that everything is exactly as it should be, but this can be no more than a swift observation that looks no deeper. Vision helps us to look further, to see past the surface of things and into the heart of reality, where truth is revealed. With this help, we are better able to find the answers to our questions, to see beyond the easy option to the more difficult (but more rewarding) truth that often hides itself from us. With the support of the Green Man himself, and the visionary perception revealed to us through the power of Apple, we are advised to go deeper into truth than we have ever done before, thereby revealing the true meaning of events that might otherwise have
seemed baffling or impenetrable.
Apples are associated with immortality and the paradise of the other- world. In Greek myth, the gardens of the Hesperides were said to contain a mighty golden apple tree, goddess Gia’s gift to her daughter Hera on her marriage to Zeus. The fruit of this tree could restore life to the dead and heal those in need of it. It was guarded by a serpent, and by nine goddesses who formed a protective ring about it and sang sweet songs. Hercules had to steal three apples from the tree as one of his twelve labours, though this caused such anger among the gods that they were later returned. In Celtic myth, the hero Lugh was dispatched to collect apples from a Tree of Light that grew in the otherworld. Biblical tradition turned many of the beliefs regarding the sacredness of the apple and its fruit upside down by making the apple tree in the Garden of Eden not only a source of wisdom but also a contributory factor in the Fall of Adam and Eve. Beneath this lies a fear of the visionary gifts of the fruit, which give people
too much knowledge.
The Green Man is an ancient and popular icon of the natural world – the very spirit of nature. Here, in this remarkable pack, his tree wisdom and the Celtic Ogam tree alphabet combine to bring you an oracle of immense power.
The beautifully illustrated deck of 25 cards depicts each of the trees that make up this ancient Celtic alphabet. The Green Man is present in every image – sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden – inviting you to enter his world. You will discover tree lore, myths and symbolism, and you will learn the innermost meaning of each card, and how this age-old knowledge can guide you in your life today.
Publication date: 27 September 2018
(Ps – You can use the ISBN to order from ANY bookshop!)
John Matthews is a leading authority on Grail and Arthurian legends and Celtic literature, myths and traditions. The author of a number of successful divinatory systems based on early spiritual beliefs, he has also acted as
Will Worthington has worked as an illustrator for the last thirty years. He has contributed his distinctive art to many titles, including The Wildwood Tarot, The Druid Plant Oracle and The DruidCraft Tarot.