I am excited to finally get around to compose this entry. It has been on my queue for weeks now! Today we will be looking into the Wild Unknown Tarot illustrated by Kim Krans, evoking spirituality found through adventures in the forest. Since I have been enjoying a cover of The Cure's A Forest lately, it is quite fitting to be able to play in the outskirts of the city without having to leave my room. It sets the mood just right for the experience that we're about to have; please enjoy!
I do not yet have the companion book but I don't really feel that I need it based off opinions from the AT forums. Apparently it doesn't go into the conceptual intention for this deck. Rather, the author apparently took the traditional meanings of the deck and wrote them by hand to make a hipster-proof handbook. While I admire anything drawn by hand, I think that the author could have taken the opportunity to add something new to the tarot table, which is already pretty cluttered with redundancy and noise. At this point the market is pretty saturated and we don't need more fluff added to it. In a way, I think this is why so many experts have jumped ship and run off to the Lenormand instead. I'm not knocking the book, I'm just saying that after going through the trouble to make something so refreshing in terms of symbolic imagery, why not take it a step further with the intended meanings?
This deck reads in a bit of an oracular way, rather than the traditional RWS tradition anyway... but its readings are really strong. It has taken a life of its own rather than the promotion they have been trying to give it, which I am relieved about. I don't think that it should be forced to be something that it is not, because this tarot deck exceeds the boundaries placed on it. I feel that if you run wild with it, you'll find yourself immersed in a world of darkness and light in balance — that's beauty right there. The trend hit strong, and everyone's got Wild Unknown fever! As I scroll down the threads in AT, I feel like most everyone is using the Wild Unknown Tarot as a one deck wonder or as the source for card of the day. I have to add that it photographs beautifully, in case any bloggers were wondering.
This deck uses black and white schemes with color accents. It uses the color theory to convey moods and feelings, but it also has an energetic pull with its color use that is quite interesting. It could be the wild splashes of color contrasted with the bleak and lively strokes used; the cards really resonate with the vibrant life around them, and I love them for that. There are several allusions to the Thoth tarot contained, which adds a solid layer of feeling to a deck that is already pretty full of symbols and secrets. This means any seasoned reader will be able to get great insight and surprisingly witty responses from this unconventional tarot deck.
The most special attribute to this deck is the fact that there are no humans in it. It is purely symbolic, which can either super charge it or make it impossible for some to connect with it. I feel drawn to the symbols and the elemental qualities, and find it a great chance to work with animal guides. Oh, these animals... Whether they're dead or still breathing, they are the ones that really make the Wild Unknown as solid as it is. You can draw connections, relate them, contrast them, and enjoy their company as you stumble or run through the forest. I really love their depictions and wish there were more for us to be delighted with.
And how about that card stock? It has a wonderful matter texture and it doesn't bend or warp. It comes beautifully packaged in a box with a black pullout ribbon and a beautiful foldout with keywords. You know it's sturdy when Le Fanu himself says, and I quote: This deck doesn't need a back up (and that's me saying that!) The cardstock will not suffer wear and tear. Or rather, it should last me another 30 years if I live to be almost 80. That comes from the King of backup decks and enabling. For those of you who have not had the pleasure to read his reviews, I suggest you run over to his blog.
I have to admit that at first I was not a believer. I didn't like the fact the meanings were not as thought out as the deck itself, but I realized that gave me leeway to assign my own meaning to it. In giving it a chance, I found that I could learn from it as the nagging teacher that it has proven to be. Literally wise beyond its years, and a worthy addition to any collection. This deck grew on me because of its beauty, its voice and the experiences I have shared with it ever since it came out. Both of my copies are from the second print run, and top quality — and yes, a backup was absolutely necessary!
INTERVIEW WITH THE WILD UNKNOWN TAROT:
♡ What is your most important characteristic?
The Lovers. To fly freely with nature is to find harmony and purpose. We can get lost in the daily grind of life, but this deck intends for us to find magic in the cards and in every day life. They fly in unison and looking out for one another, but they fly as one and they're going to reach their destination together. I love how this card symbolizes the journey of the relationship, which will go through crazy obstacles and wintry weather to nourish itself.
♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
King of Cups. Look at that rain of emotions! Being in control of your emotions is difficult, but look at that black swan go. He's cruisin' and he doesn't really care what anyone else thinks of him. He knows his worth and he'll teach you yours if you listen.
♡ What are your limits?
Eight of Swords. There are times when we close ourselves up and we don't listen to what the tarot is trying to tell us. We set our own boundaries, and it's up to us to break those boundaries too.
♡ What are you here to teach me?
Five of Swords. Breaking away from bonds and earthly pains that are of no help to us. What isn't worth it should be discarded. This also reminds me of 'solve et coagula', or rather, to differentiate different parts of the self. Here it is very clearly a division, and one that is going to cost us if we're not paying attention.
♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Eight of Coins. Work hard, work fast and work diligently! Spin a million tales, let them take their own turns and bask in the glow of what you make. Your work is your craft, you can either do it with pride or do it fast to push on. Take your time and it will be rewarding. I see the web stretching out as social networking with people.
♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
The Hierophant. Nag, nag, nag... Stop nagging me, Teacher! Just what I need to hear may not be to my liking, but it will provide the key to transformation. This is a crow, the shape shifter and the one who has the key. The key can be a solution that you haven't noticed to a problem, or it could very well be an opportunity that you have been waiting for. You won't be able to find your way if your head is full of noise and if you're not paying attention, which is why the crow nags.
During my time in Japan, I felt the crows were laughing at us or warding us off. They were huge, bigger than our heads in fact, and we decided not to get too close to them as they descended. They coexist with humans, but I'm sure they could be quite vicious if they wanted to be.
♡ Which card do you want to show off?
The Chariot. Horses are free, they charge when they feel threatened and they linger while they're at ease. This one has the moon branded on his forehead, symbolic for the mind. He wears the Pentacle as an amulet to soak up the rays of the sun, which flows through him — or her — as masculine energy. This deck is saying it will charge forward with assurance, and whatever stands in the way will be stepped on. That's a pretty wild signifier for the chariot! This horse doesn't draw the chariot, it is the chariot.
♡ How do you see me?
Judgement. A white dove rises to enlightenment amidst a sea of black birds. We face enlightenment when we can accept the call to action and to join a better cause. This is usually how those whose perspective senses are awakened feel, as diamonds in the rough finally breaking free from the coal. We're ready to rise, to seek light and knowledge, and we're comfortable in knowing the journey comes alone. Often we are persecuted for our beliefs and put down, but the internal light shines brighter than the dark words they try throwing over us. Uplifting!
♡ How do you see yourself?
Seven of Coins. As a token of wealth offered from a lovely time period. It is the builder and the ladder to another level of consciousness. Embark on the journey without care of going back and you'll find yourself something new, but the upwards climb is rarely ever as easy as you would like for it to be.
♡ High Priestess
♡ Queen of Wands
♡ Ace of Cups
An extra card combo, and a positive one. It is saying that once we let go of the ideas we so vehemently protect, we will be able to sample happiness. We can clear our blind eyes to see more clearly, but that means we need to accept gifts when they present themselves to us. If we're not open, we lose. Our attitude automatically improves when we can see past that initial danger,
Hey, Wild Uknown... Would you make an oracle AND a Lenormand? Pretty please? Yes?