I got a new tarot deck, the Wildwood Tarot deck by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, art by Will Worthington. The first card to greet me when I opened the package had a picture of a stoat. I love stoats! And weasels and ferrets. So yeah, that's a good sign.
But the stoat is in the middle of the deck, and I like to begin at the beginning: with the Fool. In this deck, the Fool is called the Wanderer. There are many naming differences in this deck. The Magician is the "Shaman," the High Priestess is the "Seer," et cetera. Some of the differences were less obvious than those, and I had to check the numbers. I actually figured out the Archer (the Chariot) by the feel of the card and remembering approximately where the Chariot would be in the deck. But the Stag, number 8? Had to check, then felt silly because I had known number 8 was Strength... except that the description of the Stag does not fit with the traditional Strength card... and number 11 in the Wildwood deck, called the Woodward, does have the same meaning as the traditional Strength card. Soooo.... yeah, there are some differences. I think I may have to treat this deck almost as a more complicated oracle deck when I'm learning it, rather than trying to transfer my understanding (which is rudimentary anyway) of traditional tarot deck over to this one. That just won't work.
Other differences I expected, such as the overall feel of the deck. Where my steampunk deck is all hard truths and impassioned motivators, the Wildwood deck is deep truths with ancestral roots and a flair for verdancy. There's something solemn about these cards. Even the most light-hearted images - like the stoat - do not diffuse that abiding stoic presence.
The Wildwood deck is a radical departure from the easygoing and blunt playfulness of my Steampunk deck. Frankly, it's intimidating.
I'm both eager and apprehensive. I'm not sure I have the focus right now that this deck demands. Then again, perhaps they all require that same focus, and this one just won't let me get away with less (in contrast to my Steampunk deck, which allows me to get away with it, and my Animal Oracle deck, which is so familiar to me that we almost speak the same language).
Well that's an uncomfortable idea.
Here's where my stubbornness tries to kick in and lead me to jump into this new project - working with the Wildwood deck - all plans and good intention. But no, not this time. I'm working hard to insert common sense into my scheduling practices, and in this case that means not diving into a new and demanding project until my other demanding projects are finished. My foolish desire to rebel against intimidation be damned - this deck deserves my complete attention, and I'll wait until I can give it.