Our featured image today is one from my favorite painting. It is a piece by Makovsky called The Russian Bride’s Attire. It is my favorite, because as I walked through an art museum in San Fransisco, with my best friend turned boyfriend, I found myself in front of this painting, ten times my own size.
I was engulfed by the emotion of the art. I could hear the women giggling at times, could smell the musty air. I could feel the sadness and the small, incongruous tremors of fear in the bride’s heart. I could feel the lavish ritual around me, of women preparing their smallest woman for the mystery of marriage. An image of a passage; grand, and beautiful, joyful and sad. I was standing in front of this piece of art, holding my breath, with tears rolling down my face.
When he turned his attention away from the work of art he was looking at, to me, I deftly wiped the tears away, but didn’t want to move. I wanted to be hugged, and prodded, and loved (even harshly) by this circle of women.
The further into my internal journey of initiation into marriage, the smaller my circle of women feels, and at times, I am severely disheartened and disappointed by this reality. Where are the people on my side of the court, who will be there when the days get hard and I just need another married woman to talk to- who gets it? Where are the women who will remind me how to be a good friend, lover and partner for my person? Where are the women who are going to remind me to be appreciative, or to tell me it’s okay to feel darkly about it all, or to laugh and cry with me in my joy of finding someone who treats me like a Queen of Pentacles and loves me like a Queen of Wands, who holds me like the Page of Cups I am sometimes, and cherishes me like the Forest Lover equal from the Wildwood? Where are the women who love and appreciate me for the friend and cat-tarot-death lady that I am? Where is my tribe?
I am discovering, through my readings, that to my surprise, death is a central theme to this joyous rite of passage. I am shedding, I am learning, I am digging and journeying and changing and transforming. And I feel wildly alone through it all.
So, today when I woke up and remembered that this man that I love bought me an original art piece of my favorite Major Arcana card from the Wildwood (The Hooded Man), I knew the Wildwood needed my attention.
I have very little ability to commit to a single deck. So, I’ve committed to three, for the year. I might pull some others out here and there, but for the majority of my work- the Wildwood, Druidcraft, and Druid Animal Oracle are going to be front and center. I did pathworking today with the Fools from both decks, and they both had messages for me that I feel are relevant for this current soul journey I am on.
The Druidcraft Fool took me, as an onlooker down into a forest in the canyon below his cliff. And when there, he opened his pack for me. Where I expected to see the Magician’s tools, I instead saw a tarot deck, the Wildwood specifically, in his pack. Ah, you funny subconscious, you. The only tool I need for the journey- a tarot deck, to learn and grow and get me through.
The Wildwood pathworking was the first scary pathworking I’ve ever done. The Fool pushed me over the edge to show me that the mists by the waterfall could hold me up. When I stopped trusting in the power of the Wildwood, I would fall through, to find the Fool catching me. “If you trust in the power and the magic of the Wildwood, you have nothing to fear. All you need is in there.”
Pulled with them was the Blackbird. And his message: “Your soul is calling.” I guess I should pick up.
So, while I am trying to grow my physical women’s circle, to find my tribe, to expand, and love, and let go of what is right to be let go of; I have three decks in my pack, that are my friends, my guides, and my circle through this rite. What a gift for the universe to bestow.