Card 1. The beginning of Knowing. The first Meeting. The introduction to Yourself, to Tools, to Mysterious Power.
The next card in our Journey through the Wildwood Tarot brings us face to face with The Shaman. Clad in bear skin, marked with tattoos, draped with stone jewelry, a beard of ages, and a tunic with symbols we've yet to learn the meaning of; The Shaman knows things we dearly wish to know (and one day we might; didn't you catch a reflection of yourself in his flashing eyes?) but for now, he shows us four important tools that we will need:
-a cup made from antlers holding water, ready to quench thirst,
-a crackling, smoky bundle of twigs of an unknown plant, ready to warm, burn away, and obscure
-a stone knife, for all manner of cutting, and
-a rattle fashioned from an animal skull, to make music, announce our presence, call in, invite, call out, spirit away.
Take the Tools - the Shaman, invites intensely. Are you brave and courageous enough to approach and accept? The power emanates off him in a way that almost feels like you could catch it, if you came close enough, breathed in enough.
Without a word, it's clear that these Tools can be put to use in a myriad of ways - for good, for ill, for mischief, for love, for magic, for survival, for fun, for pleasure - these, any many more, are choices to be made over and over, throughout our Journey. When, and how, and why are meant to be figured out later, as we go.
Take them! The magic will come. The things The Shaman knows, and keeps behind him in his wooded cave, will show themselves in time.
Upon leaving, take notice of The Shaman's walking stick - a seemingly simple and beautiful piece of knotted wood. Wouldn't you like one of your own?