I want to start off by providing an important notice, which will be included in all of this series. However, other things that will be included that you can skip to are:
- Card Description
- Considering the Card, where I look at how I would interpret certain imagery used
- Traditional Rider-Waite definition
I only include the latter as a comparison, to show how wandering down your own understanding of images and symbols can bring you to a similar meaning, though along a different path with different experiences. This is to help expand knowledge of the card.
I will not, however, be including the definitions from the guidebook, as that is not the point of this. Also, I don’t have rights to that material.
I started this series because I had read that people struggled with the deck purely because the definitions in the Little White Book were very Rider-Waite-based, and that there wasn’t much wisdom regarding the animals and symbolism chosen.
This series is to help you to decipher the meanings yourselves. I am by no means saying what I have to say about the cards are correct for anyone outside myself. However, I am providing my daily journal entries regarding the deck to act as a guide so that you can begin your own journey.
When I started tarot, I had no idea what to write in my journal, and thus didn’t. Instead I obsessively read and re-read the Little White Book belonging to the Spiral Tarot (which is why today I can completely quote the book). I didn’t trust myself to know the cards, even when I could recite the definitions. I was afraid to put the book down.
To this fear of lack of knowledge, the creator of The Wild Unknown writes:
You do know enough. You’ve been a person on earth every day since you were born. You’ve experienced all the emotions and situations these cards depict. Quiet the naysayer…don’t let it prevent you from sitting down with a friend (or yourself) and using these cards to help talk about what’s going on in your life. It will be positive. It will be radical. You’ll find things start to reveal themselves through the cards that have been hidden away, covered with dust.pp. 10-11, The Wild Unknown Guidebook
Description of the Card
The 2 of Swords shows a single light source—an eclipsed sun, perhaps? From it, light reaches across the card, dispelling the dark to the edges.
The light reveals two crossed swords whose points frame the sun/orb. The sun/orb is black with glowing orange and yellow spilling from around it.
Traditional Card Meaning
The 2 of Swords is a blind balance. A figure is in need of putting down the massive swords, but can’t see which one to put down first. Because of the blindfold, she doesn’t know the entirety of her situation, but knows that she must make a decision. The moon calls upon her to use her intuition and to trust herself in knowing what to do. But the pressure of making the wrong decision is causing her turmoil. The grey of the ground and her dress show that it actually doesn’t matter, that no matter what decision she makes, life will move on, it is merely the pressure of having to make the decision that is causing her stress.
What I derive from the Card itself
In the standard Rider-Waite tradition, the holder of the swords crosses their arms, which in turn hold the swords. The Swords themselves are not crossed. However, in The Wild Unknown, the tips of the swords are crossed.
The implication of this is that in the Rider-Waite tradition, the problem is the holder of the swords, and the holder’s mentality causing the conflict. It’s within the personality of the figure. Conversely, the implication of the crossed tips of the swords in The Wild Unknown, is that the ideas themselves are problematic. It’s the ideas that are complicating things, not the haver of ideas.
This distinction is subtle, but there is still a distinction. With the former application, it is the figure’s problem, and thus, they can uncross their arms. They are the causer of the problem, thus, they have the power to solve the problem. But if the swords are crossed, then the ideas are at opposition.
The eclipsed sun is daylight being crossed with night. While everything is lit by the sun, the moon blocks the sun, causing an eerie shadow across everything. The shadow of the moon creates shadows to be addressed, just like the message of the Major Arcana Moon.
It’s the effect of the subconscious or intuition demanding attention. There is something that must be acknowledged pertaining to these conflicting ideas that might just solve the problem.
About the Deck
The Wild Unknown Tarot is a 2016 Harper One publication, created by Kim Krans. The deck is widely available at most bookstores who carry Tarot cards, but also on Amazon. Kim Krans always wrote The Wild Unknown Guidebook.