Are You Ready for the Wildwood Tarot?

The Wildwood Tarot.

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This is not a deck for the faint of heart. Nestled among moss carpeted branches and partially hidden in shadow, its fearsome occupants don’t appear very friendly. And, according to the guidebook, they’re truly not friendly. If you’re going to ask them for the answers, you’ve got to be brave enough to tap these assholes on the shoulder and look them in the eye when you speak.

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This is not a beginner’s deck. BUT WAIT. If you’re a beginner and you have this deck, don’t get rid of it! Just store it away and you’ll know when the time is right. Just trust me.

Even aside from the somewhat sinister artwork, this deck requires some background knowledge. Do you know your Wildwood mythology? With Robin Hood and all of that? How comfortable are you with the Wheel of the Year?

You can flush your knowledge of your Rider-Waite style decks right down the toilet with this one too. Not only have the majors all been renamed, their meanings have changed as well. Many of the minors have nothing to do with their traditional meanings either (but they do have keywords).

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This deck has a sprawling, spiralling mass to it, almost similar to what I said about The Fountain Tarot. If the Fountain Tarot is “as above,” the Wildwood is, “so below.”

So how am I recommending to approach the Wildwood Tarot?

Have some basic knowledge of how cartomancy works. Know how big of an idea a single card can represent. It’s like jumping in the deep end when you don’t know how to swim. You’ll drown in the sheer size of this shit.

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Read the goddamn guidebook. Ignoring the reading material on this one is not an option. The sheer amount of posts online that I found about The Stag being “Strength” was appalling. It’s Justice, as Justice is 8 and Strength is 11 in this deck.

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Be ready to spend time with this deck. This isn’t the kind of deck you can open right up and start reading with.

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Personally, I tend to view the Wildwood Tarot as an oracle deck more so than a tarot deck. Don’t try to force your previous tarot knowledge on this, because it will refuse. This is its own separate world.

Have patience. Seriously. This deck is truly worth the time you’ll put into learning to work with it. Give yourself time for this. Anything worth doing takes time.

You’re fucking with slow, ancient things here. They’ve forgotten how to communicate with humans (if they ever knew how to in the first place). You’ll have to shut the hell up and listen.

So You Want a Pet Piggy

You know you do.

You want to name it Peaches or Tallulah and dress it up in little outfits and carry that fucker around in a purse with the first letter of its name on it. Right?

Then get a goddamn Chihuahua, because this shit is not for you.

Look up “pet pig” on any social media site and there will be tens of thousands of photos of pint-sized piggies in tutus. But where are the adult pigs?

I’ll tell you where they fucking are: the lucky ones are at pig rescues. Overcrowded, underfunded pig rescues. Know why?

“MINI” PIG BREEDERS ARE FULL OF SHIT.

These people are the scum of the earth. They’ll lie about the size your pig will grow to be. They’ll tell you to starve your pig in an effort to keep it small. If you ask to see the parents to try and see how big they are, they’ll show you another piglet and swear it’s their mother. Then they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank with the $2,000 you just gave them.

But if you dare to say to a new pig owner, “Please feed your pig the amount stated on the bag of pig food,” they’ll flip shit.

“The breeder said Petunia will only grow to be 40 pounds and I’m feeding her three kibbles a day just like they said! I know she’ll stay little because I saw her mom!”

Sure, bitch.

Ah, the reality of pet pigs.

The reality is much less glamorous, I can assure you.

First of all, let’s talk about pig sizes. This seems to be the major reason that pigs end up in rescues or worse. For the most part, females reach 100 lbs or more and males can get up to 250-ish.

“Holy crap I thought you said you had mini pigs!” This is a common response I get from people who see my pigs. Reality: these ARE mini pigs. Regular-sized pigs are 700 lbs, people. Compared to that, this is mini.

But people think that because the babies are all they ever see.

And then there are the tragedies. Malnutritioned pigs show up at sanctuaries with underdeveloped legs they can’t walk on because their owners fed them according to what the breeders told them. There are pigs who, due to bad breeding, end up with skeletons too small to accommodate their internal organs, and they only live a couple of years until their own ribcage suffocates them.

Enraging, right? These are animals that have 20 year lifespans, and some of them only get a couple of disabled years or they get to live for 20 years unable to walk.

So what DOES it take to successfully keep a pet pig?

A lot. If you’re here, you’re already doing the right thing because you’re researching before buying.

Pigs ARE NOT like dogs. I will slap the next person who says that. They’re not any more like a dog than a cat is like a dog. You can keep it as a pet. That’s about as far as their similarities go. Dogs want to please their owners while pigs don’t give a flying fuck how you feel about what they’re doing. They have an emotional warmth about them more like a dog, but their nature is much more cat-like in that it’s all about them.

It takes a while to get to read their body language and oinks too. Is he wagging his tail because he’s happy or because he’s about to rip my calf open with his tusks? Is he head slashing at me because he wants to kill me or because he thinks I have food for him? Is he squealing because he’s scared or is he asking for a bite of my spaghetti?

Have you ever fought a miniature tank with your bare hands? If you haven’t and you’re not willing to, a pig is not for you. Dominance battles fucking suck. You have to be ready to push and shove and stare them down and not flinch when they roar and gnash their tusks at you. You have to growl at them and chase them and they’re fast as shit, but you have to be the alpha pig. Be ready and willing to engage in this fuckery.

Also, people love to say that pigs are clean animals. Hah! Everything about them is a mess. They tear their bed to shreds, they dig huge craters in the yard, they make messes with their food and water on purpose, and their annual loss of their hair is one ungodly fucking disaster.

People like tout their intelligence too. Yes, pigs are very smart. Too damn smart. They can open cabinets and refrigerators and drawers. Their iron strength makes little plastic “baby proofing” things irrelevant. They’ll also learn words you’ll wish they didn’t know, like “goldfish” and “graham crackers” and the names of all the fruits and “Chipotle.”

Lastly, vets are fucking hard to find. Seriously. There are “farm animal” and horse vets who will see them, but they usually do housecalls only and require a billion dollars just to walk through the door. Or you can take them to a regular vet (if you call first and see if they’re willing) who has no fucking idea what they’re doing. I had an emergency where one of my pigs climbed up things to get a bag of fertilizer and ate it. She threw up literally everywhere. Panicked, we had to take her to an emergency vet who had never seen a pig before. These people didn’t even know pigs got as large as she was. They didn’t have needles long enough to give her an IV and she ended up with it in her ear. Never having worked with a pig before, they were shocked when they walked away for 30 seconds and she had eaten the line. Luckily she survived that shit on her own.

This may have seemed like a negative article, but it’s not really meant to be. I love my pigs and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They’re hilarious and I wish more people had them. But the truth really needs to be out there. People need to know exactly what they’re going to have to do when bringing home a piglet.

 

 

 

Tarot of the Zirkus Magi Review

I’m finally sitting my ass down to write up my review of the Tarot of the Zirkus Magi by Doug Thornsjo of Duck Soup Productions.

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This is a deck unlike any other I’ve encountered. It’s got a slightly sinister vintage circus theme and I love it. There’s just something unsettling about those old-timey photos that lends itself well to the Tarot.

The suits have been renamed. Cups are Buckets, Wands became Batons, Swords are Blades, and Pentacles/Coins are Rings.

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As you can see, keywords are on the bottom of the cards, which is nice, unless you don’t agree with its interpretation. I happen to be just fine with them, personally.

While the change of the traditional suits to something a little more circus-y is cool, it weirds me out a little when everything is renamed in a deck. And I mean everything.

The Court cards have gone from Page, Knight, Queen, and King to Billposter, Rider, Duchess, and Governor.

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Now just because I have complaints about a deck doesn’t mean that I don’t fucking love it. The following four cards are really the reason I bought this deck. I just love them:

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I think The Solitarian might be my very favorite.

Which brings me right back to the renaming thing. The Majors have all been renamed and are not numbered.

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Here are the three most what-the-fuck renamed majors. The Leading Lady is the High Priestess, The Clown is The Fool, and I don’t remember what The Aeon even is. When I say it, it makes sense, but when you’re in the middle of a reading it’s a weird stumbling block. Especially considering that this deck doesn’t come with a booklet. There’s a guidebook you can purchase separately but…

Now I really fucking hate to bring this up, but I feel I must. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to tell an artist what their work is worth, but this was a damn expensive deck. While most other independently published decks seem to go for around $40, I paid $70 for this one. Seriously, that’s 75% more than other comparable decks. And then it doesn’t even come with a tuck box, just the cards wrapped in cellophane. And then the guidebook is additional.

The cardstock is okay. It’s a bit on the thin side but nice and springy. They almost have a waxy coating that makes them stay where you put them but somehow doesn’t make them stick to each other.

Unfortunately, again, I have a complaint. I take painstaking good care of my decks, yet look at it:

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I can understand the cards having a nice worn look after years of use, but considering I’ve only owned this deck for 5 months and only used it a handful of times, it’s a bit excessive.

To recap.

Pros: unique style, great theme, creepy.

Cons: price doesn’t equal quality, having to “translate” every card.

Final note:

It’s always important to me to see the Sun, Moon, and Star cards in a deck, so here you go.

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Do you need this deck? Depends on how much money is in your tarot deck fund.

Where can you get it? Right here.