For this week’s “Deck of the Week”, the very lovely Wild Green Chagallian Tarot, I decided that a two card draw would be more interesting than a one-carder, for a couple of reasons: more and more I’m interested in looking at how different cards play off one another, rather than just looking at individual “components”, and also: this deck is so gorgeous and interesting I can’t limit myself to just one card! At the same time, being a majors-only deck I’m a bit hesitant to use a formal spread with set meanings (past-present-future seems a bit twee for a majors deck), so I’m just going to go with the flow with this one and see how it develops.
In any case, today’s draw is:
The Sun – The Lovers
Aside from the loveliness of these two cards together, I’m struck by how well they do pair up! The sun has one child holding the other’s hand as they lift off into the air, while in the second, the two adults have both soared into the air together, and are wrapped in a lovely sort of embrace, with her nightie turning into a swirl of flowers that surrounds them and keeps them in their own world, high above everyone else.
The innocent’s garden in the sun turns into the manicured, fenced-off landscape of the adult world in the lovers; the two, who are in the air above it, seem to have found solace in each other from the day-to-day mundane sort of life.
And the bird! It appears in the child’s hand in the sun card, but by the time we get to the lovers it’s perched on her hand. It’s got a twig of something in its beak too. (It looks a bit happier, freer, in the second card (ironically?). In the first the child is holding it a bit roughly, around the neck, hehe.)
How to read these together? There is freedom, flight, maturity (and perhaps less of the outright joy of that innocent love), security, and perhaps most importantly, innocence lost but then found again, of a love that brings back that simpleness of the sun card.
But there has been a change, of course. Adult life, adult responsibilities, make us hard, jaded, reluctant to take the plunge in case there is heartache at the other end.
The sun card serves as a reminder to stay light, open, and honest with your loved one, as I think the woman is thinking as she looks at the bird on her hand and remembers an earlier time. Even if you feel you have to “shield” or hide yourself so the world doesn’t see and judge.
Let your heart be light.
The other thing I like about this deck is that it not only draws from the work of Marc Chagall, but also is tied in with the properties of wild plants (the “Wild Green” of the deck). I don’t know why this combination works the way it does, but it so does.
After writing the above (which I’ve copied out of my notebook), I went through the Little White Book (LWB) to see what more I could learn about these cards and their relationship to the plants depicted in them. (As a side note, most decks’ LWBs really aren’t much chop; however there’s so much backstory about Marc Chagall here, as well as the links between the wild plants and the Major Arcana archetypes, that it is worth at least a read-through before putting aside.)
The Sun: The flowers shown in this card are the Sunflower and Pot Marigold, both with excellent healing properties, and both echo the shape and warmth of the sun. Cline states:
Bella is so full of joy that only Marc’s hand is preventing her from ascending to the sun itself.
She also refers to a poem she wrote about Marc and Bella, that’s included on the reverse of the title card. I won’t transcribe it all here, but I did find this part particularly poignant:
Bella of the flowers
who lifted his feet and bent him backwards/ for a kiss; Bella, who rose above the picnic
like a balloon, and almost flew away for joy/ as if the bird in his hand had given her its heart.
As if her heart was the bird in his hand.
The Lovers: the plants in this card are the Eglantine, or wild rose (sweet briar), Cleavers, which despite the name are also known as sweethearts, and Mistletoe (which is the sprig in the bird’s beak), each of which represent love and fertility.
Wild Green Chagallian Tarot By Penelope Cline copyright © Fig Tree Press (No ISBN)