Those of you who follow me on Twitter or have chatted with me know that last month I received my new tarot deck: The Herbal Tarot. I will be studying the cards individually over time and decided to share my studies with you, dear readers. Feel free to follow my information here as if it were a free class or simply to supplement any tarot studies your are currently taking.
This deck combines my two favorite aspects of practicing witchcraft - Herbs and Tarot.
I have loved both since I was very young and just pulling down books on my head from the top shelf in the Spirituality section of my hometown library.
In this time of my life, I feel the herbal tarot will help me on my path of joining my spirituality with what I used to consider my mundane goal of becoming an herbalist or naturopathic healer.
Over a period of several months, I will be taking the card one at a time and studying not only the card itself but the herb accompanying the card. You will see posts on how to read the card, how to use the card in any spells or meditative work, how to use the herb in its culinary, medicinal or magical purposes, etc.
I hope that you enjoy these posts and learn something along with me.
An Introduction to The Herbal Tarot
The Deck was created by herbalist Michael Tierra and artist Candis Cantin. Published by U.S. Game Systems, Inc.
The book that accompanies this deck is out of print and therefore I have not seen it sold for less than $60 online. (I will not be using this book in this study as it is not logical to order it at this time with my budget).
The deck follows the sequence of the Rider-Waite Tarot and the introduction in the small pamphlet accompanying the book explains, "Anyone familiar with the Rider-Waite Tarot will be able to transcribe their understanding to the Herbal Tarot."
The herbs were assigned to the cards intuitively based on astrological correspondences, symbolism and traditional, folklore and biological uses.
Here is the reason I love this deck:
"The Herbal Tarot is designed to integrate the healing properties of traditional herbs with the tarot. Thus it is a useful introduction both to the ancient arts of herbalism and to occult mysticism...Herbs, when joined with the tarot, can provide a symbolic material manifestation to accompany a specific divination."
The Deck Itself
Candis Cantic is the artist of this deck. She worked with the art form the Rider-Wait deck and added a natural flare not only with a picture of the herb associated but with the characters in the deck itself. The Queens of the deck are near a natural body of water, the Kings enthroned with natural stone, the Page of Pentacles is gardening, etc.
On the back of the cards is a balanced design of rosemary with four blue flowers.
From my own meditations on the back of the card I believe that the four flowers are meant to assign the four corners of a sacred circle. Each flower has eight petals that resemble the Wheel of the Year with its eight sabbats. The inner red petals symbolizing the four seasons in that year.
The rosemary on the back of the card has many magical properties. The properties that I believe most influence readings with this deck include protection, mental powers and purification. These powers would benefit any deck by aiding in cleansing it between readings and grounding it before the next reading is begun.
There are many reviews of this deck online. The following links are to some of the ones I read and liked.
The Aeclectic Tarot did a few reviews of this deck.
Tarot Reader Jan reviews the deck on Angel Paths