Sunday, August 25, 2013

Herbs and Cards

Tonight I'm attending a class on magical and medicinal herbs, primarily for use in teas and for incenses.  I'm pretty excited about it, and it got me thinking about combining herbs with Tarot and Oracle practice.  At this point the main card-herb interaction occurs when I cleanse new decks; I pass each card through sage smoke.  But that's where it ends.

As Tarot is a life-long study, herbs may also end up for me.  When I was a kid I used to roam the nearby forest trying to identify all the plant life I came across, and all the potential uses.  One year when I was 12 or 13 I tapped our Maple tree and boiled it down into (a very small amount of) syrup.  Another time I carefully selected Queen Anne's Lace to bring home to use as a root vegetable at dinner time.  The latter is also known as wild carrot, and I was pretty pleased with myself, although the carrots were not particularly appetizing (preteen cooking skills not really up to par, I guess ;-) ).  

In high school I decided to drink some Senna Leaf tea after dinner one evening.  I doubted its potency, and figured it would probably just be like any standard herbal tea.  I spent the entire next day at school running back and forth between class and the bathroom.  Not so cool when you're 16, but it was kinda funny and a very good lesson about the power of plants.  So herbs have always attracted and intrigued me, and I have been studying them more intentionally recently for healing purposes.

So I was thinking about new ways to combine Tarot and herbal study aaaaaand.....I came across this: 

Herbal Tarot

And I added it to my deck wish list straight away! :-D

It follows the Rider-Waite style but each card includes a strategically chosen herb that reflects in some way the meaning of the card.  I hear that some people who have an herb background find this a nice deck to use while initially getting acquainted with Tarot.  I will be using it from the opposite direction.... I think it'll be a great tool to learn about herbs, as I do readings.  I'm curious to see how the plant influence might add a new dimension to card meanings!

Herbal Tarot

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