Posts Tagged ‘The Herbcrafter's Tarot’

Today’s card is a good reminder that sometimes we must make our own happiness. We might tire of the expression, “Happiness is a choice” and it might be an oversimplification for some that struggle with depression or anxiety, but is accurate. St. John’s wort is one of many natural tools to deal with such things, so it’s a good and sunny representative of the work needed. Don’t allow yourself to spiral down too far – the sun is ready to shine upon your face.

Blessings.

The Sun – St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Cultivate happiness, vitality, and joy; the peak of summer’s power wards off every ill; Shine on! Celebrate yourself and your successes

A clear jar of red infused oil encircled by bunches of St. John’s wort sits on an indigo-dyed cloth. A crown of the blood red oil in vials adorns the top of the bouquet. The bright yellow flowers tumble onto a replica of the ancient Mixtec Sun stone, which hides beneath the green mass. A few flowers have fallen into the jar of oil.

Meaning: Happiness begets happiness. Radiate liveliness and vitality. Fully experience the sheer gift of being alive. St. John’s wort is best known as a mood-lifting plant but it also repairs skin from trauma and soothes nerve-related pain. The flower buds emit a rich pigment that yields vibrant red potions. The flowers and buds peak at the height of summer, the most potent time for wildcrafting. Make magic and medicine when your joy in in full bloom. Seek vibrant people and healing experiences that build good energy and boost your power. The leaves of St. John’s wort shimmer like diamonds when held up to the sun. Step into the light and show your sparkle.

Crafting with the Sun:

• Keep bright flowers in your home to promote a sense of joy.
• Craft oils and elixirs with St. John’s wort to invoke the healing powers of light during dark times
• Wear bright red lipstick and nail polish to celebrate your fabulous self.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by author Latisha Guthrie and artist Joanna Powell Colbert

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OK, maybe it’s from living in Kansas for 19 years, but I love this card. Sunflowers grow easily in our area, and the local community garden regularly has them resown by the birds – a nutritious and beautiful gift that the gardeners no longer have to sow themselves! Today, we should look to nourish our power and dreams with the magic of the elements and our spirit.

Also, I admit to being rather charmed, ahem, at the idea of charm casting. It seems similar to casting bones, and the personal touch of collecting one’s own charms and symbols would make the divination similarly powerful, I believe. Anyone out there already use this form of divination? Thoughts or suggestions?

Have a blessed day!

The Magician – Sunflower (Helianthus species)

Unleash your magic; radiate power and potency; from one seed, a thousand

A vibrant sunflower lies on a weathered table. One of the leaves gestures toward the sky, the other toward the ground. Black seeds form a lemniscate above the flower. Casting charms are tossed onto the table revealing the tools of the herbcrfter: byline, mortar and pestle, kettle, and basket.

Meaning: The power of manifestation lives within. All the information necessary to create life is contained in a seed; yet it is the elements that make the sunflower grow. Wind strengthens the stalk; water feeds the plant; fire is converted to energy by the leaves; earth anchors thereto. Nourish your ideas with the elements and watch them bloom into being. Receive divine light from the unseen realms, shape it into form, then give it all away. Sunflower roots travel for miles underground bringing nutrients to the flower. When it mature, the flower head bends to the earth and unleashes thousands of seeds. Be a conduit of transformation for others.

Crafting with the Magician:

  • Boost magical potency by eating sunflower sprouts for energy.
  • Learn to read casting charms for others.
  • Multiply creativity with guerrilla gardening. Plant sunflowers everywhere and share your seeds.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by author Latisha Guthrie and artist Joanna Powell Colbert

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OK, so both of these were pulling at me pretty evenly, so I’m posting both – take them together or take the one that speaks to you!

Madre of Fire – Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Turn up the heat on your creative passions; a warm heart and a spicy kitchen welcome others to your table; stoke the creative fire that burns in your belly

A woman stands in a warm kitchen. The table is covered in bottles, books, and a large, fresh harvest of thyme. A kettle whistles on the stove. Yellow and orange herbs dangle from the rafters. She is dressed in garden clothes, and her worn hands calmly grind herbs in a large molcajete.

Meaning: The Madre of Fire inspires others by living an artistic life. She teaches from her actions. She encourages collaboration, inviting everyone to play in her busy apothecary. She is upbeat and accepts life’s paradoxes. She knows thyme is a both a popular kitchen herb and a superb medicine plant. She is driven by a rich imagination and finds magic in everything. Creativity is second nature to her, and her days are filled with inspired activities. Just like remedies made with thyme, she is warm and wholehearted. She attracts people into her home. She radiates vitality and love. Embrace your inner glow; it warms the hearts of others.

Six of Air – Cattails (Tyhpa species)

Question your assumptions; gain clarity through articulating your visions in writing; support others in setting intentions for change.

A table in the afternoon sun is covered in sheets of handmade paper for writing prayer petitions with friends. Cattails grow along the border of a nearby marsh. Crow, owl, and heron feathers are gathered in glasses. A jar of walnut ink is open, ready to document devotions.

Meaning: Clarity can be found in the mire. Cattail, often seen as invasive, creates a stronger ecosystem by clearing and purifying an area, making if more habitable for life. Open yourself to new ways to pray. Ask for help from your community when you need it. Adjust your expectations and challenge your current way of thinking As cattail seeds are carried by the wind, trust Spirit to carry your visions toward a greater good. Cattail is sometimes called the supermarket of the wild for its many uses – as food, shelter, clothing, fuel, and medicine. Be the resource of the spirit; look for myriad ways to be of service to the needs of others.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by artist Joanna Powell Colbert and author Latisha Guthrie

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In any deck, the Fool is a rich card that many folks underestimate. The dandelion, grounded and free spirited at the same time (and such a healthy and healing herb!), used here makes it clear that the Fool is more than meets the eye. Admittedly, we’ve been spring cleaning and decluttering the last few days and last night I tackled my magic and herb cabinet. It had become a place of excess accumulation and truly unworkable, so even though I let some things go I now feel inspired to work with the items I kept rather than fearing opening the doors! This fool is ready for a magical adventure now.

Hope you all have a lovely day!

The Fool – Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Follow your dream seeds; be audacious in your adventures; seek wisdom in weeds

A basket of dandelion flowers lies in the grass. Stones mark the cardinal directions, but the arrow-shaped leaves point to many possible paths. Some plants spill from a wildcrafting pouch that rests on the ground. A monarch butterfly sets off on its migration.

Meaning: The world is full of adventure. Open to what you have never known before. Like the dandelion seeds that float freely in all directions, trust the changing winds as you embark on a new journey. The bright yellow flowers are bold and lively; be as audacious and spirited in your explorations. Often thought of as a weed, dandelion is an inviting first medicine for a new herbalist. Keep your mind open. Be willing to experience life as a beginner. Be a pioneer.

Crafting with the Fool:

  • Harvest a dandelion seed and wear it as an amulet when you set off on a new journey
  • Make dandelion vinegar and sip it when you need to be bold and audacious
  • Practice finding wisdom in unlikely places; create a mandala with weeds

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by artist Joanna Powell Colbert and author Latisha Guthrie

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I’m back with the Herbcrafter’s Tarot today – I’m enjoying learning this deck. And what a fantastic representation of the Wheel of Fortune! It tells us to stay centered in spite of the change and chaos that might be swirling around you. Mark the holy days or seasons as you go to help stay grounded.

Blessings!

The Wheel of Fortune – Kitchen Garden

Put your faith in the turning of the wheel; stay centered in the midst of change; find the medicine unique to every season

A circle of white stones frames a fragrant wheel-shaped garden honoring the eight holy days of the year. An herb planted for each section provides a valuable remedy in the corresponding season. Bay is planted for Yule, parsley for Candlemas, violet for Ostara, chives for Beltane, lemon verbena for Summer Solstice, basil for Lammas, sage for Autumn Equinox, and onion for Hallows. At the center of the garden is a compassionate rose.

Meaning: The promise of the garden is change. Events may unfold that redirect your path. Some things may feel beyond your control. Find the larger pattern in the chaos. The holy days mark the revolving cycles of nature. They may bring disruption, but they are always reliably in forward motion. When your soul compass spins, find stillness in experiences that easily allow you to be yourself. Trust life to come into being, as the plants always do. There is transformation in each turn of the wheel. What emerges from this development will point to your true north.

Crafting with the Wheel of Fortune

• Celebrate the holy days by reading a living altar. Add nature elements as each season unfolds

• When you need to stay grounded, hold small round stone in the palm of your hand and breathe.

• Build a reliable seasonal apothecary. Start with learning the herbs in the kitchen garden.

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What insightful card as we head into the weekend. Light a fire and kick the tires, as we say around here, and gather your energies and people (digitally or energetically for some of us) and make something happen. This card is a call to creativity, fun, and magic!

I’m still learning this deck, but I really love it. Perhaps my love of herbalism and wildcrafting is a big part of why, but the artist Joanna Powell Colbert is familiar to me from years of seeing her work in Sagewoman magazine and other places. The deck also separate by the four elements rather than traditional Tarot suites, and the book has organized the pip cards by number, rather than doing all the earth together, air together, etc. Check out the three cards I pulled today to get a sense of the variety of feel and energy from this deck:

OK, now on to the main card for today. Blessings, everyone. 🙂

Six of Fire – Nasturtium

Celebrate yourself and others; call the circle, make some magic; glitter and spice magnify power and joy

A table is set for making spells with friends. Large beeswax pillars wait to be adorned. Red and gold glitter spills onto the table. Nasturtium flowers – crimson, orange, and yellow – pepper the table. A candle is lit in the center of the holy mess mark the beginning of sacred time.

Meaning: Raise a little power for healing and transformation! Cheer on your friends and praise their accomplishments, as they do for you. Drawing bees and nourishing soil, wilding growing nasturtium is a vibrant plant that brings life to the garden. Your ability to bring people together creates magic. Claim your place as a community leader. Gather circle. Creativity ignites creativity. Nasturtium blooms in many colors; let your personal flair shine. Dance to your own beat while dancing in harmony with others. Nasturtium vinegar adds flavor with a kick; celebrate your accomplishments with pizazz.

Crafting with Six of Fire

• Add Nasturtium petals to spell candles to increase their energy and strength

• Make Nasturtium oxymel spritzers to toast your accomplishments

• Magnify joy at your next gathering: serve goat cheese mixed with nasturtium petals and leaves

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by artist Joanna Powell Colbert and author Latisha Guthrie

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Today we are working with a new deck, The Herbcrafter’s Tarot, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit though I still have much to learn and sense with the deck.

Cedar, here representing The Chariot, is a quietly beautiful card – cedar is strong in many ways: aromatherapy, ability to spread and grow easily, used as a smudge to cleanse, and more. However, it is also a soft and flexible wood. These traits make it a sound representative for how we should all try to move forward.

Blessings!

The Chariot – Cedar

Move forward with confidence; be disciplined yet flexible in your pursuits; and embody the journey

A mandala lies on a dark forest floor. A cedar branch stripped of its needles forms the shape of roots, while another, fuller one makes the shape of a tree canopy. The two stems come together to create a trunk. Cones encircle the tree. The mandala is framed by lush boughs above and below. A starlit sky casts an aura around the tree.

Meaning: Life is a forward-moving gift. embark on a deeper quest; learn from ancient wisdom and forge a new path. Cedar is both a spiritual vessel used in sacred ceremony and a literal vessel when it is used for making canoes. Like strong, flexible cedar roots finding their way through the forest, be determined and opportunistic. Travel between the worlds of heaven and earth. Bring the knowledge of spirit and soul into the body just as the cedar trunk contains the stories of the earth. Have faith in the experience. It is not the triumph but the journey that leads to mastery.

Crafting with the Chariot:

Encounter cedar in the wild; ask for guidance. Carry a small leaf in your pocket for courage.

Practice discipline and flexibility; learn to harvest cedar honorably, with ceremony and intention.

Journey into the spiritual realms with a cedar steam or cedar smudge.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by artists Joanna Powell Colbert and author Latisha Guthrie

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