Posts Tagged ‘The Herbcrafter's Tarot’

Rosemary is easily my favorite herb, and I can verify it’s power to sharpen the mind as well as flavor a dish! Today is a day for the mind, for communication, and to listen.

Curandera of Air – Rosemary

Adopt a story and pass it on; with pen, song or brush, tell your story; what is remembered lives

A wild and unruly rosemary bush grows on the side of a garden shed. The building’s blue paint is weathered and in need of a fresh coat. Some of the rosemary branches are starting to produce small purple flowers. An old woman grips a bundle of fresh sprigs in her hand, her arm decorated with a faded wing tattoo. She offers it up to the sky.

Meaning: The Curandera of Air is calm and collected. She agrees with what Chogyam Trungpa taught about spiritual materialism: “Wisdom is not an ancient relic to be collected but inspiration for new awareness.” She knows the medicine of rosemary enhances cognitive function. Her mind is sharp and quick but she talks very little. She understands that words have wings, so she speaks only when she has something meaningful to offer. She is a wonderful listener. She ays, “Tell me more.” People are drawn to her honesty. Just as rosemary clears the mind, her couple bring clarity and inspires peace.

Crafting with the Curandera of Air:

• Call a story circle: make a rosemary crown to be worn by a storyteller.

• Enhance your memory: add fresh rosemary to your cold water.

• Inspire your writing: being your journal session with a rosemary palm inhalation.

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

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The Hanged card often makes people nervous, but the plant energies of burdock are here to show you to make a poor situation into a good one. Don’t fear this card; see it as a challenge. The question is: are you up to the challenge?

Have a good weekend!

The Hanged One – Burdock

Embrace a foe as a friend; tap into nourishment found in the depths; let go of control – lasting change takes time

A cup of tea placed over a large burdock leaf reflects on the naked tree outside the window. A large clean root rests on the table, the tendrils forming the shape of the hanged one, legs crossed like the numeral four. Burdock root runes spill out from their blue velvet bag toward alit beeswax candle.

Meaning: Challenge presents an opportunity for growth. Though burdock is a tenacious weed, it can also be a valuable plant. The presence of burdock may indicate where the land is lacking nutrients. Using the large leaves as much can bring nourishment to the surface. When the leave break down, the soil will improve and burdock will no longer have the conditions to to thrive. Flip the script on a difficult situation. See the problem as the solution. Burdock is also a valuable ally for the liver as it helps clear and release toxins. But healing the land or the body requires a long-term commitment. Surrender to the process. Deep change takes time.

Crafting with the Hanged One:

• Invite burdock to shift your perspective. Sit with it in the wild, harvest it, cook with it.

• Tap into wisdom. from the depths by crafting burdock root runes for divination.

• Enjoy a slow cup of burdock tea. As you sip, silently release all that is keeping you stuck.

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

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Damiana is legendary in the herbal world as an aphrodisiac and to help with sexual issues, though its herbal benefits don’t end there. Here, a Curandera uses it to inspire us to love ourselves and to reignite a sense of pleasure and power.

Curandera of Fire – Damiana

Love yourself (old ain’t dead); Indulge yourself with sensual bliss; come home to pleasure, power, and passion

A red crystal vase of damiana elixir sits on a pink lacy altar cloth with a single glass. A beeswax candle illuminates symbols of sensuality: a voluptuous mermaid, a yoni-shaped geode, and cowrie shells. Copal resin is in the vial and burns from a smoky cauldron. Roses are scattered around fresh cuttings of a damiana plant. An elder woman places her hands upon the table making the shape of the sacred triangle, the gateway to life.

Meaning: The Curandera of Fire defies conventional norms. She remains whole unto herself, wild and free. She is a champ of female sexual power. She understand the important of self-love rituals. Just as damiana ignites passion, she adores the power of human desire and welcomes sensuality of all kinds. She knows a passionate life comes from living what you love; thus she honored her creative cauldron with luxurious ceremony. She says, “Delight in yourself.” People are drawn to her vivacious personality. Her counsel brigs pleasure and inspires direct action.

Crafting with the Curandera of Fire:

  • Restore exhausted dreams and pleasures; make damiana incense to awaken the senses.
  • Honore your inner power; build a self-love alar and create a sensual ceremony.
  • Indulge in passionate bliss: make damiana chocolate liquor. Share it with a lover or keep it to yourself!

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

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Have you been starting to reconnect with friends and other community members after the long pandemic? I know that’s where I am, and it does feel good to meet with people again and have real conversations (they don’t always flow well for groups on Zoom). We do need to be careful not to overextend ourselves as we readapt, but perhaps it’s time to reach out.

Blessings and have a great week!

Six of Earth – Pine

Ground yourself in community; share your resources – your generosity will circle back to you; the soul remains evergreen

A circle of ancient stones surrounds a warm fire. A rustic pine table shows small muslin bundles adorned with red string, pine sprigs, and cones – bundles made with friends at Solstice. The sun has set and moonlight glows across the field. The shadow of a rich evergreen forest is seen beyond the meadow.

Meaning: Life is generative. Share with friends. Support each other in times of plenty and times of lack. Celebrate what you have. Pine is an evergreen tree that keeps its needles all year, providing medicine, materials for baskets, and shelter for forest creatures. It is a living embodiment of everlasting life. As the pine is gracious with its resources, be generous with this in need. Honor the people and land that have provided you with the foundation, security, and resources on which you now rely. Gather the community together and teach what you know. Recognize the bounty in your life. Look fro ways to share your abundance with others.

Crafting with the Six of Earth:

• Walkin a pine forest with friends to release the old and make way for the new.

• Learn to weave pine needs baskets to gather your bounty.

• Drin tea from freshly gathered pine needles for renewal and regeneration.

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

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I know a lot of folks are pretty frazzled right now, so perhaps it’s time for some self-care. It might seem counterintuitive for the day many of are “getting back to it,” but sometimes a long holiday weekend wears us out!

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Madre of Water – Oats

Let the Mother of Water soothe your soul; release anxiety by nourishing body and spirit; open your heart and let your intuition flow.

Fresh oat straw infusion brews on a sunny windowsill above a table holding a well-worn bottle of tincture and a jar full of oat tops. A woman holds her mug, its handle shaped like a whale’s tale, and enjoys a fresh cup of tea while looking toward the sea. Steam rises to an altar filled with ocean treasures.

Meaning: The Madre of Water is a master of self-care. She is kind and gracious to others because she is kind and gracious to herself. As oat straw replenishes the land, she takes time to rest. By doing so publicly, she inspires others to do the same. She plants oats in the garden each year to replenish and fortify the soil. She feels full and complete after a day of good work. She understands the power of oatstraw and delights the calming medicine it provides. She knows healing takes time and she has faith in her daily cup of tea. Just as oats sooth frizzed emotions, the Madre of Water transforms tension into healing. Embrace your emotions; they expand your capacity for compassion.

Crafting with the Madre of Water:

• Drink oat straw infusion every day for emotional nourishment.
• Take an oatmeal bath to nourish the body.
• Feed oat seeds to squirrels or chickens, or grow them in our garden to nourish the earth.

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

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It’s my birthday, and this Taurus is pleased to see this earthy reminder to take care when gathering resources and not to waste them, as well as to be flexible (something Bulls need reminded of) and strong. Have a good day, everyone!

Four of Earth – Willow

Be a wise steward of your resources; be flexible yet sturdy; strong roots help young sprouts grow

Weaving tools and an unfinished willow basket sit on a wooden table. A sturdy ancient grandmother willow tree stands tall nearby. Her branches bend in the wind. A harvest of willow rods provides enough material for making many baskets.

Meaning: Conservation is key to sustainability. Take time to gather your resources respectfully and carefully; tend them well. Create space to preserve what you have gained. As a border plant, willow protects a natural area and creates sanctuary in the underbrush for small animals. Young trees can be shaped and curved to fit the location. The pliable and hearty stems are prized by basket makers. Making tools for today is medicine for tomorrow. Build a foundation for future harvests. A tea made from willow branches is used as a rooting hormone that helps other plants grow. Give thanks to those who have given your life roots. Be as generous in sharing your gifts as your teachers have been with you.

Crafting with Four of Earth:

• Frame an altar with willow branches. Place objects representing what you want to protect inside.
• Weave a willow bracelet around your writs. Wear it to be flexible and strong.
• Shower your teachers with gratitude. Send a gift of natural art using willow.

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

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OK, forgive me for the cheesy headline, but don’t peaches just embody vibrance and lushness? My world is certainly getting lush – I love how grape leafs look a bit like a flower bud when they begin to unfurl, how my oregano, sage, and thyme come back in full force every spring to encourage the other new herbs, how EASY lettuce is to grow and makes you feel abundant so early in the season, and the graceful snowdrops.

Today it is time to nourish your soul and heart. Blessings!

Nine of Water – Peach (Prunus persica)

Celebrate the pleasures of life; delicate blossoms ripen into succulent fruit; enjoy your own sweet company

A vibrant peach tree leans over the bank of a river. Pink flowers float in a wooden bowl filled with pure water. The elixir brews in the sun. A robe hangs from a branch of the tree.

Meaning: Emotional nourishment is food for the soul. Invite comfort and happiness to fill your heart and enchant the senses. Peach trees are messengers of delight: water flowers dance, taste sweet fruit, smell fragrant blossoms, feel cool leaves, listen to birds sing from branches. Let yourself be immersed in the waters of life, touched by grace. Peach tea cools inflammation; wash away the heat of negativity and disharmony. the luscious fruit of the peach brings the slow gift of summer to life. When your deepest wishes come to pass, enjoy them fully and offer gratitude for your blessings.

Crafting with Nine of Water:

• Enjoy a cool peach on a summer’s day. let each juicy bite e a meditation in joy.
• Honor yourself with a sacred bath of peach blossoms, sensual oils, and perfumes.
• Craft a peach flower essence to celebrate your majesty. You are sovereign unto yourself.

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

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Maybe it’s the full moon energy still holding sway, but The Moon card with a moonflower (datura) during the Pink Supermoon that verges on May (which has the Full Flower Moon) seems to fit so nicely for the day.

The Moon – Datura

Face the unknown; enter the luminous darkness; open your eyes to night blooming magic

A large crystal bowl filled with water sits on a dark velvet cloth. Eight datura flowers surround the bowl. They unfold from a compact bud into the open form of a chalice. One white flower spins in the bowl as moonbeams hit the water.

Meaning: Intuitive awakening awaits. Datura has a long history of magic and lore with witches and cunning folk. The potent seeds and flowers have been used by experienced practitioners to induce alternative states of consciousness. Turn toward mystery with curiosity and courage. Your dreams may e vivid and easy to remember, but also scary and confusing. Datura is a toxic plant whose ingestion can quickly lead to a number of permanent damaging effects. learn to speak the language of symbol, myth, and metaphor. As datura blooms with the moonlight, so is it now time to stay away and witness the magic that dwells in the darkness. Embrace the power of vibrational medicine.

Crafting with the Moon:
• Use datura flying ointment to enhance your dreams
• Cultivate a relationship with the moon and watch your awareness bloom
•Go on moonlit walks and seek out other night blooming plants

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

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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.


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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