Posts Tagged ‘The Herbcrafter's Tarot’

Though Seven of Earth – Oak was the main card today, interesting how the three cards pulled today create the balance of Land, Sea, and Sky!

Sometimes things are moving too fast and we are responding rather than consciously acting. Today is a good day to slow down and set a reasonable pace toward your goals. Let air and water help balance this effort to calm emotions and create clear communication. Blessings!

Seven of Earth – Oak

Live by the rhythms of the earth; work slowly and steadily toward your goal; plant for the generations to come. 

A large tree stands gracefully at the edge of a lush lawn. The pages of a local field guide are open to Oak. A handmade basket sits on the grass, full of collected acorns. The sky is blue on this crisp fall day. The leaves are beginning to turn; several float down to the earth.

Meaning: Knowing nature is key to knowing the self. Your legacy is intertwined with the moss and trees. Oaks are slow going, long-lived sovereigns of the land. Like the oak, you have worked hard and gathered your awards. When it is time to build your future, listen for the call of the earth. Oaks grow only about one foot per year. Be patient; trust your vision to manifest in its own time. Furniture made from oak wood is durable and hearty. As Texans said on seeing a 1,000-year-old oak standing after Hurricane Harvey, “You don’t get old by being weak.” Have faith in your work. The fruits of your labor will last beyond your lifetime. Look at the pace of nature for guidance. The seasons will give you direction.

Crafting with Seven of Earth:

• Make an acorn necklace to remind you to slow down and live in alignment with the seasons. 

• Take a basket weaving class. Work on your craft.

• Study the ethnobotany of the land where you live.

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

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What a perfect way to start the year – this card shows us that the wounds of the past year need not hold us back. Let’s learn how to grow and become whole once again.

Blessings!

The Star – Cottonwood

Your broken pieces contain the stars of hope; open your heart to grace; be generous with your blessings

A bowl of smooth stones floats the center of eight deep green serrated cottonwood leaves arranged in a star pattern. Knobby young twigs full of resinous buds reach out like an old witch’s hands holding the mandala. Seven cottonwood star coins cut from the broken branches are arranged in the corners of the offering. The deep blue water reflects the stars in the night sky.

Hope can be found in the darkest moments. Have faith and believe in possibility. As the appearance of a cottonwood tree means water is near, so in inspiration close. You may not see it right away. Stay optimistic. Close your eyes and listen for the sound of the rushing river. Cottonwood trunks are marked by scars from harsh weather yet cottonwood leaves shimmer like golden lights against a stark blue sky. Your wounds may run deep, but wholeness still shines from within. When you encounter grace, be generous with their seeds.

Crafting with the Star

• Break cottonwood twigs to discover the stars. Use them in amulets, magic, and altar pieces to give you hope when you most need it.

• Take a contemplative walk in nature and listen for the flutter of leaves.

• Make cottonwood bud oil for joint and muscle aches. Rub it over your heart to ease emotional pain as well.

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

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Lemon balm may not be the strongest of lemony herbs (I’d vote for lemon verbena there) but it does make things more peaceful and lets your joy come forth. In fact, it is one of several herbs in a herbal tea recipe I found for reducing stress (also has lemon verbena, rosebuds/petals, red raspberry leaf, and St. John’s Wort) and it does wonders for an anxious soul. While this of us in the Northern Hemisphere may not currently be able to use fresh lemon verbena, dried works quite well in a tea, bath, or sleep pillow.

This meaning of this card spoke to me. Recently, I’ve reconnected with a few friends and have been making more time for others when I feel it is safe (that pandemic isn’t completely done with us yet). I have found so much peace and happiness from this, even for this bookish introvert. I hope many of you act on building your community with good and supportive people. Blessings!

Three of Water – Lemon Balm

Lift your spirit with the scent of happiness; pleasure shared is pleasure multiplied; celebrate your heart’s delight.

An afternoon tea party (how lovely!) is set for three on a delicate lace tablecloth in front of a giant lemon balm bush. Sweet confections, mismatched china, and children’s toys are on the table. An old glass bottle, used as a vase, holds a singe bright blue flower. The bees buzz. The giggles of little children are heard in the distance.

Meaning: Happiness is contagious. A favorite of bees, the intoxicating scent of lemon balm brings life to the garden. Rejoice and make merry! Celebrate your friendships. Spend time with loved ones. Make new friends too; you have already done the work to attract the right people. Your community awaits you with open arms. Lemon balm spreads widely without effort; allow relationships to grow with ease. Show your admiration and appreciation for others. Express joy in all areas of your life. Lemon balm tea supports peace and calms an anxious heart. Now is the time to proclaim your true feelings.

Crafting with Three of Water:

• Enjoy fresh lemon balm tea to lift your spirits.

• Invite friends for a tea party and share your joys over dishes of lemon balm sorbet.

• Dip a lemon balm posy in sacred water; sprinkle it around to brighten dark, stagnant spaces.

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

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As someone who grew up picking berries from old-fashioned brambles, I can tell you this plant offers sweetness but can be true torture! Between the chiggers and the thorns, picking blackberries was something of a love-hate relationship. I loved the jelly and cobblers my mom made, but hated the bug bites and scratches that would be hounding me for a week or two after. Sometimes we love something so much we don’t realize it’s hurting us. Try to take time to evaluate your life for such a situation and see what you can do about it without destroying what you love. Blessings!

The Devil – Blackberry

Sweet berries, sharp brambles – beware; let awareness awaken the power of choice; break free of the desires that keep you trapped.

An old cast iron pan lies on top of a rust-colored napkin. Inside the pan is a blackberry pie with a carefully crafted lattice top. Blackberry brambles, brimming with fruit and flowers, surround the pie. A blue bowl is full of lush berries. Cinnamon spills onto the table. Measuring cups and spoons sit nearby.

Meaning: Knowing what keeps you bound can set you free. You may be feeling trapped by something you love. It feels good, yet you are depleted. Blackberries are delicious, but the vines strange everything in their path. Do not become ensnared by the sweet fruit o pleasure while ignoring your true needs. In “Sleeping Beauty” bramble creeps over the land, protecting the people while they slumber. Blackberry can be a safe but destructive hedge; consider what desires you are indulging. Are they keeping you from seeing the light? Be your own prince and cut them away. Wake up and choose transformation.

Crafting with the Devil

• Go foraging for wild blackberries. Delight in their sweet, delicious taste. Mind the thorns.

• Place a crown of blackberry vines on your altar to loosen yourself from the pursuit of adoration.

• Make a blackberry sugar scrub; invite release as you cleanse your body.

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

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It’s important to know both your limits and when you are limiting yourself. Have a good Wednesday!

Eight of Air – Licorice

Know your limits and respect them; proclaim your truth; walk out through the gate

A large licorice plant stands in the foreground of an old garden. It is wild and needs to be cut down. The broken down wooden gate swings open at a small gust of wind, reveling the wide open meadow through the thick branches of the unruly plant. A dilapidated stone arch blocks the view to the clear sky beyond.

Meaning: What holds us back is not always clear. Are you feeling fenced in by the circumstances of your life? Staying isolated seems safe, but like this overgrown garden, it could become a prison of your own making. Know your limits; there is no shame in saying no. Constant internal dialogue may have silenced you, but your body can no longer hold that story inside. Licorice heals the vocal cords. Speak your truth aloud to others; it will give you power. A power share is a power multiplied. Licorice medicine is soft and sweet; be kind to yourself as you meet your boundaries head on.

Crafting with the Eight of Air

• Make a licorice root talisman to reinforce boundaries.

• Drink licorice tea to strengthen your voice

• Write thank you notes to friends who hold the gates of compassion open when you feel trapped.

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

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To nonherbalists, this card’s description with so much emphasis on fire cider may seem odd. It is not. A few years ago, four herbalists went to federal court to prevent a company from trademarking the term “fire cider,” which is a loose recipe that has been around since the 1970s. I make this brew every autumn in preparation for cold and flu season – and let me tell you that the suggestion to boost your boldness with a shot of this stuff every morning is on point! It’s a strong and spicy concoction that will open up the sinuses and boost the circulation. But this is just one example of how we have and can reclaim traditions for our modern lives. How will you defend the grandmothers’ teachings? Just a quick note that tomorrow begins my tradition of using the Halloween Oracle all through October, though this year I might occasionally reach for the Tarot Familiars.

Blessings!

Adelita of Fire – Cayenne

Dare to take a risk – be bold; defend the integrity of the grandmothers’ teachings; heat erupts, then heals

A young woman makes a spice vinegar called fire cider. She gathers ingredients: garlic, onion, horseradish, ginger, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, and vinegar. She grips the side of a molcajete with one hand while crushing peppers with the other. The golden winters sun casts a divine glow on her workspace.

Meaning: The Adelita of Fire fiercely defends her passion and her rights. Like the warm, stimulating medicine of cayenne pepper, she is bold and relentless in her advocacy. She vows to protect folk traditions. She know that access to this ancient remedy may be threatened. She is determined to honor the ancestors by keeping the people’s medicine available to all. She is inspired by countless teachers who have freely shared information with her as she has learned about herbal medicine. She fights for the integrity of the community by passing on what has been given to her. She inspires others to follow her lead.

Crafting with the Adelita of Fire

• Stand up to corporate greed: craft your own fire cider.

• Empower others: host a community fire cider-making party in your home.

• Boost your boldness: begin each day with a shot of fire cider.

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

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Alright, after being MIA for two days (mornings have been a little busy so far), we are back with card that makes me smile. I love plantain and know of a few good uses for it, though many consider it a weed.

Enjoy your day!

Ace of Water – Plantain

Follow your heart; trust your instincts and intuition; your capacity for love is limitless

It is the height of summer. A gently flowering river is lined with lush vegetation. At the edge of the bank, a healthy plantain plant spreads its strong green leaves along the ground in all directions. The tiny white flower petals from the shape of a halo surround each stalk. Bees are drinking water from the riverbed. The air is cool with a breeze from the glacier above.

Meaning: New experiences can cause a wellspring of feelings. Open your heart to spiritual guidance. Take a fresh look at an ancient calling of soul. Plantain is a prolific yet powerful medicine that is easily missed; to embody the love you desire, you may need to see it in a new light. Mixed with a bit of water, this unassuming weed gently heals wounds from bites and stings. A simple, compassionate approach to a surge of emotions can have the most meaning. Small strings form a rib-like structure within the leaves that give it strength. Nourish your emotions and trust your feelings. The threads of joy point the way to wisdom.

Crafting with the Ace of Water:

• Seek out the plantain in nature. Let it lead your walk. Look for auguries and signs on your journey.

• Make plantain ice cubes to have on hand for healing wounds that sting.

• Shape plantain flower stems into hearts and leave them as gratitude offerings.

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

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OK, this is an appropriate card for me today! Last night, the women’s group got together to design and paint our own hex signs (as in the Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs often found on barns). We’ve been interested in some different folk art and folk magics, so last time we discussed the history and meaning of the signs. Having seen some of the hex signs on barns as a child – I had family in Lancaster and other counties in Pennsylvania – I’ve always been intrigued by them. The primary pattern I chose was the Mighty Oak; you can see the work in progress below.

Another woman chose a Tree of Life for her sign, and yet another had a lot of the colors found in today’s card. Weird coincidence – or is it? Anyway, this lovely card speaks both to the season we are in the Northern Hemisphere and to slowing down and working on things so they last, whether that be a craft, your home, your career, or whatever.

Enjoy the day!

Seven of Earth – Oak

Live by the rhythms of the earth; work slowly and steadily toward your goal; plant for the generations to come.

A large tree stands gracefully at the edge of a lush lawn. The pages of a local field guide are open to Oak. A handmade basket sits on the grass, full of collected acorns. The sky is blue on this crisp fall day. The leaves are beginning to turn; several float down to the earth.

Meaning: Knowing nature is key to knowing the self. Your legacy is intertwined with the moss and trees. Oaks are slow going, long-lived sovereigns of the land. Like the oak, you have worked hard and gathered your awards. When it is time to build your future, listen for the call of the earth. Oaks grow only about one foot per year. Be patient; trust your vision to manifest in its own time. Furniture made from oak wood is durable and hearty. As Texans said on seeing a 1,000-year-old oak standing after Hurricane Harvey, “You don’t get old by being weak.” Have faith in your work. The fruits of your labor will last beyond your lifetime. Look at the pace of nature for guidance. The seasons will give you direction.

Crafting with Seven of Earth:

• Make an acorn necklace to remind you to slow down and live in alignment with the seasons.

• Take a basket weaving class. Work on your craft.

• Study the ethnobotany of the land where you live.

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

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What a lovely card to start of the week with – even if today is still a holiday for some of us. Be vulnerable and be strong.

The Empress – Rose

Be vulnerable, yet strong; nurture love and compassion; see beauty and abundance in every stage of life.

A honey-colored work table is veered in wild roses. Fall leaves are arrayed in a crown. The seeds of fat, juicy rose hips spill out next to pink heart-shaped petals. Buds and flowers lie on a honeycomb. Red chiles form a triskele pointing to a flaming heart. A stone bead of the Woman of Willendorf, a representative of the Great Mother, is strung onto a rosary.

Meaning: Healing the heart heals the world. Learn to be vulnerable yet strong like the delicate petals of the rose protected by thorns. Roses uplift the spirit and inspire love. Embody sensuality in bold, vibrant ways. Let creativity and abundance flourish around and within you. Wild roses are prolific, creating food, medicine, and shelter for all who encounter them. As all parts of the rose contain medicine, every stage of your life find passionate expression. Create, make, love, play. It is a fertile, generative time.

Crafting with the Empress

• Arrange rose thorns and petals together on your altar to cultivate vulnerability and strength.

• Create a rosary out of rose buds, rose hips, or dried rose petal beads for love and compassion.

• Celebrate the many stages of life by learning the remedies for each season of the rose: Rose buds for childhood, full blooms for midlife, and hips for elder hood.

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

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It’s easy to live life in the shallows – you don’t have to worry so much about the tides and you know whatever doodles you create in the sand are temporary. Try to dive deeper and find a meaning that lies beneath the waters of life – emotions and healing. Blessings!

Curandera of Water – Seaweed

Don’t live in the shallows – live in the depths; strengthen your bones in the ocean’s ebb and flow; rock gently the water – heed the siren’s song

An old bathtub is filled with seaweed next to a window decorated with candles, shells, and a mermaid figurine. Towels, soaps, and bath salts are at hand. The view through the window is a sparkling ocean. Luscious greenery hangs in every corner of the room. An old woman adds hot water to the bath from an antique cast iron kettle.

Meaning: The Curandera of Water flows through life with ease. She neither hides her feelings nor lets them overtake her. She understands emotions have cycles too, and she easily navigates their changes. She remembers that our first home was the sea, and to the sea we shall return. She makes time for daily rituals that bring deep healing. She washes away inner turmoil as she cleanses and bathes. She knows seaweed nourishes her body and she enjoys snacking on the tasty treat. People are drawn to her open heart and comforting embrace. Her counsel brings a sense of calm and well-being.

Crafting with the Curandera of Water:

• Spend time watching seaweed in the ocean; wade in and let your body feel the rhythm.

• Strengthen your bones: snack on kelp and eelgrass (or maybe sit outside in the sun for some Vitamin D).

• Restore your connection to the sea: enjoy a seaweed bath at home.

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

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