Posts Tagged ‘The Herbcrafter's Tarot’

Thyme is a wonderful herb – great in savory dishes, a steam to help clear congestion, and I’ve even put it in apple cider jelly. Thyme here is aligned with the Madre of Fire, who inspires us to be creative in our own ways. For some of us, creativity flows in the commonly accepted arts like painting, dance, and music. For some of us, creativity flows in the kitchen, in the garden, with creative welding, and many other hobbies. Today is the day to let yourself delve into that side of yourself – and maybe work with someone else.



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.

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

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Today’s trio of cards all said “healing” to me, and I think some of you would agree when seeing them. While we don’t typically think of cocoa as healing, the original drink was quite different.

I have to confess to always giggling a little when I see this card. I once found a molinillo, the wooden whisk used to make the cocoa, in a flea market and didn’t know what it was, assuming it was actually some sort of strange rattle (I’m also a hand drummer and love finding different percussive instruments). After being told what it actually was, I was just as pleased as I’m also a chocolate lover.

Having read about the extensive process of making cacao into cocoa nibs and then even further processing to make chocolate in The Wild Hunt’s recent article, I know that the chocolate we eat is a far cry from the sacred mix drank by the Aztecs for spiritual and medicinal purposes. It would be interesting to try a more original form of the treat, and likely less damaging to the world.

The Hierophant – Cacao

A revelation is at hand; seek the truth in spiritual teachings; the most potent wisdom emerges from the heart.

A clay pot of ceremonial cacao sits on an ancestral tapestry decorated with pink primrose blossoms. A basalt mortar holds roasted cacao beans, a cinnamon stick, and a chili. A replica of an ancient incense burner in the shape of a woman emerging from a hill of cacao rests on a pile of or raw beans and unopened pods. A decorative molinillo lies on the tapestry, having already stirred and frothed the walnut-brown elixir.

Meaning: The secrets of the sacred are available to all. Learn them. Teach them. Drinking pure cacao is an ancient practice that leads to greater perceptive awareness by opening the heart. Commercial chocolate is stripped of its beneficial properties, cloaked in delicious but harmful ingredients. Only true cacao can open the capillaries and increase blood flow. Spiritual teaching must speak authentically to reach the heart, but some things must be revealed slowly. As too much cacao can cause the pulse to quicken, learning too much too fast can overwhelm. Have patience with the pace of the divine. Remain devoted to mystery, yet have respect for ceremony.

Crafting with the Hierophant:
• Create or participate in a cacao ceremony and listen for an epiphany.
• Enjoy true chocolate. Find an ethical source of whole cacao beans. Dip them in vanilla honey.
• Enhance your perceptive abilities by learning about heart intelligence at

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

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A lovely card with a message of respect and conservation heads us off on our weekend.



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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This card seems perfect for today, when the humdrum of Halloween settles down (and the sugar wears off) and we have honored the Beloved Dead. Today, try to take some time for yourself, alone and preferably in whatever nature you have available to you, and seek wisdom and peace.



The Hermit – Usnea

Withdraw into sacred solitude; gather treasures from the darkness; emerge with the light.

A wreath of unseat lies on a bed of fresh snow. Rose hips, cottonwood twigs, dandelion roots, pine cones, and crow and gull feathers are tucked inside the nest for safekeeping. Three quartz crystals lie above the nest pointing north, while a single owl feather lies beneath. A candle is lit in the center of the offering.

Meaning: Rest and stillness are good medicine. Go within and listen for your own voice. Clarity is found in places empty of others’ thoughts and ideas. Usnea, also called “old man’s beard,” grows long and healthy on trees where the air is clean. Find your mountain. Ask for guidance from nature. There are many gifts to be gathered in dark times; rose hips, cottonwood, and pine cones among them. Seek understanding from the allies you encounter during your time alone. A reliable fire starter, Usnea may save a life on a cold night, just as the perfect insight can warm a dying soul. When you are ready, let wisdom glow.

Crafting with the Hermit

• Keep Usnea on your dashboard to remind yo to slow down.
• Create a wisdom nest. Add allies and symbols that guide your quest for understanding.
• Craft Usnea fire starters and light them before beginning council with a sacred circle.

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

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I have to say my opinion on cannabis has changed dramatically over the past couple decades – largely due to better education. While I still do not partake, I realize that this plant has been wrongly demonized and has many valuable uses. How many people do you know benefit from CBD oil? Or smoke to calm certain health issues? How many trees could we save if we still used hemp for paper and other products? In short, this is the PERFECT plant to represent justice – folks need to consider evidence from both sides of an argument before making a determination, something that our society is not terribly good at. Justice asks us to make a change.



Justice – Cannabis

Seek the truth; make informed decisions; consider the consequences of your actions.

Description: A mandala of cannabis lies on top of a copy of the Declaration of Independence written on hemp paper. Rich cannabis oil, salve, tinctures, and capsules are out on display. Freshly wound thread rests near a jar of dried buds. Vitamin-packed seeds are scattered about the table.

Meaning: The personal is political. Clarity and understanding are necessary before making a decision. Until the 1900s, seventy-five percent of the world’s paper was made from hemp.A campaign targeting people of color criminalized marijuana use and shifted popular opinion, leading to the perception of cannabis as a dangerous drug. The loss of a valued remedy for pain and mental illness, as well as a sustainable source of clothing and paper, is minor compared to the continued impact the campaign has on people of color. The recent legalization of marijuana further complicates the issue. The unfolding story of cannabis teaches about imbalances of power. When life asks for your ruling, arm yourself with information from all sides. Stand on the side of truth and fight for what is right.

Crafting with Justice:

• Create flags with message of justice from hemp fabric.
• Consider cannabis products for healing. Do research. Talk to experts. Make an informed choice.
• Claim responsibility for your action. Record your commitments on hemp paper.

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

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This High Priestess card tells us to focus on our dreams, intuition, and genetic memory – all things that are easily pushed to the wayside in day-to-day life. Make some time to focus on your dream and inner thoughts, perhaps by journaling, meditation, a quiet walk in the wood, or a repetitive activity that lets your mind wander (crochet, snapping beans, etc). Perhaps these dreams and thoughts will come into play this week.

Also, it’s been a while since I shared a Tarot Kitty pic – today, Cerridwen was all over it, even while I was posting the card.



The High Priestess – Mugwort

Follow the fragrance of mystery; awaken ancient memory; and divine messages in dream and visions.

An unfinished mugwort dream pillow of stars and moons lies on a blue silk cloth. The thread, still attached to the needle, loops around curled leaves. A small scroll tied with satin ribbons is tucked inside. Three rose hips split open, revealing their seeds, near vials of copal and storax resin. A moon-phase pendant is draped across the table.

Meaning: The mystery summons the awakening one. Answer the call. Known for its aromatic leaves, mugwort enhances dreams and strengthens intuition. Just as the bitter taste of the tea is hard to swallow, what is revealed may be unpleasant. Healing is sure to come once your visions are acknowledged. The silver leaves of mugwort easily hide the plant from all but the best foragers; this is a secret between you and the dreamtime. You need not share.

Crafting with the High Priestess:

• To follow the fragrance of mystery, seek your native mugwort in the wild.
• Make a dream pillow with mugwort tucked inside to invite lucid dreaming.
• Burn mugwort incense before journaling session to decipher messages in dreams and visions.

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

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OK, so the Sixes in this deck represent bounty, community, and magic – and I’ve seen that magic in action the last few months and the results in recent news. This card in particular is a celebratory one – and let’s not forget that Borage stands for courage. Celebrate – but keep standing strong and with courage for what you believe.



Six of Water – Borage

Celebrate milestones old and new; freely give, freely receive; and let your heart be comforted by the company of friends.

A table covered in borage flowers is set on the beach to welcome friends. The little girls in the Three of Water now gather for a celebration of maturity. Bouquets of purple and white flowers adorn the table. A clay goddess dressed I a long white gown raises a toast tot he women and their lasting friendship.

Meaning: Gathering with beloveds lifts the spirits. Treasure friendship and celebrate community. Honor your connection by expressing how much your friends mean to you. Offer what you can to support them on their life paths. Sharing nourishes the soul Borage is a continuously flowering plant that encourages a long-lasting relationship with our pollinating friends, teaching us to give freely without expecting anything in return. Drinks made with more borage flowers lighten the mood and inspire a courageous heart. Let old tensions be dissolved and replaced with love. Embrace a carefree attitude and watch your joy expand.

Crafting with the Six of Water

• Bring joy to drinks at festive summer parties with borage flower ice cubes.
• Float borage flowers in your bath water to bring buoyancy to your spirit.
• Place borage flower on your tongue and savor the sweetness of a warm summer day.

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

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This morning, we were discussing yesterday’s death of James Lovelock, the creator of the Gaia Theory and whose other work helped us understand the effect of manmade pollutants on our world. Then I drew this card. Whoa.

Pachamama – The World

Weave a rainbow that makes the world whole. Share your Sacred Work. Love wins.

An elaborate altar lies on the grass. In the center is a handwoven basket filled with a colorful rainbow mandala made of flowers: red poppy, California poppy, dandelion, motherwort, borage, alfalfa, red clover, and yarrow. Four sets of stones mark the cardinal directions. The herbs from the Ace cards in this deck anchor the corners, joined by objects representing each of the elements: feathers for air, shells for water, a candle for fire, and crystals for earth. A monarch butterfly lands on the basket.

Meaning: Fulfillment and satisfaction come after great achievement. You have accomplished so much. There garden is much and thriving. Life is in full bloom. Pachamama (world mother) is a sovereign deity of Inca mythology who represents all that is whole, beloved, and complete. Like you, she is a being of great power who has the ability to create life through joy and pain. The lessons you have integrated on your life journey may present themselves as if new, but honor them as the herbs of Aces are honored – as old friend who come bringing new gifts. As a new monarch butterfly returns, completing the journey of migration, the cycle of life goes on.

Crafting with The World & Pachamama

• Spread joy and peace by decorating, making and wearing art with colorful rainbows.
• Promote and share your work. Sign up to teach, vend at a fair, submit an article for publication.
• Make a mandala to mark a significant moment in your life or in your community.

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

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I did a double-take when this card popped up today. At a time when people are coming together to protect reproductive and other rights that are being taken away, this is the time for women of all kinds to come together and show their power. The Madre cards are all nourishing in nature, but Madre of Earth is perfect for building community and healing.



Madre of Earth – Creosote

Be a guardian of the wild places; build circles of women; share the medicine

A woman travels deep into a canyon surrounded by the scrub plants of the Sonoran Desert. A large, dancing rock towers before her, a flat mesa sturdy behind it. Before collecting medicine, she makes an offering to the land. She raises a clay bowl full of creosote flowers to the sun and sings a song of gratitude.

Meaning: Madre of Earth provides for herself and her community. Like the creosote bush, she creates many remedies. She honors the land as she gathers medicine. She is in good health and inspires others to the same with her grounded daily rituals. She know creosote bush thrives in depleted soil where other plants cannot. She too is considered a survivor because of her ability to grow strong. As a true guardian of the place, she learns from creosote, the mother of all plants, how to enhance the lives of generations beyond her lifetime. She steadily supports her people as well as the animals and plants of the region. Embrace your quiet nature; it is the foundation of grace.

Crafting with the Madre of Earth:

• Empower future generations: lead a medicine walk in your community.
• Protect wild spaces: make an offering to the land in the form of a mandala.
• Share the medicine: make creosote salve and give it away to everyone.

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

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This fiery card is here to jumpstart our creativity and sense of play – take time today to create, play, or smile at someone who needs a lift.



Hija of Fire – California Poppy

Create with the enthusiasm of a beginner; boisterous play, then sweet sleep; light up the landscape with golden joy. 

Magical objects lie on a bright yellow table: a stuffed tiger, a glitter wand, a small cauldron, and a mortar and pestle. Pictures of poppy plants are scattered about like oracle cards. Real flowers frame the edge of the table. A child wraps her dirt-stained fingers adorned with flashy jewels around an amber gazing ball.

Meaning: The Hija of Fire jumps at the chance to be creative. She cannot wait to begin a new project. She approaches everything with the playfulness of a child. Knowing the strong elixir of California poppy creates magic, she takes small but confident steps toward independence. She may have watched an elder many times, but now she makes medicine for herself. Just as California poppy flowers light up dry, wild desert meadows with their brilliant color, she stays open to the light, sways with the wind, and radiates delight. 

Crafting with the Hija of Fire

• Craft fairy dolls from poppy flowers to inspire enthusiasm.

• Spend times gathering California poppy in a wild meadow and craft a relaxing elixir.

• Do a little guerrilla gardening with California poppy seeds; sprinkle joy everywhere you go. 

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

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