I'm not a card reader. In fact, I'm not particularly gifted with sensitivity in the synthesis of symbol and personal mythology as it is printed on car...moreI'm not a card reader. In fact, I'm not particularly gifted with sensitivity in the synthesis of symbol and personal mythology as it is printed on card stock, neatly packaged and colorfully presented. I hold cards in my hands and any life thrumming in them falls still. It was with a sense of utmost confidence in Flash Silvermoon, herself, that I agreed to review one of the culminations of her life's work, The Wise Woman's Tarot. I began that pursuit as all eager students should--by first reading the accompanying text. Evident from the start was the truth that this deck is created with the feminine fully evoked, which I did glean sentiently from the book and accepted as a keen indicator as to why so many other decks have never spoken to me: they did not intend to. On first read the name of the deck could easily be misconstrued. It would appear this deck is for women, and it is certainly steeped in the love, lore and legend of the Goddess. Look again. This deck is aptly named for wise women, those who honor the balance of All Things, including the delicate masculine complement and the multicultural ties connecting us all. With this revelation newly opened in mind and insight, the cards spoke volumes. Silvermoon has put a great deal of thought and introspection into the symbols giving life to her deck. Working within the traditional archetypes of Minor and Major Arcanas the story of each Arcana unfolds, which just happens to smartly mirror the story of thoughtforms becoming the formed world. Using the foundation of the traditional tarot Silvermoon retells its story in true Aquarian style, balanced, nurturing and whole. While the cards are a work of art and the voice of insight, the spiral-bound text holds its own. Silvermoon doesn't just explain the cards in intricate detail, she divulges a cumulative and diverse history of every figure and scenario presented, weaving them together as a shared chronicle. It is this facet of the deck that reveals the twenty-five years of work Silvermoon put into it. Also expressed is the need for and act of how to approach and work with cards as oracles, the necessity of shielding while doing any intuitive work, and how the symbolism of the cards correlates with the chakra system, colors, totems, and planets. The standard presentation of layouts and their function is presented, along with many short cuts, charts and diagrams, as well as instruction on how to do card readings for animal friends. In summary, the power of this tarot deck lies in Silvermoon's understanding that despite their historic roots, symbols continue to grow and evolve, as does anyone working within the Wise Woman's way. (less)
While this deck is pretty and a decent introduction to working with plants as totems, I just didn't connect with it. Having been a devout student of m...moreWhile this deck is pretty and a decent introduction to working with plants as totems, I just didn't connect with it. Having been a devout student of modern Druidry for some time, as well as a neoshaman and plant spiritualist, my approach to such has been largely guided by personal relationships to the plants, themselves.
Trusting the Carr-Gomms' reliable track record on druidic research and modern application, I felt comfortable making this investment. As with all of their work piecing together a reasonably cohesive path through Druidry, the sources for their information on plants is from varied sources, some of which are indeed lore and legend. I appreciate their ability to state that the sources are a bit fuzzy as they relate directly to Druidry, instead of stating presumption as fact.
That said, having spent a fair amount of time with horticulturists and botanists, the presentation of the scientific data on the plants presented is fairly thorough and sound, if not informative. It is imperative to distinguish that while medicinal use of the presented herbs is covered, that is not the intent of the material.
One thing that is evident in the feel of this deck is the inclusion of the Divine Feminine and that nurturing comfort of the plant world. However, in the writing, itself, Her voice doesn't come through. From a divinatory tool observation, the deck includes the usual features of plant name and meaning, along with reversed meaning and lore--not limited to druidic sources. Despite the inclusion of thirty-six plants, all valiant efforts, the insatiable plant enthusiast in me wanted more. Three blank cards are included for use as an "Unknown" response to inquiries or to create personal plant symbols. I would have rather seen more effort put into the perfection of the existing cards. Imperfections in the production of the deck, itself, yields uneven coloring of the card backs--some are a vibrant green and some are a forest green-- and some blurry artwork. Generally speaking, the artwork is nice, with each card including the focus plant and symbolic backdrop. Suggestions for spreads are for the most part stock, though The Airmid's Cloak Spread resonated with me, given its chakra correspondences and their connections to plants.
While some of the information included in this book and deck doesn't have the "official Druid" stamp, regarding authenticity and bonafide use, the scholarly method of culling the available information and honoring it on the mundane and spiritual levels to some helpful end is decidedly Druidic. It is a good starting place for beginners working with plants as spirit teachers, though I think seasoned animists will crave more depth. I hope the level of detail given to the research of this deck will yield future additions to it. (less)