Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals” as Want to Read:
Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,227 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Discover the tool that millions of people worldwide are using for guidance, inspiration, and help in finding answers to life's questions. Now revised and expanded to include eight additional cards, this unique and powerful divination system draws upon ancient wisdom and tradition to teach the healing medicine of animals. Medicine Cards found its way into the hearts and han ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 30th 1999 by St. Martin's Press (first published September 1988)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Medicine Cards, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sharon Williams If your store doesn't sell the deck seperate is it sold as a book only or does it have the 52 cards included with the book?…moreIf your store doesn't sell the deck seperate is it sold as a book only or does it have the 52 cards included with the book?(less)
Eve It could mean that there is a blockage with your own powers. Perhaps you aren't seeing what is happening right in front of you? It could also mean tha…moreIt could mean that there is a blockage with your own powers. Perhaps you aren't seeing what is happening right in front of you? It could also mean that perhaps you need to start paying more attention to details. Maybe they mean for you to pay close attention to what is happening in your life as you may be blind to something that is happening.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,227 ratings  ·  51 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My favorite deck related to animals for divination. This deck connects the natural attributes and behaviors of the animal with the spiritual lore relating to each creature in a way which is both sensible and spiritual. The suggestions for meditation are evocative, and I find myself returning to them again and again.

Animals have been my guides and teachers since before I could talk. I prefer not to call them "totems" for myself, because I do not have the honor of being Native American. But Jamie
Alyce Barry
Nov 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book I refer to often, either when I'm using the medicine cards to glean what's coming or when I've seen an animal or bird I haven't seen in a while to remind myself what it means. For me this book is a handbook to understanding messages received from the Divine through nature. ...more
Lynn Wilson
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have found this book to be wonderfully on target for checking messges from the animal world. Whenever I encounter an animal, whether it be a dead skunk by the side of the road or a deer in the woods, I open the book to see what sort of message the universe might be offering.
I decided to misappropriate culture and buy this from a thrift shop for 2.00. The artwork is really beautiful and I've always liked the idea of identifying with animals as long as there is no yiffing involved. ...more
Denisa Howe
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book of explanation from the Indian beliefs and what they live by. Not simply tarot cards and a book but of the tribes, their understanding of the animals and how they can help lead you down a path of understanding and living in peace as they do. The instructions bring the feel of a hand from the past with great knowledge of how we should live. Even the bear knows it must retreat, and rest from the world as we should to. Take a step back from the cell phones, T.V.'s and life for brie ...more
Oct 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dear friend introduced me to this fantastic book & cards set. It meshes really well with Jungian archetypes, and while the scientist in me was skeptical of "finding my totem animals," the cards I ended up picking--face-down--were UNBELIEVABLY UNCANNY. Seriously.

It encourages introspection. I'm not typically one for divination, but I wholeheartedly recommend this set.
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
I really like this book, if you're at all interested in animal symbolism I recommend it. I like it much better than the Ted Andrew's books. However, and always, take it with a big grain of salt. Symbolism is a very personal thing, these are just broad guidelines. I like the cards themselves, however they feel very cheap, I wish they actually felt like real cards. They need to be thicker. ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, animals
This set is perfect. It's a little bit like tarot readings/astrology but not quite. You have a deck of cards and lay them out. You choose a random one, then take the almighty book and see what it tells you. If you draw it reversed, you usually get something negative, but not drastic. It pretty helpful and fun to use! You can also draw 9 totem animals and write what they mean according to the directions in the book back in the notes. Please pick this up if possible! Fantastic set, and glad I foun ...more
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This item is actually more than just a book: it also includes a deck of cards, similar to a Tarot deck, that depicts a variety of North American animals. The information contained in the book is derived from centuries old wisdom held by the North American native peoples. Used in conjunction with one-another the set is designed to:

1) assist people in determining their animal totem and

2) provide a means, another perspective, when dealing with life issues/questions.

Overall, this set is an invaluabl
The star of this set is undoubtedly the book. It is filled with deep, ancient wisdom that continues to make a profound impression upon me. This wisdom is what gives power to the cards. I found a copy of the book at a thrift store and I bought it to use as an animal totem reference book. I find that it can be used similarly to Animal Speak by Ted Andrews, which is my favorite book of animal wisdom. Fantastic stuff! I have looked at the cards and I think they are a suitable companion. The artwork ...more
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have owned this set of oracle cards and guidebook for over 20 years, and they remain one of my favourites. The messages always clearly reflect whatever life situation I am going through at the time, and when an animal appears to me in my environment or in dreams I often turn to this guidebook for insight and understanding of the lesson I am being taught. I am truly grateful for the many ways this oracle set has helped me to grow over the years.
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have LOVED my deck and book since 1996. These cards definitely speak to me every time I use them. I often use the book as a simple reference as well when something causes an animal to cross my path unexpectedly in every day life. Ted Andrews' Animal Speak book is another one I often refer to in conjunction with these. ...more
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was inspired to delve into this reading after a powerful encounter with a Fox. The ancient tribal wisdom of animal medicine needs to be revived in our modern culture. Wonderful book, with artful descriptions of the Choctaw, Lakota, Seenca, Aztec and more. Highly recommend.
Fidel Maza
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best acquisitions ever
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is amazing
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was introduced to this deck when I was about 13 by my mother and it has LONG been a favorite. A few years ago, I discovered it had been republished with new cards added and, of course, immediately purchased it. This deck is easily my favorite deck to use of all time. As a professional reader, I find that this deck focuses more on the energies and themes that move through our lives and the lessons we learn rather than every day situations and events. This makes it great in regards to personal s ...more
Andy Brine
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I initially borrowed these cards from a friend and connected with the cards instantly, then had to buy them for myself. The cards not only provide accurate readings, they also help you to connect with your spirit animals. Both the book and cards fit perfectly together. The book alone is fantastic for learning about spirit animals. I would highly recommend getting these cards.

I also reviewed the cards on YouTube:
Lorna Selinger
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book and cards as well. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I use the spreads to assist me in life and use the cards as research as well
I am curious about handling the cards really feeling them and perhaps shuffling them a bit to spread energy for the final splaying of the cards prior to selection. I am experimenting with this and really like the energy flow. If anyone has comments or suggestions I would appreciate
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful words that make me realise how much I love to read good things. These are positive affirmations and a daily activity. These words strung together are like fairy lights and form powerful pages and proverbs. What is your spirit animal? Mine is Moby in Wonderland.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing book that I use for energy Healing sessions with clients. I love the Native perspective on the Earth, nature, creation, and ways to tune ourselves in to the examples of animals, and incorporate them into healing and medicine animals.
Kelly Trickett
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love this book and cards set. Does a tremendous job of helping you look inside and get to know yourself deeper. If you love to use tarot and oracle cards for transformation, this is definitely for you.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Most divination books start off with some chapters on the cosmology, where does the symbolism come from, what are the roots and how deep do they go. Then they move onto card spreads and the meanings of the cards. This book follows that pattern pretty closely.
My problem with animal symbolism is that I feel so cut off from animals as a day to day part of my life that the book has to do a really good job grounding the symbolism of the animal. I feel like this book needs a whole book of native myth
Jackie Berke
Interesting. Make sure you utilize the cards ....and keep in mind general shamanic ideas.....
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book. It may not be anthropologically or philosophically accurate, and it may be a romanticized version of our understanding of Native Americans and the many tribes/nations that existed in North America, but it is nonetheless a beautiful book full of wisdom and inspiration. It shows how to use the cards that come with the book, either using them in a spread or as a daily/weekly/monthly card pull to identify with the animal medicine that you need to work with. It is quite an a ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
White peeps profiteering on Native American belief systems.
A very meaningful and interesting look into Native American medicine and its connection to the animal world. I actually won the deck of cards at a gift exchange party (apparently not a coincidence), and had to track down the book to learn about how to use them. I am so glad I found it!

Medicine is anything that improve's one connection to life, and animals offer medicine through their observable traits, which provide healing lessons and messages. While I do not have much knowledge or experience w
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this way back in the 90's, and at the time, really got a lot out of it. Somebody had given me a reading based on these cards, and I raced out to buy it immediately, because it was exactly what I needed at that time.

I felt the pictures were beautiful, and especially the wisdom the books offered.

Now, I'm more into Druidry, (just starting out) and as time has gone on, I feel the illustrations are a bit plain and basic compared to what is on offer these days.

I have the Druid Animal Orac
These cards are really wonderful if you are reading along with the expansive and informative book that is included! The system gives you great insight to your own spirit animals and is a great way to connect with your spirit animals but I would not recommend this deck for someone who reads intuitively unless you already have a good knowledge of the world of spirit animals. I use this deck for friends and family as well as personally because they understand opening the book and reading the insigh ...more
Dug Holland
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book will give you a lot to think about. However, Keep in mind that in the original practice that these cards are based around you wouldn't have been able to do this without a shaman present. You learn a lot from the animal descriptions, but the cards are a waste of time unless you are a shaman. And even then, still probably a waste of time. ...more
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to SCOUT by: a dear friend
Very practical, illustrative, and insightful guide into the spiritual medicinal healing approach as told from native american perspective. Very useful to anyone interested in non alternative methods of recovery, well being. Accompanied by a set of illustrative index cards.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Astrology for the Soul
  • Shakti Rising: Embracing Shadow and Light on the Goddess Path to Wholeness
  • Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon
  • I Went to College, and It Was Okay
  • Aegypt (The Aegypt Cycle, #1)
  • The World of Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1-2)
  • Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder
  • I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, & Doggone It, People Like Me!
  • Looking Forward: Participatory Economics for the Twenty First Century
  • Dave Barry's Greatest Hits
  • Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves
  • Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex, and Politics
  • Neil's Book of the Dead
  • The History of England
  • Daughter of Winter
  • Hanukkah Bear
  • All Around Us
  • You Are a Goddess: Working with the Sacred Feminine to Awaken, Heal and Transform
See similar books…
Jamie Sams is half French and half American Indian, with ancestors from the Cherokee, Seneca, Choctaw, and Mohawk tribes. She is also a key member of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge, retreat leader, and writer on American Indian spirituality, e.g. „Dancing the Dream”, „The 13 Original Clan Mothers”, and (with Twylah Nitsch) „Other Council Fires Were Here Before Ours”.

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
30 likes · 5 comments