Like most people who use Tarot and oracle cards, I have quite a collection and am always finding new decks that I love. Well, here's another one. My talented writer/musician friend Sheena Cundy has also created a beautiful oracle deck along with her artist friend and fellow "crafty crone" Tania Copsey. The Magic of Nature Oracle is a set of 39 cards plus a book, and they come nestled in a hand-sewn burlap pouch for safekeeping.
I couldn't wait to start playing around with these cards as soon as they arrived, and I wasn't disappointed. The cards are all based on animals, plants, and seasons in Britain, but I found myself connecting strongly with them even though I live in the US. The hand-painted artwork on the cards is evocative - I really get the feeling behind each one as well as the image. I immediately found myself comparing this deck to one of my long-time favorite Tarot decks, the Sacred Circle Tarot. Though the art style is different, the vibe is similar, a strong connection to the energies of nature and the seasons through the filter of British animals, plants, and mythos. These cards are read right-side up (no reversed meanings). I especially like that the card meanings are divided into three sections: Experience, Lesson, and Gift. Finding the gift in various situations is especially hard for me, and having that aspect spelled out right in front of me is helpful. There's also a simple mantra to go with each card, a phrase to focus on to get to the heart of the matter and find grounding and peace. Good stuff.
The purpose of this deck isn't so much to predict the future as to tease out our own inner workings, find our own truth, and ground that in the healing world of nature. The companion book includes several suggested spreads for these cards. The three-card Past-Present-Future spread is pretty standard, but I really like the Wake Up Rise & Shine Spread for its insight into how I'm blocking myself and what I can do to fix that. That's valuable information, even if it's sometimes hard to face. The five-card Crafty Crone Spread is useful for figuring out the details of specific situations and deciding how to move forward with wisdom and grace.
I'll definitely be adding this deck into my stack of favorites. It's different, in a good way, and has a focus that I think we all need these days: grounding ourselves in the wisdom of nature so we can find the healing and nurture that we all need.
In the name of the bee,
And of the butterfly,
And of the breeze, amen.