Author/Artist Mindy Lighthipe
Published by Shiffer
When I first received this deck I was somehow quite surprised to find that it wasn’t just cards of animals. I guess perhaps the only images I’d found on-line had been. At first, then, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to get on with pictures of plants and insects. However, I have been pleasantly surprised.
The deck comes in a sturdy cardboard box, and the companion book (deck sized) is 104 pages. Each card is shown by a black-and-white scan, and has a page of text dedicated to it that gives its keyword, biological nomenclature, facts about its existence, cultural references for some cards, and a “Special Message” – basically a divinatory meaning. The companion book also gives a short section on preparing the deck and using a daily card for meditating, as well as a basic past-present-future spread.
The creatures and plants in this oracle go from Artichoke to Tulip, passing through Cicada, Dog, Honey Bee, Lotus, Mushroom, Owl, Pineapple, Raven and Sloth.
For example, for the Jack in the Pulpit (a flower – keyword “Conditionality”) we learn that it belongs to the family Araceae, that the sex of a single plant can change from one year to the next depending on conditions, as well as the fact that the root can be used for headaches and various skin diseases. Its special message: “You must remain open minded and be able to assess your conditions to shift in this time of change. Look to the Jack in the Pulpit to help you interpret your choices to become the best you can be right now.”
As for the cards, they are of good quality card stock, shiny and smooth, with curved edges. Fairly large – approximately 9cms by 13cms, the backs are non-reversible, with a single green leaf in the centre of a white background, and a green and brown border. On the front of the cards, there is a central image with a picture of the creature or plant named, and with a matching border – often an enlarged section of the main image.
For example, the Bat card shows a bat hanging from a branch with fuchsia leaves, while the border has more of the tree branches, closer up, with lots of the leaves. The Daffodil shows a cross-section of the flower – so that we can see what is inside the main bud – on a cloudy blue background, with a paler misty blue border. The Praying Mantis shows the insect clearly on a white background, with the border showing the same image, but much closer up so the eyes are in the top border, the leg joints in the bottom border, and the whole image is in softer focus.
For the most part, I have been using the deck for a daily card, and have found it useful and sometimes challenging. A few cards don’t appeal to me personally – a little on the twee side: for instance Dog, and Owl. However, these are the exceptions, as for the most part the cards are beautifully drawn, realistic and colourful. The book’s information is interesting and relevant, and the keywords often trigger additional insights. I found that a few cards kept repeating for me over the course of a couple of months, always in relevant ways. The deck can also easily be used with any spread. I even tried a Celtic Cross with it and found it gave a good reading – perhaps more so than angel decks, as these cards aren’t just happiness and light, but rather more complex and well-rounded.
If you are interested in learning more about different aspects of nature, or just want an attractive, balanced oracle deck, I thoroughly recommend this set.