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The Animal Wisdom Tarot (box with cards)

Using tarot cards is a time-honoured way to see the patterns of the past, explore the potential of what is to come and predict your future. The Animal Wisdom Tarot contains an inspirational book and a complete deck of 78 tarot cards. Every card in the deck has been assigned its own animal from the major arcana cards to all the cards in the four suits. In the accompanying book Dawn Brunke gives an interpretation for each card, both on its own and in combination with others. For more inspiration, there are messages and guidance on how to read and interpret the cards. The cards and the book feature specially commissioned illustrations by Ola Liola.

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3 comments on “The Animal Wisdom Tarot (box with cards)

  1. Profound Animal Wisdom Merging with the Tarot “Choosing animal spirits to represent the various cards was an adventure in co-creation. Contemplating each card’s essence, I turned inward, opening my intuition and imagination, and invited an animal representative to appear. Some that showed up seemed obvious choices; others were surprising.” – From the companion book to the Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn BrunkeBison, owl, shark and spider, the world of animal medicine provides a deep, ancient reservoir of both practical and spiritual wisdom. In the past, diverse cultures and tribes have relied on the messages from the animal world–sea dwellers, birds, insects, mammals and amphibians–to guide group decisions and answer personal questions.When you combine the breadth of animal wisdom with a comprehensive structure that addresses all aspects of life–in this case, the Tarot–a powerful tool emerges.Enter the Animal Wisdom Tarot, created by Dawn Brunke and illustrated by Ola Liola, published by Cico Books.A 78-card deck, the Animal Wisdom Tarot renames all traditional designations to reflect its theme. The Minor Arcana suits are renamed Branches (Wands), Shells (Cups), Fossils (Pentacles) and Feathers (Swords), while the Court Cards are called Seer (Page), Seeker (Knight), Nurturer (Queen) and Guardian (King). The Major Arcana are transformed thusly:0 Coyote – The Trickster1 Raven – Messenger of Magic2 Cat – Knower of Secrets3 Cow – Earth Mother4 Ram – Earth Father5 Bull – Keeper of Sacred Tradition6 Honeybee – Heart Awakener7 Horse – Spirit of Freedom8 Lion – Ruler of the Open Heart9 Owl – Keeper of the Light10 Spider – Sacred Spinner11 Elephant – Bearer of Justice12 Bat – Master of Suspension13 Moth – Omen of Death14 Swan – Angel of Alchemy15 Goat – Shadow God of Liberation16 Serpent – The Quickener17 Peacock – The Illuminator18 Rabbit – Moon Dreamer19 Rooster – Call to Awakening20 Crocodile and Butterfly – Masters of Discernment21 Whale – The All-EncompassingAuthor Dawn Brunke does a wonderful job of describing Tarot structure, even including certain symbols within the cards to remind readers of numerological and rank considerations. For example, all the 4s in this deck contain four-leaf clovers, all the 7s include rainbows, all the 10s have Xs (X marks the spot!) and all the Seekers contain bridges. However, she notes that all the 2s include a Yin/Yang symbol–but there is none on the 2 of Feathers (Heron).Also, she mentions that the ancient symbol of the pentagram is featured on all 5s, but an actual pentagram is ONLY on the Five of Branches (Scorpion). The other cards only have stars on the imagery. I don’t mean to be nitpicky about these omissions, but if you’re going to go through the trouble of trying to embed such symbols–and explain their importance–then they should be present in the cards. Otherwise, you may confuse and frustrate the reader, especially those new to Tarot and/or ancient symbolism.Borderless cards awash in pretty pastels, the art of the Animal Wisdom Tarot reflects a very loose, almost impressionistic watercolor style, so some animals–for example, the 5 of Feathers (Blue Jay)–are far from anatomically correct. However, these animal denizens appear friendly and knowing, making these cards perfect for kids or those more comfortable with gentle imagery.The other day, my 14-year-old son and I were sitting at the table. I was going through the Animal Wisdom Tarot deck and he began looking through them, too. Our orange tabby cat, Stewart, was on his lap, giving us curious glances…so I suggested we give Stewart a Tarot reading. (Hey, he’s an animal…why not?)After thoroughly shuffling the cards, my son picked a card for Stewart. Because the illustrations on this deck don’t really provide much intuitive information on their own, he began reading what the companion book said about the card. He marveled that the card actually reflected what HE was experiencing! “The cards must pick up on the energy of the one selecting the cards!” he exclaimed.So while Mr. Stewart did not get a Tarot reading that day, my son did.And then we did a reading for me. Again, it was so accurate that my son said “Oh my gosh, that sounds just LIKE you!”A very accurate deck, as you can see.But, as I said, it’s not an easy deck to read at face value. You’ll likely have to rely on Ms. Brunke’s engaging insights into each animal and its corresponding card to get the most out of a reading.At 95-pages, the full-color companion book depicts a reproduction of each card, its traditional Tarot designation, Keynote (Majors), Theme (Minors) or Quality (Courts)–just names for keywords, really–and a brief message. There’s also four spreads: the usual 3-card spread,…

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