The ANIMAL WISDOM TAROT
WHAT IS TAROT?
WHAT IS THE ANIMAL WISDOM TAROT?
What is Tarot?
The origin of Tarot cards is an intriguing mystery. Some claim Tarot evolved from a simple card game, while others believe it reveals secret teachings, depicts ancient wisdom, and hides the occult knowledge of spiritual masters in plain sight.
What we know is this: Tarot was a popular game called Tarocchi in fifteenth-century Italy. Most usually, a Tarot deck consists of 78 illustrated cards: 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana, which includes four suits of both numbered and court cards (see following pages for more). Over the centuries, many decks were created — card symbols adjusted, images changed, and meanings shifted. There are now thousands of decks reflecting diverse perspectives, yet united by the essence of Tarot.
One reason Tarot has survived is because it is always changing — each layout unique, each reading an adventure into learning more about who we are. Every card offers images, colors and symbols that spark our imagination, engage our intuition, and guide us to larger connections. In the flow of a reading we may venture into the imaginal realm and learn to sense differently. A magic happens, a gateway opens, and clarity begins to unfold.
With Tarot we embrace a deeper relationship with the language of symbolism. We read cards not only individually, but in relation to each other — and in relation to ourselves. Listening to what the cards tell us, seeing what they show us, we journey with Tarot, exploring our inner landscape. Our deeper self speaks through Tarot, triggering insights, and we awaken to what we already know.
Rich with artistic symbology, imbued with meaning, Tarot offers insights, hints, clues, advice, direction, guidance, warnings, encouragement and as much wisdom as we allow ourselves to know. A tool for divination, a story about spiritual evolution, a jump-start to enlightenment, a simple yet powerful way to understand more about ourselves — Tarot guides us home. Let us begin…
What is The Animal Wisdom Tarot?
This deck blends traditional Tarot symbolism and meaning with animal wisdom and guidance. The classic Tarot suits and court assembly are transformed to highlight nature and the mannerisms of animal teachers. Thus, Cups, Wands, Pentacles and Swords become Shells, Branches, Fossils and Feathers. Page, Knight, Queen and King are Seer, Seeker, Nurturer and Guardian.
Choosing animal spirits to represent the various cards was an adventure in co-creation. Contemplating each card’s essence, I tuned inward, opening my intuition and imagination, and invited an animal representative to appear. Some that showed up seemed obvious choices; others were surprising. For example, Major Arcana Card 0, traditionally called the Fool, is perfectly represented by Coyote, a natural Trickster who knows how to blur boundaries and live large. But what of friendly, inquisitive Goat, chosen to represent the Devil card, or delicate Moth, as the face of Death? Animal species’ behavior, unique abilities, and ‘medicine’ or teaching offer deeper clues and insight; this is shared in each card’s description.
Once a card was matched with its representative, I visualized the animal spirit within the framework of Tarot. Drawing on my experience with Tarot (mostly influenced by the classic Rider-Waite deck) and familiarity with animal teachings, a picture emerged. This formed the basic design for each card. Artist Ola Liola followed my written guidelines, infusing the Tarot symbols, poses, and animal representatives I suggested with her distinctive style.
Every Tarot deck reflects the energy of its creators as well as its time in history. This deck, designed in 2012 — a year of change and awakening — links creative energies between humans and between species.
May we open to the wisdom and inspiration of all beings upon our planet.
I hope you enjoy this deck.