Tarot Deck Review
A 78-Card Deck and Book
for the Journey of the Soul
Illustrated & Written by Jean Marie Herzel
Publisher: Bear & Company
78 Card Deck & 192 Page Book
Publication Date: February 16, 2021
The Nature Spirit Tarot: a 78-Card Deck & Book for the Journey of the Soul is created, illustrated and written by Jean Marie Herzel (copyright 2014 and 2021 by Jean Marie Herzel, originally titled Nature Spirit Tarot: Encounters With Nature and the Journey of the Soul), and published by Bear & Company, a division of Inner Traditions International, One Parker Street, Rochester, VT 05767.
The Nature Spirit Tarot kit comes in a very sturdy 6 1/4 inch by 9 1/2 inch cardboard box with a slide-out tray that contains the guidebook and the cards themselves. The box has a high gloss finish with vibrant jewel-tone colors, with the name of the deck and a card image on the front, and four more card images, a description of the deck, and a brief bio of the creator on the back. The inner drawer is also very sturdy, with a high gloss green finish and two pockets for the cards; the beautiful guidebook fits nicely on top of the cards, holding everything in place. Taken all together, the whole package is sturdy, colorful, delightful to look at and easy to work with.
The cards measure 2 3/4 inches by 4 3/4 inches with rounded corners; the card stock is not thick but seems durable and sturdy enough to shuffle with ease. The color palette of the cards is also jewel-tone, my favorite because this palette makes for brilliant and dramatic card images, which The Nature Spirit Tarot provides. The brilliantly colored images themselves cover most of the card face, with a black outline and a thin white border along the edges. The card number is at the top, and the Major Arcana card names are in black type within a white banner at the bottom of the card. The card back is the beautiful green of the box with a white border, butterflies in each of the corners, and a center medallion containing silhouettes of birds, dragon flies, snakes and flowers.
The card images each contain at least one animal or insect and one plant or flower, and often a crystal. The life forms, growing things and crystals are layered within the images, so that everywhere you look, something is calling to you. The Major Arcana representations are clever, with an owl for The Magician, a peacock for The Emperor, a spider and her web for The Wheel of Fortune, and a pair of turkey vultures, my totem animal, in the image for The Tower. Each of the Aces introduce us to the suit representations of the Minor Arcana, with a White Calla Lily representing Cups, Lavender flower stalks representing Wands, Indian Lotus representing Swords, and the Trumpet Daffodil representing Pentacles.
The softcover guidebook is a treat to behold and examine. The 6 inch by 9 inch book has a high gloss finish cover, just like the box, with a green background and a front cover emblazoned with the same image as the lid of the box; the pages are brilliant white with black easy to read type, and a dazzling color image of the cards described. The guidebook begins with a blessing by the author, followed by an Introduction describing the making of the Nature Spirit Tarot. Then we get right to the cards. Each section has a card image, card name, an interpretation of the card meaning, and a section on each of the natural items used in the image of the card. These beautiful cards are full of inhabitants of the world around us, vibrantly colored, a delight for anyone interested in the natural world. The book ends with a section on card spreads, a more detailed bio of the author, and a short list of other decks offered by the publisher.
This is a truly pleasing Tarot set. The cards are attractive and the guidebook is a treasure chest filled with useful information and correspondences related to animals, insects, reptiles, plants, herbs, flowers and crystals from around the world. If you are looking for a deck with traditional images, or if you are just getting to know the symbolism of the Tarot, this may not work as a learning deck. If you like nature and if you like learning about the creatures who live in the natural world, the Nature Spirit Tarot and its attractive images and its guidebook filled with natural world information will please you to no end.
Jean Marie Herzel, a lifelong resident of the US Pacific Northwest, is a self-taught artist specializing in watercolors and hand-painted drums. Her work features botanicals, birds, and other nature themes; her greatest affinity has always been with the plant world. Plants offer her a visionary glimpse of the inner and unseen forces of nature, through her dreams. Jean has a degree in library science and was a professional librarian for a decade. After a life-threatening illness and long recovery, Jean experienced a spiritual awakening and left her career to pursue a path as an artist. Drawn to the messages of the Tarot and its ability to help us explore the depths of the psyche, Jean was drawn to express the Tarot through the lens of the natural world. This intimate connection with the spirits of nature is the underlying theme behind all of her work, including the Nature Spirit Tarot. To learn more about her or view her work, visit her website at www.naturespiritart.com.
About the Author:
Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher. Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.