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Excerpt from "Nature Spirit Tarot"

From the Introduction

by Jean Marie Herzel

The Nature Spirit Tarot deepens our connection to the natural world, and at the same time, inspires us in our quest to develop personal awareness. As we go about our busy lives, nature’s beauty and mystery remain unnoticed by many of us. Sadly, we often live in places somewhat removed from the natural world. To bring us back to nature, I created this deck using the language of flowers and the symbolic meanings of birds, insects, and reptiles, as well as the meanings of some gemstones. The symbolism is derived from various traditions of the world, including Native American, Celtic, and Eastern and Western Philosophy, to name only a few.

The Nature Spirit Tarot was many years in the making. The idea to embark upon such a large project arose many years ago. I felt an inner desire to explore the Tarot intensely, and began delving into its meanings. The enduring quality of the Tarot, and the power that lives in it, was very intriguing. It seemed to me it was a living legacy, a message of the journey into consciousness left behind by those who traveled this road before us. This is how the project began.

Immediately, I learned that Tarot is a timeless tool. It enables us to explore the depths of our psyche and our conscious awareness. It has been with humanity for many centuries. I was pleased to learn that it is now enjoyed everywhere in its deeper interpretations. People realize that the Tarot contains keys to the depths of our intellect, our emotions, our physicality, and our spirit. The Tarot reveals its message in layers, and the depth to which we explore it is limited only by our own motivation to do so. Working with this inner path of exploration, I have not included any reversed meanings in the descriptions.

Many people wanted to know about the flora and fauna that appear in the Nature Spirit Tarot. The companion book is a guide to facts and symbolic meanings for those who wish to explore the natural world more intimately. Much of the text is an interpretation of the cards through the symbolism of nature. I hope this approach will be inspiring and refreshing, and an important aspect of your own journey of self-discovery.

My greatest wish is that as you use these cards, you will enjoy the colorful imagery, learn something special about nature, and deepen your own personal path. May this adventure bring you closer to the realization of the Oneness of all Life on this magnificent planet.

From Major Arcana

The Magician (card shown on cover)

The Magician is a conscious instrument of the life force. The uplifted wing channels the energy from the heavens, and the wing pointed downward brings that energy into manifestation. The Magician is the keeper of heavenly power. A highly developed mind and great powers of concentration give the Magician perfect control of the four elements and any situation in the earthly realm. In the foreground of the card, four tools rest atop the mushroom, representing mastery of the elemental forces.

The Magician understands the sacred wisdom that is eternal. Through inner guidance and with great mental power and integrity, the Magician channels the Divine. The dynamic energy presented by the Magician enables us to raise our motivations to serve a higher purpose and focus our will toward harmony and grace. The Magician also exemplifies the higher path, encouraging us to deepen our sacred connection so that we may be of service to the world. The Magician reminds us that we have many latent skills and abilities just waiting to unfold from within.

Merlin Falcon (Falco columbarius)

The Merlin Falcon is native to the northern continents encircling the planet. It is a small falcon with powerful flying abilities. The Merlin has been raised for falconry since the Middle Ages, prized for its great speed and agility. It is rare to see this falcon in nature because it is fast, silent, and discreet. But it is seen occasionally in habitats that include open forests, grasslands, and coastlines.

The Merlin moves swiftly with exact precision and control. The falcon is symbolic of insight, clear vision, and unity with higher powers. The Merlin explores its world with mental clarity and a special ability to move between the seen and unseen worlds. This bird of action inspires us to hone our mental powers and understand our minds as creative tools to channel the divine forces.

Fly Agaric or Fly Amanita Mushroom (Amanita muscaria)

Mushrooms are considered symbols of good fortune and longevity. But this is no ordinary mushroom. Fly Agaric Mushrooms was considered a sacred tool by ancient shamans and may be one of the oldest hallucinogenic ceremonial tools known to humanity. Used in sacred rituals, it allowed healers to expand their minds and perceive deep mysteries for the improved welfare of individuals, as well as the entire tribe.

Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum)

The Western Sword Fern inhabits deep conifer forests of western North America. To thrive, it requires moist stream banks and shady nooks where conditions are always damp and cool. The fern is a symbol of prophetic dreaming, magical powers, and riches. It also represents confidence, protection, dignity, and peace. The spiraling, unfurling fronds of the fern, like all spirals, suggest the sacred spiral of life with its complexities and infinite possibilities.

Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis)

The Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly dwells primarily around quiet ponds and boggy marshes. It is native to the eastern regions of North America. The iridescent wings of the dragonfly refract light and emanate multiple colors, associating it with the power of light, magic, and mysticism. In this card, the wings of the dragonfly form an infinity symbol. This represents eternality, unlimited possibilities, strength, and dominion over the world of manifested form. The dragonfly reminds us to let go of illusion, awaken to our inner vision, and gain power through our deepest aspirations.

Jean Marie Herzel is a self-taught artist, specializing in watercolors and hand-painted drums. After a life-threatening illness in her late 20s, she left her career as a librarian to pursue her life-long dream of being an artist, focusing on the flora and fauna of Nature. Through her artwork, she found a pathway to a deeper understanding of life and Nature. The founder of Nature Spirit Art, she lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Nature Spirit Tarot by Jean Marie Herzel © 2021 Bear & Company. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International www.InnerTraditions.com

Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days. Price: $35.00. To purchase this book visit B&N.com, Amazon.com, InnerTraditions.com, or your local bookstore

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