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Bookviews Book Reviews


Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot
by Poppy Palin




Ms. Palin's opening lines to the accompanying book gives us the essence of what her deck and her book reflects 'With an understanding of the seasons of Life and the natural enchantment of the Wild Realm, we can gain spiritual guidance.

The cards, like Ms. Palin's book, reflect her exuberance for the 'Wild Realm' with bright primary colors, bold designs and free interpretation of the Journey of the Tarot.

Looking at the obverse of the cards is a quartet of what appear to be two fairy folk reflected across the card.  This is much different from the usual abstract designs or monotones that usually are printed on decks.

The layout of the deck is similar to the Rider-Waite deck, with four suits and 21 trump cards.  The focus of this deck is nature, so the suites are not magic oriented, they are nature oriented, being earth, air, fire and water.  The trump cards also reflect the nature theme, and we have the 'Cunning Man' rather than the magician, and 'Mother Nature' rather than the Empress and 'Lord of the Wild' rather than the Emperor, and so on. 

The colors are bold primary, the designs range from well done 'children's illustration' in feeling, as in the 'Wandering Minstrel' or the fool, to very surrealistic, as all her 'fairy folk'. 

To wander through her cards is to understand her feelings for the natural world and to appreciate her talent for the arts.  I feel it is a beautiful deck and working with it is a joy, as the symbolisms are clearly stated.

The books starts with Ms. Palin's intention for the cards, how to use them and the care of any kind of tarot deck.  She then explores each card, giving very clear and almost poetic explanations of how she devised each card and its meaning.  For example, her meaning of 'Hunter' - Spirit of Clarity opens "Focus.  This moment&ldots;strung, drawn, aimed&ldots; is all that there is.  As the Hunter, I cannot allow myself to become distracted, for I must achieve what I set out to do here, or I shall not eat tonight."  A wonderful clarity of vision for this card, which shows a hunters face focusing on the draw of a bow. 

Overall, this deck presents itself as a connection to nature through the use of the tarot.  The experience is being drawn into this deck through the illustrations.  The similarity to the standard deck allows ease of use and understanding when augmented with the book. 

This is an addition worth having if you collect decks and a good choice for those looking for a deck to express and grow their inner 'wild spirit'.

Reviewed by Boudica