The Animal Wise Tarot – Ted Andrews

The Animal Wise Tarot
Ted Andrews
Dragonhawk Publishing, 1999
256 pages plus 78 cards

I realized that I’ve been working with this deck since they first came out in 1999, and never reviewed it.

In short, I LOVE it.

One of the things I love about Ted Andrews’ work in general is that he works with a variety of animals, not just North American large mammals. There’s a great variety of critters to work with in this deck–mammals, birds, insects, amphibians and reptiles. He did a great job of matching animals to the various tarot cards as well. And personally, I love the photographs; they’re very evocative of the individual animals.

The great thing about this deck, too, is that is can be used for totem or tarot readings. My deck and I figured out our own reading style for totemic divination. It’s a very versatile tool.

I’m also really pleased that Andrews doesn’t try to sell himself as a “genuine Native American” anything. These aren’t the Medicine Cards, created by plastic shamans. Instead, Andrews draws from many wells, adn concentrates primarily on observation of the animals themselves for his information, rather than playing Indian. I really respect him for that in all of his work.

The book is a decent helper for getting started, but I found that this particular deck is excellent for intuitive totemic readings; it allows the totems to communicate with you, acting as a focus, rather than saying “This animal always means THIS, while that one must mean THAT”. I’ve given two or three readings in a row where one animal kept popping up, and each tme s/he had something different to say. It’s a wonderfully flexible deck.

Five pawprints out of five.

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