Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet

Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards
Susan Seddon Boulet
Pomegranate, 2007
48 cards, no booklet

I have loved Susan Seddon Boulet’s artwork for a good long while; her detail and original, ethereal style make fitting imagery for animal totem work (though I recommend her other creations, such as depictions of various deities, too). I am fond of the lush colors as well and the depth of the figures. Her creations are alive, if any art can be said to live and breathe.

However, this deck is not only about the art, but also about the meaning. There’s no book, but on the back of each card is Boulet’s brief interpretation and keywords for the totem on the front. Each is necessarily brief because there’s only so much room on each card, and text can only be shrunk so far. However, Boulet did her best to pack in as much information as she could. Generally, each card contains both historical and mythological information about the totem, and some commentary on the image she herself created.

This is not at all exhaustive, and should not be taken as the end of your research on each totem. And, as with any dictionary, it’s the author’s interpretation of what each totem means. Additionally, there is somewhat of a New Age approach, with smatterings of Eastern religions, “feminine energy”, and rather light associations with each totem; this has been aimed at a broader audience than the neopagan community. Some may find these meanings lacking; others may wish to primarily see them as commentary on the art, and attribute more detailed, personalized meaning to the cards.

The thin cardstock is disappointing, and if you’re wanting to preserve the art, you should have two decks–one for art, one for divination. However, the selection of animals is nice, if being almost exclusively vertebrates. Additionally, some of the cards are really general, like “Birds” or “Animal Deities”, which isn’t particularly helpful if you’re looking for something more specific.

Overall, though, this is a lovely addition to any collection of totem cards, whether for art or divination.

Four and a half pawprints out of five.

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1 Comment

  1. Paleo said,

    May 11, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    IMO, this deck makes for a clunky divination tool, but it is still a must-have for people who relate to spirtual animal art and could be wonderfully worked into meditation practices or altar displays.


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