I received an advance copy from the artist. This deck is one that is very close to my heart. My very first deck was the Herbal Tarot (also by USGames.) I've watched this deck's creation along the way. My opinion of it has not wavered one bit since seeing the very first card. It is going to be a classic. First, the artwork is so realistic I feel as if I could pick up a cup of healing tea right from the card. Each herb is lovingly rendered--most of them in how they are used so I don't have to try to identify the herbs (that's not my forte.) I am shown garlic in the Strenght card. I get Damiana in its herbal form next to a tiny glass of the golden liquer I know. Even the cards that don't show me anything but the plants plainly speak to me. Hemlock (the Emperor) is depicted in a rigid square that yields to nothing. Alfalfa (Ten of Air) is everywhere with a scythe waiting to mow it down. The court cards are a nod to the writer's own heritage with Hija (daughter), Adelita (warrior), Madre (mother), and Curandera (Healer) as Page, Knight, Queen, King. Each shows the hands of the figure and nothing else. It keeps the focus on the herbs. The hands are of varying skin tones which makes my diversity-craving heart sing. With so many herbs available to be chosen, Colbert and Guthrie found 78 to use. I was pleased to see some unknown herbs make an appearance like Chaparral aka Greasewood (correctly called Creosote in this deck.) Now to the writing! Guthrie is a long-time blogger (theherbmother) who has a lyrical voice. Sometimes I felt as if I were reading poetry or snippets of her intimate thoughts journal. She nails the descriptions by drilling down to what you need to know about each one. Then she skillfully weaves that plant into the meaning of the card. There is a fresh look at some cards so be prepared to be open to interpretations here. Again, I was lucky enough to see some of her writing early on. She is going to be a writer to watch. A clear, authentic tone with an obvious love for the green allies. I will most likely need another deck because I plan to wear this one out. As to that though, USGames has given this deck a matte finish on a good cardstock so this deck will last. And? It is in a hard box with a substantial size book (no LWB here, y'all.) Trust me, once this deck is in your hands, it will soon be in your heart as well. I predict (grin) that this deck will be a keeper! Seek joy, y'all. Pass it on.
— Arwen, the Professional Joy Seeker
Beginning with the premise that herbs are archetypes in botanical form, this deck builds on the traditional 78-card Rider-Waite-Smith tarot format to bring the magic of herbs into the hands of readers. Rather than documenting the properties associated with specific plants, this deck focuses on the relationships between people and plants. Dandelion shows us The Fool. Garlic teaches us about Strength. Rose shows us the heart of The Empress.
Joanna Powell Colbert’s illustrations are beautifully designed and rendered. They contain symbolism, captured in small details, that harkens back to Waite’s demanding standards. The cards respectfully reflect Latisha’s Mexican-American heritage and the Celtic heritage that she shares with Joanna. The companion book explains it all perfectly.
Whether you are a tarot reader, an herbalist, or someone who occasionally buys potted herbs in the grocery store, this is a deck that will brighten your world.
— Anna Jedrziewski, TarotWise