Tarot Cards: I Swore We’d Never Carry These at Herbiary

"There will never be tarot cards in my store!"

When I opened Herbiary a dozen years ago, I was vehemently opposed to carrying anything that smacked of new agey-ness. I'd walked into too many herbal/new age shops where, under a thick layer of fairy dust, you could find dried plants that longed for the compost heap and tinctures two years past expiration.

I wanted a different kind of shop: a place where people and plants could both be their most vibrant selves. A place where there was no fog of mystery, but instead knowledge, warmth, and comfort.

Tarot cards seemed a sure way to scare off the people I was hoping to ease in.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been using cards in my own life for decades. I love the way my mind somersaults into free association, letting me see situations with fresh eyes. When I’m feeling unclear or unsure, the cards offer an unexpected filter, a different perspective. It’s kind of like having a good friend or therapist who asks left-field questions that get you thinking in a whole new way. So while I wasn’t selling tarot or oracle cards in the shop, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a deck tucked behind the counter.

Twelve years later, the world has shifted a bit. Essential oils are insanely popular (trust me when I say this has not always been the case), herbs are touted for everything from energy to sleep aids, and doctors no longer consider antipsychotic drugs when you tell them your take tinctures and teas for medicinal reasons. Herbiary was even called “trendy” in a recent newspaper article. Trendy! I have to admit I snorted when I read that— it’s a far cry from “fringe” or “hippy”, which were the adjectives in use when we first opened.

So to celebrate this shift, I want to share some of my favorite, now-carried-at-Herbiary tarot and oracle decks with you.

Whether you’ve used cards for years or are thinking about *maybe* getting a deck (which you’re sure you’ll have to hide in your sock drawer), check out these perennial personal and customer faves:

The Wild Unknown

Get the Deck

I love the simple complexity of these archetypical, hand-drawn cards. Use these cards when you need confusing situations stripped down and made comprehensible. ($39.99)

The Enchanted Map Oracle

Get the Deck

Layered and lush, I return to this deck over and over. These cards help you see around corners! ($18.99)

The Messenger Oracle

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Steeped in seasonal wisdom, this deck helps you get back in sync with the world around you. ($21.95)

The Motherpeace Tarot

Get the Deck 

This was the first deck whose drawings were evocative enough for me that I could understand the meaning of each card simply from studying the picture… which makes them priceless. ($20.00)

The Linestrider Tarot

Get the Deck

This is a customer favorite. The evocative images allow your imagination to activate so you can unearth subconscious layers. ($29.99)

The Herbal Tarot

Get the Deck

Integrating the healing properties of traditional herbs with the symbolism of the tarot, this deck is a great way to double your learning and combine your interest. ($21.95)

You can find all our decks and tarot books here!

You might be wondering:

What’s the difference between a tarot deck and an oracle deck?

Tarot is a centuries-old foretelling game which first appeared in the 15th century. A tarot deck has four suites like playing cards as well as a group of cards called the Major Arcana which are more archetypical. Tarot is a system and the cards are read, not in the singular, but instead in relationship to each other when laid out in a spread. The spread is meant to offer insight into the root of the issue and the present circumstances, as well as possible future outcomes.

Oracle cards are a more modern invention. Each card has a meaning which is meant to inspire, instruct, or help you to dig deeper into an issue.

How do I choose?

First choose between tarot and oracle. Tarot is a learning adventure and gives you a bit more to explore before you get started. Oracle cards, on the other hand, offer immediate gratification

Next, look for images which resonate for you personally. A deck is a visual tool and you want to glean information and motivation from the images.

When should I use the cards?

Some people pull a daily card as a journal prompt or meditation, while others only consult the cards when they’re having an issue they can’t resolve on their own. The more you use your cards, the more familiar they’ll be to you... which means you’ll become a better interpreter of their meanings over time.

And the big one: Do you believe tarot cards really foretell the future?

Our minds are full of subconscious knowings which are looking for a way to surface. Our lives are rich in patterns, both our own and those which are more universal, which we can tap into for clarity and understanding. Tarot and oracle cards help us tap these deeper layers and aid our intuition in mapping the way forward.

Find your deck here and gift yourself a dip into the liminal space of the collective unconscious!

On Herbiary owner Maia Toll's blog:

  • It’s a new year. How are you going to chart your way through it? I’ve got some suggestions plus, you can grab your FREE New Year's Workbook!
  • Feeling scattered or simply uninspired? This article will help you re-find your motivation!