No two gardens are the same, from potted indoor plants pruned beautiful and tame, to sprawling sprouts from outside woods, leaning in along the frame. So too have these decks found such bountiful spots to grow, where plots like seeds are sown, along thoughts one needs to know.
It always warms my heart to see how you all cultivate a relationship with these cards and how they peer back from the garden to you. Watching as you create rituals with these botanical decks has been one of the most joyous experiences, and so I thought I would share that with you.
During this Summer season, here is a seasonal round-up of some of my favorite photographs and videos from our budding community.
Rooted in mythology and infused with plant magic, the Pythia Botanica Oracle is the original intuitive, hand-illustrated, botanical deck that has been enchanting so many around the world since it first sprouted in 2016. Join me in celebrating Pythia Botanica Oracle’s near-decade of garden reads, perennial spreads, and weathered fate from the stem to the Sun.
There's something in the way these Dahlias carry me to Autumn each year, like Sunflowers grown from the light of another world's Sun. The way thick stems lift up glowing petals like a star-lantern, peering out to take a bite of the first brisk morning's honey crisp air. What a treat to go into Fall this way, with shorter days lit up by cosmic hues ― a bit of hope against darkness that falls upon a sooner and sooner strike of the clock.
This emerging Summer Solstice season is a key time to set intentions, to brim with botanical spells and ground oneself. As the garden blooms with a first flush of Roses, Clematis, Foxglove, Nasturtium, Peony, Passion Flower and more, a garden bouquet sprang up for this week's Waxing Crescent moon. I've spoken before about how a garden with intention meets the harvesting of bouquets whose meanings we wish to harness. And so, I thought, let us journey into this space again.
Along with the Full Moon's glow, Summer's brightest bloom has been the Passion Flower: an otherworldly palette of nebular petals, earthy green, and celestial yellow. I've been tending to this vining perennial for the past six years, leaning into its nurturing nature, grounding myself in its strength, seeking it out as family - a homegrown bloom, rooted in terracotta pots, quietly revealing its petals in the Summer Sun, a most wondrous (visual and symbolic) gift.
New blooms have sprung with a flurry under the warm Summer Sun, where light found its way from the surface to the root, to the garden at large, from the face of the bounty to the face of the cards. In the Spring, this garden was planted with intention, drawing from these sister decks with hope that seeds sown from below might find my eye in an above-ground future.
My garden, having burst with its first bounty of blooms and first session of deadheading stems, has taken note of Solstice season, too. And as always, this led me to look to the cards. Would they align with some of these stray thoughts and feelings?
The Ophidia Rosa Tarot's Sun card strikes a note with the closeness mentioned earlier: "Swelling with heat from the closest of stars, we connect to the beat of hearts here and afar."
Shears in hand, my face sidled by sun-bleached puffs of Crown Princess Margareta Roses, a most cherished time of year arrives joyful to the eye. This small yet somehow endless space is where I find a boundless stream of inspiration, where I learn from and with the plants, where the Pythia Botanica was born nearly five years ago, the Ophidia Rosa four years ago, and the Maiden three. I come here to create, to read cards, to sit, to greet the day's emotions, to process the catharsis that only inhabiting a garden may bring.
"There are always flowers for those who want to see them." - Matisse
If Winter's garden was a blank canvas, this Spring's first buds have felt like imagination sprouting from the page. Art and plants oft-entwine in these ways for me: An idea, like seeds, below the surface, then sketching out a vine to where one's hues become painted blooms.
Poison plants of the Maiden Oracle offer an empowering purpose for this most bewitching of seasons. As we grow past harvest, blooms may haunt the heart with noxious forces, and yet that same fatal venom may be pruned to create. Be one plucked from peril or mended when once maimed, the Maiden turns the harm of another's poison into repellents of the shame.