I have had a wonderful response to my Plant Ally card deck since I launched them at the beginning of this year. I have carefully listened to feedback and have since revised them a little to embrace this new information. There has been a lot of positive interest in them, but also a little confusion. As a long-term user of oracle cards, I made an assumption that most people knew exactly what they are and how to use them. So, I decided to write this post to honour your need to understand what my cards are truly about and to also help you decide if they are a good fit for you.
What are Plant Ally Healing cards?
Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual and wise nature of women (Clarrissa Pinkola Estés).
The Plant Ally Deck has been created to facilitate and help you reconnect with the many aspects of the feisty, healthy, visionary attributes that form part of this instinctual nature.
It seems only natural that the essence of nature’s plants combine with the free-form style of an oracle deck to be a useful foundation for this deeply intuitive energy.
I believe we can all connect with plants in our own unique way: whether that be by direct contact or by visualising a plant. If we simply open our hearts, we can receive the rich nourishment a plant can freely provide.
The cards are the intuitive expression of what I visualise in my mind when I connect with aspects of the flower essence of each plant I have chosen for the deck. Flower essences are said to contain the healing energy of plants. Some of the qualities of these essences are utilised in the making of these cards.
In total, there are 55 plant ally cards included. Many of the plants selected are wild flowers, as they demonstrate immense powers of strength and resilience. Their intention is to act as prompts to inspire you whenever you feel the need for extra support or guidance.
Each vibrant card contains a beautiful piece of artwork combined with a powerful word(s) of wisdom on one side and a carefully chosen aspect of the flower essence information on the other.
The visual feel of the plant essence is created to enlighten and bring some additional meaning to your life.
Why an Oracle deck and not a Tarot?
Tarot cards are part of an ancient tradition of divination. There are usually 78 cards that are broken down into 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. The minor arcana are then broken down into suits, typically pentacles, swords, wands and cups. Each suit has a meaning, as does each card positioned within the suit and of course each of the major arcana also have their own specific meanings. A Tarot deck follows a particular set of rules which I personally feel are too formulaic when my desire is that these cards be accessible to all and easy to use. However, they do compliment tarot readings beautifully.
An Oracle deck is more free-form and can be anything – there are no rules that must be followed (which I love!!!). They are useful for anyone looking for answers and meaning. They can have any number of cards, with or without a reference book and can be designed around any theme (in this case, plants).
With less structure to an oracle card deck, there is more scope to allow your intuition and the connected universal guidance of life to truly shape the reading. It is about you, your intuition and your interpretation being left to its own devices to guide you, as opposed to a structured reading from a tarot card.
How to use your cards
Firstly, it is worth noting that increasingly, many therapists, coaches and healers are purchasing these cards for 1:1 and group work to be conversational prompts for healing ….
Here are ways you can use them for yourself…
The way you begin your day sets the tone for the experiences that will follow and how you will react to them. So, there is always an open invitation for you to choose a card each morning, trust your inner wisdom and from that it can form a message for the day, or an aspect of yourself to focus on. In fact, pulling cards like this is a great way to build your intuition.
What is truly wonderful is that you may use them in any way that feels resonant. Here are just a few examples of ways to enjoy them and to help get you started. Treat them as invitations and not a formulaic rule book. You will find your own way.
Gently shuffle the pack and start to think about your intentions for the cards.
One example for selection is to place the illustrated front of the deck uppermost and divide the deck by sorting into one or more piles (depending on your choice of reading, see below). The card on top of the cut deck is the one you select.
Or, you could simply select cards from a fan shape arrangement.
For a single card selection you may ask yourself:
‘What shall I call into focus today?’ or
‘What do I need to know right now?’ or
‘Which plant ally wishes to step forward to support me right now?’ or
‘What action or response would be most nourishing for me right now?’
You may then flow-write in a journal about a card selected, simply carry it with you during the day, or prop it somewhere you can see. Notice what thoughts and feelings crop up as you mull over the card that has been selected. The feelings may be positive or negative. Note that and see if you can unpick the reaction/response a bit more. You may want to explore how the essence of the card applies in your life right now.
Two card selection:
This could be the theme of a question and the theme of the answer or, just a free-form combination to see if anything speaks to you and your situation right now..
Three card selection:
The order in which you divide the deck into 3 could indicate:
Past – Influences from the past related to the card theme
Present – What is occurring positively or negatively in the present related to the card theme
Future – Insight or guidance into what lies ahead.
Tell a story with the themes of the card such as:
If I act on card 1 + card 2, I may create card 3.
Write a free-flow story that starts with the sentence ‘ Once upon a time there was a woman who was learning to love herself…’ Once you have incorporated all three cards into the story, substitute ‘the woman’ for ‘I’…then re-read the story and see what crops up for you.
Or, select three cards from different decks. Here I have used ‘Connected and Free’ Alchemist’s Oracle and ‘The Little Sage’ Oracle deck here.
5 card selection for a plant layout:
This spread may provide you with a deeper insight into an overall situation. Lay the 5 selected cards in the order of selection, to correspond with the numbers on the image. It is best to lay them out with the picture uppermost. The layout represents the following:
- The Seed: The point from which growth stems and the root subject of the current situation. It is often what has been an issue in your past.
- The Sprout: This cards gives you hints into the understanding of the issue and what is within conscious thinking.
- The Growth: This is what wants to be unravelled and revealed from your inner self, though you may not be consciously aware of it right now. It is about to be revealed to you.
- The Stem: This grows out of the seed and is very much part of what is unfolding in your present.
- The Flower: This is your flowering potential in the near future.
Allow intuition to guide you. You do not even have to apply the expanded information on the back of each card, as they are simply there for people who prefer a little more detail to help with understanding. Some people may feel inhibited by extra detail, so go with what is truly resonant for you. I hope to make these cards as versatile and accessible as possible. Ultimately, it’s you – your connection, intuition and interpretation – that shapes the reading, not just the cards.
Over to you
In what ways do you like to use Oracle cards? I would love to know your thoughts and experiences.
Perhaps The Plant Ally Wisdom Deck is just the right fit for you, or as a gift for someone special. If so, pop over to my shop and take a look. Thank you for taking the time to read.