By pairing a classic tarot deck with stunning botanical illustrations, Kevin Jay Stanton merges the spiritual practice with the historical mythology behind plants and flowers. “Their archetypal symbols have mystical, philosophical, and psychological implications that allow us to understand our past, our future, and ourselves,” the illustrator said in a Kickstarter explainer. “But even older than that is the symbolism we’ve always assigned to the plants that grow around us.”
Lined with gold foil, the 78-card deck is replete with acrylic and ink renderings on a dark backdrop. While the Major Arcana features lone specimens, the Minor Arcana details botanical compositions with suit-specific objects like coins or cups. Every court card is adorned with royal notations.
Stanton’s pairings of The Queen of Swords and red oleander, The Devil and nightshade, and The High Priestess and elderflower each expand the potential readings. “Divination is the process of finding meaning in symbols or patterns, and similarly, the act of reading tarot is finding patterns, meaning, and visions in the symbols,” he said. “A larger picture is created when a story is formed from how one card interacts with the next, as a bouquet is created from the harmony between many flowers.”
To pick up your own set, three editions—the Herbalist, Dark Alchemist, and Enchanter—are available for pre-order through Beehive Books. Stay up-to-date with Stanton’s mythical projects on Instagram. And if you’re interested in another entrance into the divine, check out Salvador Dalí’s deck.
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