The Animal-Wise Tarot

Deck by Ted Andrews © 1999
Published by Andrews' Dragon Hawk Publishing
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The Fool in
                the Animal Wise TarotAce of
                Shapeshifters in the Animal Wise Tarot10 of Ancients in the Animal
                Wise Tarot

The Moon in
              the Animal Wise Tarot2 of Winged
              Ones in the Animal Wise TarotPage of Four Leggeds in the Animal
              Wise Tarot

This deck, by Ted Andrews, is called "Animal-Wise" Tarot.  But you're not going to find just furry creatures within this deck.  You'll find a variety of nature's life forms.  There are also images of birds, butterflies, snakes, reptiles, mammals, and insects.  I think I would have called it the "Nature-Wise" or "Nature Wisdom" deck instead.  However, it's an appealing deck for anyone who likes animals AND nature.  Some of have even referred to this deck and book as the "Bible" of animal studies.

In the Animal-Wise Tarot, Ted Andrews has combined his knowledge of the ways of animals (and the other living things of nature) with the traditional themes and structures of the Tarot.  Each card shows a photograph of an animal whose nature matches the card's meaning.  The photographic images show the real life setting for the animals.

The cards are a pale lilac color inset with a reddish-purple border.  On this border an oval is inset that includes the "animal" photo framed within the border.  The back design of the cards is the dragon logo for Dragon Hawk Publishing which is done in a three-layer effect.  The title of each card is noted at the top, a keyword at the bottom, and the name of the "animal" is on both sides of the border.

Animal Wise
                Tarot CardsThe accompanying book is an attractive volume.  General text layout is in columns on the pages with wide margins where you can make notes if you wanted to.  It's also in these margins where Andrews has placed pictures, comments, and points of emphasis, etc.  But there is also plenty of additional room for adding your own notes.

This guidebook offers two pages on each card with both upright and reversed meanings . . . as well as questions to ask yourself when each card appears.  I think the "Questions to Ask" section is a helpful one in further understanding and gaining meaning for the cards.  It will make a person think about the card and how it relates to them personally.  In addition, you will find 5 Tarot spreads and some tips by Ted Andrews on becoming a psychic counselor as well as what to look for in a psychic counselor.

This is an easy-to-read deck, as all cards are labeled with the traditional Tarot name, the animal name, and a key phrase.  It's interesting to compare traditional meanings with the animal meanings for the cards.  It's definitely a deck that can work well with children, and it's a nice deck for animal and nature lovers!

Okay, so maybe I don't personally like snakes, insects, and yucky worms . . . but this is still an attractive deck that works!  I do enjoy using it, and if I can get past the snakes and such, anyone can!  Each animal or other "being of nature" was put on the card for a reason, and the book will explain what each represents.

This is a Tarot system which can be used with no prior experience, however, serious Tarot students will also want to have a standard Tarot deck as well, in order to learn the traditional Tarot structures and the foundations for the symbolism and its meanings.  Anyone familiar with Tarot can use this deck to gain further insights.

Ted Andrews, creator of this deck, was an internationally recognized author, storyteller, teacher, mystic, and wildlife expert.  Sadly, the author of this deck passed away in 2009.  His work and the example he set for the love of animals and nature will be greatly missed.

Deck Details - Animal-Wise Tarot

Number of Cards in Deck: 78 cards (22 Major/56 Minor)

There is also a blank card included for those who like having this additional card available.

Size of Cards:  3" x 4-3/4"
Standard size; thin and flexible cardstock

Included with deck: LWB (Little White Book)

Major Arcana: The Major Arcana have been assigned the following animals:

  • Fool - Coyote - Wisdom
  • Magician - Fox - Blessings and Magic Afoot
  • High Priestess - Spider - Intuition and Weaving of Fate
  • Empress - Dolphin - Creativity, Fertility and New Promise
  • Emperor - Eagle - Vision, Power and Healing
  • Hierophant - White Crane - Longevity, Honour and Spiritual Justice
  • Lovers - Bee - Fertility and Spiritual Choice
  • Chariot - Horse - Movement and Balance
  • Strength - Lion - Strength of Will from the Inner Sun
  • Hermit - Owl - Silent Wisdom, Vision and Guidance
  • Wheel of Fortune - Bear - Heeding the Inner Voice and Inner Rhythms
  • Justice - Elephant - Ancient Powers of Justice at Work
  • Hanged One - Bat - New Truths and Perceptions
  • Death - Snake - Shedding the Old and Resurrection
  • Temperance - Swan - New Dreams and New Realms
  • Devil - Raven - Light into Dark and Shapeshifters
  • Tower - Vulture - Life, Death and Rebirth, New Vision
  • Star - Firefly - Spiritual Inspiration and Hope
  • Moon - Wolf - Intuitive Guidance and Guardianship
  • Sun - Humming Bird - Joy, Dreams and Accomplishments
  • Judgement - Whale - New Depths of Creativity
  • World - Turtle/Mother Earth - New Opportunities

Suit Names:

  • Shapeshifters - Cups (Insects)
  • Ancients - Wands (Reptiles and Amphibians)
  • Winged Ones -Swords (Birds)
  • Four-Leggeds - Pentacles (Mammals)

Court Cards:  King, Queen, Knight, Page

Back Design of Cards:  Animal Wise Tarot Card Back


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