Deck Spotlight: The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit
Like many tarot readers, I have more than one deck. I have, at present count, four tarot decks and four oracle decks. I love the different energies each deck offers, and I choose which deck to use for a reading intuitively. Because I have so many decks, I thought I might do a series of posts highlighting the reasons I love each of them. The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck is the most recent one I've purchased, so I thought I'd start there.
For this deck spotlight I asked my deck to show me cards that represented what I loved about this deck and why tarot is important to me. I didn't lay out any particular spread. I simply pulled intuitively. And, of course, before I even finished shuffling, Bear jumped out of the deck. I say of course because, over the few weeks I've been getting to know this deck, Bear has become a dear friend. It was the first card I ever pulled from this deck, and it shows up more often than any other card when I'm using this deck. I've come to love it dearly. Raccoon, Frog, Tarantula, and Camel, on the other hand, I hadn't pulled at all until now. That in and of itself is one of the great reasons I love tarot: It is both familiar and strange. The cards can simultaneously remind of things you already know but need to keep hearing and then show you something you didn't even know you needed.
I won't get too in-depth about the meaning of this intuitive pull. That's not the purpose of this post. I will simply say that they reminded me that whatever doubts I may have about myself, I am on the right path and doing the work I'm meant to do. What I do want to talk about is why that message feels extra powerful with this deck. While I love the tarot, there's something visceral about receiving messages from animals. They are of this world; we know them. We can connect with the Fox and the Bee in ways we can't with the Magician and the Empress. The Snake and the Lizard live in our gardens. The Wolf and Lion roam the places that are often too harsh for us. The Otter and the Butterfly are playful friends. This beautiful deck offers us creatures of support and comfort and strength. It mirrors the creatures we see with our own eyes every day offers us a guide to their teachings. The cards of the Animal Spirit are both common and extraordinary.
While most of the cards in this deck are of this earth, there are seven cards that are beyond it. The creatures of the Spirit element remind us that even among the things we see every day, there will always be those things that we don't quite understand. They also serve as a reminder that it's ok if we don't understand everything. That's what the cards are there for, to remind us to ask questions and to take an active role in our lives. If we understood everything, there'd be nothing left for us to do.
The last thing I want to mention about this deck is the guidebook. It offers insights about the animals, yes, but it also shows you how to tell if you're in or out of balance with a certain animal, and if you're out of balance it gives you tips on how to get back in balance. Even though I've only had this deck a short time, this has proved immensely useful. Take my good friend Bear, for instance. The guidebook says:
WHEN IN BALANCE: inner strength, yearning to grow
WHEN OUT OF BALANCE: withdrawal, lethargy, heaviness
TO BRING INTO BALANCE: movement, exercise
As someone with depression, withdrawal, lethargy, and heaviness affect me regularly. There are a number of different ways to combat those symptoms, but I know if I pull Bear during this time, movement will be the best way to fight back. I already know this, but seeing it in the book and being told this by Bear is the extra push I need.
The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit is new, but it's already loved by so many. The artwork and the insights and the organization by elements all come together to create a stunning deck. I feel the powerful energy of this deck every time I pick it up, and it hasn't let me down yet. If you don't have this deck yet, I encourage you to get it. If you do have this deck, what are your favorite aspects of it? Have any cards reached out to you like Bear has to me? Let me know!