The Nature Spirit Tarot is a 78 card deck with an accompanying book that was written and illustrated by the author. The box is sturdy with a slide out tray reminiscent of a VHS tape. The deck is divided in half and rests in the bottom of the tray, with the book placed on top. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this set up. However, I found it unwieldy and annoying.

The deck is average size, light weight with minimal lamination. The art is beautifully rendered in watercolor; depicting animals, plants, minerals and esoteric symbols. The deck is heavily symbolic and connects easily with the reader. The more the reader gazes at the card, the more the card reveals.

The only problem I have with the deck itself, is that the publisher cropped the cards too close on the bottom. It doesn't destroy the deck or render it unusable, but for the price, the publisher should have taken greater care in making sure the cards weren't cut too deeply. The lower left hand corner of the 4 of pentacles, for example is cut so sharply that it makes the card look uneven. Other cards are over cropped as well. For thirty five bucks, I expect my cards to be uniform and not over cropped and under laminated. However, these flaws didn't ruin my experience with them. The artwork is exquisite and the symbolism is flawless, which makes up for the publisher's carelessness.

The 183 page book is a treasure trove of information and worthy of study and contemplation. Each card comes with a standard interpretation, and an explanation of each symbol. Animals, plants, minerals and esoteric symbols are selected with love and utmost care. Scientific names are used, as well as an explanation as to why each animal, plant or mineral was selected for that particular card. This gives each card a deeper meaning and a fuller connection with nature.

Working with this deck is a pleasure. It is truly a treasure that comes from the heart of the creator. It connects deeply with the reader, and every time I handle this deck, it takes me back to my rural roots. My only complaint is towards the publisher who cropped the cards too close. An error such as this is a disservice to the author as well as to the buyer of the deck. For the price of this box set, Bear & Co. needs to up their game.

~review by Patricia Snodgrass

Written and Illustrated by Jean Marie Hertzel
Bear & Co. 2021
78 card deck with 183 page book