@Michael Tierra and Candis Cantin
Health is an area we are often asked to read on and one I find particularly sensitive. If my client is concerned on health issues I make sure our questions that we are seeking are very precise. I find it much more advantageous to both the reader and the client to work from the perspective of how they can input into healing themselves. So for example if I am asked how is  my operation going to turn out? I prefer to work with the question.
What do I need to do to make my operation successful? Or my steps in preparing for my operation and/or recovery. I do this because I don't think it is particularly useful to the client's state of mind if a card like the Death card turns up on their operation. Yes we as readers know that this doesn't literally mean death but if we are working with novices the thing they will leave with is the Death card on their operation. Did this assist? No.
Now difficult cards can still turn up if we rephrase the question. So if the Death card turns up in the steps then the discussion is truly about the meaning of the Death card. The operation will be a profound transition in the journey of the person  but at least we are putting the power to transform back into the hands of the client; instead of leaving them powerless with outcome of operation is Death Card. We can begin to discuss how the transition may take place and what the other cards around are suggesting the measures we need to take. It could well be the opening even to a discussion on how the person views death.


One of my first go to readings on health matters comes from Rituals and Practices with the Motherpeace Tarot. In this book chapter five is about Invoking Good Health. This is a simple reading where four cards are chosen One for physical, one for Emotional, one for Mental and one for Spiritual.
Ritual and Practices with the Motherpeace
@Vicki Noble
This is usually my way of illuminating where the issues may lie. I also watch as we work on the concepts of the reading and perform various tasks to improve the situation whilst the client journeys back to health I redo this reading to see if the roots of the illness are shifting. For example we may have a reversed card in the mental and work on changing certain mental constructs and find that in the next reading the Mental area is Strong but the Emotional has gone out. This spread is my personal healing spread which I work to keep in balance regularly.
Another beautiful text on this subject is Tarot for the Healing Heart by Christine Jette. This text discusses the minor arcana in a similar context to the reading above. She sees the pentacles as the physical body, the cups are the emotional body, the swords as the psychological make-up and the wands as spirit. In each of the interpretations of these minor arcana cards is a section on actions to support healing process.

Herbal Tarot
@Michael Tierra and Candis Cantin
The court cards are seen as the type of therapist a client may need
 according to the suit you are working in. So the Knights are Therapists/Counselors, The Queens are Healers because they embody the feminine tradition and the Kings are Physcian/Advisors as they are the external leaders. Which therapist or healer or physician comes from the suit.


Herbal Tarot
@Michael Tierra & Candis Cantin
The Motherpeace is my deck of choice to read for people as it was designed to heal people. Its images are easy to embrace. I have seen its magic work on people over and over.

The Herbal Tarot by Michael Tierra and Candis Cantin is also a lovely deck to work with for healing, especially for those who know and love their herbs. It is a traditional tarot which reads very close to the Waite Rider Tarot so to step from beginning to read onto this deck is easy. The added world of plant, featuring herb is the added learning. When moving on with decks we always want a new area of learning to open for us. This deck adds the plant world.

The illustrations of this deck are simple but beautifully coloured. They are bright and cheerful characters, all our tarot favourites only located with awareness to plant.  
This deck was first produced in 1978 and reprinted in 2008. It has never lost its appeal and is a deck that I sell regularly.


Herbal Tarot
@Michael Tierra &Candis Cantin
                        The Fool is assigned Ginseng for cosmic energy
The Magician has Astragalus for creativity 
The High Priestess has Peony for intuition
The Empress has Dong Quai for women's tonic
The Emperor has Atractylodes for digestion 
The High Priest  is assigned Sage for purification
The Lovers has Parsley for aphrodisiac
The Chariot has Cyperus for direction within
Strength has Cayenne for circulation
The Hermit has Licorice for calm.
 The Wheel of Fortune is given Slippery Elm for soothing
Justice is Plantain for adjustment.
Death is the Elder flower for protection
Hanged One is Kelp for softening.
Temperance is Echinacea for antibiotic
Devil is Lobelia for playfulness
The Tower is garlic for breakthroughs.
The Star is Skullcap for relaxation.
The Moon is Lemon Balm for nerving
The Sun is Angelica for stimulant 
Judgement is Golden Seal 
World is Comfrey for healing.

Michael Tierra wrote a seperate book entitled Spirit of the Herbs to accompany this deck.


Candis Cantin as well as co creator of Herbal Tarot.
  • Holistic Health Minister 
  • Gardener (over 30 years) 
  • Director of EverGreen Herb Garden and School of Integrative Herbology 
  • Professional member of the American Herbalist Guild 
  • Mentor for Herbal clinicians for the AHG 
  • Certified Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbal Practitioner
Michael Tierra blogs on herbology and teaches courses in herbology and has done so since the 1980's


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