The history of plants being used for medicinal purposes stretches as far back as Palaeolithic times, approximately 60,000 years ago, although there is evidence that prior to advent of Neanderthal man and even animals were aware of the healing properties of certain plants.
Herbalism, as we know it today, has been practised ever since the time of the ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians and Babylonians.
The ancient Greeks and Romans were also renowned herbalists as well as Native Americans. In fact there has not been a culture throughout the World that has not used plants for healing.
Seeds of an Idea
Sarah Baldwin grew up in southern Indiana and enjoyed nothing more as a child than playing outside amongst amongst the flora, fauna, and nature spirits.
In addition she was also brought up in a household in which her mother owned a variety of different oracle decks, runes, pendulums, and other divination tools. Her mother also introduced her to flower essence therapy.
Baldwin's interest in plants was renewed in her early twenties when, whilst at college she took a class on wildflowers and wild edible and then in 2010 she completed an herbalism internship at Herb Pharm.
During her time there she became interested in plant spirits and then during those years — which she describes as 'accelerated discovery', an idea came to her that lay the groundwork for her Herbal Healing Deck.
The Herbal Healing Deck has been designed to serve a number of different purposes.
Whilst their primary goal is to help the user get in touch with the magical essence of a number of healing plants the deck has been created as a divination system in its own right.
The deck also acts as a teaching tool and one that enables the user to discover how plant spirits communicate with us, to appreciate the history and folklore of medicinal plants. how to use them in meditation, plant spirit healing sessions, and ceremonial use on altars or crystal grids.
The Herbal Healing Deck is available in a display box containing a 144-page book and 48-card deck.
1 - The Book
The full-sized guide that accompanies The Herbal Healing Deck features;
- An introduction to the deck
- Information on Plant Spirit Healing
- How the deck was created
- Examples of messages the author and artist received from plants
- Guidance on how to use the deck Preparing and casting spreads
- Other uses for the deck
The greater part of the book includes a page-by-page description of each of the plants that the author highlights on a type e.g. Roots, Herbs, Flowers, and Trees, and then directional, basis.
Here the author describes the plant and highlights is core qualities and how they work on a psycho-spiritual level.
The book closes with a bibliography.
2 - The Cards
The cards in this deck are roughly 3 1/2W x 4 1/4H. They feature a title of the card at the bottom and a stylised, pastel image of the plant above. The card used is heavy stock and have a silk finish to them.
Our Review of The Herbal Healing Deck by Sarah Baldwin
The single greatest impression that you receive upon receiving and opening this deck is its sheer quality.
The box that the book and cards come in has been beautifully designed with a hinge and magnetic clasp. The intention here is clearly to provide the user with a strong and capable container in which to store both the book and cards when not in use.
This sense of care and thought extends itself into the book which is beautifully printed on quality paper with high-quality color reproductions of the cards.
The deck has been crafted with equal care and the illustrations on the cards are delightful and almost whimsical at times. They are a little large though and could well present problems with those users who have small hands than mine when it comes to shuffling. Other methods might be employed at this stage.
The plant descriptions are equally as joyfully put together and the unique qualities of each one shines through the text.
At the end of the day there is no real substitution for working directly with plants in either a healing and magical setting — and The Herbal Healing Deck does not attempt to do replicate this. Instead it takes a rather different approach to herbalism by focussing strongly upon the spirit of each plant via the artistic dynamics of each card as well as an educated understanding of the attributes of each plant.
Other than its sheer quality of design and manufacture the primary element that shines through this product is its sense of lightness and joviality. These are what makes this divination deck stand out as a important tool for self-development and opportunity to develop an intimate engagement with the plant spirit realms. At every level The Herbal Healing Deck works as a powerful and utterly engaging way with which to approach the sheer magic that is inherent within our natural world. Highly Recommended.