Archive for November, 2008

Druid Plant Oracle, finishing baby blankets, stuff

I don’t generally buy stuff for myself this time of the year. I enjoy picking things out for people in my life or making the thing(s) myself. In fact there are a couple of scarves I should be working on at this moment and then there are the ubiquitous Basil baby blankets that need completed borders. Druid Plant Oracle

The excuse here is that the combination of art and herbalism got to me. My copy of the Druid Plant Oracle arrived today. It wasn’t available locally so I can’t say I ran out and bought it but had to run to my computer, order online and wait.

First off, I’m not an experienced tarot reader (and this isn’t actually a tarot deck). I have my well-worn SMITH-ryder-waite deck for personal use and that’s the extent of my experience.

Secondly, I know next to nothing about Druids, ancient or modern.

But I think I can say I have a decent grasp of dye plants and am interested in botanical pharmacology. Included among the images are plants any dyer would love: Madder, Woad, Plantain and Yarrow. Before I saw the leaves, I thought the image on the cover was Oxalis but it’s Primrose. Lots of the standard medicinals: Clover (Red), Chamomile, Comfrey and the like.

Good bibliography and a list of plants by common, Gaelic and botanical names. And the images are gorgeous. (Can’t emphasize that part enough.)  Also included are three blank cards so you an add your own plants. (Right now I think I’m planning on Fennel, Oxalis and Cotton.)

Got an herbalist or dyer in your life? Perfect gift. If the herbalist/dyer is into Celtic history and mythology, even better. And the images are gorgeous.

Deck developed by: Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm.
Illustrations by: Will Worthington.

They also designed a Druid Animal Oracle deck and a Celtic themed tarot.  Druid Plant Oracle

What is the deck like to read with? Don’t know (yet). I’m still into the accompanying book. Perhaps see the review over at the Aeclectic Tarot site.

However, if my maternal grandmother is an example, one can read with any sort of deck, even a standard playing card set that has a weird poodle design on the backs.

Here is the back story. My mother’s mother was not into anything remotely metaphysical or new age-ish. She was a fanatically conservative Catholic slightly to the right of Savanrola (alternatively see Spanish Inquisition). But bizzarly, conversely, she also “read”, if you can call it that, from the afore mentioned standard playing cards.

As far as I could tell, she did not read using any traditional method or symbol set. They functioned as a jumping off point when she was inclined to pick up things. At that she was annoyingly accurate. Her readings occasionally precipitated a phone call from my mother. Usually because my grandmother – should she think something was up with me – would badger her daughter (my mother) until Mom called me to check in.

So, long digression aside, yes – if it fits your practice you probably can read with this deck. And the images are gorgeous.

First Wood Sorrel/Oxalis of the season

My standard yellow dye plants are Fennel (for wool) and Oxalis (cotton, wool, soy silk).

DSC_0484_ladybugs Oxalis_DSC_0482

The first Oxalis opened up a few days ago. Locally the Fennel produces through most through what would be our Summer months (Pacific, southwest USA), starts to dry and dies out around Autumn. Following that the Wood Sorrel/Oxalis starts up, runs rampant through the Winter into Spring and dies out towards summer when the Fennel starts up again.

This being southern California the seasons are hot and dry, and really hot and dry punctuated by a furious rain storm or two. In fact, left to itself I am guessing much this area would be more desert like. (In case one forgets this idea, having a car breakdown in the San Fernando Valley, in July, around high noon, is a heck of a wakeup call…) Most of the years I grew up here the weather was at least consistant with itself but lately has gotten incresingly volitile (and just plain wierd).

Otherwise, the cotton is still opening and some smaller (cotton) plants have been started for next year.