R E V I E W
Botanical Inspirations Deck & Book Set
by Lynn Araujo
Cards illustrated by _Pierre-Joseph Redouté_ (1759-1840)
44 cards with quotations
100-page illustrated guidebook
Fold-out guide to the Secret Language of Flowers
Drawstring organza pouch
So many things to love about this deck and book set, it’s hard to know where to start – but I’m going to start with the packaging, which is superb.
Card faces are a tan parchment color, an attractive background for the artwork. The cards do a beautiful job of combining science and sentiment. At the top, centered, is the common name of the flower, with the Latin name or alternative name centered immediately under that in flowery script. Next comes the Redouté’s illustration of the flower. The style is realistic, and it is easy to see how the artist was influenced by the botanist Charles Louis L'Héritier, who offered Redouté free access to his botanical library and plant collection. Centered below the artwork is the meaning attributed to that flower. Finally, also centered, we have a quotation that reflects that symbolism. Here are a couple of examples:
Friendship & Gratitude
“Let us be grateful for the people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
– Marcel Proust
Elegance & Patience
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
– Lao Tzu
For each flower, the guidebook provides a black-and-white version of the Redouté illustration, the common name and Latin name for the flower, symbolism, quotation, a long paragraph discussing the flower and its meaning, and an Inspirational Message. The eloquent writing in the guidebook is a pleasure to read, offering tidbits of the fascinating history and cultural interpretations associated with each flower.
Let’s look at the IRIS (Iris germanica).
Symbolism: Rainbows & Messages
Quotation: “When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars.” – Unknown
“The stately flower borrowed its name from Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow. It was her duty to transport the souls of departed women to the Elysian Fields. In the Language of Flowers, Iris came to mean ‘messages’ since its namesake carried messages along the rainbow between the realms of the mortals and the gods. The majestic iris flower inspired the French fleur de lis motif, with the three petals symbolizing faith, wisdom and valor.”
Inspirational Message: “Keep your eyes open to the wisdom of the universe and you will receive clear signs and messages that guide you on your path.”
At the end of the guidebook is a section titled “Reading with the Botanical Inspirations Cards,” containing examples of the Three-Card Fleur De Lis reading. I am looking forward to giving this a try soon here on Tarot Notes.
The Botanical Inspirations cards are perfect for drawing a daily Affirmation, and the guidebook can be used as a resource when researching the various flowers and their meanings.
About the Author: Lynn Araujo is the author of Dreaming Way Lenormand, TastyTalk Conversation Cards, Historical Signals and Semaphores, Native American Playing Cards, and is co-author with Stuart Kaplan of The Artwork & Times of Pamela Colman Smith. She is currently working on Pastoral Tarot with Lisa Hunt.