Magic of Flowers Oracle by Tess Whitehurst and Anne Wertheim

By Anna McKerrow

Magic of Flowers Oracle | Tess Whitehurst and Anne Wertheim | Llewellyn | ISBN: 978-0738741147

As a keen gardener and trainee herbalist I was delighted by this crossover between divination and plant lore.

The 44 cards are glossy and high colour, with stunning illustrations representing a diverse range of flowers-as-people and cultural contexts for the flowers in the set. The cards have a similar look to Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance or Angel Oracle cards, with strong colours and exclusively positive imagery throughout.

The deck is accompanied by a well-produced book with pretty, flowered endpapers and a clean and attractive design throughout. Each flower’s energies, essence and significance in divination are discussed over a few pages with ideas how to manifest that energy in your life, and there’s a lined page after each entry for making notes. From a practical standpoint, the only thing that lets the set down is a feeble box.

The content of the information and insight is good. Crucially, it features facts about the plants, how they grow and what qualities they have, which are then used for more symbolic meditation. This harnesses the approach of magical herbalism, appreciating the spirit and function of the plant as a holistic whole. Admittedly, the tone of the book and cards are more on the ‘positive affirmation, embrace-your-wildness-and-beauty’ side than being in any way a replacement for the practical detail of a herbal, but there is enough plant wisdom there to give me confidence that Whitehurst has a safe pair of hands (or green fingers).

In readings, I found the cards insightful and accurate. That said, unlike tarot, the illustrations are not overly easy to interpret, except by reference back to the book – but perhaps that’s because the tarot is more familiar. Ultimately, it wasn’t a problem because the lovely book is there to be used.

Recommended for anyone interested in plants and their magic, this would also make a lovely and accessible gift for a non-Pagan friend.