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Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson

It isn’t often I really covet a set of cards, but this pack of Medicine Cards called to me constantly to buy them. This is a set of 52 full colour animal ally cards that come with a hard backed guide book.

I work one morning a week in a New Age shop. I would pick up the cards and reluctantly put them down again. They cost a little more than some other decks and my logical mind would say, “You don’t really need another card deck do you?” Sometimes, when a new animal ally had appeared for me I would very carefully slide the guide book out and read the wisdom on that animal. Then I would slip everything back in the packet. I almost bought that set so many times! Then one week when I went in they were gone and I instantly regretted holding back. When they came in stock again I snapped them up and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been using them ever since.

Each card depicts a different totem animal, drawn onto a Native American medicine shield. The range of animals covers those with fur, feathers and scales as well as some of our insect friends. The pack draws on Native American wisdom and the cards focus on those animals Native Americans might have met, so no elephants or penguins here for example. I’ve found the range of animals and their qualities to be satisfying to work with. The cards themselves are a nice size and shape to shuffle and the glossy finish handles well, especially if you spread your cards out in an arc to make your choices as I often do.

The accompanying Medicine Cards book is of excellent quality and beautifully written. Here is a guide to using the cards and to each of the animals in the deck, their qualities often illustrated through a traditional tale. An interpretation of the card is given and also a contrary meaning in case you drew the card upside down or in the position of a block.

To give you an example of the quality of guidance found throughout the book I chose a card for today. Crow was drawn. I love the whole crow family of birds and I noticed a crow perched nonchalantly on my roof earlier.

According to the book Crow medicine is empowering for me in matters of justice. This is especially apt today as we’d just been discussing what to do about a psychic medium who’d failed to turn up for a show we’d arranged. It meant lots of disappointed people and was terribly embarrassing for us. Afterwards he admitted it was his fault and said he’d pay the bill for the venue we’d hired. Sadly he has not honoured his word and we have paid up, leaving us hundreds of pounds out of pocket. We since found out he lied to a psychic friend of ours who enquired how the show went, telling him it was a great success!

Drawing the Crow card and reading the message from the book reminded me that there is a Sacred Law in action in the Universe that goes beyond human law. Each animal has a short poem of introduction too. Here is the poem for Crow:

“Crow…
Are you “cawing,”
So I may know,
The secrets of balance,
Within my soul?

Or are you sending, your sacred “caw”
Just to remind me,
Of universal laws?”


This reminded me of the law of threefold return and the saying “What goes around comes around.” I believe that people who make their money through ‘spiritual’ work, like mediums and healers need to exercise a huge amount of personal integrity in their work. Those that lie or deceive get their karmic lessons even more quickly than in ‘ordinary’ professions.

The end of the Crow reading is absolutely beautiful and I feel is excellent advice for everyone on the planet, but especially for those of us who proclaim that we are 'on a spiritual path’.

“Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth, know your life’s mission, and balance past, present and future in the now.”

If we all tried to hold to that level of integrity the whole world would be transformed!

These cards are wonderful for all those who would like to work more closely with animal medicine. I hope you don’t deny yourself their guidance for as long as I did!

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