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Numen Naturae: The Magician's Wand


Yex

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I just finished Numen Naturae: The Magician's Wand, a collection of essays edited by Casandra Johns and put out last year through House of Hands, which is a collection of essays on the seemingly idiosyncratically specific, but very illuminating topic of the the archetype of the Magician in the tarot, the plant spirit of Yarrow, and the overlap between the two. I've always been fascinated by the Magician, and I have been working a lot with Yarrow lately, so naturally I found the book quite enlightening. A great deal of the book deals only with examinations of the Magus (within and outside of the tarot), but it does come around in the end and return to the topic of yarrow, and makes a strong case for the connection between the two. It was really a lovely read, delving as deeply as it did, and from so many perspectives, into a topic that was at once ultra-specific and totally universal in its scope. There's Jungian perspectives, animist meditations, and more, and even some practical magic that can be followed contained herein. Reading it was really an initiatory experience for me, and I can't recommend this book highly enough to anyone who wants to better understand what it is to work magic, or who works with the tarot, and especially to anyone who works with yarrow or regards Yarrow as a teacher plant. 10/10

 

PS: I guess this is supposed to be the first installment in a series that will pair each trump in the major arcana with a plant teacher; I think there's already another one out that pairs the Tower with Devil's Club. 

 

 

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Interesting concept for an entire book. Did they explain their decision-making process in how they're pairing a specific plant with each card (if it is indeed going to be a series)?

 

I know there is an "Herbal Tarot" deck out there that comes with an entire book for the deck I believe, and in googling images it looks like they chose Astragalus for The Magician:

 

herbal1.jpg

 

...and I just googled Yarrow for the deck and they paired it with the Ace of Wands (just random asides to your OP - not sure if it adds to the discussion or if you see any connection between how they were chosen, but I'll definitely have to check out your book recommendation!)

 

ace-wands-4-swords.jpg

Edited by IslandBruja
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Sorry this seems like a silly question but is there a lot of practical information about wands and using wands in this book or is it more of a metaphorical type of discussion about Magician's Wand, or using the idea of a wand as a starting point for other discussions?

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Interesting concept for an entire book. Did they explain their decision-making process in how they're pairing a specific plant with each card (if it is indeed going to be a series)?

 

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I don't know if I'd say that they go into the decision making process per se, but they talk at length about the connection between The Magician and Yarrow.

 

Also, it's interesting that that deck uses Yarrow as the Ace of Wands, as the symbolism of the wand is touched upon heavily in the book. 

 

 

Sorry this seems like a silly question but is there a lot of practical information about wands and using wands in this book or is it more of a metaphorical type of discussion about Magician's Wand, or using the idea of a wand as a starting point for other discussions?

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There is some practical stuff in the book, but not involving wand-work. Most of the book is theoretical, though. 

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