The Illustrated Bestiary: Guidance and Rituals from 36 Inspiring Animals

Maia Toll, illus. by Kate O’Hara. Storey, $19.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-63586-212-6
Spiritual teacher Toll and artist O’Hara (The Illustrated Herbiary) deliver a series of beautiful oracle cards and a companion book that aim to connect readers to the spirits of wild animals. Toll recalls her experiences with shamans on her travels, including a trip in which she studied with an Amazonian shaman and a yearlong apprenticeship with an Irish medicine woman, to explain how “earth medicine... connects us not only to the world around us but also back to ourselves.” With questions and rituals outlined for each of the 36 animals (deer, beaver, finch, tabby cat, and salmon among them), Toll provides scientific and mythological information on each, and sidebars appear throughout explaining, for instance, the effects of climate change on animals and “vulnerable species.” O’Hara’s bright, bold colors and energetic designs match Toll’s impassioned prose. Suggestions for best oracle practices will make even readers new to oracle cards feel at ease. Toll also suggests “being the animal” by imagining their physical existence through body movements, “inviting the animal into your dream time,” and free-writing exercises to increase one’s spiritual connection to specific animals. This poetic, gorgeous oracle deck will make a perfect gift for spiritual animal lovers. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/24/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Religion
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