Wolf Song Deck & Book Set
by Lew Hartman and Jeanette Spencer
The Wolf Song set was created by two people who are very much devoted to the understanding and protection of animals, and each has worked in some capacity
in animal welfare efforts. Their love and compassion for animals are abundantly clear in this work, demonstrated by excellent artwork and writing, as well
as in the overall organization of the set.
The woman who wrote the book for this set, Jeanette Spencer, herself a long-time tarot reader, says of Wolf Song, "... I can tell you that the greatest
strength of Wolf Song is not predicting the future, but helping you see the present (and the past that has made this present), and shape your future as you please.
Yes, you can use it as a tarot deck, but do not overlook its greatest gift." I have found, in using these cards, that Spencer's words are true. This "greatest strength" adds to the usefulness
of the cards, because in understanding our present, we are empowered to act for change in our future. These cards teach us through the spirits of the animals, about ourselves, our lives, and the world
we inhabit. They teach with warmth and respect, and keen comprehension.
There is a definite Native American influence in these cards, and they were created in honor of many Native American tribes, however it does not make the set a strictly Native American one.
It does not feel "defined" by any culture or society - rather, the animals really do speak for themselves. The animals, sixty of them in all, are understood intuitively and spiritually, in addition to being
given traditional attributes. I feel the animals are all very well described, and explanations are clear and complete. Each animal is seen as a giver of some special gift, sharing a wisdom or knowledge unique to itself.
Interpretations also go beyond the standard. For example, Owl is often seen as a harbinger of death, an animal to avoid. In Wolf Song, the four Owls each have very positive and strong messages; welcome meanings for me because
I dream of these night birds frequently. The familiar element of death becomes a message of change or transformation, and is not the deepest knowledge the Owl shares here.
There is a great assortment of animals, from Northern and Southern regions; four-legged and furry, feathered, or aquatic. There are four Wolves: Arctic, Gray, Red, and Timber;
four Foxes: Arctic, Gray, Kit, and Red; and four Bears: Black, Brown, Grizzly, and Polar. Felines number five: Bobcat, Jaguar, Lynx, Ocelot, and Panther. There is one Coyote. There are the large herd
animals, such as Buffalo, Horse, Mule Deer, and Mountain Goat. Small furry animals include Chipmunk, Groundhog, Opossum, Raccoon, and Wolverine, among others. At eighteen, the group of birds is the largest and
perhaps the most varied. It includes four Owls, two Eagles, two Hawks, Turkey, Blue Heron, Crow, Woodpecker, two I see in my local mountains - Osprey and Peregrine Falcon, and more.
Turtle and Frog seem quite alone as the only non-furred, non-feathered animals here. It might make some wonder where Snake is, or Fish, and Lizard; three creatures who can carry much meaning.
But I'd have to say that's my only criticism.
The set is versatile, useable for direct mundane questions, as well as indepth queries or self-searching. There are a number of unique original spreads offered, and
in addition the cards can be used for those of us who like to look up meanings for animals we have seen in dreams, or while out walking. This set echoes my own love and concern for animals, and it speaks of a deep wisdom found within the wild.
Plus, the entire set is attractive, with appealing borders and backs, and a blank card for adding one more personal animal. I would most definitely recommend it for anyone who loves animal cards, for young people, and for those who
do not enjoy more esoteric or "occult" decks.
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Wolf Song Deck & Book Set at Amazon
Card artwork by Lew Hartman
All writing and photography © N Levine - Illumination Tarot, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2021