June 20, 2024
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Tarot Deck Review: Woodland Wardens by Jessica Roux

Newly published tarot and oracle decks arrive on Amazon, Etsy, crowd-funding platforms, and in bookstores every month. Today there are literally thousands of decks to choose from, including out-of-print decks as well as published ones. Reviewing a deck is a subjective judgement intended to help readers determine if they want to own the deck. The critical review of a deck for AskAstrology involves looking at the quality and size of the cards, visual accessibility of the art, quality of the companion book or booklet, and potential usefulness in professional practice. This month I have chosen to review Woodland Wardens by Jessica Roux.

The Cards

The Bobcat and Blackthorn The Dragonfly and Pansy The Rooster and SunflowerThe Ram and Dahlia

From the artist’s website:

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Woodland Wardens: A 52 Card Oracle Deck & Guidebook, published by Andrews McMeel, and inspired by the magic of woodland flora and fauna.

Drawing on mythology, folklore, and literature, each card in the Woodland Wardens deck features an animal-plant pairing accompanied by a distinct and thoughtful message: the hare and the oak; the finch and the peach; the hawk and the thistle. Each unique combination, brought to life in artist Jessica Roux’s detailed, historically evocative style, transports seekers to another time and place, offering insight, guidance, and an invitation to reflect on the natural world.

About the artist:

Jessica Roux is a Nashville-based freelance illustrator and plant & animal enthusiast. She loves exploring in her own backyard and being surrounded by an abundance of nature. Using subdued colors and rhythmic shapes, she renders flora and fauna with intricate detail reminiscent of old-world beauty.

Card Stock and Shuffling

Printed on thick card stock, these cards have a matte finish with rounded corners and are easy to riffle shuffle even if you have small hands. The cards flex moderately because the card stock is on the thicker side; pleasantly, they do not stick together when they first come out of the box.

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Artwork and the Visual Accessibility of the Deck

The artwork in this deck is aesthetically pleasing, showcasing realistic depictions of animals and plants with muted colors that evoke an “old world” ambiance. However, the visual accessibility of the deck is limited. Without keywords on the cards and the extended explanations in the booklet, it would be impossible to discern meanings solely from the images. This aspect forces the reader to rely on the keywords and accompanying booklet for interpretation. Thanks to its artistic appeal, the deck is not diminished because of its lack of visual clarity; it simply requires more effort to learn and use the cards properly.

The Bobcat and Blackthorn

The Bobcat and Blackthorn


The “Bobcat and Blackthorn” oracle card embodies the concept of patience. Embrace the energy of the bobcat, navigating a challenging journey with stealth and perseverance. Patience is the key to overcoming obstacles. Trust the process, like waiting for the blackthorn berries to sweeten after a hard frost. Success unfolds with measured and deliberate steps.

The Dragonfly and Pansy

The Dragonfly and Pansy


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Like a dragonfly hovering above water, you are healthy and confident. Your physical skill is matched by your mental and emotional strength. Be wary of obsessions and recall the way the dragonfly shifts direction with ease and aim for the same nimbleness of thought.

The Rooster and the Sunflower

The Rooster and Sunflower


The “Rooster and Sunflower” card symbolizes profound communication, drawing parallels between the rooster’s assertive crowing and the sunflower’s radiant bloom, both expressive in their unique ways. This card encourages embracing communicative clarity and the vibrant exchange of ideas. Just as the rooster boldly announces the dawn, urging attention, and the sunflower visually communicates with its vibrant petals, it prompts you to express yourself authentically, letting your words and actions resonate with purpose and vitality.

Explanation of the Cards

The deck comes with a nice guidebook that has six sections: Introduction, How to Use the Cards and Guidebook, Suggested Spreads, The Cards and Meanings, Acknowledgments, and Author Bio. The images of the cards are in black and white instead of color and take up the left page of the booklet, while the right page contains the keyword(s) at the top, a paragraph explanation of the card, what it means “upright”, and what it means in “reverse”. At the end of the page are one to three questions. In the section about the Bobcat and Blackthorn, the one question is, “How might I mentally prepare such that I can survive when supplies are low?”


The Woodland Wardens oracle deck emerges as a uniquely valuable tool for divination, seamlessly intertwining the symbolic essence of animals and plants in each card. The exquisite blend of key archetypes, meticulously portrayed on every card, enhances the deck’s versatility, rendering it equally adept for both private introspection and public readings. This deck invites users into a realm where the harmonious synergy between the animal and plant kingdoms not only conveys profound meanings but also captivates with its artistic beauty. Its thoughtful design ensures a rich and insightful experience, making it a reliable and captivating companion in the realm of oracle divination.


I give this deck 5 out of 5 stars. The meanings in the booklet are well-written, and extremely insightful. The artwork is very appealing, capturing a certain feel that one would expect from an older, classical deck of cards. The card stock is sturdy, so the deck will last for years, even with repeated use.

Where to Buy this Deck

If you like this deck and wish to purchase a copy, you can do so on Amazon or at the publisher’s website.