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Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals Hardcover – July 30, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 431 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Since the publication of the Navaho novel, Seven Arrows, over twenty years ago, I haven't seen anything so adventurous or beautifully executed as Medicine Cards...this handsome and inviting package has much to teach us all.” ―Patricia Holt, San Francisco Chronicle

“A potent yet refreshingly simple divination tool that can help up reconnect to the sources of life's natural guidance...extraordinarily well crafted. This work is plentiful, overflowing with the richness of the Native American way of life.” ―Yoga Journal

About the Author

Jamie Sams is of Iroquois and Cherokee descent. She is a medicine teacher and author of numerous books, including Sacred Path Cards (HarperSanFrancisco, 1990.) David Carson is of Choctaw descent. They both live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Har/Crds R edition (July 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312204914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312204914
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (431 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have so enjoyed this deck over the years. When I first recieved it, following the easy directions for use, I was able to determine my entire totom (all the animals that influence me). I found it to be amazingly accurate. The system allows the user to understand the symbolic meaning of the animals which appear to us, in dreams, in person, or I even count the ones on TV. Thier messages are always timely and useful. The cards are lovely, the book is complete, easy to use, with just wonderful stories that make it very easy to remember and use the system quickly. I love it. Thanks to the creators.
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Format: Hardcover
I love this set, I kept my cards a secret to myself for the first few weeks I had them, but the identification of the reading and the situtaion I was questioning was eerie - so I asked various people who visited if they would not mind having a "Go" with the cards, well now my friends, family and acquaintences beleive I am a Shaman Sacred Card reader, this may be so but I believe it is the book and card set that are the true hero, as long as the person giving the reading has respect for the essense of the set the truth will Out. A teriffic gift to give someone interested in the subject of Native American Wisdom, it is so much fun to see a friends face change into the "Oh my god how did you know that" look. All readings are positive (I don't mean polite I mean give positive guidance for good news or bad) but one would have to be dim not to understand the significance of every card reading. If I can make sense of the set anybody can - The cards are Beautiful and the book print size is big enough for my bad eyesight, for late night reading with a bedside lamp.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These cards are so powerful. I have worked with them before receiving readings from others, but I've never had my own deck. I have such a deep connection to animals I figured it was about time I get these for myself. They are beautiful, and you can feel the love, heart, and soul that was put into them. I picked my totem animals the same night I received them and felt so inspired. If these appeal to you in anyway, I recommend you follow your intuition and get them. They will not disappoint. A must have for any earth lover who has a spiritual bond with animals.
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Format: Hardcover
All of my friends who own this deck agree that the Medicine Cards are powerful and accurate. The stories are beautiful tales -- not overly descriptive and bogged down with tedious facts like a text book. They're spiritual stories that open up the reader to the universe and everything in God's creation through animals.

Native Americans found their source and power through their deep connection with the land and animals of this continent; and Jamie Sams and David Carson have done an excellent job of sharing some of these stories with us.

For those who are "open" spiritually, you should find the readings very accurate. Whether you're a devoutly spiritual Christian, a Buddhist, or simply a spiritual being -- these cards can teach you about the world of the original North Americans.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been using these cards for years with remarkable results. After trying Tarot, I Ching, and other divinatory practices, I always come back to the Medicine Cards. I'm always astounded by how profound and accurate the readings are. The animals always reveal to me what I'm ignoring or neglecting or give me added insight into situations. The thoughts expressed in the explanations (meanings) of the animals are beautiful and spiritually uplifting. The cards themselves are also beautiful. My whole experience with the cards and the text has been wonderful. I highly recommend them as an adjunct to any spiritual path, especially those that seek greater harmony with nature.
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Format: Hardcover
I use the "Medicine Cards" along with the "Sacred Path" Cards. I started using them together as recommended by a friend of mine, to help me with the healing process of a divorce. I was amazed at the accuracy of what the cards said I was feeling and what was about to happen. I also took the daily lessons and followed them faithfully. My friends cannot believe the difference in me! I believe these cards can be used for entertainment as well as a "Healing" and Nuturing process for those in need.
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Format: Hardcover
My first introduction to totemism was a group of pagans I hung around with in college. Some of them were really, really enthusiastic about this deck, but I only picked one up for myself within the last few years. I even did my senior thesis on the idea of personal, urban totemism. And even with all that, "Medicine Cards" scare the heck out of me.
Unless you believe that the only important totem animals are the ones that you can find on belt buckles (Eagle, Bear, Random Big Cat, etc.), there's no real Major Arcana/Minor Arcana distinction here. Every single card in this deck is big ju-ju. My first two readings kinda freaked me out, really. If archetypes, animal mythos and anthropomorphism are pretty much second-nature to you, just give up and get this deck. You will probably understand the cards without needing to check the book all that often.
Unless there was a slip-up at the publisher's, the standard deck does not come with a little reference pamphlet like most tarot decks do. It comes with a medium-sized hard back book (A nice treat, but not convenient for lugging around spontaneously -- this could be why they made the "Just for Today" deck) that explains each card, including an occasional story, and some spreads and an exercise to figure out which totem animals represent you in this spread. Two of three totems that I'd already figured out for myself showed up in the exercise, and the third was kinda iffy for me at that point anyway.
The cards are 5.5" by 3" and have an alarmingly boring back -- government blue with a single yellow lightening bolt. They're coated with something incredibly shiny, but aren't particularly slippery.
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