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TOTEM Flower Essence Deck Preview #7

When life imitates art. Like, precisely.

“As artists, we seek to restore our childlike perception: a more innocent state of wonder and appreciation not tethered to utility or survival.” ― Rick Rubin

The other day, while sitting out in our TOTEM Flower Essence Garden, I noticed a beautiful Passionflower Butterfly drinking up the sweet nectar from our Mexican Torch Sunflowers— the flowers we use for our Muse TOTEM Flower Essence. So, naturally, I took a video of the butterfly’s graceful moment of zen (above).

This butterfly, and her many, many caterpillar babies, have taken up residence in our garden for the last two years as a result of planting passionflower vines for our TOTEM Plumed Serpent Flower Essence (great for kundalini!). You see, while she drinks nectar from a variety of our flowers, her caterpillars only eat passionflower vines, making our backyard garden a unique incubator for dozens of these little guys (and girls) every year!

When I came inside to organize files for our about-to-be-launched TOTEM Flower Essence Deck, I was struck by the image for our Muse Flower Essence card (see below):

It was almost an exact replica of the real life scene unfolding on the Mexican Torch Sunflowers in my backyard. Emma (the artist on the deck) and I did not have a meeting about putting this exact butterfly into this exact image which, naturally, begs the question: “Then how did this strange synchronicity happen?”

My answer? Because the TOTEM Flower Essence Deck is just one output of the very real and very magical alchemy unfolding in my backyard herbalism garden everyday. This synchronicity is one of many examples of spirit winking at us in this deck-making process, encouraging us to stay the course as we push to the finish line.

What’s more: I think this synchronicity emerged because, in part, this project is sincere. Our TOTEM Flower Essence Deck is based on actual, real deal, lived experience with these plant medicines, and the flora and fauna (and fairies) that come along with them. I didn’t make this deck after reading a few books, or ordering products from vendors, or putting my name and brand on tinctures made in a factory. I haven’t gotten lost in the labyrinth of limiting beliefs, nor have I sacrificed intentionality or quality for the sake of scale (or greed).

In other words: this project is intimately and sincerely tied to my daily life as an herbalist and shaman, not some separate “thing” designed to validate my public persona, or generate “passive income”, or position me as a subject matter expert to feed my own vanity.

When you create from an authentic place, magical moments like this become the norm— not the exception to the rule. In this paradigm, childlike wonder, a beginner’s mind, and spiritual inspiration flow with ease, a reward for rebelling against a myriad of societally-induced limiting beliefs and going toe-to-toe with psychologically imbalanced Etsy shop owners;)

Go outside today. Smell the flowers. Watch the butterflies and birds and lizards, if you have them nearby. Make something that sparks your sense of childlike wonder. Create for the sake of creating. And then, watch the magic as it unfolds.

In fact, these are the very activities our Muse TOTEM Flower Essence supports: the sparking of creative inspiration and the drive to make beautiful things!

Stay tuned for updates on when the TOTEM Flower Essence Deck is available on Amazon and Etsy in the coming weeks. And, in the meantime, feel free to head over to our Etsy Shop HERE to take advantage of our 60% off TOTEM Flower Essences sale, designed to enable fans of the tinctures to get the good good before the release of our deck!


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The Skeptical Shaman
Democratizing spirituality for the spiritually-homeless, one episode at a time. We talk to the true believers, the skeptics and the cynics, and empower our listeners to make their own decisions-- and take control of their personal spiritual scavenger hunt!