The Mother’s Wisdom Deck

Mother's Wisdom Deck


I’ve always loved playing cards.  My grandfather was a professional gambler and card playing was common at our house when I was growing up. My Aunt Kathleen would tell our fortunes with a deck of playing cards. When I encountered oracular cards, such as the Tarot, as an adult, I was captivated by their evocative design and symbolic meaning. They appeal to my love of cards as well as my love of the metaphorical.


Most scholars agree that the earliest playing cards originated in China and Korea in at least the 11th century. However, there is much disagreement as to the origins of Tarot cards. Are they Egyptian, Hebrew, Hindu, Gypsy, Sanskrit?  The Tarot made its first appearance in Europe in the 14th century. Some suggest that early Tarot decks were a mnemic device used by monks to file information for their manuscripts. Others say that the decks communicated controversial and secret religious beliefs at a time of terrible persecution of heretics. No wonder they offer such fascination.


Niki Dewart and Elizabeth Marglin have created the beautiful Mother’s Wisdom Deck, which takes it’s place among the most lovely and thoughtful of oracular decks. I’ve always wanted a complex deck like this that I could consult with questions specifically germane to mothering.


Niki and Elizabeth were lucky enough to find a fine illustrator, Jenny Kostecki-Shaw, whose unique illustrations infuse the deck with meaning and make it come alive.


The Mother’s Wisdom Deck “celebrates the alchemy of mothering and the mysterious transmutation it entails” It comes with 52 cards divided into four “suits”: Nature Mother, Animal Mother, Ancestral Mother, and Divine Mother. Nature Mother, for example, includes Ocean (source); Animal Mother includes Butterfly (transformation). (See above). And, Ancestral Mother includes Mother Meng (Intention).


The authors suggest several Mothering Spreads to be used with the cards: Mother-Child Daily Spread, Grandmother Moon Spread, Path of Wisdom Spread, Harmonizing Spread and Stillwater Spread.


Niki Elizabeth, and Jenny are uniquely suited to having created this deck.


Niki Dewart, mother of two, has been an arts writer and curator as well as a rites-of-passage guide.


During the last fifteen years, she has traveled worldwide studying countless spiritual traditions.


Founder of Applesong, a pioneering cottage school in Lyons, Colorado, Niki also leads rituals, workshops and retreats that nourish the soul of mothering.


At home, she writes, gardens, and tends the chickens.


Elizabeth Marglin is the mother of two. She lived in India studying meditation, yoga, and spirituality for eight years, primarily with the teacher, HWL Poonjaji.


Elizabeth writes professionally about healthy lifestyles and conscious parenting for national magazines.


She also offers writing workshops “devoted to expressing the rich inner life of motherhood.”


Elizabeth also lives in Lyons, Colorado.


Illustrator, Jenny Kostecki-Shaw, mother of one daughter, draws inspiration from her travels in Nepal and India.


She works as a freelance illustrator, creating art for toy and gift products, and designing wall decor for Oopsy Daisy Fine Art for Kids.


Jenny is the author of the children’s books, Same, Same but Different (2011) and My Travelin’ Eye (2008) by Henry Holt.


As a board member of the Northern New Mexico Birth Center, she is active in her local midwifery community and lives on a mountain homestead near Taos, New Mexico.


Visit motheirngwithsoul, where you can read their inspirational blog posts, richly peppered with photos of family and friends. Purchase The Mother’s Wisdom Deck for $17.85 on their site.




Niki and Elizabeth are offering a special giveaway for the Mothering community. Go on over and leave a comment to their blog, “Healer,” and this will enter you to win one of three decks. Three winners will be chosen at random on October 7th and announced on the 8th.




I had the opportunity to interview Niki and Elizabeth earlier in the summer about the creative process of conceptualizing, designing and writing for The Mother’s Wisdom Deck. We also talked a lot about the intersection of motherhood and spirituality and shared our mutual surprise at how transformational it is to be a mother. Enjoy the interview and check out The Mother’s Wisdom Deck. It’s a treasure.


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Peggy O’Mara  (101 Posts)Peggy O’Mara founded in 1995 and is currently its editor-in chief. She was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has lectured and conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League International, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four.

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