by K. Meriwether Baxter, creator of Carrot Cards: Old-Time Rabbit Wisdom, who studied philosophy at Yale University before undertaking the practice of law. He and his wife currently live in Wisconsin where they have the opportunity to study closely the ways of the rabbit and vice versa. He hopes to introduce the gentle wisdom of the Old Rabbit to a wider audience.
Thousands of years before the great disruption, also known as mankind, a set of peaceful vegetarians banded together in small groups to live lives of simplicity and to experience joy, wonder, and peacefulness in the meadows and forests of the world. Yes, these were the rabbits of old and in our busyness and struggle we would do well to study their wisdom.
Rabbits are keenly sensitive to nature’s signs: the dew on the grass and the billowing clouds, the click and chirp of insects, the way the sun-heated air bends the light, the smell of distant flowers in the wind. All of this gives the observant rabbit knowledge not only of what is in the immediate vicinity but also what’s around the next hill or through the thicket. Like we read a newspaper, and with very little additional effort, the rabbit reads the signs of nature and gains awareness not only of today in completeness, but also of tomorrow and even a hazy outline of the day after tomorrow.
It is impossible to imagine learning such nature-reading skill in our daily routines. As much as we might wish otherwise, for most of us, our day-to-day lives are as far from nature as the moon is from the earth. But the threads that so closely link the rabbits to nature are not so different from the threads that pass through our modern lives. The Carrot Cards capture the essential natural alphabet of our relationships, as understood by the smallest bunny, and let us apply this understanding to our present, our past and our future.
The 54 cards of the standard Carrot deck describe the building blocks of our life paths. Often we can quickly grasp the meaning of a card. A bare bush says “scarcity” to both people and rabbits; likewise apples on the ground speak to bounty. Some cards can be understood only when we begin to place ourselves in the world of the rabbit. “Dandelions” as the just reward of the hard worker; “cows” as casual acquaintances, not serious friends; the fast dog, not as a friend but as a clear danger. What to make of the rabbit imagery of a tunnel in the garden or a child with greens? While the carrot has immediate intuitive accessibility, to truly understanding the carrot will require time, patience and practice.
There are three ways of using the cards to obtain a better understanding of your environment and possibilities, varying in difficulty, all easy to master by the youngest seer but full of subtle discoveries for older prognosticators. The simplest carrot reading is to “Sniff The Wind” requiring a single card to be drawn from the deck. To delve further into your Psychic Meadow, three cards can be drawn providing insight into your current state, a critical action in your future, and the outcome that depends on your choice. Finally, the relationship between you and those around you, forming your Transcendental Burrow, can be obtained through a vertical array of three cards, the uppermost card representing your foundational burrow mates, the center card representing you, and the lowermost card representing the people who are yet in front of you, challenges, or new acquaintances.
How can the carrot help you today? No one would deny it would be helpful to be able to predict the future, to know for certain what to do, how to answer a question, which way to go. This is not the teaching of the Carrot, however. Rather, the Carrot helps to illuminate your choices, to focus you on what matters, to help you balance the competing concerns of the present and the future, to decide. Rabbits know nothing if they don’t know that we can hop the way we want. Sometimes that is enough and there is joy in the unknowing, joy in rolling in the grass for the sake of rolling. But there are also times when we should take care, when focus is required. Rabbits know this as well. And at those times the Carrot Cards can help you obtain clarity and insight.
The present edition of the Carrot Cards are a faithful reproduction of an original deck produced over 10 years ago by K. Meriwether Baxter and capture beautifully reproduced versions of the original line drawings that won a small cadre of early adherents through their uncanny ability to make the confusing world clear. The current deck is also faithful to the original format of standard sized playing cards, offering easy portability in a backpack, satchel or pocket. While a sensitive reader will quickly discern the meaning of the cards from the drawings, a compact guide is provided in each deck for additional guidance and interpretive nuances.
The present edition also introduces an entertaining card game that loosely translates a traditional rabbit game, in the card form, for times when the world and its future can wait, and fun is beckoning.