NEW! 2016-2017 Interviews & Reviews, Gaian Tarot
“A deck that taps into earth consciousness like no other deck, the Gaian Tarot is the much talked about, beloved, and exceptional deck borne from the genius of artist and writer Joanna Powell Colbert. …
Here’s an interesting point about this deck. At least four professional writers I am connected with use the Gaian Tarot for creative writing. One writes women’s fiction, one writes metaphysical books, one writes literary fiction (with a collection of short stories that has won prestigious book awards), and one is a bestselling author. Only one of them – that I know of – subscribes to a pagan-based spiritual path, and the only reason I mention that is to showcase the diversity and versatility of this deck. I don’t know if it was ever intentionally meant to become a “writer’s tarot deck,” but that it certainly has!” Read more here.
~ Benebell Wen, author of Holistic Tarot and Tao of Crafting
As a black tarot reader, I get this question a lot:
“Why don’t any of your decks have black people in them?”
And you know what, that’s a great question. My honest to goodness answer is that I never have found a deck with a lot of diversity that really appealed to me. But I can honestly say I am EXTREMELY happy that I now have this wonderfully diverse deck by Joanna Powell Colbert. I’m telling you guys, this is like a cold glass of fresh lemonade on a beautiful summer day because this deck is refreshing. This deck shows beautiful depictions of nature and people working wonderfully with nature. And one other thing I have to mention here is the peace one feels when you start to use this deck. Its overwhelming and magically. I have to say I’m completely in love with the imagery and the joyful energy that this deck brings up. …. Read more here.
Raves for the Gaian Tarot
“I received my copy of the Gaian Tarot last night. I just have to tell you that this deck is the most joyful, life-affirming tarot I have ever seen. I can’t thank you enough for creating it and making it available to people. The deck sends out a powerful positive energy just laying on the table next to me. Thank you so much — this deck is a gift to the world.”
“Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment, a great work of art and a gift to to so many. . . Many thanks for all of the gifts you have shared, Joanna. This deck will be at the center of my own spiritual practice now and I am eternally grateful.”
“I feel honored and amazed by what you’ve created through your art, the cards, your book, and your attention to the details of making a wonderful surprise and treat for all who receive this gift. My work is to help people realize and share their unique gifts with the world and I have to say this is the most magnificent job I’ve ever seen of just that. So much gratitude and blessings for your happiness and well-being!”
“Thank you for your work and dedication to this project . . . you have already and will continue to touch many lives with it and in the process help heal our world.”
“In the first years of the 21st century, humanity needs to be reminded of its unity with all of life. And we need to hold meaningful conversations about how to birth that unity in reality. The Gaian Tarot is one of the most powerful tools to come along recently that can help us to accomplish both of these things. Joanna Powell Colbert’s cards ring with an authenticity that can only come from someone who lives what she depicts. I appreciate that they are rooted deeply in tarot tradition, yet are attuned to the consciousness of Earth and Her inhabitants in our own time. Whether for readings, meditation, contemplation, or ceremony, the Gaian Tarot’s lush images will inspire, heal, and delight.”
Reviews of the Gaian Tarot
Aeclectic Tarot Review (Limited Edition) by Bonnie Cehovet (Spring 2010)
“I have followed Joanna Powell Colbert’s work since the beginnings of her major’s only version of the “Gaian Tarot”. I dearly love that deck, and use it often for personal readings and for ritual purposes. In the spirit of transparency, I have to say that part of the appeal is that the imagery in both the major’s only and the full 78 card version of the “Gaian Tarot” is based on the geography of the Pacific Northwest, which is where I live. I can look at a card and immediately connect with it, both through my knowledge of the Tarot and through personal memories that are evoked. . . .”
Read the rest of the review on Aeclectic Tarot.
Like many others, I have been watching the progress of the creation of the wonderful Gaian Tarot from Joanna Powell Colbert. Nine years is a long time to work on a single project, but the cards themselves are so visually stunning they have definitely been worth the effort and definitely worth the wait.
During my interview with Joanna, she revealed the reason she began the Gaian Tarot, and her inspirations along the way. In her own words, the Gaian Tarot is a fusion of her love of the rich archetypal imagery of Tarot and her love for the natural world. In my opinion she has done an excellent job too. In many ways this tarot deck is like no other. Of course there are other pagan decks available, and there are nature themed decks too; I don’t believe anyone one of them come close to capturing the spirit of Gaia the way Joanna has so expertly done. It’s testament to her connection with Mama Gaia that she embodies its spirituality to her core.
SageWoman Magazine Review of the Majors-Only Deck by Cristina Eisenberg (Spring 2005):
“I first ‘met’ PanGaia columnist Joanna Powell Colbert on an Internet e-mail group for a Cornell University conservation project. We exchanged a few messages privately and discovered that we shared a deep spiritual affinity for the natural world. In the years since, we’ve each found our treasure by following our spiritual paths: I’ve matured as a nature writer and have become a wildlife biologist and editor, while she’s moved to a green jewel of an island in the Pacific Northwest, where she married her beloved, deepened her connection to the Earth, and created the lovely and powerful Gaian Tarot. An artist and writer known internationally for her Goddess portraits and mythic art, her naturalist skills are as strong as her artistic ability.
Everything about this deck is an expression of Colbert’s passion and reverence for the earth, from the gossamer gold pouch that holds the cards to the small packet of purification herbs (sage, sweetgrass, cedar, and lavender) that comes with them to the blessings in the booklet that accompanies this deck. A manifestation of Colbert’s eclectic, earth-centered Goddess spirituality, the Gaian Tarot celebrates the living Earth and those who seek to live in harmony with Her. Her naturalist skill can be seen throughout this deck, in the herbs she’s chosen to symbolize the energy of each card, in the animals who accompany the principal figures, and in the profound richness of the landscapes she depicts. Inspired by creativity and passion, informed by meticulous observation of the natural world, these images manifest an ideal world in which humans and wild animals peacefully coexist with one another and with the Earth. Not content to rely on mythic history alone, Colbert’s evocative illustrations address each animal’s natural history, thus bringing Crow, Coyote, Raven, and other creatures to life for us as spiritual teachers and guides.
Colbert’s cards embody the timeless spiritual principles of the Tarot, as seen through Gaian eyes. Her deck is a work in progress, the twenty-two images of the Major Arcana now finished and the Minor Arcana about to be produced. The women’s spirituality movement, mentors and friends within the Pagan community, and nearly fifteen years of teaching classes on the Goddess, Tarot, and Gaianism inspired her rendition of the Major Arcana. Her chosen art form is one she calls ‘colored pencil paintings,’ a time-intensive medium that involves patiently applying many layers of pigment to the paper. The results are well worth it, as evidenced by the clarity and richness of the Gaian Tarot’s multi-cultural imagery. Each original image measures approximately 12″x18″ and is available as a high quality, limited edition print at www.GaianTarot.com.
I connected powerfully to this deck from the moment I slid the over-sized cards out of their pouch and inhaled that earthy, magical fragrance that emanated from the packet of herbs that came with them. I blessed the cards and slept with them under my pillow on a full moon night. The three-card reading I did the next morning was one of the most insightful I’ve had in years, my past, present, and future lucidly depicted by those cards.
Both contemporary and mythic, the Gaian Tarot embodies our Gaian attempt to live in grace in the modern world — with one foot firmly planted in the otherworld of primeval wildness and overgrown paths through the woods. Additionally, this deck helps us to connect more deeply with the Earth by showing us things that are all too often unseen or overlooked. Colbert intends these cards and their images to ‘help create a culture of strong and gentle women and men, working together to create a beautiful, peaceful, and just planet.’ Her luminous deck will help you manifest this Gaian dream.”
Interviews with Joanna
“Hola gorgeous Goddesses!
A special post to share with you today… an interview with Joanna Powell Colbert, the creator of the Gaian Tarot. Joanna has been in the process of creating her Tarot for ten years now, documenting it along the way on her website – and the deck is finally complete!
I’ve been watching Joanna create the deck for about four years, and adore the way she uses the Tarot concepts, and transforms them into her own love song about the earth, the goddess and her spiritual journey.”
“CC: Where did the Gaian Tarot begin for you?
JPC: I had the desire to create a deck of my own back in the mid-80′s when I was deep into Goddess and Tarot studies, especially of the Motherpeace and RWS decks. But the thought of painting 78 cards was daunting. (Little did I know . . .) Later on, in the late 90′s, I went through a period of time where I let go of all my esoteric interests like tarot, astrology and ritual. I moved to a small, rural island, built a straw bale house with my husband and started a wilderness awareness course of studies — learning about the native plants and animals, going deep into the Spirit of Place.”
Gaian Tarot Virtual Deck & Book Tour
September 2011 was Blog Deck & Book Tour Month for the Llewellyn edition of the Gaian Tarot. Here are some of the reviews, articles and interviews that were published then.
The Tarot Lady with Theresa Reed
Pantheos with Star Foster
Circle Ways with James Wells
Owl’s Wings with Beth Owl’s Daughter
Donnaleigh’s Tarot with Donnaleigh de la Rose
Arwen’s Tarot Blog with Arwen
Beyond the Fields We Know with Catherine Kerr
HecateDemeter with Hecate Demetersdatter