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.
About the Author:
Joanna Powell Colbert has been an artist, teacher, and convener of circles for over thirty years. She was named by SageWoman magazine as one of the Wisdom Keepers of the Goddess Spirituality movement. Joanna teaches workshops and e-courses on earth-centered spirituality, seasonal contemplative practices, creativity as a devotional path, the Divine Feminine, and using tarot as a tool for inner guidance and self-exploration. She joyfully hosts Gaian Soul Retreats several times each year. The Gaian Tarot, nine years in the making, combines her love of symbolic, archetypal art with the mysteries of the natural world. She lives on a small, magical island in the Salish Sea near Bellingham, Washington. There, daily encounters with the mysteries of the natural world continue to inspire and inform her work.
"The Gaian Tarot is a beautiful 78-card contemporary, multicultural and mythical Tarot deck with accompanying spiritual guide. It has a focus on the healing of the earth and of the self. Interpretations include uprights and reverse divinatory meanings, themes, exercises, symbolism, journal questions, affirmations, and ten spreads.". This is the fourth version of this deck, and if you have never owned this deck, this is the one to pick up.
The Packaging and Cardstock:
I've said this and I will say it again: I LOVE A GOOD BOX. This one is awesome. It's hard and big enough to hold the deck and the book, it has a magnetic closure so there is no to go buy a case. The cardstock is great, nice and firm but not so firm it is difficult to shuffle. The cards are 4inch x 6inch, so they are a bit bigger than your average deck. But honestly, the pictures are so beautiful that if they were any smaller, you might not be able to see all the detail in the artwork. Also, the edges are silver which is a really nice touch.
The book that is included with this deck is actually amazing. For the Major Arcana, every page has a description of the card, the meaning, the shadow side (the reversal), the themes, the symbols in that particular card, some wonderful journaling questions and an affirmation. My favorite thing is journaling questions. Here are some examples of the questions:
"Where do you find you "lust for life""?
"What is hanging me up?"
"What gives me hope?
I find it sometimes hard to journal because I can't figure out what to journal about. This book is full of wonderful questions and all you have to do is pull a card to find one.
The Minor Arcana follows the same formula and is organized by number (Ace through 10) and then the court cards. Each card has a description of the upright meaning and the reversal. Then at the back of the book is 10 different spreads, some from Joanna herself and some from other Tarot greats. I often don't really read the books that come with the deck, but this one is really great and can be thought provoking for everyone from the novice to the advanced tarot reader.
The Major Arcana has some cards that have different names other than the tradition name. For Example:
The Empress is the The Gardener, The Emperor is the Builder, The Devil is Bindweed. That is just some of the interesting variations with names. The suits are names for the 4 elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, Water) and the court cards are as follows:
-Pages are Children
-Knights are Explorers
-Queens are Guardians
-Kings are Elders
This deck is very diverse as I said before, and has people from all different cultures, different ages, different genders and in between! There are several cards that are groups of women, but I think makes perfect sense, based on the fact that it is called the Gaian tarot, and is "Mother Earth" based. I personally love it.
I love all the but these are just a few of my favorites:
This deck is great for divining, and I particularly am planning on using this deck in my Shamanic and healing work, as it is very Earth based.
I give this deck 5 stars and I am so excited to get using this with my clients! If your looking for a deck that is nature based, diversity friendly, and artistically beautiful, I recommend you try it out.
Wanna know more about this deck? Here are some links:
If you don't know know about Lenormand, YOU BETTER GET WITH IT! Just kidding, but Lenormand is pretty awesome. For those of you out there who don't use the Tarot for fortune-telling and want to learn something new, here you go. Lenormand is an awesome fortune telling system made of 36 cards and was popularized by Mlle. Lenormand, a famous French fortune-teller who even read for Josephine Bonaparte. I have been using one Lenormand deck since I started learning and studying, and that is The Gilded Reverie Lenormand by Ciro Marchetti. Since I pretty much love everything he does, it was a natural progression. And it is a fantastic deck! And since I started reading I had found that was the only Lenormand deck I could use... until now! I recently bought two wonderful decks, one of which was The Lenormand Revolution by Roz Foster and Carrie Paris. I've been a fan of Carrie Paris in general for some time and I love her use of vintage photography in her work with decks.
Deck Summary: This deck is called the Lenormand Revolution because the images on the cards are images that were made about the French and American Revolutions.The vintage and historical part of the deck are definitely the most interesting. The summary on the Lenormand Revolution website is "The Lenormand Revolution is a traditional Lenormand divination deck. Visually and historically rich card art alludes to 18th century European and New World unrest, touching on the culmination of these turbulent times: the American and French Revolutions. With a nod to the famous French reader Mademoiselle Lenormand herself, each card features a French title with an English translation." If you are a lover of history as I am, you will love this deck.
The Packaging: The tuck box that this deck come in has the image of the extra card on the front, The Revolution. It's a regular tuck box, so you might need a bag for this deck. One thing I always love about Lenormand cards is that they are playing card size. If you have smaller or medium size hands they are super easy to shuffle and handle.
The LWB: The Lenormand Revolution comes with a small booklet with the keyword meanings of each card. The one thing with Lenormand is that even with a book, it is hard to read if you don't understand the combinations. Lenormand is all about combinations. One really cool thing is there is also a an iOs app that goes with this deck that has additional meanings, spreads and tutorials on how to read Lenormand.
The Deck: Ok now we can talk about the good stuff. This deck is absolutely amazing. The pictures and the color tonation of the photos give you the feeling like you are at Mlle. Lenormand's salon watching her go over each of the cards with a fine tooth comb. The cardstock is a little light for my liking, but that is not even that big of a deal. The cards are arranged as so:
-In the upper left corner is the number corresponding with the card.
-In the upper right corner of each card is the French name for each card (and below in the lower right corner is the English name is your French is rusty... or non-existent).
-Under the French name, is the playing card association.
- In the center is the picture.
The imagery is so beautiful it really excites one to read with this deck. I have so may favorite cards in this eck it was hard to narrow it down but here we go. I really like the child card that is a portrait of the young Marie Anitonette, the Sun, the Bouquet, The Ship, the Moon and the Cross. Oh and another great thing about this deck is it comes with 3 Man cards, 3 Woman cards are 2 child cards. The child cards are one male and one female, which is nice. Whether or not you are doing a reading involving a child, it is neat that you have the option to pick the gender. Also, I think most diviners enjoy having more than one man and woman card when dealing with same-sex couples or situations that deal with two people of the same gender. Also with the men and women cards, there are two that say "gentlemen", two that say "ladies" and one that says "Seer" which is an older woman and the other says "Inventor" (an older man). Another neat little quirk about this deck.
Divination Potential: This deck is FULL of potential. The reading are clear, accurate is it's a deck you will enjoy looking at.
Final Note: This is a really awesome deck. That's basically it. If you want to add to your lenormand deck, check it out.
I had had my eye on this deck for a while. As usual, I was on Facebook and saw someone doing a reading with this deck and it automatically went on to my wish list. This year I had the pleasure of attending Readers' Studio and on the the first day to my delight, I walked over to the Tarot Garden table and there it was in all its glory! I was so excited! I quickly opened the box and looked at each card. They were more beautiful than I even imagined! At first I didn't know whether this would just be a pretty, artsy deck that was unusable or if it would actually be functional. This deck turns out to be awesome for readings with just about anyone.
Deck Summary: This deck is created by Massimiliano Filadoro, Lunaea Weatherstone, Giulia F. Massaglia and pays homage to the art noveau style of Alphonse Mucha. The style is very beautiful and uses lots of curves and soft colors. This deck gives off a very feminine feel and has a few full figured woman which makes me smile. It also gives off a very bohemian feel, which makes the characters feel very fun and free.
The packaging (5 stars): Yay! I love decks that come in hard boxes. The front of this box has an illustration that is on the back of every card, a woman holding a bouquet and looking over her shoulder like she has a secret. On the other side is the picture of the Hermit Card, another particularly beautiful card. on the sides of the box with have the Justice and Temperance cards depicted.
The LWB (5 stars): The little white book in this deck is neither little of white. It is a book that does fit inside the box, but every page is full color with descriptions of each card. The book even has sample spreads in it! It's very cool how they fit so much information in this small book.
The Cardstock and Deck (5 stars): The cardstock for this deck is good, but if manhandled too much they might rip. It isn't super flimsy though, so you really should be ok. The deck is modeled after the traditional Rider-Waite. The Aces just have the hand holding the suit symbol and so on. I have to say my six favorite cards are The wheel of Fortune, The Fool, The Moon, The Devil, The Ace of Cups and the Nine of Cups. The Devil is especially interesting, with the fiery red tail and large headdress. This deck has a lot of women in it. Knights and Kings remain male, but many of the other cards have been changed having woman which is interesting. I enjoy when deck creators switch traditional genders in their decks, its always fun and cool to see. Another deck that comes to mind that does that is the Steampunk Tarot, where the the pages are these badass looking woman, which is so cool.
Divination Potential (5 stars): This deck is a deck that tells the truth in a way that is very palatable. The smooth and enchanting images really draw you into the card and help you tell the story. I love it.
Final Note (5 stars): This deck is absolutely beautiful. If you like a deck that is playful, beautiful, soft but still does awesome readings, I would recommend this deck to you.
When I went to TarotCon in Dallas this past October, I got to see so many different decks in action. But there were a few that I saw and really loved. One of those decks was the Wild Unknown Tarot. The first word that come to mind when thinking about this deck is that is RAW. Most of the cards have no color on them, and the ones that have some color only have certain things colored in. This deck is not for beginners at all. This deck is for someone who is looking for something a bit more basic and a deck that can lend itself to its own interpretations.
Deck Summary: This deck is a creation of Kim Krans, a yoga teacher and artist living in California. The deck reminds you spending time in the woods and embracing nature. This is a great deck for nature lovers (animal lovers may be a bit sensitive to it, read below where I talk about the deck). This is from her website,
"78 cards filled with magical and mysterious imagery. Intricately illustrated by Kim Krans. Great for seasoned readers or those totally new to the Tarot. The cards come in a beautiful box with a black lifting ribbon and fold-out guide to get you familiar with the cards. Open your mind, draw a card, and have fun on your journey... "- Kim Krans
The packaging (5 stars):
The Wild Unknown box has a the deck's World Card on the cover. from this card you can see the scarce use of color and the quiet beauty that is this deck. The box is a hard cardboard box which is nice because you wouldn't need to buy a bag for it. I personally like that, that way you spend less money.
The Pamphlet (5 stars):
Kim Krans has a guidebook that comes along with the deck, but I only bought the individual deck. This deck comes with a pamphlet with keywords for every cards meaning. Even the pamphlet is beautifully illustrated and is part of the whole Wild Unknown experience. This is cute and convenient for looking up quick meanings of the cards without having to read a whole book about it.
The Cardstock and Deck (5 stars):
The cardstock is fabulous. The cards are almost impossible to rip, it seems to be laminated cardboard or something of that sort. It is a bit stiff, but I find that stiff is better because over time you wear them down and they will still be strong. The artwork on the deck is absolutely beautiful. It is very "wild" and different than any deck you have ever seen.
This picture has some of my favorite cards from the deck (I had some many it was hard to pick). The cards in this deck are very interestingly represented. On Kim's website she says that this deck is for beginner and masters alike, which I really disagree with. I can't image just learning to read tarot and using this deck. It would be a challenge at best. Some of the cards really don't follow the RWS format (which is ok) and if you don't know much about tarot, this may not be the deck for you. On the contrary, it is a great deck for those who like to read intuitively. The imagery is so vivid and alive, with emotion, it is easy to pick up on any messages and many different things. You may want to look at more of the images of the deck before you buy it. Some of the cards are a bit gruesome, (Death is a decaying dead bird, 10 of swords is bull being pierced with swords and a few others) so if you are sensitive to that, that is another reason to may not get this deck. The court cards are represented by different animals: wands are snakes, pentacles are deer, geese are cups, and owls are swords.
Divination Potential (5 stars):
I have to admit I haven't used this with my clients yet. Why? Because it's harsh and very real. The readings I get this deck are in your face and love to tell you the truth. It is a great deck for readings. I would also recommend this deck for any type of meditation practice you might do with tarot.
Final Note (5 stars):
If you want a great, advanced deck to do readings with and mediate with, this may be the deck for you!
If you want to learn more about this deck, Click here to go to the Wild Unknown website and check it out!
(The Fool, The Tower, The Page of Wands, Death, and the Hierophant)
Divination Potential (5 stars):
Some decks are very spiritual and are meant to connect you with your higher self and all that good stuff. Which is great, but sometimes we need advice for the here and now. This deck is very real and down to earth. I like how practical and gritty it feels. You can tell these cards were made by real artists who are masters of their craft. I have used it several time and the readings I'm getting are very accurate and informative. This is the kind of deck you would use if you read at parties, festivals or while giving a reading to friends. I think everyone will love the different images and really get engrossed in each one. If you just love decks for the art, BUY THIS DECK! You will love it.
Final Score (4.75 stars):
The 78 Tarot is an awesome and extremely unique deck. I highly recommend it for anyone who can appreciate art, tarot or both!
If you want to find out more about the 78 Tarot, click here.
(Photo from the 78 Tarot Kickstarter campaign page)
So as always, one day I was online looking through Kickstarter and seeing if their were any new tarot decks on there. Then I saw a campaign for this something called the "78 Tarot". The concept was that each card was designed by a different artist, using different types of media while all following the same format as a standard Tarot deck. My first thought really was that this must be a huge undertaking for the organizer! How much work it must have been to find all these artists and get them to agree to do this. Also, would it work? Would it be a functional deck? Who knows, but I took a chance! At the least, I thought it was a very unique idea! I just received it in the mail and I thought I would share my thoughts on it.
From the pamphlet inside the box: "78 Tarot is a collaborative art project that brings together a group of 78 artists from around the world every year to produce an original tarot deck. Our goal is to merge the creative energy of each group to produce a tarot deck that is functional and diversity aesthetic, valued equally by the art community and the tarot community."
The packaging (4.5 stars):
The box that the deck came in a fully illustrated tuck box with elastic around it with a gold tag with the 78 Tarot logo. It is really beautiful. Make sure you don't accidentally throw this box away (like I have done with other decks in the past, yikes!) because this deck will be limited edition as they are only producing 1000 first editions. I got the "Hierophant Edition" so I get to see the lovely woman of the Hierophant card on the front of my box. A lovely black velvet bag with the logo also came with deck, but it is a little too small cards. The only thing about this packaging I would have liked was to see the bag be slightly bigger so the cards would not fall out during transporting it.
The Booklet and Deck (4.5 stars):
The booklet that comes with the deck is a small book that is inside the box. The tarot meaning in the book are very simple and to the point, which is fine because because this isn't a beginner's deck which is meant to be used for learning Tarot for the first time. Every page also has a statement from the artist. I found it very interesting to read the statements from each artists because it gives you some insight into their artwork, creative process and why the created the card the way they did.
The Deck and Card stock (5 stars):
The card stock is very good, and after shuffling many times I see no signs of bending or ripping (Note to anyone making a deck: having a crappy cardstock can ruin the whole experience for the reader. Remember we have to shuffle these cards thousands of times so please, even if it's a bit more money, make sure your deck doesn't wear and tear easily). There are the traditional 78 cards with 2 cards which are called "Chosen Fate". The deck is absolutely beautiful. Going through every card card for the first time is like opening 80 gifts, each card completely different than the other. You can be looking at a card that is only sketched black and white, and next looking a watercolor painting and next looking at a card made out of cut pieces of paper. Some cards I liked much more than others, but they all stayed true to the RWS tradition and with 78 different pieces of art, of course I would favor some more than others. I had to chose 5 of my favorite cards and let me tell you, that was tough. There are so many beautiful cards but I have to say these are my favorites:
I am very proud to say I am a graduate of the Tarosophy Business Development program. It was a lot of hard work and took a lot more willpower than I thought I had, but I did it. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
How it all started:
While on the Tarot Professional group (run by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin) on Facebook one day, I saw a post about a new program you would need to apply for that would help you develop your Tarot business. I thought, "OK, whatever, I'll give it a go." I had only recently started charging for my services and only read at 2 public venues in the past few months, but it got me to realize how much I loved reading Tarot for others. I didn't really think they would accept me, on account I had a full-time job and probably wasn't as serious about it as others. It was a few weeks later when I got an email from Jenna Matlin, the business program's coach, informing that I had been accepted. I was excited but then I resorted to my default emotion whenever something new is about to happen, which is panic. What was I thinking? I already had a career, I could not make an actual career out of reading Tarot! That's crazy talk... but then again, if I could make money doing what I love, what was the harm? The cost wasn't too bad, plus, it's not like I had to quit my nursing job. I've always wanted to be my own boss in some capacity, but I knew how I could be. I had no idea how this was going to work, but there was some little part inside me, some part that really, really wanted to try. So I signed up.
What happened next:
I was put in a online group with my peers. We were all from different places, in different phases of our lives, and had different work experiences. That was interesting. We had all had different things we were scared of, and different challenges but we leaned on each other for support. I had my first one-to-one with Jenna. She assessed my goals and what would be realistic for me. I told her I just wanted to do this on the side She gave me a list of things I needed to get started with and gave me ideas of where to go to get them done. After that first meeting, I thought to myself "I know for a fact that I would have not been able to organize myself enough to get all of these things done or even think of all this". In the online group, we all helped each other and gave each other suggestions and feedback with the guidance of Jenna and Marcus. Throughout the program we had classes where we learned things from marketing to self-care to legal issues. We also had class check-ins where we all talked about what was going on with our business and where we were in the process.
Everything wasn't always peachy keen though. Jenna always told us "Having your own business is the biggest head game" and boy was she right. There were times when I woke up and just didn't want to do anything, times I thought that doing this was ridiculous, and times I got frustrated and angry. But Jenna always kept me on track. While she is a wonderful caring person, she is also someone who will make you push yourself and she is always real with you. She was my "personal trainer" for my business. Having a Masters Degree in Coaching, she knows how to motivate you and always gives you the spark you need to take ideas and make them your own.
My life has completely changed. I've always been someone who I always felt was a "jack of all trades, master of none". I'm very good at starting things, but follow through has never been my strong suit. But this program showed me that the only person holding me back is me. I have more than made back the money that I spent doing the program and I have since gained friends, confidence and I have a business I can be proud of. Every month I have festivals and fairs and I even have a few private clients who are coming to me regularly!
This program is not something that promises you will become a millionaire. Your success depends on you. If you want it, you can do it. My peers and I come from all walks of life with all type of responsibilities but we chose to make something that we knew could really be proud of and profit from.
Hiring a business coach normally would cost you $350 a month (and that's cheap!). Why not get a coach who can show you the ropes, and understands your business?!
There is one week left to apply. Click here. Dive in. DO IT. You won't regret it.
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