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:
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