Last night as we stepped into the second step of The Path Within we looked at the beautiful new Tarot deck created by visionary artist Joanna Powell Colbert, The Gaian Tarot. I have also begun reading for clients with this beautiful Tarot deck and have already noticed that it's imagery and message of connection to Mother Earth has brought a wonderful new pathway to hope for many.
Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna about her creative process:
Well known for her Goddess portraits and mythic art, Joanna Powell Colbert has created a Tarot deck dedicated to Earth Spirituality. Just looking at The Gaian Tarot images makes me feel instantly calm. I am forever inspired by Joanna and her ability to juggle her work as an artist, writer, teacher and deep love of Tarot & the Earth. The Gaian Tarot took Joanna nine years to complete - 9 the number of completion - and the 9 of Earth features Joanna herself in a field of lavender. Often it's hard for us to keep inspired about our creative projects & so I asked Joanna how she managed to keep up her ‘fire’ during the long and necessary gestation of her Tarot deck.
What was the first 'seed' of inspiration for your deck?
Joanna: ‘I was at a festival in late 2000 where a dozen or so people came up to my vending table, looked at my Goddess art, and said: "Didn't you do a Tarot deck?" It felt like a divine message to me. As I went out for a walk one day, trying to choose a theme for the deck, it hit me all of a sudden: I needed to merge my love for my naturalist studies and my love for Mother Earth with my love for the Tarot. That was a theme that would interest and sustain me over the long haul.
How did you 'fire' yourself up to create your deck over such a long period of time & what were the benefits of taking your time with it?
J: ‘Well I never intended to take such a long time with it. Life just got in the way — earning a living, caretaking my elderly father, etc etc. Plus I chose a medium (colored pencil) that is extremely time-intensive. But every time I started a new card, I did get fired up — very excited by the idea behind the card, the symbolism, the color scheme and composition. I always said that my favorite card is the one I just completed. I was always a little bit in love with the most recent one.
I grew into my elderhood during the nine years that I created the deck. I moved from my 40's into my 50's. I buried my father and became a grandmother. I left my beloved island home and moved back to (small) city living. I dealt with some significant health issues. So there were major life transitions that took place during the time I created the deck. All of my life wisdom up to this point is wrapped up in those cards.
What beliefs or old patterns did you have to cast into the fire of transformation to embrace such a project?
The feeling that I was a fraud as a professional artist because I work from photographs; the belief that I wasn't good enough to pull the project off and that it wasn't good enough to be published. The community of people that followed the evolution of the deck on my blog really helped me to stay focused and excited about the deck, because they were all waiting for it and gave me such great feedback on it.’
Thank you again Joanna!
I look forward to teaching and sharing this deck with you all in our classes, healings and Tarot Readings. May the Gaian Tarot inspire you to have trust in your own heart's dreams and patience as as they take root at the Spring Equinox this Friday.