nineofearthJoanna Powell Colbert’s full 78-card Gaian Tarot is now available in a limited edition in your choice of two sizes.  Both the deck and accompanying book are signed. In addition to a 20% discount, there are lots of extra goodies included if you order before Nov. 3rd. This deck has taken nine years to produce and it’s an amazing accomplishment. Llewellyn will be coming out with a commercial version in September 2011 (if you can wait that long), but Joanna’s limited edition will definitely be a collector’s item and the colors will probably be more vivid. See the cards here.

I asked Joanna some questions about her deck a couple of months ago. Here are her responses:

Mary: Is there a particular kind of question or issue that your deck is ideally suited to respond to?

Joanna: It’s designed for people who want to go into the depths of the issue at hand, and is not really a deck for superficial questions.  It’s for people who are walking a spiritual path, especially those who find sustenance through their connection with the natural world.  I’ve been told by readers who use the Majors-only deck with their clients that it cuts right to the heart of the matter at hand.  Because people recognize themselves in the figures on the cards, they also find inspiration in them and can envision solutions to their problems.

It also seems to lend itself quite well to Rachel Pollack’s “Wisdom Readings,” in which we ask about the larger issues of life.  Two readers that I know, James Wells and Carolyn Cushing, have developed Wisdom Questions for this deck that focus on what we can all do to heal the Earth in this time of global climate crisis.

Mary: If your deck could speak what would be its core message to the rest of us?

Joanna: To quote a familiar chant:

“The Earth is our Mother, She will take care of us.

The Earth is our Mother, we must take care of Her.”

Then it would ask us a series of questions:

- How can the wisdom of a particular card help you to heal yourself?

- How can the wisdom of a particular card help you to heal your community?

- How can the wisdom of a particular card help you to heal the Earth?

Self, Community, Planet: all are inextricably woven together.  Each one of us has a gift to give, and it’s our responsibility to discover that gift then bring it forth, for the good of the community and the planet.

Mary: Why no cities or city life?

Joanna: I think it’s partly because the cards are a reflection of my own rural island life, and partly because the cards are centered in the wisdom of the natural world.  As I meditated on each card before coming up with the concept for it, I asked myself: “Where is the voice of Nature in this card?”  Then ideas came to me.  I don’t think I consciously chose not to show cities; it was more intuitive than that.

Part of my ulterior motive in creating the deck is to encourage people who experience Nature mostly through metaphor and symbol to get outside and start experiencing Her directly.  If I remember the statistic correctly, most modern Americans spend less than an hour a day outside.  I’d like to encourage people to garden, to hike, to do field sketching, to spend more time with the Mother in whatever way works best for them.  I do believe that spending time in Nature heals us, and in return, we have a responsibility to heal Her.

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