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Gaian Tarot Cards – September 8, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joanna Powell Colbert (Washington State) is an artist and writer known internationally for her goddess portraits and mythic art. She teaches workshops and e-courses on earth-centered spirituality, manifesting your dreams, and tarot as a tool for inner guidance and self-exploration. The Gaian Tarot combines her love of symbolic art and the natural world, and was nine years in the making. 

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Product Details

  • Cards: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; Tcr Crds edition (September 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738718912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738718910
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 2.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Cards Verified Purchase
For people who would like to see a Tarot deck that is relevant and fresh and speaks to modern, 21st century sensibilities, this is the one you've been waiting for. The Gaian Tarot is the creation of Joanna Powell Colbert, an internationally famous artist who is well-known to subscribers of SageWoman Magazine, Circle Sanctuary, and the earlier years of The Beltane Papers.

But don't be misled. Although this deck is clearly in harmony with Earth/Wiccan/Pagan/Goddess spirituality, it will appeal to a much broader audience. It is truly a deck for our times.

Many older Tarot decks are steeped in complex esoterica of the Renaissance and obscure Judeo-Christian mystical references. For many, this is understandably off-putting. Alternative decks, attempting to overcome such limitations, have swung to the other extreme, using trendy themes of movies, celebrities, dragons, vampires, and other pop culture material.

But Joanna has re-imagined the Tarot from top to bottom with beautiful, accessible images that more closely resemble our own, actual modern lives. Yet each card remains true to its traditional Tarot roots.

The people in this deck are as diverse, multicultural, young and old, beautiful and ordinary as you and me. Its beautiful watercolor pencil art is lush and vibrant. The scenery is primarily, but not exclusively, in Joanna's beloved Pacific Northwest. Much of the imagery is based in her many years of wilderness and Nature studies and her own work as a spiritual leader and teacher. As a result, these are places, situations and locations that anyone can relate to.

Gone are the symbols of monarchy in the "court" cards. Instead, the Gaian's people cards speak to the natural progression of human living and wisdom.
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I've owned the self-published all-majors Gaian deck for a couple of years, and love them. With this newly published full 78-card deck, I found some problems in reading certain minor arcana and some of the court cards. I admit, when I look at a card, I want to reconcile in my mind what I already know about that card. The deck creator -- a wonderful, talented artist -- has changed some of the Rider-Waite icons so much, that I'm afraid I'm going through a bit of a learning curve.

For instance,

The Ten of Water depicts salmon swimming upstream in the background, with dead salmon laying at water's edge in the foreground. Joanna's message for that card is about the circle of life. So while the message and picture made sense, I've lost my card for how love conquers all and how the happiness of family is more important than material things. (Big happy family in the 10 of Cups.) The dead salmon in the foreground throw me off every time I pull this.

Going the other way, the Ten of Swords gives a very negative first impression. In the Gaian Tarot, the Ten of Air shows the most beautiful fall sky, with 10 Canada Geese flying in their typical V pattern. When I read intuitively, my first instinct is that changes are coming -- good changes. So very different from the Ten of Swords!

The Guardian of Fire is described as the dependable counselor who hangs back and attends the fire, and the Guardian of Earth helps things grow. In my R-W mind (i.e. Queen of Wands and Queen of Pentacles), shouldn't they be reversed?

The King of Wands has always been Rhett Butler to me -- with his charm, his risk-taking, his ability to get things done. However, my favorite card in all the Gaian Tarot, the Elder of Fire, is definitely NOT Rhett Butler.
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This is an exceptionally lovely & personable deck created by a sweetheart of an artist who is as deep and grounded as her work reflects. I have anxiously awaited this published version by Llewellyn (while continuing to treasure the Major Arcana special edition I received from Joanna at a Tarot gig many moons ago). This deck can communicate beautifully with the contemporary, spiritually minded artist, the Pagan Earth Goddess inclined reader, and really any sort of evolving soul who seeks a richly colorful, welcoming and inspirational environment in which to dwell and contemplate life's mysteries. As Owls Daughter writes in the review: `It is truly a deck for our times.' I concur! It gives life affirming, supportive answers in readings and is a gentle guide in meditation. And did I mention the artwork is exquisite?! Is is...but at the same time it is also quite relatable; and populated by people I wouldn't mind hanging with and in natural settings that draw us in; making us feel at home and at peace. My only dilemma is that I must part with my current copy to give to an old friend that will relate to this deck like no other. I can see this being a very popular gift during holiday season. Really nice going Joanna, congratulations, we're all the better for your great contribution!
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I fell in love with this masterpiece of art and spirit years ago when Joanna first produced the Majors on her own. The deck has now been fully realized - a work of extraordinary beauty and heart and insight. Each image has been created with intense attention to meaning and aesthetics. Working with the cards one feels the energy their creator poured into them. Spirit animates each one. These cards are a joy to behold and inspiration to read with. I recommend the Gaian Tarot with joyous enthusiasm.
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