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Gaian Tarot [Cards]

Joanna Powell Colbert
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 8 2011
Deeply spiritual, nature inspired, and undeniably beautiful - "The Gaian Tarot" offers a true connection to our Earth Mother. Classic tarot archetypes and suits have been wisely updated to reflect a lush, contemporary, and multicultural world steeped in Gaian myth and lore. The pregnant gardener revelling in a bountiful harvest is actually the Empress, and the Magician has become a ritual drummer. Not only does this evocative Pagan deck put us in touch with Divine wisdom and spiritual teachings, it also offers a vision of hope and healing for our planet.

Frequently Bought Together

Gaian Tarot + Earth Magic Oracle Cards: A 48-Card Deck and Guidebook
Price For Both: CDN$ 32.51

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! Nov. 24 2011
I recently recieved the Gaian Tarot and it totally lived up to my expectations. Joanna Powell Colbert has created a very powerful tarot tribute honoring Gaia and her residents. I found the deck easy to work with and the artwork is fabulous!
Pamela Steele
Steele Wizard Tarot
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Accurate Deck Oct. 6 2011
This splendid deck is very easy to use, inspiring in it's artwork, and a joy to have. I have been collecting decks for a number of years, and I have to admit that this is likely one of the best accompanying books I have read on the topic, it is so easy to read, well organized, and diverse in what you can use for inspiration to read further what the cards present for you. The effort Joanna Powell Colbert put into this deck over a number of years has obviously been well worth the wait! I would highly recommend this deck especially for newcomers to readings and tarot, because it is so approachable, and not in the least intimidating. For the advanced user there is every reason to add this deck to your collection, I will treasure this deck myself. Congratulations to the author, Well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME Nov. 30 2013
By noelg
Format:Cards|Verified Purchase
love this tarot deck...very spiritual and gives very accurate readings; have used traditional tarot cards for years and now this is my go to!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THESE!! March 23 2013
Format:Cards|Verified Purchase
These are the most beautiful cards I own and their energy is just incredible.

For anyone on an 'Earth based' path, these cards will sing to you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarot for the 21st Century July 24 2011
By Owls Daughter - Published on Amazon.com
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. We begin as Children and grow into Explorers, Guardians and then Elders.

I have been working with, first Joanna's Major Arcana-only version of this deck, and then her collector's edition of the entire deck for many years. As a full-time professional reader, I have seen an overwhelming response to this deck that is utterly unique.

The images, interpretations, and overall feeling it imparts are instantly recognizable to my clients. Even in the most challenging of situations, these cards are infused with wisdom about the goodness of Life, the wholeness of the cycles of Nature, and our ability to be nurtured and sustained by Source.

This is a powerful, beautiful gift of a Tarot deck that is meant for all walks of life, all backgrounds, Tarot skill levels, and all spiritual paths that honor the Love that is All.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Having trouble with some of the cards Sept. 30 2011
By Jennie Lin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Cards|Verified Purchase
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. :-) She's a curandera mesmerizing you with her stare. A fantastic card, but different from what I'm used to.

There are about 10 cards that are throwing me off so much that I've decided not to use this for my clients yet. I'm sure I'll "find" card meanings that I've "lost" as I continue to get to know the Gaian Tarot. This deck is so phenomenal in every other way, I will continue to work through MY issues since I would love for this to be my primary deck.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptionally lovely & personable deck Aug. 9 2011
By Arnell Ando - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Cards|Verified Purchase
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!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tarot Masterpiece July 25 2011
By Katherine Pfeiffer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Earthy, Healing Vision For Tarot Sept. 14 2011
By Theresa Reed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Cards|Verified Purchase
I'll sheepishly admit that I had some reservations about the Gaian Tarot. Rumor was that it was very feminine ala The Motherpeace Deck. I'm actually kind of masculine in nature so that concerned me. Would I be able to relate to this deck?

I also heard that some of the traditional names for the cards had been changed. And since I consider myself a traditionalist that troubled me as well. Would the changes water the deck down?

It was with great apprehension that I approached this deck. I worried that I would not be able to connect at all. (Funny how hearsay makes you uber-cautious about something as innocuous as a tarot deck.)

I'm happy to report that those assumptions were delightfully misguided.

The author, Joanna Powell Colbert, originally self published the deck - I am writing here about the recently mass published version from Llewellyn. This new version comes in a bright yellow box with the Sun card on the front. The deck consists of 78 cards and comes with a companion book, "Journey Through The Gaian Tarot".

The book is very meaty with a lot of information to absorb. The author starts out talking about how the deck came into being and how to use the deck and book. She then gives the meaning for each card but also adds an interpretation for the "shadow side" of the card (one could use this for reversals or for an overall negatively slanted reading). The interpretations provided are not cut and dried "predictions" - these are focused more on the energy surrounding the situation and has a more empowering and therapeutic vibration to it which allows the querent to have a feeling of being in control of their destiny.

She then provides meanings behind the symbols on each card, which adds further depth to readings. In the Majors, Powell Colbert offers "Journal Questions" which I found to be extremely valuable. This allowed me to use the deck for internal processing which made the Gaian Tarot a powerful tool for healing or therapy. All cards came with an affirmation. I happen to love affirmations so this was an added plus.

Although the overall tone of the deck seemed to be positive, the author did not shy away from the negative. That being said, the interpretations were always geared towards facing the dark side and healing it. This makes the deck appropriate for anyone, especially those who may have a negative view of the tarot.

The deck itself is beautiful. It's colorful and stunning with clear pictures and symbols. Animals and nature figure prominently in every card. The people look realistic and expressive (the author used real people she knew as some of the models - you can see her granddaughter in the Child of Water - and the author herself in the 9 of Earth). Each card evokes the feeling that the author intended - you can see the despair in the face of the figure in the 9 of Air and the expression of sheer joy in the Sun. To illustrate another example, the Two of Water (in a traditional deck this is the 2 of Cups) shows a woman embracing a dog with an expression of happiness. The interpretation provided is: "You have a caring, compassionate response to another. You choose to begin or continue a relationship based on a deep heart connection." Wow. If you are new to tarot this deck would be a great starter as the interpretations are so clearly depicted on the cards that you can really "feel" the meaning behind it.

Although the names have been changed, it did not hamper my ability to read with these cards. For example, in the Major Arcana, The Devil became Bindweed and The Tower became Lightning. This still keeps in line with the traditional meanings of bondage and sudden change - so the deck lost nothing with those differences.

In the Minors we have Water, Earth, Fire and Air instead of Cups, Pentacles, Wands and Swords. Court cards became Children, Explorers, Guardians and Elders. This did change the meaning slightly and I only say slightly because the traditional Courts are Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings - all nobility. In all actuality, the Gaian figures are more relatable to modern life. Also, Powell Colbert mixes it up further by adding two males and two females to each category. In a traditional deck, Queens are always female and Kings are always male - this shifts the vibration and reminds us that we all have male and female energy within us. I really liked that - especially because as I stated above, I'm actually a pretty "masculine" female and never identified whole heartedly with typical female imagery.

The cards are slightly larger than standard decks but not hard to handle. I have very small hands and they fit very nicely. The backs have an image of a wreath with a starlit sky behind it. Gorgeous.

At the end of the book, the author offers suggestions for working with the cards as well as spreads by tarot notables such as James Wells, Beth Owl's Daughter and Carolyn Cushing. The spreads worked great and I think I found a few that I may add to my tarot tool box.

The overall tone of the Gaian is "healing" rather than predicting. The earthy images, the sensitive interpretations, and even the spreads lend to healing your future and past rather than simply divining what may come.

As an example, I recently have been working through a situation and decided to consult the Gaian for guidance. The card I picked was the 10 of Fire. The interpretation said: "Does it feel like your dreams have gone up in smoke? Are you overwhelmed or burdened by loss? Remember that new seedlings grow and flourish in the ashes of a spent fire. You must release your passions and your energies, whether or not you want to, whether or not you think you're ready. It's time." This was very profound to my situation and gave me a peaceful feeling (and the impetus to do a burning ceremony). It was the advice I needed to hear (not necessarily what I wanted to hear).

My only complaint with this deck is the card stock. I wish it were made on more sturdy material. The deck feels a wee bit fragile and it may not be one that I use on a regular basis because I fear it would be wrecked quickly in the hands of an aggressive shuffler. (I am a high volume tarot reader so this poses a problem and makes unsuitable for a workhorse deck.)

I will need to be gentle with this deck. But considering the heart centered and sensitive nature of the Gaian tarot, perhaps it makes sense that I treat it with tenderness. The message is to "handle with care" - a message that we need to also apply to ourselves, each other and the earth.
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