It’s a great idea to ‘interview’ a new deck before you start to work with it, and many people rely on the following 6 card spread in that process for an effective intuitive exercise. Six, you say? I often see seven (or eight!) in these posts. Yup, I can’t resist making this a Seven Card Spread.
The Gaian Tarot is one of my top ten favorite decks. I’ve been a fan of Joanna Powell Colbert, the artist and creatrix, for years and eagerly tracked the progress of the deck on her blog. As soon as the deck was published for a moderate price point I snapped it up, although I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to just spring for the first limited edition! It came as a surprise that I’d never done a deck interview of a deck I love and appreciate this much. I’m glad this Deck of the Week challenge is making me do these kinds of things.
1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
3 of Fire. The 3s in this deck are about “harmony, flow and abundance.” Look how happy that lady is while she dances! This is a happy deck, a joyful deck. It celebrates life – the whole spectrum of life.
2. What are your strengths as a deck?
Guardian of the Earth. (Queen of Coins in other decks.) I love that the court cards of this deck aren’t strict about gender. This Guardian is a man, and he’s taking good, gentle care of his crops. This deck is a caretaker of sorts. There is a lot of nature-based, symbolic wisdom here, and each time I use it I learn (or unlearn) something.
3. What are your limits as a deck?
2 of Air. This card is about listening. And the answers don’t always come fast. In the companion book, the quote from Christina Baldwin is apt: “Move at the pace of guidance.” As this is a nature-based deck, the answers aren’t going to be reported back with computer-like efficiency. Sometimes, I’ll be told to wait and that can be frustrating.
4. What do you bring to the table? What lessons can you teach me?
The Emperor. One of my favorite cards in the deck and one of the best examples of what makes this deck different. This is no power-mad dictator. This is a servant-leader. The lessons from this deck have always been about removing the patriarchal assumption from the symbolism to get to a deeper, more powerful message.
5. How can I best learn from and collaborate with you?
Explorer of Water. (Knight of Cups in other decks.) Well that’s easy. The surfer says: “Stay loose! Stay open. Go with the flow.”
6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Child of Fire. (Page of Wands in other decks.) Look at the fascination and joy on that kid’s face – that’s how I feel about tarot (and particularly this deck) sometimes.
7. Anything else I should know? Any question I didn’t ask?
8 of Water. In this deck the 8s are about taking action. And this woman is swimming against the current, doing her own thing. This card asks us to live authentically. It’s a theme in the deck, actually. It’s a deck that does not hold to traditional associations with numbers, genders, or any sort of system or cycle that isn’t natural. As far as I’m concerned it’s one of the best things about this deck and what really sets it apart.