Woodspriestess: Exploring the intersection between Nature, the Goddess, art, and poetry.

Listening to the woods, to the stones, to Gaia, and to women...

In the woods behind my house rest a collection of nine large flat rocks. Daily, I walk down to these “priestess rocks” for some sacred time alone to pray, meditate, consider, and be. Often, while in this space, I open my mouth and poetry comes out. I’ve come to see this experience as "theapoetics"—experiencing the Goddess through direct “revelation,” framed in language. As Stanley Hopper originally described in the 1970’s, it is possible to “…replace theology, the rationalistic interpretation of belief, with theopoetics, finding God[dess] through poetry and fiction, which neither wither before modern science nor conflict with the complexity of what we know now to be the self.” Theapoetics might also be described, “as a means of engaging language and perception in such a way that one enters into a radical relation with the divine, the other, and the creation in which all occurs.”

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Deck Review: The Gaian Tarot

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I distinctly remember my first Tarot deck and the sense of anticipation, “danger,” and intrigue it held for me. I was about 13 when I got it, a gaiantarotcover-200x300 Rider-Waite in the yellow box, and I did NOT like it. I never connected with the deck, the book that I also got was way too esoteric and, frankly, boring, and I didn’t find the images compelling at all. This experience set me “off” of the tarot for a long time. I discovered other oracle systems I greatly enjoyed, such as Crone Stones, I bonded powerfully with Womanrunes and wrote a book about them, but I felt like Tarot and me were just not a match. Ah, thenThe Gaian Tarot. One afternoon in 2013, I was turning over some issues of leadership, power, group dynamics, and “warrior priestessing” and, for a reason I no longer recall, decided to do an online reading using the Gaian Soul website. Now THIS, this was a deck with which I could connect. The images. The earthy-messages, the goddess roots. I fell in love. I ordered the deck and began to regularly use the cards, enjoying many profound and illuminating experiences with them. So, when I found out a new edition was being released I was thrilled to review it!

Since I have and love the older edition of the Gaian Tarot, my first instinct when receiving the new one was to compare the two and the new edition does not disappoint. The cards are larger and thicker and edged with silver.



The set comes in a sturdy reusable box that holds both the deck and the cards (somewhat rare with Tarot decks!). The gorgeous photo-realistic colored pencil images on the cards are as potent, inspiring, and lovely as ever. The book is now full color as well.


july-2016-008The cards are size 4×6. The deck contains 78-cards and follows the same broad structure as any Tarot deck, but the suites are re-named to match the elements–Earth, Air, Water, and Fire–and the “people cards” include a broad swath of multicultural, mixed age, and mixed gender personifications, which I love. The court cards are not hierarchical and instead are based on life stages: the Child, the Explorer, the Guardian, and the Elder. The court cards for each suite include are of mixed genders, ages, and races, which is refreshing. The focus of the deck, the interpretations, and the uses is on the healing of the earth and of the self. The companion guidebook includes interpretations (including for reversals), themes, exercises, symbolism, journal questions, affirmations, and ten card layouts.july-2016-013The Gaian Tarot is earthy, practical, and connected. While it is rooted in the classic structure and powerful legacy of the Tarot, it’s themes and Joanna’s writing do not echo the esoteric format my thirteen-year-old self found so off-putting in my first exposure to the Tarot, instead they speak directly to my heart.

If you’d like to explore resources from Joanna Powell Colbert, she makes all the images from the Gaian Tarot helpfully available to explore on her website. You can also do an online reading. You can sign up for one of her powerful, seasonally specific 30 Days courses or for her Gaian Tarot for Tarot Beginners course (I took this over the summer and found it extremely helpful in digging much more deeply into how to live and work with Tarot beyond just pulling a card). You can also sign up for her free Tarot Sparks mini class.

Side note: one of my bucket list items for when I no longer have a nursling is to go to one of Joanna’s live retreats!

The Gaian Tarot is available on Amazon. There is also an app.





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Molly has been “gathering the women” to circle, sing, celebrate, and share since 2008. She plans and facilitates women’s circles, Red Tents, seasonal retreats and rituals, Pink Tent mother-daughter circles, and family ceremonies from her tiny temple space in rural Missouri and teaches online courses in Red Tent facilitation and Practical Priestessing.

Molly is a priestess who holds MSW, M.Div, and D.Min degrees. She finished her dissertation about contemporary priestessing in the U.S. She is the author of Womanrunes, Earthprayer, and The Red Tent Resource Kit. Molly and and her husband Mark co-create Story Goddesses, original goddess sculptures, mini goddesses, pendants, and ceremony kits at Brigid’s Grove (http://brigidsgrove.com), where they also publish Womanrunes book and deck sets.


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