Deck: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert
On January 1, 2015, eleven of us gathered together at The Dance Space in Greenwood for a special two-hour class that blended a group/collective tarot reading, an individual reading unique to each of us and a Nia playlist that captured the movement, feeling and story of each card. There were eleven cards, eleven dancers and eleven songs that stirred our hearts and souls and stimulated our minds and bodies. At the request of several participants, I am sharing the reading and playlist here.
1. What grounds us in the present moment? Card: 8 of Water
A sense of determination, resilience and resolve to keep our head above the water and rise above difficulty. Swimming against the current, determined to make landfall. Focused on keeping our head above the water. Clear head, we can see where we are going but feel the resistance with our bodies from the neck down. Reaching for the future with our hands. 8’s are always about being challenged and finding the inner strength to endure difficulty. In this reading, we have two 8’s back to back. This one is in water so it relates to our emotional well-being. This is about inner resolve and feeling empowered to persevere to find our way to solid ground. Stay true to yourself and stay the course.
2. What energy are we leaving behind in 2014? Card: 8 of Fire
This is our second 8 numbered card and it’s in the element of fire. The challenge here is about creative and spiritual exhaustion. When our faith has been tested or we are burnt out and running out of creative ideas to solve challenges in front of us. This card appears because we’ve had a year of things that feel like curve balls or meteors falling from the sky hitting us suddenly and demanding all of our attention. This past year we may have found ourselves continually putting out fires, setting us back or putting obstacles in the way of our achieving goals we may have had. But like the woman in the 8 of water, our spirit rose above. We became explosive and responsive. We found the energy, strength, stamina and spiritual strength even when we were exhausted. This card is about spiritual courage. That’s what 2014 was all about and we are leaving it behind.
3. What energy are we stepping into in 2015? Card: Guardian of Water
We are stepping into a more emotional year where the focus will be on Mothering ourselves and others. The Guardian is an emotional protector. She holds space for our greatest vulnerability and provides mercy, kindness, forgiveness and compassion when we need it most. She moves at a much slower pace than the 8 of Fire. She represents finding and staying in a Flow. She is also the ultimate symbol of gratitude and grace. The energy we are stepping into is one of forgiveness and healing of emotional wounds. She asks us to pour our hearts out to her so that we can heal and ultimately trust our feelings going forward.
4. What lesson or wisdom can we weave into 2015 from 2014? Card: 6 of Air
In 2014, we may have learned how to ask for support. This card is about the power of community, of the tribe. Each person in this image is different – in age, ethnicity, gender, height, shape, etc. But they’ve come together, in solidarity, for a common purpose. They are praying, in their own unique way, and doing so while facing the same direction. The wisdom we can weave into the New Year from 2014 is that we are more powerful when we work together. As we find our tribe and gather with others of like mind we gain both perspective and insight into the big soulful issues of our lives. And then together, we set an intent, gather in a ceremonial space and work together towards growth and change. But 6’s aren’t just about community and purpose; they are also about gratitude. In this image, they look as if they are in prayer or in movements of reverence, saying “Thank you.”
5. What alchemy or opportunity for change does this weaving create for the year ahead?Card: 15 - Bindweed (Devil)
We can bring a spirit of gratitude and use our access to our support network (community-tribe) to support us when we feel burdened, tangled in weeds, when we are battling addiction or the “darker” emotions, or simply when life gets out of balance and we can’t cope. It’s clear that this year indicates a paradigm shift from “I can do it myself” to “We can only do this if we do it together.” Bindweed adds layers of burden, it makes us feel suffocated, buried, or trapped. The black crows are waiting for the man to lift his head and ask for help. The crows are ready to provide support. Our strength to overcome burden comes from collective support, gratitude for what we have and faith in something greater than our small trapped selves.
6. What collective lesson do we learn in 2015? Card: Ace of Fire
The energy of all aces is similar to that of a New Moon – it’s about birth or rebirth, beginnings, or the potential for something big. The collective lesson of 2015 is to be inspired, to follow our passion and to see the world with new eyes like this snake cracking its way out of an egg. This is the beginning of learning to think, act and be in more creative ways. If we follow it, we have the opportunity, as represented by the snake, to transform our lives and transmute the old perhaps more reserved or limited ways of being. 2015 is calling on us to be bold in spirit, to awaken our senses, shed old habits and embrace our new skin.
7. What collective gift do we receive in 2015? Card: 21 - Gaia – The World
The gift we have the potential to receive in 2015 is experiencing wholeness. Gaia is the earth mother. She is the symbol of bounty. She represents a world of possibilities. She holds them all in her hands. She can hold possibilities because she feels whole. She has shed the lack mindset and has embraced an abundance-oriented mindset. She also represents great Joy and it’s a joy that is similar to how we practice Nia. It’s a choice. She knows how to dance her fullness within any limitations. She knows how to tweak and use her resources. With a grateful heart, she continuously chooses Joy day after day.
Then, each of us that attended the class selected three cards for ourselves. Everyone was provided with their own tarot deck to use and an index card with guiding questions to glean meaning, feeling and movement inspiration from the card.
Below are the cards I selected for myself.
8. What is my greatest opportunity in 2015? Card: Guardian of Earth
My greatest opportunity is to patiently and lovingly tend to the harvest of my sacred livelihood, knowing what to prune and what to nurture to life and greater heights. I can ask myself, where do I need to grow? What is a weed that needs to be removed? What needs pruning because it’s getting heavy? Where do I need to plant more seeds or add supports? To imitate the card, I will use my hands to cut away, to massage, to weave, to dig, to touch and to wait. I will use my feet in stances to sustain stability and steadiness.
9. What is my personal growth potential in 2015? Card: Child of Earth
My personal growth potential in 2015 involves being in a state of wonder and fascination as if I am experiencing everything for the first time in my life. I am being asked to return to beginners mind, to learn from scratch but do so in a lighthearted way. And since there is a child with an apple, there is clearly a focus on health and well-being. This child isn’t running around. He is grounded, fully engaged and almost in a meditative state. With this card, I use the energy of Duncan Dance, fascinated by everything and experiencing wonder with my entire body – moving mindfully while I take it all in.
10. What can I call on for support to help me reach my personal growth potential in 2015?Card: Child of Fire
The Child of Fire is similar to the Ace of Fire in that both are about beginnings and creative fire. What I can call on for support is a spirit of bravery and bold action – to be willing to play with fire just a little, to push the envelope, to be fascinated by passion and to follow it where it leads. With this card, I use the energy of Tae Kwon Do and Jazz to tune into my creative playful spirit and fiery strength.
And then we returned to our collective reading for a final card to pull it all together before we step out of the space and into 2015!
11. How can we ground our energy as we step into the New Year? Card: 2 of Fire
Here we are again, ablaze with energy but this time we are not alone. We are faced with another. We’ve called on support. We’ve asked to be held accountable. The two is also about duality and choice. We are asked to find a peaceful compromise between two parts of us that are at odds. We are asked to choose one path over another. Or one way of being over another. We ground our energy by making a conscious choice as to how to use our energy. We can choose to make choices that bring peace and harmony to our relationships with others. We can choice to make choices that bring peace and harmony to our relationship with our selves. Either way, we are going ahead with a fire in our belly and ablaze with passion and longing.
Finally, we danced this playlist. Each song corresponded to a tarot card, in order from 1-11.
I am looking forward to doing this again in Spring! I hope you will join me. No tarot or Nia experienced required. It is my pleasure to provide the tarot decks and guidance for you to have an ease-full, joy-filled and illuminating experience. For more about my work with the tarot, go to www.embodiedtarot.com