If our Raleigh-Durham Tarot Meetup is any indication, The Goddess Tarot has some of the most loyal, passionate readers of any deck! I love its rich imagery, and its unique, beautiful symbiosis between the Tarot and Goddess spirituality is deeply healing, in my experience.
Tomorrow I will share a gorgeous video that features The Goddess Tarot, which is now available as “The most beautiful app in the app store™!” But meantime, I invite you to enjoy what Kris has written today, especially for us, as we journey on The Artist’s Way!
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As a long-time fan of The Artist’s Way, I’m thrilled to be posting about Chapter Seven. This section of Julia Cameron’s book encourages us to honor our dreams and talents—an important lesson for artists who seek to heal their creative souls.
Alice Walker has said, “Stories differ from advice in that once you get them, they become a fabric of your whole soul. That is why they heal you.” Along these lines, here are three goddesses from The Goddess Tarot whose stories offer us healing and encouragement as we journey toward greater artistic integrity.
Athena: Athena is probably the first goddess that I felt an intense connection with. I remember reading about her in grade school and loving that she was considered the wisest—and most powerful—of the Greek goddesses. Though Athena is keyed to Justice in The Goddess Tarot due to her ability to wage battle wisely, she was originally worshiped for her creative powers. (I suspect her role in ending the Trojan War may have rebranded her image as a warrior.)
As such, the goddess was honored as Athena Ergane —Athena Workerwoman— and was the patroness of spinning and weaving. She was also associated with the art of architecture.
One of Athena’s most important annual rituals celebrated and encouraged creativity within the community. Every year, the females of Athens would gather together to weave, sew, and embroider a new peplos, or woolen robe, for the statue of the goddess housed in the Parthenon. This richly detailed peplos incorporated scenes from Athena’s myth; it was begun nine months earlier at the Chalkeia, a celebration dedicated to Athena Ergane and Hephaestus, the god of forging.
Lakshmi: Encouraging prosperity in our lives is an intensely creative act. Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess associated with Fortune in The Goddess Tarot, illustrates the truism that wealth can be a reflection of the universe’s innate abundance. What I especially love about Lakshmi is that she encourages us to have it all; she says that it’s okay to enjoy prosperity, to be surrounded by beauty, and enjoy the material world.
As the sacred manifestation of prosperity, Lakshmi is one of the most popular of the Hindu gods and goddesses. She is even depicted upon coins. She is rumored to be fond of “bling”—statues of the goddess show her wearing gold and other precious gems. Some people believe that she lives in the sky with the most beautiful jewels of all, the stars. So when you look to the stars for inspiration, think of Lakshmi up there.
Freyja: My personal credo in life is “create beauty”. This belief informs everything I do as an artist, from books to iPhone apps and beyond. Alas, compared to the pragmatic needs of life—food, shelter, and so on—beauty is often viewed as unnecessary, even a bit suspect. But it is a powerful force of inspiration—how empty would our lives be without beauty!
Freyja, my final goddess featured here, illustrates the power of beauty to create healing and peace. Accordingly, she is associated with Power in The Goddess Tarot.
In Norse mythology, gods and goddesses are divided into two groups, known as the Vanir and the Aesir. The peaceful Vanir grew food from the earth and were worshiped during the agricultural Bronze Age; Freyja was their popular goddess of beauty and love.
Later, during the Iron Age, when human beings developed the first weapons and hunting tools, the combative Aesir were honored. No surprise here: The Aesir brought war into the serene world of the Vanir. But Freyja was able to settle this discord by surrendering herself up to the Aesir in exchange for their halting their battling ways. They readily accepted, thus proving the superiority of beauty over violence.