Gaian Tarot Reading

This is a reading that was part of a tele-class taught by Carolyn Cushing for the Gaian Tarot Circle on 6/15/11. The deck is broken down into three stacks: the Major Arcana and Aces, the Pips (numbered cards 2-10), and the People Cards (Court Cards). One card was draw from each deck, in answer to the following questions:

Major Arcana/Aces: What is the path of sacred expression that will help me live my deep purpose now? – Temperance

Minor Arcana Pips: What practice will help me to be on this pathway? – Five of Water

People Cards: Who can help me carry on with my purpose? – Elder of Fire

Temperance to me is literally the Healing Angel. In her companion book, Joanna talks about Temperance as being the “middle path”, the place between the two extreme polarities. This resonates with me, because I see myself as a healer, as being the “middle man” that helps others see what is there for them and find their way. This is my purpose, and I am living that purpose.

The practice that will help me on this pathway is that of paying attention to my intuition, to that creative spark within me. I need to not be afraid to let it loose.  I love the “between the worlds” feel of this card.

I see myself in this card. In her companion book, Joanna identifies the figure as a “curandera”, or healer. She carries the gifts of the shamanic and healing arts, and has the capability to shift between the worlds. The power is within me to carry on with my life purpose. In moving between the worlds, ancient wisdom can be tapped.

I want to thank Joanna for forming the Gaian Tarot Circle, and Carolyn for gifting us with this incredible spread.

(c) June 2011 Bonnie Cehovet


Journey To The Readers Studio 2011 – Part II

(The image above is the Magician, from Joanna Powell-Colbert’s “Gaian Tarot”.)

As you saw in Journey To The Readers Studio – Part I, my literal journey to the Readers Studio was not that great. Something that I did neglect to mention was coming into La Guardia at night. I love the lights! Lights at night, and coming in over water during the day (this would be for Sea-Tac, my home airport) are breathtaking! Today I am going to talk about the things that went well – and there were many of them!

The first person that I saw as I approached the desk at the Marriott was Canadian Tarotist James Wells. How nice to talk to such an upbeat, loving person at the end of such a horrendous journey! This was very fortunate, as I soon found out that my roommate, Anna Burroughs Cook, had not signed in! I had left her a message to go ahead and sign in, that I would be there late Friday night, but she never got the message. I flip flopped all Friday night between hoping that she was just rooming with another person upon finding out that I was not there yet, and worry that she had taken sick and was unable to come. At this time I was not aware that she had not gotten my message.

I signed in, got my room key, and went up to my room. Quickly turned around and went back down, as the keys (both of them) would not work. The gentleman at the desk reset two new keys, and went up to my room with me to make sure that they worked. They did – yes! Showered, washed my hair, and crashed.

I went down to the ballroom where they were holding the event, and immediately felt right at home. I met Beth in the hallway, and she introduced me to the lady (I do apologise – I have forgotten her name!) who located my registration packet for me, and advised me not to lose the little icons for dinner and desert for the banquet that night. I set my stuff down at a table, placed a book that I had brought with me on the exchange table, and my flyers for my upcoming book on Birth Cards on the table outside designated for that, and then went to look at a few of the vendors. They had such great stuff!

I spoke to several people, and had several people come over and introduce themselves to me, including Theresa Reed (who told me that Anna had been there the day before, and had left when she found out I was not there yet) and Kate Chapman. Lovely ladies! I am so happy that Kate decided to come – she is an incredible person (as is Theresa!). Koneta Bailey came over to introduce herself, and we talked for a few minutes. Fortunately for me, she came over to my table, and became my partner for Saturday’s presentations. She is way nice, very, very smart, and shuffles like nobodies business!

Before I forget – thank you Llewellyn for the miniature decks in my welcome packet ( the “Das Feen Tarot” and the “Dragons Tarot”)!

The first presenter on Saturday was Barbara Moore (who is indeed a fashionista!). Barbara took us through the process of creating a Tarot spread, from the focus (on the question), to defining positions and developing a layout. She discussed the dynamics of a single card spread, pairs, lines, circles, and the cross. I loved her discussion of cards moving within a layout. Koneta and I developed a spread that we termed the Ribbon of Time Spread. I say “we”, but the credit goes to Koneta on this one! I hope that I can find a way to present this spread that shows how beautiful it can be!

BTW – Barbara is not above bribing people! She searched NYC for the best bakery, and brought cupcakes with her to give to those individuals that were willing to share the process of creating their spreads! At the end of her class those who wished to share gave Barbara a copy of the spread that they had created, with the knowledge that she will be creating a PDF of them, and sharing with all participants. This will be incredible! Bravo Barbara!

Before the class began I had the good fortune to meet Tarotist/author Paul Quinn. If you ever get a chance to meet Paul, please do so! He is a wonderful gentleman! At the break I got to meet Gina Thies (hopefully I have spelled Gina’s name correctly!). She is a lovely lady, and had one of the most creative costumes going at the banquet Saturday night!

Koneta and I lunched with Joanna Powell-Colbert and the Gaian Tarot Circle people. They are a wonderful group of individuals, and the lunch was really very good! I did not go exotic – I had a hamburger, which is something I had not had in a long time. The food and the conversation were magickal!

The afternoon session was lead by the esteemed Caitlin Matthews. One cannot help but be absolutely in awe of this lady! Aside from her incredible warmth and wisdom, she has an excellent singing voice! She used song to get the group to quiet down after each exercise, so that she could continue speaking. I have only seen this done in ritual before, and it was absolutely amazing! Her presentation was on Hunting the Lady – Using the Significator Skillfully. She discussed choosing the significator in a random fashion, working with a spread entitled the Web of Life, using two chosen significators as map references (When Significators Meet), using a chosen significator in a spread entitled the Tarot Council (from Rachel Pollack), using Ancestral Resources (from the new Celtic Wisdom Oracle by Caitlin Matthews), and using a random significator in a spread entitled Supporting Our Priorities. There was also a Royal Wedding Present spread, and a spread entitled the Wheel of Souls (from the work of Daan van Kampenhout).

Caitlin used the Wheel of Souls spread in a very memorable manner – she asked for a volunteer from the audience that was willing to work on a personal issue publicly, and then brought her up on the stage. (The volunteer was a lovely lady whose name I have forgotten!). Audience members were then chosen, on at a time, by the lady getting the reading, to come up on stage and act as one of four Souls (Universal Soul, Family Soul, Tribal Soul and Individual Soul). The whole performance was mesmerizing! Thank you to everyone who participated – you were truly gifted with the Sight!

Tomorrow, in Part III, I am going to chat about the banquet, the vendors, and whatever else comes to mind! Please join me!

(c) May 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

New Year’s 2011

It is New Year’s Day, and I am sitting here writing a blog entry as my scalloped potatoes bake. Such a peaceful feeling with the world today – the sun is shining, it is crisp out, but no wind. A very good day to be alive! I celebrated by signing up for a new hosting site for my site (www.bonniecehovet,com), and downloading a new theme for it. If all goes well, in a couple of weeks I can announce that it is up and running! I do have to warn you, though – technology and I have a nodding acquaintance at best. 😉

I did do a reading for New Year’s, that I would like to share with you. It is a template that was developed by Donnaleigh de LaRose (Beyond Worlds on Blog Talk Radio), based on questions that I had posed in a class that I gave on affirmations. Thank you Donnaleigh for sharing this – it is awesome the way you have set it up!


2                         3

7             8


4     5     6



CARD 1: What gifts do you bring me? – Four of Fire

CARD 2: What challenges do you bring me? – The Sun

CARD 3: What do I need to release? – Two of Fire

CARD 4: What do I need to bring in? – Six of Air

CARD 5: What wisdom do you have for me? – Six of Fire

CARD 6: What changes are coming for me? – Nine of Earth

CARD 7: How can I learn to best accept change? – Explorer of Air

CARD 8: What do I need to resolve, so that I can move on?- The Lovers

CARD 9: What do I need to experience? – Two of Air

CARD 10: This is an optional card for the spiritual lesson. – Justice

The deck that I used was Joanna Powell Colbert’s “Gaian Tarot”. I found this reading to be very heartening, very reflective of the things that I see in my life. I see 2011 as a banner year for me!

© January 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Empowering Our Dreams

We are going into a new year, with the energy of new beginnings and new dreams. The first step in the process of bringing anything into our life is to experience it as a conscious thought. The next step is to dream it – to see our thought in our mind, in living color, and in as much depth and breadth as we can give it. This is not always easy to do. I was just offered a peek into a wonderful program – a program that I want to share with you.

My friend Joanna Powell Colbert is offering a free workbook on dreams,making plans and setting goals. There are more goodies that Joanna will be giving away as an introduction to her first class in her new online “school” – The Gaian Soul Learning Grove. Her first class will be an extended version of one of her most popular workshops – “Empower Your Dreams and Visions With Tarot”.  Here you learn how to manifest your dreams in a supportive environment.


For more information –


(c) December 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Gaian Tarot – Limited Edition

The Gaian Tarot (Limited Edition)

Author: Joanna Powell Colbert

Artist: Joanna Powell Colbert

Independently Published


“Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver

(Printed within a blessing wreath on an extra card with this deck.)

I have followed Joanna Powell Colbert’s work since the beginnings of her major’s only version of the “Gaian Tarot”. I dearly love that deck, and use it often for personal readings and for ritual purposes. In the spirit of transparency, I have to say that part of the appeal is that the imagery in both the major’s only and the full 78 card version of the “Gaian Tarot” is based on the geography of the Pacific Northwest, which is where I live. I can look at a card and immediately connect with it, both through my knowledge of the Tarot and through personal memories that are evoked.

This is a traditional 78 card deck, using the traditional titles for the Major Arcana, with the following exceptions: the Fool becomes the Seeker, the High Priestess becomes the Priestess, the Empress becomes the Gardner, the Emperor becomes the Builder, the Hierophant becomes the Teacher, the Chariot becomes the Canoe, the Wheel of Fortune becomes the Wheel, the Hanged Man becomes the Tree, Temperance becomes Bindweed, the Tower becomes Lightening, Judgment becomes Awakening, and the World becomes Gaia the World.

The presentation of the Majors Only Special Edition was absolutely incredible – doable only through the auspices of a “village” … a very special village of friends. Between decks Joanna moved from her beloved island to the mainland … but the presentation of the Limited Edition 78 Card Gaian Tarot was also blessed with a “village of friends”. To all of the ladies and gentlemen involved in getting both decks out into the world in a sacred manner – thank you, and bless you!

Included in the Special Edition package is the 78 card “Gaian Tarot” deck (offered in two sizes – 4” by 6”, and 3.5” by 5.25”, from a run of 500 each), a signed and numbered title card (showing a white background with a muted version of the herbal wreath from the deck back, and the signature and card number in beautiful gold script), a unique, handmade Tarot bag (made by Elaine Nichols, the same lady that made the lovely velvet bags for the majors only deck), a handmade Gaian Tarot amulet with the image of your choice tied to the bag, Joanna’s small bag of blessing herbs (Sage, Sweetgrass, Lavender and Cedar), and a 195 page signed companion book. Note: Due to customs regulations, the bag of blessing herbs will not be included in overseas orders.

The companion book – “Gaian Tarot – Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves”, is a treasure in and of itself. The cover shows a portion of the beautiful Priestess card – the lovely lady standing, wearing a white robe with a blue and lavender patterned vest, the waning moon and an owl hovering over her right shoulder. The left hand side of her head shows a young woman (Maiden), with the right hand side showing older “wise woman” (Crone) imagery. On her headband we see the crescent moon of the Maiden, and in her hands she hold a pomegranate.

Uniqueness starts with the table of contents, where the cards are listed by title, and then by theme. For example:

    • The Seeker – A New Beginning
    • The Priestess – Dreams, Voices and Visions
    • Justice – Karmic Balance
    • Sixes – Community, Reciprocity, Peak Experience
    • Children – Learning, Wondering, Beginning
  • Elders – Holding Wisdom, Giving Counsel

The title for each chapter appears over a light gray version of the wreath of blessing herbs. Each card is presented with a black and white scan, an explanation of the card, what it means in a reading, what the shadow side of the card is (much preferable, IMHO, than using the label “reversed meaning”). For the Major Arcana, Joanna has included an inset entitled “Deepen your understanding of (card name)”, where she lists themes of the card, briefly discusses the meaning of the symbols found in the card, lists several questions that can be used for journaling purposes, and gifts the reader with an affirmation for each card. The Minor Arcana presentation includes the same information, with the exception of the theme and “Deepen your understanding” inset. The Court Cards presentation includes theme, and explanation of the card, what it means in a reading, it’s Shadow side, and an affirmation.

Joanna introduces the Major Arcana as Soul Lessons, while the Pips (numbered cards) are seen through the lens of their number and element, and the Court cards showing a complete sequence: the Children (Pages) are shown as encountering their element for the first time, the Explorers (Knights) are in the process of discovering the qualities of their suit. The Guardians (Queens) are nurturing and preserving the qualities of their suit. The Elders (Kings) are passing on/teaching the wisdom of their suit.

Joanna discuses working with a card a day, framing questions, reading the Shadow side of the cards, and doing three card readings. She presents spreads from several people in the Tarot world: James Wells’ Helpful All-Purpose Spread, her own New Moon Spread, Beth Owl’s Daughter’s “Predict Your Future By Creating It” Spread, James Wells’ Ten Card Layout, her own New Moon Spread #2, her own New Year Spread, Carolyn Cushing’s “Aligning With the Earth” Spread, and James Wells’ Gaian Spread.

The deck that I am working with is the 3.5” by 5.25” version. The cards were printed by a local (to Joanna) green printer on sturdy card stock using recycled paper, soy ink, and a aqueous coating on the cards. The card backs (which are reversible) show a dark blue night sky with white stars, and a large version of the blessing wreath centered on the card. In the center of the wreath is a glowing white light. The wreath of blessing herbs creates a portal between this world and the Otherworld.

The card faces show a ¼” white border, with the card number and element (for the Pips), card number and title (for the Major Arcana), card title and element (for the Court Cards) printed at the bottom of the card. The imagery on the cards reflects the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. The style of art is a combination of “real world” and “otherworld” that blends into its own reality. The colors are both intense and “real”. The people imagery in this deck comes from people in Joanna’s life.

The Hermit has to be my all time favorite card in this deck (and in the Special Edition Major Arcana ‘Gaian Tarot” deck). He sits with his back to a tree, in a white robe and a blue cape with purple lining. His lamp is in front of him, and he is writing in his journal. In the upper right hand corner we see his Guardian, the Barred Owl.

In the Ten of Water we see the life cycle of the salmon, born in freshwater and carried downstream to the ocean to mature. They then return upstream to spawn, and then die.

In the Guardian of Fire we see a male figure literally keeping watch over an outdoor fire, with the woods and a night sky in the background. His ally, the Bobcat, sits to one side watching.

The Star shows a female figure in a white robe, kneeling by a sacred spring, cupping in her hands the Water of Life. In the background we see the night sky.

The Builder is patterned after Joanna’s husband, Craig. He is a master craftsman, and is shown carvng a design of leaves and acorns into a post that flanks his front door. Dried herbs hang from the rafters, and firewood is stacked for the winter.

Death in this deck always makes me want to cry. A Heron lies dead in an old, decaying boat on the beach. A vulture flies overhead, while ants and spiders crawl over the carcass. Wild roses and elderberry are growing up through the rotting boat. To the west are the islands of the Otherworld.

This is a gentle, yet intense deck. It could be used by any level of reader, and is appropriate for a diverse clientele.

There will be a mass market edition of the “Gain Tarot” (deck and book) coming out in September of 2011 from Llewellyn Worldwide. Scans from the “Gaian Tarot” can be seen at

© March 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Tarot decks, Jewelry and more!

One of my favorite Tarot peeps is Joanna Powel Colbert (of “Gaian Tarot” fame). She is offering products through two of her sites: offers preordering for her upcoming 78 card Limited Edition version of the “Gaian Tarot”, as well as stunning works of art in the form of amulets and necklaces. This is Joanna’s site for her artwork – Tarot related and other. It will not be back up until 2010, but I am including it because I believe this is where her art prints can be purchased – including those from her Gaian Tarot deck.


© December 2009 Bonnie Cehovet