I attended the 2016 Northwest Tarot Symposium as a presenter this year (which was awesome), and got to meet some amazing people. One of those amazing people was Leeza Robertson. She was also presenting at the conference, and had also just released her new tarot deck, The Animal Totem Tarot. This deck is so beautiful, and the book is so clever. Jaymi Elford made the mistake of bringing her copy of the deck to dinner, and barely escaped having it pilfered by myself and Megan Potter. If we'd had our way, Jaymi would have walked out of dinner with an empty box and a dream, and we would have been cackling with joy over our stolen cards.
Most of the books that come with decks are easily dismissed. This one had me riveted at the table, though. Each animal was chosen so carefully and paired with just the right card. You can tell how much work and love went into the creation of this deck, which makes it all the more wonderful. Leeza, along with artist Eugene Smith, has made something beautiful.
The deck reads like a dream. It feels good in your hands and isn't too big. The artwork is beautiful and has those wonderful little details that jump out in the middle of a reading. From the underwater Moose as the Queen of Cups, to the FOX as the Magician. The Fox is in the 'about to attack in the snow' pose that shows such cunning and intense concentration - just like the Magician. And personally, I'd like to thank Leeza for not showing Fox as a sneaky jerk, as he's so often portrayed in decks.
The book - this honestly would make a great book even without cards. The degree of focus that she has on the animals - who they are, what they mean, what their skills are - honestly, it's fantastic. She has the meaning of the card, and then isolates the card meanings for use in readings about business, family and health and well-being - which is so clever. Not only helpful for new tarot readers, but it was very helpful for me! Sometimes it's so refreshing to get a brand new perspective on the cards that I've been reading for so long. I need new words to go with the familiar names.
Leeza was nice enough to fill out the Tarot Questionnaire for us so we could get to know her better. Thanks, Leeza!
1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.
A level of detachment. I often get lost in my own little world, so I can't have needy, high maintenance friends. All of my long term friends understand that I often wander off from time to time but eventually I resurface. It takes the right sort of person to understand that, I love them even if I am not around and that this is my quirk and has nothing to do with them.
2.Your idea of happiness.
Always having a book, deck or some other writing project to work on. I LOVE deadlines, ideas and working under pressure. I really don't know what to do with myself when I don't have deadline breathing down my neck.
3. Your idea of misery.
Extended periods of no creative work. I am fine with the odd day of nothingness, but to much makes me want to climb the walls.
4. Where would you like to live?
Actually I don't want to live in just one place. There are so many different places on this beautiful planet that I would like to explore. I am an adventurer at heart so finding the 'ideal' place to put down roots is a question I just can't answer.
5. Your favorite colors and flowers.
Blue, Red, Purple and Black
Any flower that does not smell.
6. Your favorite poets.
Sylvia Plath, Annie Dillard and Shakespeare.
7. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
Xena warrior princess. I actually don't read a lot of fiction books, I am a non-fiction gal, so I have to go for TV heroines
8. What role does divination play in your life?
It is one of my main spiritual practices. So I guess it plays a huge part of my day to day. Really, I don't even think about it as it is so integrally apart of my flow. Which isn't that the way all spiritual practices should be? We shouldn't really notice them as they are just part and parcel of who we are and how we navigate both the inner and outer landscapes.
9. Your heroes/heroines in real life.
Anyone who gives their life to the full time service of others. There are so many faceless nameless hero's and heroines in this world. Just average people doing extraordinary things. I give thanks to these ego-less souls every time I sit down to meditate
10. What is your present state of mind?
Hmmm I am not really sure how to answer this question. It seems rhetorical.
11. What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
To many, can't pick just one deck.
12. Your favorite songs?
I don't really have any. I like to mix it up a lot. I don't get stuck on music loop, I find it annoying.
13. What is your favorite word?
I don't have one. That would mean saying one word is somehow superior to all others and that seems like a crime against words in general!
14. What is your least favorite word?
I don't have one
15. What sound or noise do you love?
Wow the odd ball questions continue....okay well if I was being honest, silence. I love silence. I will take as much silence as possible. I work in silence and meditate in silence.
16.What sound or noise do you hate?
I have super sensitive hearing, so sometimes all of them. But there is not really one particular sound.
17. What turns you on?
Anything that engages my mind, makes me think and pushes the boundaries of my thoughts and beliefs. Knowledge and wisdom are sexy hot!!!
18. What turns you off?
Stupidity and Ignorance. Sometimes I just want to walk around handing out history books to people.
19. What is your favorite curse word?
Hmmmmm, all of them. HA!!! Again, I don't like playing favorites with words.
20. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“Not you again! How do you keep slipping through the cracks?” HA!!!
Thanks, Leeza! :)