I got an ARC copy of Create Tarot Naturally by Gillian Avart, and I have to say, this book is really fantastic. Gillian created her own tarot deck by taking photographs of things in her world that suited the cards. Her pictures range from a Carousel for the 8 of Wands to a Shredder for the 10 of Swords. Some are very poignant - a boarded up house for the 5 of Disks, for example. It's a very personal project, and the best part of the book is that she teaches you how to make your own, as well. I love her interpretations of each card - they really resonate with the original meanings, but if I made my own deck (when I have time? It's happening) it would be vastly different from hers.
The book gives us a walk through Gillian's own deck, and then turns into a how-to DIY your deck. My favorite part, though, is her 'Learn from my mistakes' chapter. Super helpful and considerate. There is even a quiz in the back of the book to help new readers become accustomed to the tarot. (I took the quiz and totally passed. Thank gods.)
There are a LOT of tarot books out there (said the lady coming out with a tarot book in January), but this one is great for a tarot novice and for nerds like me who get grabbed with the idea of building my very own deck and are looking for a way to make it so. Thanks for sharing your work with us, Gillian!
1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.
The freedom to be “me” and they, “them”. (literally one of the best answers I've seen)
2. Your idea of happiness.
The deepest love and cuddles imaginable. It makes the world go round.
3. Your idea of misery.
Being let down.
4. Where would you like to live?
Exactly where I am now. This is my spiritual home. I magically found it about 2 years ago. It’s perfect.
5. Your favorite colors and flowers.
Sky blue and rosewood pink. Any flowers which are wonderfully fragrant and pretty like jasmine.
6. Your favorite poets.
Edward Lear and Ogden Nash. Both looked at the funny side of life.
7. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
I don’t read much fiction. Whilst I was teaching I buried myself in technical books on anatomy, physiology and various therapies. But actually, some of that turns out to be “fiction”. I have read Lord of the Rings - Gandalf full of mysteries is my favorite here. In films, show me a do gooder action hero like Arnold Schwarzenegger and I’m hooked!
8. What role does divination play in your life?
I think I can “read” almost anything. My background in complementary therapy EG Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Reiki covered body language, the conditions of skin, hands and feet, auras etc all of which can contribute to an idea of the person’s past present and likely future.
I am the one who used my son’s leg muscles to assess the health of our dog. This used kinesiology techniques and worked! I also “crystal healed” a dining room some years ago.
I thoroughly believe that these weirdo things work but I’m a pragmatist and I need to try them out myself. I have an idea of why, but in order to find out how, I would actually like to talk with quantum physicists. I am sure their ideas are just as weird as mine and maybe we would come up with something new.
So now I have left the rat race for the human race, I have more time to practice and investigate divination of any kind and developing them to make them available to anyone.
On a personal basis, I use my Tarot Naturally cards daily. That helps me understand their depth and breadth of meaning and their cheeky funny side. My friends and family often ask for a reading either with cards, astrology or both. They have faith in me! I am retired but do readings as a volunteer for the Tendring Time bank.
9. Your heroes/heroines in real life.
There are so many to choose from but perhaps the top two are:
Darwin – he was very brave when he upset the establishment of the time.
Mother Teresa – gave her life to giving love and education to those who needed it most.
10. What is your present state of mind?
Good, happy, pleasantly excited.
11. What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
I was using the Gilded tarot a lovely colourful deck and the most clear for me to see until my sight worsened. Now it has to be the cards I have made – Tarot Naturally. I also like to keep abreast of what the planets are up to but my failing eyesight makes me cautious about using astrology publicly. My third eye and instinct is taking more and more of a leading role. I know I don’t really need my cards but my cards seem to need me. I feel as if I am their Mum! (You are! -lft)
12. Your favorite songs?
All my friends would instantly say “Barry White”. I like anything you can dance to with full range of sound. That is from Glen Millar to the soul and disco of the 70s. Even some modern pop too! Perhaps my favorite song is “The Shadow of Your Smile” from the Sandpiper. Beautiful on piano – if only I could play it properly!
13. What is your favorite word?
Unity, a word I would like to use much more.
14. What is your least favorite word?
Phthalates – who on Earth thought of that one?
15. What sound or noise do you love?
Waves lapping at the seashore.
16. What sound or noise do you hate?
17. What turns you on?
Creative thinking and scientific breakthroughs that benefit everyone.
18. What turns you off?
People who want something for nothing.
19. What is your favorite curse word?
Oh shit – I can’t think of any as I never use them, do you?
20. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Welcome, step inside. Your purpose has been fulfilled, there’s no need to go back. You are loved and can love in everlasting spirit.