Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Ace of Earth – Gaian Tarot Card of the Week

in Art, Nature, Tarot


What do we most need to know for the coming week?

The Ace of Earth

Ah.  Well it’s really lovely to turn up this card — the first card in the suit of Earth — just as I am finishing up the artwork for the last card in this suit, the Elder of Earth.   There’s a definite sense of completion here, especially since I am a triple Earth sign myself.

(I just realized that I also gave the Elder of Earth a deer — a doe, a mother deer — as her animal ally.  That wasn’t a conscious connection to the fawn in the Ace of Earth, it just “felt” right.  Lovely.)

Lately I have been pondering the evolution (or, rather, devolution) of my relationship with the Earth over the years I’ve been working on the Gaian Tarot.  I’m still as grounded as I ever was, in the sense of always rooting spiritual concepts or realities in the physical world.  I’m still in love with my “Place.”  But in the past couple of years especially, I have spent so much time focusing on work for hire and work on the artwork for the Gaian Tarot, that I have not spent as much time in Nature as I used to.  This is also, in part, a consequence of moving off the island.  I don’t go on daily walks the way I used to.  I no longer have a regular practice of going to a “secret spot” the way I used to.  I no longer take a sketch journal outside and sketch just for the meditation and pure pleasure of it.  I’m not gardening either. 

Kind of ironic, don’t you think?  This is something I definitely need to change.  

A couple of folks have asked me what creative project will rush in to fill the space that will be left when I finish the Gaian Tarot.  Well I have all sorts of new art mediums (like encaustic) that I want to experiment with.  But more than anything, right now I am longing to take my sketchbook outside and just be, walking and sitting and sketching in the embrace of Mama Gaia and Mama Ocean.  

And so, I am profoundly grateful to see the Ace of Earth today, with its promise of a new beginning.   

Here’s what I’ve written previously about the Ace of Earth:

The Ace of Earth shows a newborn fawn nestled up against the base of a red cedar, surrounded by the unfolding spirals of young fiddlehead ferns.

Deer are common yet magical animals, who have the reputation of being able to lead one into the Otherworld. Grown stags symbolize virility and strength, as well as the wildness of the woods. Of the four creatures depicted in the Aces, only Fawn stays close to home for the first few days after birth, where its mother nurses it frequently.

Divinatory Meanings: The birth of new strength, grace and stability. Manifestation in the physical world. A strong bond between mother and children. The spiral path between the physical world and the Otherworld begins to unfold. Roots run deep.

What does the card say to you, dear Readers?

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • judy Mon - Sep 21st 2009 1:06 pm

    hmmm… the card says(to me) all things new and fresh, all things vulnerable, all things fragile. So when something is new and fresh and green in my life.. a reminder to gently protect it’s fragility till it’s stronger. Nourish it, protect it and keep it safe while it grows.
    I have to tell you, Joanna, I have not been able to eat fiddleheads for years because they seem like such wee sweet vulnerable babies to me!

  • Barbara Wed - Sep 23rd 2009 12:41 pm

    I was going to say all the same things as Judy! The fragile, beautiful sweetness of it all takes my breath away. The potential just waiting to grow makes my heart swell. It is one of my favorite cards, and this version is so perfect.

  • joanna Fri - Sep 25th 2009 6:48 am

    Judy and Barbara, thank you! Vulnerable and fragile and sweet . . . there’s something there I need to meditate on. So glad you like this card.

  • Dana Zia Fri - Sep 25th 2009 3:48 pm

    This is the most beautiful art! I love the innocence of the fawn framed by the lovely uncurling ferns. Love the perspective! Thanks for sharing your process with us.

  • Dana Zia Fri - Sep 25th 2009 3:52 pm

    Oh, BTW, you are gardening, you are gowning the Gaian Tarot. BIG gardening project. The time will come for you to open your butterfly wings once again and flutter around outside like you use to. Meanwhile, wow! You go girl!