The Sacred Wheel: An Exploration of the Cycle of Life / Death / Renewal Through Nature, Tarot, & Art

Joanna in lavender field with Gaian Tarot Wheel cardCome into a deeper sense of your own soul’s journey
by aligning yourself with the rhythms of the earth.

The Wheel of Life, often depicted as a quartered circle, is a profound symbol of wholeness. It is embedded in the Tarot in the Wheel of Fortune card, as well as in the structure of the deck itself. The four elements and directions are represented by the four suits, with the Major Arcana representing the suit of Spirit, in the center of the Wheel.

It appears in the cycle of the seasons, the lunar round, the zodiac, the ceremonial circle, and the hiker’s compass. It has been used as a map of the whole and fragmented parts of the psyche, a metaphor for the stages of life, and a blueprint for bringing us into personal and planetary wholeness.

Sacred Wheel cycle

Sacred WheelIn this course, we will learn how to make the Sacred Wheel come alive for us through tarot exercises and spreads, somatic explorations with guest teacher Jennifer Lucero-Earle, and “wild wander” walks in nature. We’ll learn herbcraft through the seasons with guest teacher Latisha Guthrie, learning reciprocity with the natural world, and we’ll take a look at the ways the awareness of the Wheel can deepen our divinatory practices.

We’ll look at the human archetypes of Angeles Arrien’s Four-Fold Way and explore Bill Plotkin’s Wild Mind map of the psyche, using tarot spreads to enhance our understanding of their work. We’ll look at our own life stages in the context of the Wheel, examining the gifts, challenges, and sacred tasks of each life stage. We’ll create a multi-media collage to deepen our awareness (fun and easy for anyone to do!).

On the surface, this course is about exploring the different ways that the Sacred Wheel appears in our lives.

But really?

It’s about cultivating resilience.

It’s about helping you become so resourced and grounded that you can meet the challenges of your own personal life, and step up to make a difference in our broken world.

It’s about following the thread of Soul to live a life of depth and meaning.

It’s about hope.

The wisdom I’m weaving into this course is the culmination of decades of learning and teaching for me, rooted in my own personal journey.

little coronaAs I write this, I’m 66 years old. I’ve been walking the path of Goddess spirituality and earth-centered spirituality for over 30 years. That’s three decades of celebrating the seasonal holy-days, three decades of being intimately attuned to the phases of Lady Moon. Three decades of divining with, and creating, tarot cards. Three decades of making sacred art. Three decades of listening to whispers on the wind. Three decades of facing the deaths of loved ones and other difficult life passages, going into the Underworld countless times and emerging again. And you know what? There’s always more to learn, more to discover and uncover. I just keep following the thread of Soul down an ever-deepening path. And I’m grateful for having companions on the journey like you.

I presented an earlier version of the Sacred Wheel material at the Kingston Tarot Lenormand Conference in November 2017. Here’s what a few people had to say …

“I loved Joanna’s class! I felt it was somehow simple, easy to follow, and yet dense and rich and expansive. I love her teaching style and what I learned about the four archetypes and healing salves has stuck with me both in my personal practice as well as my work as a reader. She’s a queen and her presence is calming and enlivening at once.” ~ RC

“Joanna really brought home the interconnectedness of the web of Life by combining the elemental energies with their corresponding symbolisms. I especially loved hearing more about her practice of contemplative walking as a way of tuning in to the messages that are all around us which in turn teaches us how to be fully present to the gifts of Spirit through Nature. Thank you so much Joanna!” ~ LJ

Here’s What We’ll Cover in the Course:

Module 1 ~ Foundations

  • Four directions, four elements, four tarot suits.
  • Correspondences.
  • Tarot play to enhance our understanding of the foundations.
  • Bonus videos for at-home play: “Movements for the Elements” with somatic exploration guide Jennifer Lucero Earle.

Module 2 ~ Nature Practices, Part 1

  • Creating a reciprocal relationship with the natural world
  • Contemplative walk of the four directions
  • Making nature wheels / mandalas
  • Bonus video for at-home play: “Dance of the Four Directions”

Module 3 ~ Nature Practices, Part 2

  • Walk the seasonal Wheel with herbcraft
  • Connecting with plants, herbs, and trees — wild and cultivated — through the seasons
  • Becoming naturalized to Place
  • Bonus videos for at-home play: “Herbcraft for Fall and Spring” with guest teacher Latisha Guthrie. Making rootical honey, flower vinegar, and more. Plant energetics, too!

Module 4 ~ People on the Wheel: The Four-Fold Way

  • Angeles Arrien’s “Four-Fold Way” archetypes: Visionary, Warrior, Healer, Teacher
  • Four healing salves: Singing, Dancing, Stories, Silence
  • Tarot play to enhance our understanding of the Four-Fold Way

Module 5 ~ People on the Wheel: Wild Mind Map of the Psyche

  • Bill Plotkin’s nature-based map of the psyche from “Wild Mind”
  • Whole and fragmented aspects of the Self in the east, south, west, and north
  • Tarot play to enhance our understanding of the “Wild Mind” map of the psyche

Module 6 ~ The Eightfold Wheel of Life / Death / Renewal

  • Eight seasonal holy days on the Wheel of the Year
  • Eight lunar phases
  • Eight stages in the life cycle of a plant
  • Activities to enhance our understanding of the mystery at the heart of the eight-fold Wheel

Module 7 ~ Wheel of a Woman’s Life (Life Stages)

  • Comparing the seasons of the year to the seasons of our lives
  • Numinous beings, gifts and challenges, sacred tasks of each life stage
  • Tarot play to enhance our understanding of previous life stages
  • Bonus videos for at-home play: “Dance of the Eight Numinous Beings” with Jennifer Lucero-Earle; and “Make a Wheel of Life Collage” with Joanna, using photos of yourself from different life stages (Collage at left by Cari Ferraro)

Module 8 ~ Wisdom Harvest

  • We will hold a Wisdom Council on our live teaching call, and share our experiences in the Facebook group as well
  • Tarot play to help us harvest the insights and epiphanies that came to us through taking this course
  • I am leaving room for serendipity in this last module, to see what might rise to the surface. I trust that there will be wonderful surprises

“I have participated in several of Joanna’s online offerings and have found them all rich and supportive of my own spiritual broadening and deepening. Her Sacred Wheel program started with the simple and evolved into elaborate and deeper content regarding how we can better appreciate the natural world and more closely follow Nature’s rhythms and cycles. As always, I was entranced with her wisdom and generosity!” ~ KS

“I loved the way Joanna linked the sacred wheel with the stages of life, creating a rich tapestry for reflection. Using a tarot reading to address unresolved tasks from different life stages is brilliant.~ SL

“The thing I loved most about Joanna’s Sacred Wheel presentation was learning how to be in relationship with the natural world. If I want to deepen my relating to my environment, there is a giving and a taking aspect that we have forgotten, that she brings to life so naturally in her presentation. I discovered in this presentation that what I was hearing from the natural world around, was an entrance into the way of living with my environment. Joanna’s presentation confirmed this for me. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I am delighted to know this will become a full course and deeply recommend it.”~ SF

Here’s How the Course Works:

  • Every Monday beginning September 10th, you’ll receive an email with information on the current Module, along with log-in information for the Zoom classroom. You’ll also be able to download any PDF’s needed for the module’s exercises, activities, and suggested resources.
  • Live video teaching calls on the Zoom platform will be held every Tuesday night at 6PM Pacific time, except for the first one, which is on Monday night September 10th. (I will be on the road on Tuesday September 11th.)
  • The calls will be recorded in case you are not able to be there in person.
  • Bonus videos will be available after the live teaching call.
  • There will be a 24/7 private Facebook group. The Facebook groups I host tend to be very welcoming, lively places where it’s easy to make new friends. You’ll be able to share your responses to the course material, ask questions, and offer help to others. I hope you join us there!
  • I will hold “office hours” in the Facebook group during the week so I can answer your questions. I’ll gear the timing toward different time zones.
  • All course materials and videos will be available 24/7 in our password-protected classroom. (You will sign up for the classroom when you register.) Materials will be released based on the course schedule, usually every Monday. Recordings of the live calls will be added to the individual modules soon after they are over.


See you next time!

Have questions? We have answers!
This way to the FAQ page.

“You have forever enriched my personal journey on the Sacred Wheel! Thank you Joanna!” ~ LF

“The thing I loved most about Joanna’s Sacred Wheel presentation was her teaching about the interconnectedness of our life cycles and the cycles of the natural world.” ~ MCB

” ‘The Wheel’ has always been a source of contemplation for me Life Karma, reincarnation, death. The Buddhist beliefs, the Tibetans belief, the walk in a labyrinth wheel. Do we all start at the centre and walk out or at the beginning at walk it from the centre? But what I loved about Joanna’s Wheel presentation was why not just bring the practice of the wheel into your life now in the present? By incorporating some very loving earthly practices now, by simply honouring our every step, our breath, our vision, our individuality, our compassion, our words and our creativity into each and every day we walk upon this earth. So thank you Joanna.” ~ DT

If you’d like to spread the word on social media, I’d appreciate it so much!

Here are some posts you can copy-and-paste or adapt for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Our hashtag is: #sacredwheelcourse    

Tarot + Nature + Art: 3 favorite things come together in this new course from @joannapcolbert : *Sacred Wheel: An Exploration of the Cycle of Life / Death / Renewal through Nature, Tarot, & Art.* #sacredwheelcourse #tarot #gaiantarot

Cultivate resilience by aligning yourself with the rhythms of the moon, the seasonal round, and the cycle of descent and return in @joannapcolbert’s new course *Sacred Wheel: An Exploration of the Cycle of Life / Death / Renewal through Nature, Tarot, & Art.* #sacredwheelcourse

Align yourself with the rhythms of the moon, the seasonal round, and the cycle of descent and return in @joannapcolbert’s new course *Sacred Wheel: An Exploration of the Cycle of Life / Death / Renewal through Nature, Tarot, & Art.* #sacredwheelcourse

Just registered for @joannapcolbert’s course *Sacred Wheel: An Exploration of the Cycle of Life / Death / Renewal through Nature, Tarot, & Art.* #sacredwheelcourse #tarot #gaiantarot #naturespirit #earthspirit

Excited about @joannapcolbert’s course *Sacred Wheel: An Exploration of the Cycle of Life / Death / Renewal through Nature, Tarot, & Art.* #sacredwheelcourse #tarot #gaiantarot  #naturespirit #earthspirit

Thank you so much!