The Gentle Tarot is an indigenous-made, hand-drawn tarot deck filled with imagery influenced by life in remote Alaska.
Indigenous creator, Mari in the Sky or Mariza Aparicio-Tovar, inspired by her natural environment, explores issues of mental health and self-love with hopes of advocating care for our planet and ourselves so that collectively we may experience our full potential.
Having grown up with ceremony and daily rituals that connect us with the elements, songs that ancestors sang with words and sounds that speak to this connection, I am inspired to share the love, honor, and respect that our planet is due. It is my hope that the love embedded in my work can serve as a reminder of this connection so that we may feel supported by our natural environment and also responsible for its well-being. Heal your self, heal the earth.
I have lived in Alaska since 2014, working on remote rivers across southwest Alaska. I collect data on wild Alaskan salmon during the summer season. One of my favorite things about this field work is that it requires living completely off-grid for periods of two to four months. This time is spent working seven days a week, monitoring rivers, enumerating and speciating salmon as they make their way to their spawning grounds. I co-exist with the bears, foxes, eagles, and all other wildlife. These remote locations are far from cell phone and internet connection. This environment provides much time for introspection, healthy soul work, and creativity.
Illustrating a tarot deck had long been on my mind. I had no idea that the wave of energy behind this deck was so strong. I have witnessed my craft evolve and I have also become more in tune with the process of allowing pieces to create themselves.
It is my ultimate wish that this Gentle Tarot deck support and encourage others to follow their wildest dreams as it has supported and encouraged me.
The Gentle Tarot also exhibits mostly people of color. As an indigenous woman, it feels important to create work with representation because it too often is lacking in the mainstream. We should love our bodies as they are and be proud of our history and proud of whatever skin color we have.
The deck is a classic 78 card deck. Some of the cards are lightly based on the Rider-Waite deck, however many of the illustrations are the result of complete surrender to creative/spiritual process. Motifs and symbols, along with colors, have been used throughout the deck to make for easy recognition and to assist with remembering the meanings of the cards.
The minor arcana labels have been slightly modified,
Swords have become Thunder and Pentacles have become Stones.
The cards have color coded rims to match their element:.
- Major Arcana - Spirit - Purple
- Cups - Water - Blue
- Wands - Fire - Red
- Thunder - Air - Yellow
- Stones - Earth - Green
Gentle Tarot - Mari in the Sky - INDIE DECK
Homer, AK - USA