The Emperor

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Ah, The Emperor. The last card I painted in the Major Arcana. I have issues with him. It’s complicated.

I think the Emperor is a bossy pants. I have a problem with authority, so he always is a warning sign for me.

The Emperor is the Father figure. He is the king of his domain. He likes order and power.

When things are going well, he is a benevolent leader. He is supportive and cheers you on.

But he can also be kind of a power hungry asshole.

Sometimes he comes up to tell me that the client’s relationship is about power struggles. That one partner is perishing while the other is taking up too much room. He also comes up with clients that have issues with authority and/or their fathers.

When he comes up in the advice position, it means that it’s time to be firm and stand up for yourself. That it’s time to get things done.

When he comes up in the warning position, it means to be careful with your power, or to be on the lookout for how you are being treated.

The Emperor can be bossy, but I respect the fact that he knows what he wants and is not scared to do whatever needs to be done to get it.

How do you perceive the Emperor?

Johanne

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Card 3: The Empress

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She started it all.

In 2010, I started learning about tarot because of the Jungian personality types and archetypes. I didn’t think of using them for divination. Then she showed up. Constantly. To represent myself. At that time my four kids were 2, 4, 8 and 10. And I was like dammit, these cards can read me. And I was hooked.

The Empress is the mother archetype. She’s the one that takes care of everything. She is mothering, empathic, but also a force to be reckoned with.

She expresses the creativeness of nature. This is why I painted her surrounded by nature.

When she shows up in a reading, she’s there to tell you to take care of yourself. To bring a coat with you because you never know it might get cold. She tells you to bring out your creative side, to go write, or paint, or produce something that has meaning to you.

There are a lot of ways to be a mother and create.

Johanne

Card 2: The High Priestess

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The High Priestess. Pretty much every tarot reader’s favourite card. With good reason!

She symbolizes the unconscious. One of my favourite things. The High Priestess knows all, sees all, and hides a lot of stuff. She knows how to keep a secret.

She’s mysterious and alluring. She holds the key to knowing yourself at a deeper level.

The Magician makes outward things happens, but the High Priestess is responsible for our inner growth.

Her dress turns into the ocean, to symbolize this depth of knowledge into our own unconscious.

How do we listen to her? By listening to our dreams, both when we’re awake and sleeping.

She is our inner voice, our intuition. By listening to her, we honour the fact that we are not mere rational humans, but that we have more depth than we can imagine.

When the High Priestess show up in a reading, it means that it’s time to listen to what we’re really saying, beneath that big loud rational voice. It means we need to peer into the depths and discover what wisdom the High Priestess has waiting for us.

Card 1: The Magician

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My magician has movement. Because for me he is all about energy and action. He makes things happen.

The Magician is a big Yes. He has all of the tools he wants to bring the changes he needs.

You can see in the painting a sword, a pentacle, a cup and a wand. The four suits of the tarot. This means that the Magician can utilise all of these different energies as he sees fit.

The lemniscate or infinity sign on top of his head symbolizes the perpetual movement that he is. There is always something brewing with the Magician. There is also the boundless exchange of energy: As above, so bellow.

The Magician reminds us to stop making excuses. We already have all that we need to conjure the future that we need.

Johanne

Card 0: The Fool

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It all starts with The Fool.

In my version, the Fool is embracing the sun on top of a cliff, with her best friend, her dog, next to her. My Fool is painted abstractly, because this was the second painting I did in the series, and I thought that I wanted to paint abstractly. That’s going to change quickly.

When I painted her, I wanted to capture the exuberance of her. Of her silliness and courageousness in thinking that everything is possible, if you only take the risk.

Her dog symbolizes her instincts. This is an important part of the Fool. Instincts are what makes you act quickly, without thoughts muddling the whole thing.

The dog in the painting has more substance that the Fool herself. She is more gut feelings and action than thoughts. With a big dose of naiveté.

This is how I see the Fool: The whole world is calling her, and she is ready to jump right in.

Johanne

My tarot painting project

IMG_3121I’ve started painting again.

My love of tarot has gotten me out of my painting dry spell. After years of being busy with the kids, it was time to do something fun, just for me.

That, for me, means painting with acrylics.

I’ve decided to paint my very own tarot deck. Just for me, just for fun. I never thought I’d get this far, but I’m about 20 away from finishing the complete deck of 78 cards.

I was thinking of a way I could share the painting process with you, so here I am. I’m going to post each tarot card painting, and explain a bit my thoughts on them.

My dream would be to be able to print them out and use these paintings as my own tarot deck. I’ll find a way. I need to be able to shuffle these colours and feelings in my hands.

I hope you’ll join me in this journey.

Johanne

Welcome! Bienvenue!

Hello, and welcome to my new web space!

Let me introduce myself: I’m Johanne and I’m in love with the art of divination that is tarot. It wasn’t always so. In fact, not too long ago I was pretty much unaware that tarot existed. It was my astrologer who saw my Scorpio Sun, rising Cancer and Pisces Moon who suggested I look into tarot, as it would mesh well with my watery intuitive, sensitive and empathic side.

I have always been fascinated with the Invisible — things that cannot be measured, but felt. My big questions were: Who am I? Why am I here? What will happen to me when I die? Such questions can only be answered by myths. I turned away from organized religion in my teen years, as I became unable to tolerate the chasm between the founding myths & symbols and the distortions Man has done to them.

It was while enrolled at the Université de Moncton (in New Brunswick, Canada) to study psychology that I took my first World Religions class. I was hooked! This is what humans are striving for! At the genesis of every world religion, before it gets cluttered with doctrine, there is vibrancy of personal religious experience! This has nothing to do with man-made doctrines and codes, and literal readings of the sacred texts. I had found my passion.

Once my Bachelor of Arts (Psychology major, Religious Studies minor) was wrapped up, I packed my bags for Ottawa where I spent 3 years earning my Masters degree in Religious Studies. My work was centered on the religion of my Acadian culture (we are a francophone minority in Eastern Canada) where the Virgin Mary is of utmost importance. I highlighted the extent to which the Catholic Religion is infused in all our symbols – from our flag to our national holiday – and with the help of Carl G. Jung, I showed how the Virgin Mary played the role of Goddess, to help rebalance the masculine Trinity in the Catholic Church.

Since 1999, I have been a part-time professor at the Université de Moncton, a French Acadian University.

I have four beautiful children (hence the part-time prof gig!) that are now 14, 12, 8 and 6.

I have spent the past 15 years learning about psychology, world religions, Jungian archetypes, symbols, myths, and art history amongst other things. It’s as if all my years of studying these subjects were preparing me for tarot! When I discovered tarot, my first impression was of coming home. Finally a system to show first-hand synchronicity at work! Tarot has brought my deepest passions into a pocket-size format. It has given me more insights into myself and the world than ever.

To read previous tarot articles which I’ve authored, please visit this link: http://www.tarotelements.com/author/johanne-blanchard

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Bonjour, mon nom est Johanne. Je fais la lecture et l’interprétation des cartes de tarot. Ça n’a pas toujours été le cas. En fait, il n’y a que peu de temps que je suis au courant de l’existence même du tarot. Mais mon astrologue, en voyant mon Soleil en Scorpion, ascendant Cancer et Lune en Poissons, m’a conseillé d’explorer le tarot; elle y voyait un jumelage idéal pour mon côté empathique, intuitif et sensible.

J’ai toujours été fascinée par l’Invisible — tout ce qui ne peut pas être mesuré, mais plutôt ressenti. Je me posais de grandes questions : Qui suis-je? Pourquoi suis-je ici? Que va-t-il m’arriver à ma mort? De telles questions ne trouvent réponses que dans les mythes. Je me suis éloignée de la religion organisée à l’adolescence, alors que je n’arrivais plus à tolérer l’abysse entre les mythes et les symboles fondateurs et les distorsions que l’Homme leur avait fait subir.

C’est dans le cadre de mes études en psychologie à l’Université de Moncton (au Nouveau-Brunswick, Canada), que j’ai suivi mon premier cours portant sur les grandes religions. Ce fut le coup de foudre! Voilà ce que les humains recherchent! À la genèse même de toutes les religions du monde, avant qu’elles ne s’embourbent dans la doctrine, il y a l’énergie vibrante de l’expérience religieuse personnelle! Ça n’a rien à voir avec les doctrines et les codes créés par l’homme ou le sens littéral des textes sacrés. J’avais trouvé ma passion.

Une fois mon Baccalauréat ès Arts (majeure en psychologie, mineure en sciences religieuses) dans le sac, je suis partie à Ottawa pour 3 ans, afin d’y compléter une Maîtrise en sciences des religions. Mon travail a porté surtout sur la religion de mon Acadie natale (les Acadiens constituant une importante minorité francophone dans l’Est du Canada), où la Vierge Marie occupe une place de choix. J’ai mis en relief la prépondérance de la religion Catholique dans tous nos symboles – de notre drapeau à notre fête nationale – par l’entremise de Carl G. Jung. J’ai démontré comment la Vierge Marie jouait le rôle de Déesse, afin de rééquilibrer la trinité masculine de l’Église Catholique.

Depuis 1999, je suis professeure à temps-partiel à l’Université de Moncton, une université acadienne francophone. Je suis mère de 4 beaux enfants de 14, 12, 8 et 6 ans.

J’ai passé la majeure partie des 15 dernières années à approfondir mes connaissances au sujet de la psychologie, des grandes religions, des archétypes jungiens, des symboles, des mythes et de l’histoire de l’art, entre autres. C’est comme si toutes mes années d’études avaient servi à me préparer pour le tarot! Lorsque je l’ai découvert, j’ai ressenti une grande familiarité, comme si je rentrais à la maison. Finalement, un système permettant de mettre en lumière l’oeuvre de la synchronicité! Mes plus grandes passions en format condensé… le tarot m’a ouvert les yeux à mes réalités et à celles du monde.

Pour lire des articles sur mon approche jungienne du tarot, vous pouvez suivre le lien suivant: http://www.tarotelements.com/author/johanne-blanchard