The Magician is a ritual drummer, the drum his magic wand. He plays the djembe, caught up in the bliss and ecstasy of the trance created by the sound of the drum.

“If you listen close enough [to the earth] you can hear a heartbeat. That’s what we do when we drum, you know. We’re talking to the heartbeat of manido-aki — the spiritworld.” — Charles de Lint, Forests of the Heart

Firelight flickers on cave walls, painted with a thousand hands, inspired by the prehistoric handprints in the Cave of Hands (Cueva de las Manos) in Argentina. An altar with shell, feather, gemstone and candle for the four elements anchors him in sacred space. He creates the matrix that allows magic to happen. He opens a door between this world and the world of Spirit. The hand creates magic — whether with a drum, a paintbrush or ritual tool. Hands bring the Unseen into the realm of the Seen.

Artist's Journal
Gaian Tarot
The Magical Art of Joanna Colbert

Introducing Joanna Colbert

My colored pencil paintings explore the mystery of our relationship with Spirit and with the natural world, as seen through the lens of myth and symbol.

I'm interested in how the archetype of a goddess or mythic being shines through the face and body of a living, contemporary woman or man. So I have always used everyday, "real" people as models for the numinous beings in my paintings.

My work has been widely published for nearly 20 years and is beloved in the women's spirituality and earth-centered spirituality communities. My artwork is often seen on the covers and inside pages of SageWoman Magazine, the leading publication of the women's spirituality movement. I've been called one of “the most accomplished and well-loved artists in the Goddess-spirit community.”

I am now at work on the paintings for a full 78-card Tarot deck, which I call "A Gaian Tarot." This deck celebrates the living Earth and those who seek to live in harmony with Her. The imagery of the deck combines multicultural goddesses and other numinous beings with the wisdom of nature.

I live on a small island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband in a straw bale house we built ourselves, called Heron House. Here daily encounters with the mysteries of the natural world continue to inspire and inform my work.