Ever since I was a young girl I have been drawn to all types of creative expression. Somewhere along my path I deviated from my heart’s true calling and ended up in a career that only allowed for minimal self-expression and creativity. I could feel myself closing down and feeling far from home. Four years before I started the creation of The Naked Heart Tarot I was in a bad car accident. I had reoccurring premonitions weeks before it happened. I literally knew it was coming, I just didn’t expect it to happen. Ironic, isn’t it.
Progressively over the years, my car accident injuries continued to worsen. I found myself unable to do the active things I had previously enjoyed. I was in a career that did not resonate with me. I was very unhappy and dealing with extreme anxiety. I could not wrap my head around the added struggle the accident brought into my life. One day I woke up. I had had enough. I did not want to feel like this anymore. So, I prayed. I asked the Universe, “Please show me what I am meant to do for a living that would make me happy and help others”. I asked, I let it go, and I surrendered myself completely with no attachment to the outcome. I actively decided to connect to my passions. I studied different aspects of spirituality. I practiced different modalities and spent time drawing. I got back to my roots. The whole time listening to my heart and letting spirit guide me. I paid attention to the synchronicities in my life, as they unfolded.
All this brought me here. My art and spirituality connected.
When I first started creating The Naked Heart Tarot it was in black and white ink. I had finished about half of the Major Arcana cards, when I started hearing a little voice saying “I want to work in colour, I want to work in colour” and over the next few days, it kept getting louder and more persistent.
To get the voice to quiet down I surrendered to it and decided I would feed it. So I took a break from the deck and decided to do some art in colour. Being a painter, my natural instinct was to paint, but due to the severity of my injuries I couldn’t sit/stand in the position to do so, so I had to come up with something else. So I chose a new medium and pulled out some pencil crayons to do a drawing in colour for fun.
When the colour drawing was complete I felt an internal satisfaction and realized I loved working with pencil crayons! Who knew?! (my Higher Self did, that's who)
Before I took the break to draw in colourI had just finished designing and drawing The Hanged Man, so when I returned to the deck I was filled with fresh new refocused energy.I was excited to see how the cards and artwork were unfolding as a whole and wondered what they would look like when they were made small to fit the size of a tarot deck template.
So, I made a few scans of the art and started to scale them down. To my shock, the cards would not scale down to the proper size of a tarot deck. The original calculations I had made for the artwork were totally incorrect. My proportions were way off! I started to panic wondering how this could possibly be after I had checked the proportions several times. I was overwhelmed. I had been through enough and I couldn’t understand why this was happening too. This meant I would have to redo every Major Arcana card I had already produced. I was overtaken by disappointment.
I sat there with my head in my hands literally starring down at the drawing of The Hanged Man sitting on the table in front of me. Feeling slightly devastated by this error after spending months working on these cards! I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing, I just sat and stared. Then a calm and settling feeling came over me, letting me know that the work was not a waste, and now was not the time to panic.
And just like The Hanged Man. I let go of my ego that was attached to my creations, knowing in my heart, and with all my soul, this was my life path, and the Universe was not steering me in any direction except closer to my Divine Purpose.
And, that voice that had been calling to me asking me to create in colour, just got one-hundred times louder. So, that’s exactly what I did. I took my ink drawings and merged them with colour, and that is how the style of the Naked Heart Tarot was born.
Like the Hanged Man, not sure what the solution was, I was suspended in time; which allowed me to let go of what I thought should be. This gave me time to reflect on what was created and how I could expand my creation for the greater good. It allowed me to accept my present situation and surrender my need for control, so I could see a different perspective.
My heart remains thankful for this moment in time, and to this day, even though I know my everything has been put into each and every card I have created. The Hanged Man is my favourite card in The Naked Heart Tarot because of this reason. It moves me to tears thinking about it.
The Hanged Man serves as a gentle reminder that when we force and rush things to happen, oftentimes what we are doing is forcing our control over the way we think things should be. The result of that can sometimes lead us away from something more, something better that connects our heart to the Divine flow. It is not always easy to drop into our flow, but when we can allow things to happen, I believe the Universe will always guide us home.
Breath With Me. Releasing anxiety and getting grounded. Using Tarot or Oracle cards as our anchor of focus. This is video is based on my particular views of spirituality, and what they mean to me. After living with anxiety for as long as I can remember I feel blessed to be able to share techniques and tips that I have used and adapted over the years to fit my spiritual practice. I hope this helps you find some relief. xo - Jillian