About four years ago, I was sitting at my kitchen table with four women friends. Somewhere in the course of that evening’s conversation (and a few bottles of wine) I said something close to this:
“I’d love to create a deck of cards, kind of like a Tarot deck, but with the stories of women in Scripture.”
The energy was palpable. The support. The enthusiasm. More wine. And the naming of just how scandalous, dangerous, and delicious it sounded.
Some context: I grew up being taught that anything or anyone who offered “wisdom” that didn’t come directly from Scripture was highly suspect. In my childhood that meant horoscopes, astrology, even 8-Balls and Ouija Boards (which created quite the dilemma for me at slumber parties). I didn’t even learn of Tarot until I was in my 40′s, not to mention goddesses, archetypes, myths, or anything connected to Joseph Campbell, let alone Clarissa Pinkola Estes! To even consider creating a deck of cards from the women in Scripture and then seeking wisdom from them would have been unheard of, sacrilegious even, and certainly – absolutely – determinedly not done.
Back to my kitchen table. Most of these women grew up in homes like mine. And so this idea of doing something completely outside the lines and highly controversial was incredibly appealing. We laughed together as we pictured clandestine gatherings of women in secreted-away rooms of churches, pouring over the cards and secretly passing them to one another. And women who’d never darken the door of a religious institution, finding beauty and wisdom previously unknown and unheard through these ancient, sacred women’s stories. We talked of many other things that night, most of which I’ve forgotten. But I can remember that conversation like it was yesterday. It’s stayed in my mind and on my heart – ingrained and waiting.
Lot’s of waiting. Four years of waiting. Four years of me wondering and questioning and doubting and holding back. In part, because I’d envisioned a deck you can buy; one that you could use yourself, complete with gorgeous art and meditative words. (It’s in the works…) But more, I have been holding back because I have been afraid. Afraid that I would be too controversial. Afraid that I had no right or ability to seek/divine/offer wisdom from these women’s stories. (Afraid that I’d surely be struck by lightning.) And mostly afraid that it was just a crazy idea that would never really impact others the way I imagined and hoped it might.
Until it did.
Two weeks ago, spur of the moment, I spread 30 index cards out in front of me and wrote one of 30 names of women from Scripture on each. I shuffled them. I cut the deck three times. And then, after forming a question in my mind, and taking a deep breath, I drew the top card.
I still can’t believe what I saw. (I’ll tell you that story in my next post. You won’t believe it either.)
Since then, I’ve spent time every day in this process. Holding a question, shuffling the deck, cutting the cards, taking a deep breath, drawing the one on top, having to catch my breath, and then writing out a response. Every single time I’ve been astonished.
And since then, I added another 22 names – the deck now up to 52. I printed them on prettier card stock. And most daring of all, I sent an email to 10 women. I told them what I was up to, what I was experimenting with, what I was planning, and I asked them if they’d play.
“Send me a question, a wondering, something you’d like guidance on and let’s just see what happens.”
I still can’t believe what has come forth: the cards drawn, the profound relevance offered, the glorious, nearly-instantaneous praise, and similar words heard over and over again: “You have to offer this, Ronna! It’s incredible. It’s perfect. Do this!“ I remain astonished – and humbled – and grateful – and nearly beside myself with excitement.
Directly from my kitchen table, my heart, and years of hoping, imagining, and dreaming. Practiced. Tested. Vetted. And affirmed. I’m offering this to you.
I believe, in my bones, that this is some of the most profound work I have done – and will do. It’s in me – like DNA. The energy I feel is palpable (much like that night at my kitchen table). And the wisdom, oh the wisdom. It is not unbelievable. These women, their stories, and their relevance is completely believable – credible – powerful – potent – and perfect.
Oh, how I want to you to experience it. Oh, how I want you to ask of these ancient, sacred women. Oh, how I want you to know them as I do. And oh, how I want you to feel the gift of having them choose you, respond to you, come alongside you, and offer you unique, particular, timely, and relevant perspective, wisdom, and hope.
All you have to do is ask.
All you have to do is ask.
I hope you will.
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