REDFeather sat down with Ravyness Drakon creator, Beth Seilonen, to discuss the deck, creative timing, and how to balance between dark and light. A Coloring Page is also available now.
RF: Who would benefit most from this deck?
Beth: I would recommend this deck for those who are ready to have that honest dialogue, to address the past, to learn from those that they admire, and to embrace what really brings joy to them.
RF: Can you elaborate on the role Love Languages play in your deck?
Beth: The role of Love Languages in Ravyness Drakon is to remind one that how you perceive a love action may not be how someone else sees your intent and vice versa. It is important to understand how the other person experiences love and what are love gestures/actions that one can mindful that may help improve that relationship. Such as if the clock appears in the image, you may need to set aside meaningful time for that person, or if the locket shows, it may be that one needs to hear an affirmation of appreciation, gratefulness, or acknowledge that they are cherished in your life.
RF: Can you explain the first dragon that flew into your life?
Beth: Dragons for me have a long standing connection to people who I connect with typically as mentors, those who inspire me to work towards my best version, to face the reality, and to rise to any challenge. My first overarching dragon persona was my English teacher from high school. She strove to have us all question everything we read and discuss the deeper lines woven into the lines scripted across the page. She also was a dedicated educator, giving her time to always be at hand, supporting the school, community, and students. She is impeccable in practice and her standards are exemplary to which I still strive to model in my own classes to this very day.
RF: How has your profession as an art teacher influenced your artwork in Ravyness Drakon Tarot?
Beth: In recent years, an inquiry statement is the basis of much of the direction of many high school art experiences. This is an open ended question with no right or wrong answers, it is a reflection posed by the context variable of where one’s space is at that moment.
I have taken this into account as I approached each card. I consider the context variable (meaning) of each card and then consider how would a mentorship fit into that dynamic while being supportive, recognizing tough love lessons needed, and to admit at times when things are absolutely not working, go get a new piece of paper, and make a new reality better than before.
Sometimes we need to be told, it is okay to let go and start again. I have seen the result of tearing down the old standard of “I have to get it right the first time, or else I’m no good” to being more of “I tried. I gave it my best effort and that is what matters most.” And truly, at the very heart of anything we do, we do our best that we are able to do and shouldn’t we celebrate such accomplishment? We didn’t give up.
It also has helped that a number of my former students still stay in touch, still ask for help and to talk, and give life updates.
RF: How does your deck help people see the positive in challenging situations?
Beth: This deck does not look into challenges in the same manner as past decks. The book is expressly written in the mindset of shifting the challenges into moments of life changing choices that one can problem solve, shift perspective, or do the hard work to move through the situation. With each challenge and frustration, I wanted the deck to open the dialogue to address the deeper concerns as only then by taking the issue/challenge to task will it be resolved and one is (hopefully) able to move forward without the shadows re-emerging. Am I honest that at times we do need to reach out to professionals to help us move forward? Absolutely and I recognize being honest and open to others is difficult, however, getting it out and into the open so it can no longer hide in your mind is totally a positive outcome.
RF: Timing can be very important when creating a new deck. What encouraged you or convinced you to publish Ravyness Drakon Tarot at this moment in time?
Beth: I was reflecting upon people that I considered mentors that inspire me. From their behavior towards me, I started pushing this back out towards those around me, suddenly life just got happier and happier. I started addressing those challenges that had taken space within my mind for far too long and as my mentors were there, actively supporting and giving time, affirmations, gifts and more through their love languages, I realized I was loved by many but had been too caught up in various challenges to be able to embrace that love. Then I began to give back out that happiness through affirmation and time especially in school. I saw how such a simple thing made my life, my class, the students I taught just simply happy to be in my space.
By taking to task what is on our mental plate and getting rid of the extraneous, keeping that which feeds into that happiness, that joy, I experienced a new level of bliss in my career. I felt that if I was seeing, hearing, and experiencing this, it may well help others to offer guidance to get to this space.
RF: In your written conclusion, you say that, “honesty with the self can be uncomfortable and painful as the fabric of what has always been comfortable stretches to fit into the new skin, the new reality that has become you.” How has this deck changed you? Was the change a comfortable transition?
Beth: This deck pulled back a lot of home truths for me and was not comfortable in the least. Things I honestly did not want to deal with, the images came into my mind and would not leave until I brought them forward and addressed them upon the page. I found as I moved forward with each card, sat with it for several hours, watching it come to life; not able to simply ignore it, my body started to relax, my tension that I had been carrying was dissolving. My joy in being present in the moment with mentors and being a mentor to others increased. I can honestly say that I am happy within my skin, I am able to love without expectation from others and cherish the time that I am given without worry, and I have noticed I am more concise on what I want in my life, my goals, and then following through to do the work to get to those goals, which in turn, bring even more happiness into my life.
About the Author
Beth Seilonen has been creating Tarot decks since 2006, beginning with the Theban Tarot. She strives to create works that will reach deep into the subconscious, give acknowledgment to the fear that resides in the dark, and bring an honest dialogue for personal growth. Beth has now created nearly 100 decks, including Guardian Tarot, Dream Raven Tarot, Bleu Cat Tarot, and Tarot Leaves. She graduated from the University of Maine, Orono, with a bachelor of arts in fine arts-art education.