Hi my beautiful souls! Summer our Season of Wands is here, I hope that you are enjoying the beach, the hikes, the grills, the walks at night, the love, the music & the passion. I love doing readings this time of year and connecting with decks that make me push my intuition further. There are so many interesting decks to work with and share, and this is one of them! Enjoy ☺
Lenka Brazinova creator of the Avalele Street Deck
Lenka Brazinova has truly expanded what one thinks about when they reflect on the traditional images of the classic Rider Waite Tarot Deck. She has fused the traditional with the contemporary to create a deck that is vivid in color and imagination. She uses her original artwork & collages of her paintings and photography to create a Tarot system that finds a comfortable home within the Tarot universe. I have had the pleasure of speaking with her about how she works!
Worthy Tarot: Tell me about yourself, where are you from & where are you currently? How have these locations influenced what you do creatively?
LB: Hi everybody, it is nice to meet you here through Worthy Tarot. My birth name is Lenka Brazinova but for some years now I have been using my artistic and spiritual name “Avalele”, which also means a flowing river. I was born in a beautiful land in the middle of Europe, in a country called Slovakia. To be precise, when I was born in 1985 it was still known as Czechoslovakia. In 1993 I became a Slovak citizen as a result of the peaceful separation of these two countries.
Looking back I can truly say that I love the place where I was born, and have sincere respect for the family, time, environment, and experiences that I lived through. My hometown is Kosice and, while I always love to return home, my adventurous nature has caused me to travel extensively throughout Europe. While I believe that one day I will travel around the world, for me now is the time for travelling without moving by traveling in my mind, heart & spirit. Throughout the years I have found myself living and working in a variety of places where I was naturally led to by the circumstances of my life, such as Paris, Brighton, Nice, Cyprus, Brussels, and my latest nest London, the home of the Prime Meridian with a longitude of 0°. I have only been here for a few months and I must say that I really like it. I’ve come to understand some very important truths about life in this big city. It is another challenge for my personal growth, where I learn to keep myself centered despite the very hectic and demanding lifestyle.
My art is a reflection of myself and who I am, it is a result of every one of my experiences. Long story short, I was always a creative kid. In my youth I lost track of my art for some time, then back in my early 20s I started to create again. Primarily ceramic mosaics, and then later paintings on canvas. The real boost in my painting came in 2010 in France, where I met 2 professional painters, who became my mentors while I was becoming a painter myself. I spent years painting and living my life peacefully in nature. It was the time of maturing in background. Now I feel that it is time to share what I do with the world and I think that broadcasting this from London is a very good idea.
WT: What drew you to Tarot, what aspects of your energy have found their way into your deck? How does this make your deck unique?
LB: My first real contact with Tarot was when I was around 17. We were trying to predict our future, life, love etc. Then a bit later, when my soul went through its dark time, I used Tarot as navigation tool. Although it misleads me many times, it gave me one of the greatest lessons. I was reading it as my ego desired, not as reality really was, with all its aspects. This was a really painful experience however, looking back, I am so thankful for it. Once I became absolutely honest with myself, I was able to learn a lot more about myself and life. I believe this makes one so much stronger. It is not self-confidence based on your ego, but the contrary; self-confidence gained through steady release of the ego. For this reason I have found the Osho Zen Tarot as one of the greatest tools in my self-development.
Mentioning all of this, my deck reflects what I have been through. It consists of paintings and photographs that were created at the time I was releasing my past experiences. I let them breathe through this act of giving them life in matter. In truth, it’s a very personal deck, but I believe many people go through similar experiences during their lifetime. It reflects the old tradition, structure, patterns, making the old same mistakes again, but at the same time it shows the need to break it all down, the need for rebirth, for something fresh, playful and young, that is not afraid of anything. That is why I have chosen The Fool as the front cover picture. I think this deck is like a fool. It opens up a whole other story by showing bravery and naivety at the same time, inside that picture is me.
WT: We are entering an Air Age which is associated with thought. When you examine air it can blow everything around that is not tethered. People are trying to find their footing and light as they enter this age and are drawn to the magic and spirituality of the Tarot. The face of the tarot just like our new age is changing, how do you feel your deck lends to this revolution?
LB: When I put my deck out, I had different reactions to it. Most who liked it were those who do not have a clue about Tarot, they found it interesting, intriguing, fresh & alive. On the other hand, experienced tarot readers didn’t get it. They somehow couldn’t understand it, because it was not exactly following the same old patterns. When I was trying to understand why, I realized that maybe the tarot deck I created is a shaker of the grounds. This brings the Tower to my mind and we know that the Tower is not comfortable, it is the same with the era we live in. We are all shaken up, to wake up, and it can be painful. Waking up means progress in evolution. It calls for new inventions, because open minded people are not afraid to dream and look out of the box. The new era is about releasing the old and acceptance of the new and unknown. Doing this, we truly can be consciously free.
WT: What inspires you and how was that inspiration incorporated into your deck?
LB: My first inspiration to create this tarot deck was when I say the Voyager Tarot Deck. It was so much out of the “normal”, and I loved that. It sparkled with freedom of non-conventional ideas. I also find the medium of collage really attractive and fun to do, so the decision was easy. I wanted to create something playful and out of the ordinary.
I can find inspiration in anything. There is nothing that doesn’t inspire me. Bad or good, everything affects me in one way or another.
WT: If you could use a film, artists, novels to make your dream Tarot deck what would that be? (I have a couple Neverending Story Tarot, Pippi Longstocking Tarot, Julie Heffernan Tarot like please now!!!!)
LB: As a painter I would love to have a tarot deck with paintings of the great old masters, one edition for modern era painters and one for contemporary.
I also love the work of Mr. Hayao Miyazaki, so a Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke deck would be fantastic!
WT: Would you ever create another deck, think about this one as I know 78 cards are a huge undertaking!
LB: I already have a couple of ideas for new decks. Before I created the Avalele Street Deck, I started to draw two different decks, one closer to illustration drawing and the other one closer to illustration painting, both of them in digital form. It takes a lot of time to create this kind of deck. A collage deck is much easier and faster to do. I made my first one to remember and collect my first works of art. I am planning new decks in the future. I just don’t know when and how they are going to manifest themselves.
WT: If someone is interested in your deck how would they get a hold of you?