Award-winning photographer Alice Smeets has an uncanny connection to Haiti. Her latest project, Ghetto Tarot, transforms familiar Tarot images into bold, earthy scenes shot on location in that beleaguered but beautiful land. With the help of a group of local artists called Atiz Rezistans, who aim to alter the meaning of ‘ghetto’ by finding beauty in found objects, Smeets re-imagined all the Major and Minor Arcana cards.  She’s also planning a traveling exhibition – and, thanks to an IndieGoGo campaign, has raised enough funds to turn the photographs into a provocative, modern Tarot deck.

The impetus for Ghetto Tarot came from Smeets’ dawning awareness that photographing people stuck in poverty, destruction and pain had become depressing to herself as well as viewers. So Smeets took a sabbatical, began playing with Tarot cards, and had a revelation: “I don’t need to be the observer of the worlds’ problems; I am a creator,” she realized. “Thus I felt inspired to combine my passions to create a very personal piece of art. And I hope that a spark of this inspiration will arise in others.”

Smeets’ interpretation of The Star, featuring artist Amboise Nathalie, is an apt symbol for the upcoming Virgo Full Moon (Monday, Feb. 22, 10:20 a.m. PST). You are a star in all your naked, imperfect glory, says the earthy Virgo Moon as it opposes the spiritual Pisces Sun. The artistic, magnetic power of Pisces is amplified by Neptune’s conjunction to the Sun. And, Jupiter opposite Chiron and the South Node in Pisces speak to the healing power of images – encouraging us to see things differently, and to accept ourselves with all our flaws.

As this magical Full Moon approaches, we are encouraged to divine the future, dance up a storm – or treat ourselves to a healing massage. Depressed about something? Grab a random object and make it beautiful. Paint or collage a dream. Turn your garden into a work of art. Enjoy a spa day in your own bathtub – get inspired!

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