Tara Logsdon and I began our conversations months ago, when I asked her some questions about her version of the tarot deck, The BEAROT. She is based in Phoenix Arizona and spends a lot of time in Los Angeles at the House of Intuition. Tara agreed to let me share this hybrid conversation, cobbled together over the past spring months.
What do you do at House of Intuition?
I do all their design, its such a beautiful place and I’m really fortunate to work there. Design work is how I pay the bills, I feel really lucky to be able to use my techie skills with and for such a spiritual family. Its so nice to work there, I’ve never had this kind of balance in my work, before. I learn so much from them.
So… you are a designer by trade. Tell me about how you came to create the BEAROT deck. And what’s all this about DIE Bearmy? Its all over your car.
DIE Bearmy is a long long long long long project I’ve been working on. I find and rehab old teddy bears, customizing their design according to the specifications and wishes of the people who receive them. I rescue them.
I started working with teddy bears when, one day, I went to a garage sale with my interesting (ie. Wacky!) aunt Kris in Nebraska.
I’m a whacky aunt, too!
There was this unfinished teddy bear and you could see someone put a lot of effort into it but then they didn’t complete it. I thought it was so sad, so I bought it and took it home. After a few days, I started to modify it and everyone really liked them, what I was doing and I started getting an overwhelming number of requests for them.
I remember your installation with INFLUX (2011). You had an entire storefront filled with teddy bears.
What are you doing now?
There were more than 400 bears in that window, I used every single one of them to create minions for my BEARMY! I’ve made over 1500 bears, since I’ve started.
Right now, I’m working on my second collection of geode bears.
Yes, these bears are really beautiful. The contrasts in textures, weight, brilliance. Why the geodes?
I use the geodes because, well, I’ve been talking to rocks my entire life. Its more like the monadic vibrations of the rocks, that talk to me. Geodes have so much to say, they are like little secrets. i’ve been fascinated by them since I was a kid.
So, you were upcycling before upcycling was upcycling!
HA! Yes. But it has more to do with helping finish all this work someone had already done. Its like you invest a lot of time in something, anticipate its future and who’s going to love it and then… how does it end up in a thrift store? Or how do you sell this at a garage sale, you know?
Yes, I know you connect abandonment with consumption in a really interesting way, through your work. That's a fine line.
But you’re right, it also has to do with the horrendous waste associated with raising a kid, or even just living in this day and age. Did you know… One teddy bear, if it has a single, plastic fiber in it, one teddy bear will outlive 47 generations of living, breathing grizzle bears?! So, I’m like, why the f%@& are we having slaves, suffering in China to make more plastic s%!$ when the ones we already have are going to be here for such a long time???
I like to imagine I’m giving them another life.
So, why the german prefix?
Its actually my grandmother’s initials in monogram, and she happen to be as German as you can get. She was a huge embroiderer, she was so good! And her name was Dorothy Elizabeth Icenogle. I loved her very much and she died when I was 12 years old.
Oh, I’m so sorry. That's such a formative age. How sad.
Yes, I’ve missed her very much since then, but I’m certain she’s come back through my son, Legend. He almost died from meningococcal meningitis. He was so sick and then, he recovered as if nothing happened. I’m pretty sure that's when she entered his body, he came out of that episode without any damage, at all. That never happens when someone gets that kind of meningitis.
Yes, Isn’t it funny how feeling people who’ve passed has everything to do with time and yet remembering has no time of its own?
Yeah, I like that.
So, now I understand a little better about the icon of the stuffed bear on the BEAROT. I was given a BEAROT deck by a close friend of mine. I told her how I wanted to design my own tarot deck and, together, we marveled at the complexity of the task. Thank you for making them!
Can you tell our readers about how and why you designed the Bearot?
I’m always wanting to know more about stuff, and I was curious about the tarot, so I figured a good way to learn about it was to make a deck. I worked with this really great healer/reader who’s a good friend of mine. Her name is Naha Armády, she is at the House of Intuition. She provided a lot of insight into the meaning of the cards and guided me in choosing the symbols and writing the book.
So, one of the things that I find with tarot, is that the cards are really good for reading a situation. They describe the circumstances, they can tell you whats happening, I mean, its great when you can get information about a given situation, but I want to know “what do I do next?” I wanted my cards to offer instructions, solutions, next steps – not just a description of what was happening. That’s what I really hope the BEAROT does.
I think so. How do you use the cards?
I’m a novice. Really, I draw cards for my own information, sometimes pulling them at the beginning of the day, to learn more about what’s going on. But I have never read for any one else.
What are two or three of your habits when you throw cards?
Of course I always light a candle, it’s like a freeway for the information to come in, it's sort of like a lightening rod for the energy and guides.
Yes, a close friend said white candles are the ticket?
Any color, really. But, yeah, white is brilliant.
Another thing I do is shuffle the cards according to the date. So, on the 29th, I shuffle 2 times: 29 adds to 11, which reduces to 2 in numerology. Then I have something I say, as I vibe the cards before cutting them in three piles: “I call on my guides guardians and relations to show me what cards I need to see at this time.”
How can people get a deck of your cards?
At the moment, they are out of print, but I’m planning another run before the holidays.
BEAR WITH ME as I change the subject.
Sometimes, on your Facebook, I see your status is “gonna leave this body for a minute” and you check in at Sahaja yoga center in Phoenix.
Yes. Its awesome.
Tell me a little bit about your practice.
I practice Sahaja yoga at the Meditation Center on 24th and Osborn, in Phoenix. Make sure you spell that right, okay? It’s really changed how I live in the world. I’ve been going for seven years, I can’t believe its been that long! And I always learn something new every time I meditate there. You should go!
Oh, I cannot move like that in front of strangers!
Its not that sort of yoga. We stay seated for a lot of the meditation and its soooooo peaceful, everyone is really welcoming and when we all mediate together, you can feel the energy! Its exponential!
We begin by raising our Kundalini. The idea is to open the pathway for a divine energy to move through your chakras. I have a hard time describing it, people spend their entire lives in the practice. I’m really still learning so much. You really should go.
There is no fee to do yoga at the center, either. Right?
Yes, the energy there is so positive and powerful. I figure, if I can introduce the practice to someone and it helps them find some sort of peace, then that’s the best thing I can do in the world. You know?
I could feel the energy in the room, it was clear as a bell.
A version of this conversation was published by Lotus Moon Magazine, Summer 2016.