A few weeks ago, I crafted a Vision Statement for my tarot practice to keep me even more focused:

I, James Wells, commit to providing tarot consultations that are so astonishingly insightful and transformational that my clients must evolve into the wise, creative, whole, and resourceful beings that their True Selves always intended them to be.”

Part of this commitment is that after your session, I will hold your intentions and goals in a circle of healing on Monday mornings to help you kick-start your fresh week in a good way.  Each Monday morning, I will light a beeswax candle and spend a few minutes envisioning your best good held in a vast circle of well-being with the Infinite Will To Good at its centre.  This practice is one way I am committed to the evolution alluded to in my Vision Statement.  Please know that even after your consultations have ended, the care continues.  

It’s an honour to work with all of you who are in my sphere of influence.  Thank you for being here!



Continuing our Q & A series:

I’m interested to know what kind of questions/situations prompt you to reach for an oracle deck instead of a tarot deck. Does it vary from client to client, or do you notice a pattern?

~ SB, Sylvania, OH, U.S.A.

(My response is below the images)


Thanks for your question, SB.  Non-tarot decks are reserved primarily for myself when I want to yank my thinking out of the box around personal growth or new projects.  Once in a blue moon, with a client who knows me well, I’ll employ something like the Oracle of Initiation, the Earth Deck, or the Sustain Yourself Cards for the same reason.  I also offer a programme called Divinely Artistic YOU which is a four-week series of consultations with the Oracle of Initiation for people in the arts who want to dig deeply into getting their most authentic work out there.  Most of the time, however, the tarot is what I use with clients, regardless of the topic or intention.  I hope this helps.



Images:  High Priestess from the Morgan-Greer Tarot and Centred from the Oracle of Initiation.

Here’s a new enquiry I received about my work with the tarot:

I am always interested in anything to do with gender readings as a reader — male/female/trans and straight/queer/et al — especially from the male perspective as Tarot is traditionally a female dominated industry.

~ MF, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A.

Dear MF,

Thank you for your note.  Many factors come into play here.  As I reflect on what you’ve written, I wonder what type of male perspective to come from; there are straight males, bisexual males, gay males, transgender males, and many other forms of male identification.  I can approach gender in the context of working with the tarot from a James Wells-related perspective, I suppose.  I’m a gay male whose work has been influenced by many feminist and lesbian mentors, authors, friends, and colleagues.  I do my best to be conscious of what I’m saying or asking with regard to gender during the tarot encounter.  It’s helpful if I don’t make assumptions about a person’s sexual orientation; if their topic is intimate relationships and they don’t refer to a partner(s)’s gender, I either ask, “Which gender or genders of partner shall we discuss?” or I simply use generic words such as “they”, “the other person”, or “intimate partner(s)”.  In fact, their preferred partner may even be themselves!  The choice of deck is a factor, too.  Do the cards depict one gender holding power over others or do different genders seem to be interacting with equal power in the images?  Do the majority of symbols imply that one gender is “better” or “more advantaged” than another or are all gender identities  symbolised in a healthy manner?  I applaud tarot deck creators who have moved away from court/people cards and found other ways to think about and illustrate the last four cards of each suit.  The old ways of choosing a significator no longer honour most people.  If I were to create my own pack of cards, I would eliminate people cards altogether and simply number every suit Ace through Fourteen to depict the stages of journeying through each aspect of life.  For me, every card, Major or Minor, can be a personality trait, an event, an emotion, an object, a place, a strategy, a challenge, a gift, an idea, or a person.  Trump III is about nurturing, caretaking, and feeling safe and healed.  Anyone can be these things, not just a woman sitting on a pillow in a field.  Trump IV is about power, authority, and leadership.  Every person can experience these qualities, not just a man sitting on a throne.  When I’m with a client, I’m most interested in the concepts of the cards and applying them to a person’s enquiry, not whether they “should” belong to a person of any particular gender.  The topic/question and our interaction with the cards in that context are what count.  Whatever a client’s sexual orientation, no matter what body parts they possess, regardless of how a person identifies in terms of gender (if at all), they are a whole human being.  To guide a person to richer awareness about hir situation and to witness hir leaving the consultation with a greater sense of power are profoundly satisfying, no matter who they are.  I hope that helps, MF.  These thoughts are brief and only touch briefly on a necessary topic.  I invite other constructive ideas about this in the Comments section.


I recently received a fresh batch of questions about my work, tools, and processes.  Here’s the first in the new series.

“I’d be interested in reading about how you help a client feel ‘at home’ with the tarot during a reading, if they are perhaps very new to it (but intrigued).

~ BCC, Birmingham, UK”

Dear BCC,

Thank you for your enquiry.  I help a client feel “at home” with the tarot and with the process in a few ways.  First, there’s initial contact and an intake process during which I get to hear about them and their issue or topic and they get to hear about the ways in which I employ the cards (and the ways in which I *don’t* employ them).  So, dialogue and feedback come into things from the get-go.  If a person comes to me in person, I show them three or four different tarot decks, then invite them to choose one that they like.  It’s important for me that they’re comfortable with the symbols and scenes on the cards and they notice that their comfort is important to me.  If the client is someone with whom I’m working on Skype or on the phone, either we use the deck they have on their end (many, but not all, of my long-distance clients have their own decks) or I simply use what is to hand on my end.  I’m very clear that their power is not being usurped, that the power lies within them rather than in a set of pasteboards, that the session will simply be about gaining insights, strategies, and awareness of options so that their sense of having choices is enhanced.  This is very reassuring because there’s so much bunk about “fate” and many “ooky-spooky” superstitions out there about the tarot.  I remind them that it’s simply a tool, a springboard for a helpful conversation.  I hope that this response to your query is useful, BCC. 


Image: Two of Water from the Osho Zen Tarot.

Ancestral Gifts

As we approach the season of Samhain here in the Northern Hemisphere, a time when we mark the final harvest and remember those who have gone before us, I asked the question, “What gifts of the ancestors can be helpful to us and our planet in these times?” and drew the 9 of Stones from the Greenwood Tarot.

This card suggests to me that ancestral gifts that can be helpful include:

  • Reverence for past wisdom ways.
  • Ancestral rituals.
  • Deep, earth-connected memory.
  • Choosing (and/or being chosen by) a piece of land, then really integrating our lives with it.
  • Immersing ourselves in the song of stone, soil, and place.
  • Harmonising ourselves with earth’s cycles and rhythms.
  • Noticing and ceremonialising the similarities between our bodies and the land.
  • Treating our bodies and the places where we live as sanctuaries.

What does this card say to YOU this Samhain?  Please tell us; we’re listening…

I’m delighted and honoured to be one of 17 authors featured in this beautiful anthology of men’s stories.  It’s due to be released in November.  Please do read it.  There are some potent tales of struggle, humour, and triumph.

You can find out more by clicking on  http://www.sharinganthologies.com/#!men/c1971

Bring your creative work into the light of D.A.Y.

Divinely Artistic YOU!

A Programme for ALL Kinds of Artists

with James Wells


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I am thrilled to announce Divinely Artistic YOU, a four-week intuitive/oracular guidance programme that supports people in the creative arts – novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, collage artists, photographers, composers, instrumentalists, singers, dancers, choreographers, ceramicists, filmmakers, sculptors, fibre artists, jewellery makers, multimedia performers, ritualists, and more.  Using a set of evocative cards called the Oracle of Initiation, we will overcome “creator’s block”, identify your most lucrative project, and manifest your creation for your authentic audience to enjoy and celebrate.

Like the Oracle of Initiation itself, this four-week (plus follow-up!) process combines raw, honest spontaneity with grounded structure.  The insights called forth from randomly chosen symbols will delight and surprise you at times and confirm your own instincts at other times.  The maps to which we apply the cards guide the process so pros and cons become super clear, manageable timelines are established, and allies and resources are revealed. 

What happens in your four 50-minute Divinely Artistic YOU consultations (and beyond)?

       ~ Session One: A reading to discover the juicy creative project that wants to come forth through you and what your journey with it looks like.

       ~ Session Two: Using Oracle of Initiation images, we listen to four voices: the soul of your project, its naysayers, its supporters, and those whom it will inspire.

       ~ Session Three: A reading to identify what’s yours to do, what your allies can contribute to your process, compromises to make, boundaries to set, unconscious influences, your       project’s ideal venue, and more.

       ~ Session Four: Synthesis.  A reading or process to tie up loose ends and solidify concrete, doable actions.

       ~ Follow-up: I will give you a 66-day self-guidance template based on the 66 cards of the Oracle of Initiation.  After that, you’ll receive a simple outline to help you announce your exquisite creation to the world and bring ‘em in!

 Something I want you to know is that this is NOT fortune-telling.  What is it then?  Divination, as I understand and practise it, is an ART FORM that allows you to approach, listen to, and manifest your divine Self, the part of you that is as potent and generative as the Infinite Power that made the Earth, the stars, the trees, and the human species.  Your mode of artistic expression is as much a part of the unfolding of the cosmos as anything else is.  Your work matters!


OK, James, it’s YOUR fault that I’m awash in jaw-dropping creative flow right now.  This was the most insightful and productive catalyst I’ve ever experienced.  I loved how precise and practical it was, that I walked away knowing exactly what to do with the information and how to make it work for me.  Thank you!”                      ~ T.N., Southampton, PA, U.S.A. 

Why bring your creative process to me?  In addition to living with symbolic tools like the tarot since 1979 and using them professionally since 1995, I have a background in the arts:  I’ve played piano for dancers, conducted chamber choirs, composed and arranged music, played the organ, published two books (so far!), written and recited poetry, crafted rituals, delivered workshops and lectures, and contributed articles to various almanacs and magazines.  My training in Circle Way process ensures that I am an attentive listener, intentional speaker, and weaver of comfortable, diversity-honouring time and space where the Muse can come forth with clarity.

I’m offering Divinely Artistic YOU because many cherished friends and clients who work in the arts expressed a desire for an imaginative, enjoyable programme that is simultaneously intuitive and down-to-earth to help them stay on track and birth their visions in the real world.  I also wanted to integrate my friend Mellissae Lucia’s stunning Oracle of Initiation more deeply into my counselling work and share its wisdom with others.  My sincere wish for you is that this four-week programme will dissolve obstacles to your creativity, help you tap into your potential, set up a doable plan, and get your finished work to the people who will appreciate and want it most. 

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 For a craftsman/artist, the more you make beauty, the more your soul is beautiful!”

~ Jean-Claude Flornoy, artist and restorer of historical tarot decks.


To give you as much personal attention as possible, I commit to working with only 10 people per month, so pre-booking ASAP is highly recommended.  I’m now scheduling Divinely Artistic YOU appointments for the following days:

  • Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays in November, 2014 (beginning November 4).
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in February, 2015 (beginning February 3).
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday, and Fridays in March, 2015 (beginning March 3).


The investment for your four personal weekly consultations PLUS the 66-day Oracle of Initiation self-guidance template PLUS your Announce Your Creation to the World outline is $497, payable to James Wells.  You can send a PayPal payment to circleways.james@gmail.com or use your credit card through PayPal (add 4% for this option).  You can also pay with a money order, cheque, or cash.

Divinely Artistic YOU sessions are by Skype or by phone, so you can be anywhere in the world.  The Oracle of Initiation and I are ready to companion you and your creation(s) into the light of D.A.Y.  It will be a joy and an honour to work with you!

          With appreciation and respect,


P.S.  Please tell at least six of your creative artist/artisan friends about this programme.  Thank you!


*** All images from the Oracle of Initiation deck by Mellissae Lucia.


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