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On the 9th of June, I turned 50.  The day itself was restful and the day after was filled with lovely friends and relatives visiting over nibbles and drinks during an afternoon drop-in party.  To mark this milestone birthday, I did a reading with Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s wonderful Tarot of the Crone.

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  1. What from the pre-fifty years is appropriate for me to leave in the pre-fifty years?  Beast of Cups.  Leaping into relationships without assessing them first.  Jumping headlong into group experiences that I end up leaving.  Being emotionally thin-skinned.  Being emotionally, relationally, and spiritually changeable or fickle.
  2. What from the pre-fifty years is appropriate for me to take with me into the fifty-and-beyond years?  Grandmother of Wands.  The practice of council/circle.  My capacity to be a hub for sacred storytellers and cultural creatives.  The blend of ancient tradition and current innovation.  Uniting people for a common purpose.  The desire to be the Most James-ness Possible.
  3. Of what do I need to be careful or wary in the fifty-and-beyond years?  6 of Cups.  Being a boringly predictable friend or lover.  Maintaining the same old social circle to the extent that new people could be excluded.  My practices becoming stale, empty rituals.  Too much internal reflection without enough action “out there”.
  4. To what joys can I look forward in the fifty-and-beyond years?  Shadow of Cups,  Letting go of emotional, relational, and spiritual patterns that no longer serve my well-being.  Helpful and effective sharing of feelings and intuitions.  Dissolution of any sense of “us vs. them”.  At-One-ment with the Great Muse.  Merging peacefully with the Eternal.
  5. What are the best ways for me to celebrate this milestone birthday?  Five of Wands.  Be centre stage.  Make some sort of change to my appearance.  Interrupt any tendency toward isolation.  Declare my individuality and my desire for recognition.  Do, say, or be something dramatic.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

I’M DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE…

June is my birth month. This June I will turn 50. To celebrate, I’m taking 50% off my services for the month of June, 2017 ONLY. Therefore…

* A one-hour tarot consultation with me in June is only $80 (regularly $160).
* A 90-minute tarot consultation with me in June is only $115 (regularly $230).
* A four-session “A Reason for Being” tarot series with me in June is only $250 (regularly $500).
* A single reiki treatment in June is only $35 (regularly $70).

You can book your June, 2017 session(s) with me and send PayPal pre-payment to circleways.james@gmail.com

I look forward to celebrating 50 years on Earth by working with you this month and beyond!

xo
James

P.S. Remember, I work by Skype and by phone as well as in person, so you can be anywhere in the world.

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Yesterday, I was interviewed about my work on Empire Radio by Christopher Celery.  The conversation is brief, and I hope you enjoy it.  Here’s the link to it:  https://empireradionow.com/james-wells-4-12-17-psychic/

~ James

Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem, To the Oracle at Delphi (you can find it online) is a wake-up call in these times.  I’ve used it as the focus of discussion in a conversation circle, as a prompt for journal writing, and as an inspiration for tarot spreads I created for my recent two-part teleseminar, Peacemaking through Tarot.  The end of Ferlinghetti’s piece is a plea:

“…and give us new dreams to dream, Give us new myths to live by!”

One of the spreads I designed is based on this final line.  It’s a four-card map called the New Myths Layout.  Mix your deck and pick four cards at random while contemplating the following questions:

  1. What old myth(s) is no longer healthy for humanity to live by?
  2. How can I help lay that old myth(s) to rest?
  3. What new myth(s) is healthy for humanity to live by?
  4. How can I help bring this new myth(s) into being?

Arrange the four cards like an ascending stairway with the first card on the bottom left and the fourth card on the top right.  I did a reading with this layout using the Celtic Wisdom Tarot by Caitlín Matthews and Olivia Rayner.

  1. What old myth(s) is no longer healthy for humanity to live by?  XV, The Challenger (Devil).  The myth of sin, evil, obedience, and bondage rooted in fear and projection that creates illusion and death.
  2. How can I help lay that old myth(s) to rest?  The Combat of Art (5 of Cups).  I can express disappointment in the old myth, disengage from groups that aren’t going to leave the old myth, salvage what I can that’s valuable, and interrupt regretful, shaky emotional patterns.
  3. What new myth(s) is healthy for humanity to live by?  The Imaginer (Moon).  The myth of unbounded imagination, mutual feedback, honouring reliable cycles, and mirroring something greater that encourages a culture of soul-deep dreaming, visioning, naturally flowing with the Tao-like currents.
  4. How can I help bring this new myth(s) into being?  King of Knowledge (King of Coins).  I can be a welcoming hearth who provides access to a rich cache of knowledge and tangible resources; I can share practical knowledge, share meals, and activate my own profound potential in the real world; I can find the essential wisdom in any real-life situation; I can pass on this way of working with the tarot to others.

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What is YOUR take on these cards?  Which cards did YOU get for this spread?  What do they suggest to you about creating a new, life-affirming myth in our world?

Yesterday, I conducted a Q & A session on Facebook about working with the tarot.  I loved everybody’s questions.  Today, I’ll focus on the one about the practice of the Card of the Day.

 

THE PERSON’S ENQUIRY:

Do you have any suggestions for “livening things up” in a one-card daily draw practice? I’m thinking of that point where you’ve been doing it for months (or years!), and are committed to continuing, and find it very useful–but perhaps are getting just a wee bit bored with it, or are rushing through it because it’s come to feel almost routine and predictable.

 

MY RESPONSE:

You could ask specific questions for your CotD such as:

  • What is this day to me, and who am I to this day?
  • How can I triumph/succeed in every aspect of life today?
  • Which part of me is most alive today?
  • Who do I need to be today?
  • Who do I not need to be today?
  • Who is my ally today?
  • What do I most need to learn, know, or focus on today?

 

Here’s another tip. Pick a Card of the Week and turn its concepts into seven questions.  As the week unfolds, select one of those questions each day and pick your Card of the Day to respond to it.

 

You can also do something non-verbal with your CotD. Move like its characters, make gestures like the card’s energy, dance it, draw it, paint it, wear its colours and textures, make non-verbal sounds as if it were a non-human animal, etc.

Three Decks Interviewed

I recently obtained three new tarot decks and thought I’d interview them for you.  They are the Cathar Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan, the Slow Holler Tarot by a collective of people who identify as queer or Southern (or both), and La Corte dei Tarocchi by Anna Maria d’Onofrio.  I posed four questions and drew cards at random from each deck to discover their responses.  For the first two decks, I incorporated ideas from their accompanying booklets.  For the third, I used the interpretation system I learned from Gail Fairfield in the 1980s.

1.  For what deeper, larger purpose do you exist?

  • Cathar Tarot: Ace of Shields.  To initiate the birth of a soul and inspire creativity.
  • Slow Holler Tarot: 5 of Knives.  To return to a moral compass that’s rooted in the strength of love, empathy, and interdependence.
  • Corte dei Tarocchi: Fante di Bastoni (Page of Wands).  To fearlessly face the inner self and courageously express oneself.

2. Whom do you serve?

  • Cathar Tarot: Knight of Wisdom.  Proactive people who are determined to seek guidance, mediation, and confidence.
  • Slow Holler Tarot: 0, The Fledgling (Fool).  Adventurous, playful people who need to take the plunge as they start over.
  • Corte dei Tarocchi: Regina di Spade (Queen of Swords).  People with mature beliefs who use (or need) highly effective communication processes/tools.

3. Whom do you NOT serve?

  • Cathar Tarot: 3 of Wisdom.  People who are hung up on power and self-important notoriety.
  • Slow Holler Tarot: 16, The Storm (Tower).  Drama queens, unhelpful disruptors, and people who want to sidestep life’s storms.
  • Corte dei Tarocchi: Asso di Denari (Ace of Coins).  People who initiate abuse and/or people who start projects without completing them.

4. What do you ask of us?

  • Cathar Tarot: 2 of Swords.  Follow a path of equilibrium and be champions of truth.
  • Slow Holler Tarot: 12, The Precipice (Hanged One).  Be patient, slow down, surrender to process, and savour times of suspension.
  • Corte dei Tarocchi: Dieci di Bastoni (10 of Wands).  Get out of your own way, set aside the ego, and know when to hold back and let someone else lead.
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3 of Wisdom from the Cathar Tarot.

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5 of Knives from the Slow Holler Tarot.

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Dieci di Bastoni from La Corte dei Tarocchi.

A couple of nights ago, I had a dream about my work that I’ll allow to unfold as I sit with it in the weeks and months to come.

THE DREAM: Joanna Powell Colbert and I are sitting in a serene, softly-lit room that’s filled with green plants.  She’s holding the Gaian Tarot and invites me to pose a question, so I ask, “What do I most need to know about my work in 2017?”  Joanna turns over a card, the 4 of Water.  We both contemplate its image for a moment, look at one another, and simultaneously say, “Devotion.”

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First, some associations with the dream itself.  Joanna is a dear friend, a highly creative person, an artist, a woman who has a priestess-like bearing, a deep diviner, a person whose spirituality is rooted in the cycles of Nature, and a host and facilitator of profound retreats.  So my work is to embody friendship, creativity, sacredness, profound divination, luscious depth, an alignment with natural cycles and rhythms, and a sense of slowing down to pay attention as if one is on retreat, a focused immerson.  The dream setting — the space we’re in — suggests that my work is centred in serenity and the greening power of Life.  “Devotion” suggests that I devote myself to my work AND that what I offer — tarot, circle, reiki, and all the offshoots of those — are acts of devotion to Something Larger.

Second, some associations with the 4 of Water.  Four-ness plus water-ness suggests creating relationship, establishing groups, acting on feelings, and taking concrete steps based on intuition.  The image is of a young woman gazing into the waters of the Chalice Well in Glastonbury.  My work this year invites others (and me) to take the time to look into the depths and to reflect.  The mandorla or vesica piscis formed by the overlapping circles on the lid implies that my work is a meeting place of “this” and “that”, holy time and space where perceived opposites meet and reconcile, an intersection of inner and outer where wholeness is remembered.  Glastonbury is a place of pilgrimage, so there’s a hint that my work is a form of hallowed journey.  In the book that accompanies the Gaian Tarot, Joanna provided this affirmation for the 4 of Water: “I allow the sacred waters to pour peace and contentment into me.”  If my work can provide such an experience, I am honoured.

Further reflection on this dream and this card will, I know, enrich me as a person and a practitioner.  It will also, I know, enrich YOU when you work with me one-with-one and in group teaching experiences.