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I’m delighted to be one of the contributors to the book “21 + 1: The Fortune-Teller’s Rules” and honoured to be in the company of respected practitioners/writers therein.  Reading and using this book is like attending your favourite conference, only you get to savour the knowledge and creativity any time you choose in portable form.  If you’d like a copy of our creation (or several copies for yourself, students, and friends), you can simply click on https://www.amazon.com/21-Fortune-Tellers-Rule…/…/8792633412

~ James

Here’s a short video for you.  Enjoy the grounding with which it begins, then take in the message of the two-card reading I did for us in Withrow Park here in Toronto.

Did you know you can can even experience YOUR OWN private consultation outdoors?  Information about private tarot sessions (and other offerings) can be found here.

Earlier today, I walked to the nearby wetlands and performed a short tarot reading about what we need to learn about being in these times. I employed concepts from Angeles Arrien’s Four-Fold Way as well as the Voyager tarot deck by James Wanless. I hope you find this short video reading useful.

 

 

Spiritofnuture

This winter, I’ve been lying low.  As a human, I’m part of nature, not distanced from it.  Winter is a season in which to be quiet, so I’ve been quieter.  It’s a time of dormancy, so I’ve slept more.   Less bustle, more self-care and reflection.

In late December, a group of us gathered in circle to address wintery questions: “What am I laying to rest?” and “What requires care-filled tending?”  We also shared sleep-state dreams that felt like they came from Earth herself.  Our council was a great reminder of how to look after ourselves as well as what each of us needs to be aware of in the entire web of life.  As a contrast to the holiday hustle that was taking place everywhere at the time, we concluded our gathering by dropping into 45 minutes of stillness during which people journalled, napped, meditated, pulled tarot cards for themselves, did energy work on their bodies, and other quiet (non-)activities.  I’ve carried this cave-like, nest-like sensibility throughout the season and, yes, gotten cranky when it has been interrupted or disturbed.  You will have noticed that I didn’t even write any blog entries.

Today is Imbolc or Candlemas, a day when a tiny spark of spring is lit, when Brigid’s creative flame and cleansing well may be experienced.  To be honest, I’d rather spend more time in the nest-like tending of the cave, yet a part of my mind is curious about what’s been gestating in the deep.  Hmm, that curiosity is my small spark, I guess.  If I spend time with it, divine about it, hold council with it in my journal and perhaps with others in circle, what flame might it generate?

And people are calling me to stir the waters and light the fires, so to speak.  Will I offer Circle Way in such-and-such place?  Yes.  Will I present something about justice in the tarot at so-and-so conference?  Yes.  Would I be able to blend circle process and the tarot at such-and-such gathering in late spring?  Yes.  Would I be willing to teach Reiki during so-and-so months?  Yes.

So, for me, this is a moment at which one foot is still firmly planted on the stone and blanket of winter’s restful cavern while two or three toes on the other foot are starting to wiggle and stretch, ready to venture into, or at least point toward, what might come alive in the fields of spring and beyond.  The tending won’t stop, it will simply take other forms.  Less lying fallow, more planting.  Less snoozing, more awareness of opportunities and possibilities.

All of this calls forth questions.  I plan to use them for tarot sessions for myself, for journalling, and as conversation prompts with friends and circles.

  • What have I truly put to rest?
  • What do I still need to lay to rest?
  • What has been gestating in winter’s womb?
  • What does it want to become when it grows up?
  • What fresh spark is calling for my attention?
  • What might its full flamehood look like?
  • What waters are stirring in the well of my soul?
  • What fields, gardens, and meadows need to be kept alive by my soulwater?
  • Which facets of me and/or of my life still require cave time?
  • Which facets of me and/or of my life need to stretch and venture forth?
  • How can I best balance all of this, for my own sake and for the sake of the web of life?
  • Who and/or what can assist me to live in such balance?
  • Who and/or what can hinder such balance?
  • What is my first/next step?

Perhaps one, some, or all of these questions resonate with you.  Which one(s)?  How will you interact with it/them?  Perhaps the cave-tomb-womb of winter has generated very different questions through you.  What are they?  How will you interact with them?  Perhaps there’s a meeting between your questions and mine.  Perhaps we can explore and enliven them together in a tarot session, in a council circle, or over tea.  Whichever, please let me know.  I’m here.  I’m setting aside the blanket, lighting the fire, gathering water from the well, and opening the cave door .  Will you join me?  Where, when, and how shall you and I meet?

Dancerofbeginnings

Images: The Spirit of Nurture (top) and the Dancer of Beginnings (bottom), both from the Shaman’s Oracle by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan.

Keynote in February

It’s such an honour and delight to be invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2018 North Star Tarot Conference. I would be thrilled to see many,many people from all over the map at that gathering.  More information on the conference is at the Twin Cities Tarot Collective website (TCTarotCollective.com) or email Michael at michael@fostertarot.com

 

See you there in February!

~ James

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Today, the much-mentioned total solar eclipse will take place.  In order to gain a balanced perspective on it, I consulted one of astrologer Demetra George’s books, Finding Our Way through the Dark, to apply to today’s heavenly event.  On page 113, she writes:

“Dane Rudhyar said that at the New Moon solar eclipse, the present is blotted out by the past…This statement suggests that at a solar eclipse, the Sun — which represents our consciousness awareness — when obscured, allows the forces of the past which lie buried in the unconscious as psychic complexes, to be seen, confronted, and experienced with the possibility of integrating these previously unconscious energies into the present awareness.”

To honour these words and this day, I did a three-card reading with the Tarot of the Crone.

  1. What do we temporarily need to set aside or blot out at this time in order to notice what is vital for us to notice?  4 of Swords.  We need to temporarily set aside reason, the rational mind, logic that lacks any human touch.
  2. If we do this, what buried forces of the past will come forth from the unconscious?  Beast of Disks.  Primal forces of creativity and destruction, sacrifice and fertility, life and death, and the raw awareness that one life form needs to feed off another.
  3. What are healthy ways for us to integrate these energies?  Grandmother of Wands.  Hold council with these forces, hold council with one another, listen to stories about how these energies have played out in the past and how they are playing out in the present, and practise with one another the culture and world we most want to bring into being.
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Beast of Disks (Pig) from Tarot of the Crone

Given what’s on our minds, in our hearts, and on the news of late, I asked the Oracle of Initiation, “What first step can humans take to heal the divisive ‘us vs. them’ mentality that we carry?” and got #45, IDENTIFY. So, first steps could include any/all of these:

  • Identify something of ourselves in the perceived “other”.
  • Identify something of the perceived “other” in ourselves.
  • Open space for each of us to courageously claim our own voices.
  • Clearly identify, balance, and discern the messages we absorbed from those who went before us.
  • Listen to each other’s stories and weave the common threads of these stories together. 
  • Employ wit, song, poetry, and social commentary to critique long-accepted social mores and patterns.
  • Perceive pockets of harmony and build on them.

45-identify