Archive for December, 2010

From My Pre-New Year Journalling

Most of you know that I’m a great advocate of journal writing.  Yesterday’s journal entries are full of good things for the New Year.

In the morning, I was filled with aliveness from a cool idea that I had in connection with my upcoming Tarot for Manifestation book.  My body felt as though it was vibrating!  When I put pen to page, I had what I can only describe as an ecstatic journalling experience.  What flowed from my hand into my notebook is this:

Every cell of my body is alive with creativity, alert to the power of the Cosmos, vibrating with hope.  I am here to create processes!!!   This is true.  I exist to create innovative processes that remind us of our resourcefulness, wisdom, and wholeness.  This is true!  I’m alert and alive.  My body is self-generating.

In the evening, at a shamanic journeying circle, I travelled  to the Lower World, met with some beings that I know there, and posed the question, “What is appropriate for me to take forward into 2011?”  Their response, as recorded a few minutes later in my journal, was:

  • Willingness to receive the creative spark.
  • Willpower to carry out my part of the creative process to completion.
  • A capacity to notice the truth, then to tell the truth without blame or judgement.
  • Knowing when to be still and silent.

Images came to me: the Ace of Wands from the Tarot of the Crone, the 7 of Fire from the Gaian Tarot, the One and 10 of Blades from the Daughters of the Moon Tarot.  I was also shown four concentric circles, each stratum containing people cards from the Gaian Tarot: the Elders in the centre, the Guardians around them, the Explorers making up the third ring, and the Children on the rim.  A colourful council of pictures to solidify the message I received in the Lower World.

To keep me on track in 2011, I’ll post the messages I received in my journal and in my journey and keep images of the cards that came to me in full view. 

I wish all of you an empowering 2011.  Blessed be!

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Cool Offer from Joanna Colbert

It’s a great week for launching new things just before we enter the new year.

Not only is my booklet, 2011, Year of the Emperor


out in the world now, but my friend and colleague, Joanna Powell Colbert (creatrix of the Gaian Tarot) has a cool new programme to help you jumpstart the process of making your dreams and goals a reality.

I suspect that it will go well with my own Tarot for Manifestation book, due out in the early part of 2011.  Please check out Joanna’s offer and experience her profound priestessing in your own life:


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My Emperor Booklet is Available!

Hear ye, hear ye!!!

Exciting news!  My new booklet, 2011, Year of the Emperor, is now available for you and the people you know.  The good folks at Tarot Media Company have exclusive publishing rights and you can order it directly from them.  How might you work with Trump # 4’s energy over the next year?  Find out in 2011, Year of the Emperor.  Each month, you and/or you and your group can work with the concepts, questions, and activities AND you can come up with your own creative ideas.  Click on the link to order:


I appreciate you referring your friends, students, and colleagues to this page as well.  Thank you in advance.

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Holiday Gifts

It’s customary at this time of year to exchange gifts with beloved ones (and sometimes with those to whom one feels obligated).  The whole practice of shopping ’til it hurts for the sake of one day of the year repulses me; however, a few meaningful presents given in appreciation and love can be delightful.

My boyfriend, a few friends, and some relatives gave me lovely items this Solstice/Christmas-tide.  But the most wonderful gift I received from everyone was time, attentiveness, caring, and relaxed visiting.  All of these, to me, feel in concert with the deep time of the year in which we find ourselves.  For these gifts, dear ones, thank you.  This beautiful exchange has been wondrous.  Long may it continue.


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Holiday Enjoyment

So far, it’s been a lovely and stress-free holiday-tide. 

I visited all my parents and my grandmother on Sunday, enjoying chats, food, and drink with all, then exchanged a few meaningful gifts. 

Cyrus and I gathered with friends for Winter Solstice (Shab-e Yalda) on Tuesday night, chatting and eating (again!).  Then he and I played my Winter Solstice Tarot Circle Game at his place.  A good summary for our discoveries might be, “Facing the truth and telling the truth make us stronger and more flexible.”

Yesterday, my friend Jeannette came over for drinks and nibbles and we had a gift exchange.  The visit was leisurely and relaxed, a blend of depth and laughter (How’s that 9 of Clubs doing, Jeannette?).

On Christmas day, Steven will cook Indian food and several of us will partake.  Again, casual and stress-free is the mood that I anticipate. 

This is the quietest time of the year in Nature.  Let’s remember that we’re part of Her.

However you mark this sector of the calendar, may it be rich in every way.

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Blessed Winter Solstice to You

From Deborah Koff Chapin’s second deck of exquisite Soul Cards.


May you be renewed at this time of the Sun’s rebirth.  Blessed be!

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Winter Solstice Tarot Circle Game

As we approach the darkest, longest night of the year from which the sun is reborn, I offer you this tarot game.  In all honesty, it’s a council circle that employs tarot cards as talking pieces and visual conversation prompts.

You can play the Winter Solstice Game with anywhere from two to 25 people, but I recommend that you keep the number of players to 12 or less.  I designed it with tarot cards in mind; however, feel free to use Soul Cards, Medicine Cards, Heart Cards, or whatever you have.  Whatever image/concept in any of these decks seems to be the most “solar” will be the group’s centrepiece (see Part A below).  A nice touch is to enjoy a meal together after you’ve played the game.  May you enjoy yourself as you deepen your connection with yourself, your beloved ones, and the rhythm of Nature.


© 2010 James P. Wells

A.  Gather in a circle, around a table, on the floor, or wherever you’re all comfortable.  Remove the Sun card (Trump XIX) from the tarot deck and place it in the centre of the playing surface beside a beeswax candle.  Light the candle.

B.  One at a time, each person receives the tarot deck as it’s passed clockwise.  Each person, when s/he receives the pack, says one word or one phrase that lets the group know how s/he is as s/he enters this game (e.g. “I’m a bit tired this evening.” or “Feeling aligned with my best good.” or “Curious about what we’re about to do.”).  Then s/he mixes the deck and picks three cards at random before passing the pack to the person on hir left.  This continues until everyone has checked in and has three cards in their hands.

C.  Three rounds are played clockwise (each round’s topic is below).  During each, every player gets a turn to lay a card on the surface in front of hir and use its image to inspire a continuation of the open sentence provided.  This is done one at a time.  Each player can expand on the sentence as much as s/he chooses.

  • FIRST ROUND: “The deep, dark place I entered this year was _________.”
  • SECOND ROUND: “The shining gift that I received in that place is _________.”
  • THIRD ROUND: “The gift I received has the potential to renew me by _________.”

D.  After everyone’s cards have been played, allow a fruitful, respectful conversation to unfold, continuing until it reaches a natural conclusion.

E.  For the final round, the tarot deck is passed around counterclockwise.  One at a time, people receive it, express gratitude for one thing they’ve heard or said during the game, mix their three cards back into the pack, and pass it to the person on their right.

F.  After everyone’s cards have been returned to the deck, the Sun card is shuffled back into the pack and the candle is extinguished.

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A Practical Tree of Life Layout

Here’s a page from my upcoming book, the new and improved version of Tarot for Manifestation.  Look for the book, to be published by Tarot Media Company, in the near future.  In Appendix B, I provide my own versions of several well-know tarot layouts.  Below is what I came up with for the Tree of Life layout, rooted in Qabalah, but brought down to earth for real-life feedback.

I’ve rarely, if ever, come across a version of this layout that made any sense to the average person who wants practical guidance without wading through volumes of esoteric texts.  This version of the Tree of Life spread is my attempt to keep it simple.


3                    2

5                    4


8                    7




1.      What caused this project/process to come into being?

2.      What actions and resources are mine to offer to this project/process?

3.      What actions and resources would it be appropriate for me to receive from others in this project/process?

4.      What generous compromises am I willing and able to make with regard to this project/process?  What is negotiable?

5.      What am I absolutely unwilling and unable to compromise with regard to this project/process?  What is non-negotiable?

6.      What is at the heart or core of this project/process?

7.      What are my true feelings about this project/process?

8.      What known, conscious, transparent information is most helpful to me with regard to this project/process?

9.      What, so far, is unknown, unconscious, or hidden that would be helpful for me to be aware of with regard to this project/process?

10.  What is the best venue, setting, or home for this project/process?

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Please join me at the Readers Studio

From April 29 to May 1, 2011, a group of us will gather in New York to attend the Readers Studio again.  It’s one of my favourite events every year!  This incredible tarot conference, hosted by Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone of the Tarot School, gathers some great minds, great practitioners, and great friends under one roof for a weekend of cartomantic joy and divinatory delight.

At the 2011 gathering, I’ll be offering a Saturday night study group on reading the Minor Arcana, the suit cards of the tarot, with greater ease.  You can read the details at http://tarotschool.com/RS11/RS11_Wells.html

I’ll also be offering private consultations over the course of the weekend, during break times.  And on Sunday, my friend Bev Haskins and I will offer a circle-based process to help everyone harvest the tarot-ific wisdom of our time together.

Please join us!

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The World Contains the Whole Tarot

So many people think of the Fool (trump # 0) as the key to the whole tarot deck.  I disagree.  For me, one can see the totality of the tarot in the World (trump # 21), the final Major, the destination to which we aspire.  In the World (or Universe, depending on your deck), we see Consciousness/Wholeness/Life/Spirit/the Big Whatever dancing in the centre.  This is the Major Arcana, the Trumps, the large themes of life.  Around Hir are four creatures — four elements, four seasons, four directions, and four suits of the tarot.  The bull is Earth/Pentacles, our physical, tangible, material, grounded aspect of self.  The lion is Fire/Wands, the core self, identity, name, energetic aspect of self.  The angel/human is Air/Swords, our intellect, beliefs, conscious mind, and capacity to communicate.  The eagle is Water/Cups, our emotional, relational, intuitive, unconscious self.  We plan to spend at least a few minutes with Trump XXI in my January tarot class.  I recommend that we meditate on the World/Universe card to understand the whole tarot deck and our own wholeness.  Let us know what you discover!

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