Archive for December, 2014

A Year of Justice

On this, the cusp of years, I offer a short reflection on the coming twelve months.  The coming year, in our calendar, is 2015.  When we add 2 + 0 + 1 + 5 we get the number 8.  In the way that I think of the tarot trumps, VIII is Justice.


This card indicates these themes for us as we enter a new year:

  • Creating and maintaining balance/equilibrium
  • Equality, fairness, and justice for all people/beings
  • Peacemaking
  • Harmony
  • Making adjustments to bring things back to an even keel
  • Equal return for effort expended
  • Dispassionate observation of truth and fair decisions based on that truth
  • Simplicity and clarity
  • The law and the legal system

What Justice-based questions come to you for all of us to carry throughout 2015?  How do you envision yourself and those in your sphere of influence living these themes in the year to come?  Please leave your questions and impressions in the Comments section; I’m listening…



Image: Trump VIII, Adjustment (Justice) from the Thoth Tarot by Lady Frieda Harris & Aleister Crowley.

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The Minoan Tarot is Here!

A few days ago, my copy of the Minoan Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince arrived in the post.  As it says on the box, this deck is inspired by the people of ancient Crete and their devotion to their Goddess, their land, and their creativity.  The stunning images are based upon frescoes, jewellery, sculpture, and pottery from various periods in Cretan history.  Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s great gift as an artist, writer, and speaker is to invite the seeker into profound, significant realms through simple means and her artwork in the cards of the Minoan Tarot is no exception.  Each picture contains enough detail to capture interest yet is simple enough to speak with eloquent directness.


Six of the Majors — Lovers, Chariot, Strength, Star, Moon, and Sun — retain their traditional names.  The other Trumps are renamed: Lily Prince (Fool), Priestess (Magician), Oracle (Priestess/Popess), Goddess (Empress), God (Emperor), Singer (Hierophant/Pope), Visionary (Hermit), Wheel of Life (Wheel of Fortune), Balance (Justice), Hanging Woman (Hanged Man), Ancestor (Death), Flow (Temperance), Ecstasy (Devil), Shipwreck (Tower), Transcendence (Judgement), and World Tree (World).

The suits are Earth, Sea, Sky, and Art.  The suit of Earth shows the children of the Mountain Mother, Sea the companions of Ocean Father, Sky the Lady of Heaven, and Art the Cretans’ own expressions of humanity.  Court Cards are called Worker, Priestess, Master, and Mistress.

On the back of the cards is the labrys, an axe-like symbol of the Goddess and ceremonial tool of ancient priestesses.

The accompanying booklet is a gem.  Behind every card is enough history to be informative without being overwhelming.  Short inspiring messages follow each piece of background.  Two original spreads round out the booklet: “Snake, Lion, and Dove” based on the Goddess and “Bull, Dolphin, and Goat” based on the God.

Here’s a four-card interview of the deck.  For each question, I drew one card and used the creator’s text to inspire the pack’s answers.


Q: Whom do you serve?

A: Sea Four.  I serve those who have (or need) the confidence to survive successfully.  In addition, I serve small, close-knit groups that fight for worthy causes.

Q: For what greater purpose are you best suited?

A: Art Two.  The complete attunement of mind and body to the attainment of one’s quest.

Q: For what purpose are you not well suited?

A: Sea Worker.  Taking people on emotional adventures just for a lark.

Q: What key message do you most want to impart to us?

A: Sea Priestess.  Life is a pilgrimage and each person carries the Sacred with them at all times no matter where they are.

You can order your own copy of the gorgeous Minoan Tarot at http://www.darkgoddesstarot.com/minoan.htm


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Solstice Wishes





With Love and Respect,


Greenwood tarot moon

Images: The Sun and the Moon, both from the Greenwood Tarot (by Chesca Potter & Mark Ryan).

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A Personal Ritual of Entering and Centring

I don’t like to impose specific rituals on my tarot students, preferring that their own ways of entering and exiting an experience with the cards emerge naturally through them.  When using the tarot with myself, I’ve recently noticed myself carrying out the following ritual to lead into my Card of the Day (CotD) or a full self-reading:

  • I cut the pack into five stacks: body, mind, emotion, spirit, and transpersonal.
  • I slowly mix the body stack while reflecting on the physical, tangible, material aspects of my life as they are: health, food, sex, living space, work, money, and so on.
  • I slowly mix the mind stack while reflecting on the mental, philosophical, communicational aspects of my life as they are: thoughts, beliefs, conversations, verbiage, etc.
  • I slowly mix the emotion stack while reflecting on the emotional, feeling, relational aspects of my life as they are: emotional expression, subtle feelings, intuition, intimate relating, friendships, family, and so forth.
  • I slowly mix the spirit stack while reflecting on the spiritual, growth-oriented, identity-rooted aspects of my life as they are: soul, Core Self, self-esteem, my role(s) in the world, my personal energy/ki, and so on.
  • I slowly mix the transpersonal stack while reflecting on all that is more than the being I consider myself to be: community, culture, planet, cosmos, the web of life, the greater whole, the Great Mystery, etc.
  • I mix the body and spirit stacks together as a reminder to heal our culture’s perceived split between those two things.
  • I mix the emotion and mind stacks together as a reminder to heal our culture’s perceived split between them.
  • I mix the bodyspirit and emotionmind stacks together as a reminder that I am a whole being, complete in myself.
  • I mix the transpersonal and bodyspiritemotionmind stacks together as a reminder that my wholeness includes all that is, that the wholeness of the cosmos includes all parts of me, and that I enter the tarot encounter as a whole person rather than as someone who needs to be “fixed”.
  • I choose my card(s) and proceed with my CotD or self-reading.


This ritual is not something I would do with a client due to the time factor, but when I do it for myself I sense my alignment with the Part of Me That Knows Me Best and the session has a fluency to it.  Feel free to try this and let me know what you experience.  And/Or feel free to share your favourite way(s) of centring yourself in the Comments section.

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An Inspiring Chat with Mellissae Lucia

Mellissae Lucia and I had a wonderful conversation about muses, creativity, divination, vision quests, medicine walks, and how one might notice who wants to guide and inspire us.  You can listen in by clicking on http://rs3104.freeconferencecall.com/fcci/cgi-bin/share.mp3/40417950-29.mp3


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From What Into What?

Hi James,

I love that call your work with the cards Evolutionary Tarot! From your perspective, what are your clients evolving from and what are they evolving into (if that makes sense)?  


JS, Toronto, ON, Canada

Dear JS,

Lovely question! From my perspective, using the tarot in the interactive, counselling style way that I like best can help us evolve from people who forget our inherent wholeness, creativity, and wisdom into people who remember those things about ourselves. We can evolve from beings who perceive the components of ourselves and our lives as separate to beings who integrate all of those facets (both the ones we like more and the ones we like less) into a cohesive whole. A step beyond that is to consecrate that integration to the larger whole, to the well-being of all of existence.  

Your note prompts me to do a two-card reading with the Thoth Tarot here:

  1. When we employ Evolutionary Tarot, what are we evolving from?  2 of Cups.
  2. When we employ Evolutionary Tarot, into what are we evolving?  3 of Disks.

My sense is to interpret these two cards as a complete sentence.  When we employ Evolutionary Tarot, we evolve from love as a feeling to love as good works in the world.  We evolve from simply saying, “Ah yes, that’s a valid intuitive hit” to saying, “OK, I need to turn this intuitive hit or this feeling into a practical plan of action to get some real wheels turning.”

I hope these words help, JS!


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Follow the Impulse to Divine!

Feeling pursued by the impulse to divine? Do you long to uncover and speak your truth? Looking for your tribe? You’re not alone. Here’s a conversation between Carrie Paris and me about all of this, including a lovely spread for you to use:


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Why Multiple Sessions?

Three people recently asked me about multiple tarot consultations, the benefits of having four or six sessions in contrast to a single appointment.  When you have a series of tarot encounters, we’re able to examine various facets of a single issue, situation, or goal and have the time to do so.  You’re able to explore several layers of what you bring to the session, the questions behind the questions, and to integrate what you learn more deeply.  You can also look at a variety of things going on in your life without feeling like a rush job is being done one each one.  There’s a cumulative effect; each session builds on the previous one.  I jot down notes and look for a common theme(s) and the questions that that theme might call forth.  You carry out a simple activity or ritual in between sessions based on an important card, then bring what emerges for you to the next appointment.  We take your experience and my observations and turn them into a new layout or process to use with the cards.  This continues until the final session when we wrap things up, summarise the story that has come to light,  and you take longer-term strategies and goals out into the world to create constructive change in yourself and in your sphere of influence.  Many people say that it feels like a once-a-week pilgrimage, retreat, or oasis in which they get to meet with the part of themselves that knows them best.  Single sessions are good too, but multiple tarot consultations foster a fertile ongoing relationship with the wisdom that resides within you.  You tap into a world of possibilities.




Image: Trump XXI from El Gran Tarot Esoterico by Luis Pena Longo and Maritxu Guler.

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Nancy Antenucci and I had a delightful conversation about her concept of the Destiny Self and what that might mean for our growth and creativity.  It’s only 17 minutes long and I think you’ll all enjoy it.  Here’s the link to the recording:

Nancy will be the third presenter in our juicy series, Embodied Divination.


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