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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.

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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.

Entering 2017

I wish all of you a very good new year.  May it be kind to you in every possible way.  How have you entered 2017?  What goal(s) do you have for this fresh twelve-month period?  What tools and processes do you have in place to make those happen?  I’m using Cheryl Thiele’s The Sacred Journey 2017: Daily Journal for Your Soul, a combination date book and journal that acts as a map for creating a life worth living.  Combined with her Sacred Journey Cards and the William Blake Tarot of the Creative Imagination by Ed Buryn, I’ve set up a year-long plan for myself with regard to health, work, money, social life, personal growth, etc.  As part of this, I’ve created a Heart Calling Statement for the year: I lead and companion my authentic community from bondage to liberation through purpose-focused “aha!” experiences.  This excites me!  Where do you feel bound or limited?  What would liberation look like for you?  What kind of “aha!” experience(s) can I provide for you that would guide you from one state of being to the other?  Please let me know and I’ll work with you one-to-one to make this happen.

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And now, a two-card reading for all of us to reflect on, using the Thoth Tarot:

  1. What do we most need to know and learn in 2017?  XIII, Death.  We need to know that impermanence is life’s great truth, that everything ends so that the next right thing(s) can emerge.  We need to learn to release, eliminate, let go, detach from expectations.
  2. How can we best integrate this teaching?  5 of Cups.  Face and acknowledge disappointments, disengage (dis-appoint) ourselves from relationships that are dysfunctional, release ourselves and others from roles and feelings that are no longer appropriate, pursue our desires passionately, and initiate our transformations rather than wait for them to happen to us.

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How does this reading apply to you personally?  To your household?  Your community?  Our world?  Reflect on these concepts and let’s work together to expand on their suggestions.

May your 2017 be conscious and healthy.

With love, appreciation, and respect,

JAMES

 

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Another change of year fast approaches. What do you most need to know, learn, or be aware of over the following year? How can you triumph in 2017?

You can find out through a private 12-month insight tarot session for 2017 with me. This 75-minute consultation can be by phone, by Skype, or in person and employs a 24-card spread. You will become alert to themes, gifts, challenges, and strategies for every month of the coming year so you can take advantage of opportunities, face setbacks with skill and grace, make clear choices, and live your 2017 more vibrantly and consciously.

I’m offering this 75-minute consultation for the price of an hour, so it’s only $160. You can book your appointment with me by sending a PayPal payment to circleways.james@gmail.com and by setting up a time with me at the same email address.

These 12-month insight tarot sessions only take place December 15 through January 15.

I really look forward to being your tour guide into the new year!

Warmly,

~ JAMES

** Be sure to let your friends and colleagues know about this special consultation offer.


 

Image: 6 of Disks from the Rosetta Tarot by M.M. Meleen.

Good Resources in 2016

Some enjoyable and useful resources came my way in 2016.  Below is a list of them that I hope you’ll also find helpful.

TAROT DECKS.

  • Lost Code of Tarot by Andrea Aste.
  • The Schiffer edition of the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert.
  • Nature Spirit Tarot by Jean Marie Herzel.
  • Corporate Tarot by Melanie McCarthy.
  • Rosetta Tarot by M.M. Meleen.
  • Wanderer’s Tarot by Casey Zabala.

NON-TAROT DECKS.

  • Mirrors to Your Soul (based on tarot, but not tarot) by Jayni Bloch.
  • Score Cards: Brief Coaching Cards by the Canadian Centre for Brief Coaching.
  • Shamanic Astrology Divination Deck by Daniel Giamario and Roy Purcell.
  • Womanrunes by Molly Remer (based on work by Shekhinah Mountainwater).
  • Saturna Cards by Julia White.

BOOKS.

  • Dream Tending: Awakening the Healing Power of Dreams by Stephen Aizenstat.
  • Planets in Therapy: Predictive Technique and the Art of Counseling by Greg Bogart.
  • Tarot at a Crossroads: The Unexpected Meeting of Tarot & Psychology by Kooch Daniels and Victor Daniels.
  • Switch Words: How to Use One Word to Get What You Want by Liz Dean.
  • The Four Shields: The Initiatory Seasons of Human Nature by Steven Foster and Meredith Little.
  • Twelve Months to Your Ideal Private Practice: A Workbook by Lynn Grodzki.
  • 101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Tarot Masters edited by Sheilaa Hite (confession: five of my original spreads are in this book!).
  • The Wizard of Us: Tranformational Lessons from Oz by Jean Houston.
  • She Is Sitting in the Night: Re-Visioning Thea’s Tarot by Oliver Pickle.
  • Voyager DIY Mindfulness Psychology by James Wanless.

What helpful resources have come into YOUR life this year?  I’d love to hear about them.

Purposeful Void Layout

After a dear friend died recently, I was inspired to create a spread which I call the Purposeful Void Layout.  It can be employed with any tool: tarot, runes, soul cards, oracle of initiation, womanrunes, crone stones, etc.  Use it any time a person, an experience, a place, or anything else is no longer in your life and you want to learn and grow from the experience of the absence in ways that contribute to the Whole.

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1. Now that ______ is gone, which of her/his/its qualities do I/we most miss and grieve?

2. What greater vision or purpose does this quality serve?

3. What is my/our role in this greater vision/purpose?

4. What is my/our next step in playing this role?

 

 


In memory of Jeannette McCullough, friend, shaman, teacher, and enjoyer of life.

A few days ago, Charlie Harrington and RoseRed Robinson interviewed me about tarot counselling on their show, Tarot Visions. Here’s the link to our conversation which is about 39 minutes long. Enjoy!
My best,
James