Here’s a fascinating question from one of the people who reads this blog regularly:

Dear James,

Sometimes people tell me their religion says that working with the tarot is evil or the work of the devil.  Does this ever happen to you?  If so, what do you do about it?  How do you respond?  Help!

~ RD, Tulsa, OK, U.S.A.


I can only remember three particular incidents of such religiously based criticism: once in person, once by phone, and once by email.  In all cases, I kept my response very simple.  I just said, “Fortunately, neither my clients nor I feel that way”, then left the room, hung up the phone, or deleted the email.  It’s not our job to convert anybody to anything (conversion is, in my opinion, one of the most arrogant human inventions) nor is it helpful to a tarot practitioner’s morale to engage in debate.  It also helps to remember that not every person who practices a religion looks down on the tarot; I’ve met many priests, nuns, rabbis, and ministers who are open to using the cards as a tool for insight.  I hope this helps you, RD.


Image: Trump V, Le Pape, from the Dodal Tarot de Marseille, restored by Jean-Claude Flornoy.


OK, listen up. The Crone has spoken to us through the Tarot of the Crone about the Embodied Divination series that will begin on January 14. I asked Her, “What gifts will emerge for those who participate in this programme?” and got the Shadow of Wands. The gifts that will emerge include:

  • Wiping out who we thought we were so we can become who we truly are
  • Obliteration of false roles and self-images that do not serve the Greater Whole
  • An incendiary sharing of our True Spirits with the world
  • Passing on the gifts of growth and creativity to the next generations
  • A creative clean slate
  • An annihilation of everything but the most pure, indestructible Essence of who we always intended to be

She has spoken.  Are you in? Please sign up.  See the flyer below for how.

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Change of Year Layout

by James Wells

Use your favourite divinatory/symbolic tool with this spread to help you transition from one year to the next.


1        2        3


  1. What to leave behind in 2014.
  2. What to take forward with me into 2015.
  3. What to add to my life in 2015.

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.

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


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).

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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