By Terryanne Johnson
The tarot is a pack of playing cards (most commonly numbering 78), used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot.
The first known documented tarot cards were created between 1430-1450 in Milan, Ferrara and Bologna in northern Italy. And the original purpose of tarot cards was for playing games, as each card uses a pictogram and title that represents a specific concept or archetype. The prospect is that whatever cards are dealt to the participant will be revelatory.
Divination using playing cards is in evidence as early as 1540 in a book entitled “The Oracles of Francesco Marcolino da Forlì,” which allows a simple method of divination. In the centuries since, a variety of styles of tarot decks and designs exist and a number of typical regional patterns have emerged.
James Wanless’s decks are a case in point.
Known as “Pathmaker of the Times,” this 70+ year-young futurist, corporate trainer, inspirational speaker, mentor and entrepreneur has created a unique formula for successfully navigating through our changing, uncertain, complex and demanding world. While not everyone agrees with Dr. Wanless on the modern uses of tarot, his approach has helped people worldwide.
A graduate cum laude of Occidental College, Wanless became a Professor of Political Science in 1972 and has since become an expert in the art of integrating timeless wisdom into modern life on a professional and personal level.
One of his tools is the Voyager Tarot deck, and he has sold more than 250,000 sets. He considers it a holistic and multicultural roadmap of life.
“Leadership in the 21st century is more challenging and demanding than ever before,” says Wanless. “Incessant change, fierce competitiveness, and daunting complexities in a topsy turvy world easily chew up would-be leaders. It takes a whole and integrated person who can communicate and team-build, who knows the formula for getting results, is change-able, and understands the sustainable principles of growth.”
Mindfulness is the rage, he insists. And with good reason.
“It’s a way of acute self-awareness without judgement,” believes Wanless.
“This equanimous and objective self-attention gives you mental and emotional balance, and thus better decision-making and more emotional intelligence – all of which makes you more skillful in relationships and in navigating your life amidst change, uncertainty, and stress.”
Wanless first experienced mindfulness in Buddhist Vipassana meditation courses in the early 1970’s in India.
“I knew this technique was integral to my path of personal and professional transformation, but little did I know then how critical mindfulness is now for the pressure cooker life we now lead.”
Scroll down for my Q&A with James.
scarlethawkk: When did you realize you were meant to take a spiritual journey?
James Wanless: After achieving the pinnacle of my career path with a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, I was NOT impressed. I knew there was more. So, I began with Transcendental Meditation. I went on a “vision quest” to Africa, Middle East, Asia for four years to find myself. During this explorative phase of my life, I got it…. that we all have some kind of higher purpose for living. To me the spiritual journey is the quest for living with deep meaning and fulfilling a sense of personal destiny. Once on the spiritual path, you cannot get off.
scarlethawkk: What did it feel like leaving the academic world?
James Wanless: I felt free! I was liberated from the same thing I had been doing all my life – going to school and being good at it. Life became adventure, exciting, mysterious, magical. I became a voyager traveler and seeker.
scarlethawkk: Where is your favorite place to travel to read and teach?
James Wanless: Basically, anywhere that my work is respected. These days, it’s Asia. I love the youthfulness of the culture, especially China. They are tremendous students and they truly listen and embody what I teach. It’s like a love affair. My mission as an educator of the “whole way of life” happens there.
scarlethawkk: How would you describe your Fortune Maker Series?
James Wanless: “FortuneMaker” is about how to become a “fortune maker” archetype, which is to have it all — happy, healthy, holy, free, sustainable, authentic and wealthy enough. This means tapping the great inner resources within us that are found in the archetypes of the tarot from the zero Fool all the way number ten, Fortune. This is the most impactful teaching I do now because it is such an alchemical combination of depth and eco-psychology, economic behaviorism, neuroscience, transformation science, human potentiation, and of course my own life experience as a “solopreneur.”
scarlethawkk: If you had to guess, how many people use your beautiful cards to read the Tarot?
James Wanless: Over the 30 years of its publication, 250,000 decks have been sold. And this is after no publishers were initially interested in it. The lesson: “Believe in Yourself” and “Setback leads to Success (if you look).”
scarlethawkk: What is your typical day ie: food, exercise, work, and leisure?
James Wanless: I pick a “Card A Day” (to keep the shrink away) from the Voyager tarot card series, as well as from my Sustain Yourself Cards deck. I seek to embody the cards and this is my spiritual path for how I grow. And in the past two years, I have turned out four new manuscripts that need to get published called, “Work is love made visible.”
I always go for an “aerobic walk” in the afternoon, anywhere I am in the world. At home, I live on the beach in Los Angeles so I walk the beach. For fun, I take photos and post them on social media. Simple. But the travel gets complex, somewhat vexing, and tiring but always enriching and growthful. I love life and I love my life, and that is why my true path is “aliveness” – living well, living long, living robust!
Are you a woman in transition? Are you dealing with shifts in Life, Death, Divorce, Career, or simply coping with all things Hormonal? Like the hundreds of people I’ve worked with, I have found there is a way to grow into a new life with the help of The Voyager Tarot. Designed by “Captain Pick a Card,” James Wanless, this is a beautiful, colorful, inspirational deck of iconic symbols.
I am scarlethawkk, a woman who uses her Feminine Intuition, Divine Spirit, and the Voyager Tarot as vehicles for her readings. An ordained Interfaith Minister, I have spent decades studying Dream Interpretation at Elysian Fields in Sarasota, Florida. I am also a practiced Reiki Healer with a talent for unblocking clogged Chakras.
I’d love to share my insight and gifts with you, using this powerful deck that I have seen open a path to happiness for all who are open to seeing a Way. Used on a regular basis, these cards can lead to an opening and awareness of your Feminine Power. Join me for a Card Reading, or a remote-healing Reiki Session: 1.00 per minute (most sessions last 30 minutes). To book an appointment send me an email: email@example.com.