January 2005 Tarot Spreads of the Month

The first spread, by James Wells, is an excellent one to use for the New Year if you are a professional reader or simply considering becoming one. The second is an adaptation of the Astrological Wheel spread that reflects my latest obsession...Buffy the Vampire Slayer.




Something I did recently was to create two columns about my tarot work. One is "My Tarot Work Is Not This" and the other is "My Tarot Work Is This". Why is this a useful exercise? For those just starting to go public with their tarot work and who are looking how to word their brochures, business cards, display ads, and so forth, this could help you to clarify your work before launching it "out there". Use items under "Is This" to create your text. Also, you will be clearer to yourself about what tarot is and isn't for you. Knowing this will assist you to draft a code of ethics. Your work with the cards will become more focused and lucid. These lists will also provide rich material for writing educational articles in local newspapers and magazines. One other use I've come up with is to post a few points on my sign when doing "meet the public" consultations. Those who are wondering whether or not to try a reading with me can more easily assess if I'm they're man or not. If they resonate with the outlook I publish, or if they want to get to that point someday, then they know to come to me. If they want a more "tell me, show me, predict it for me, fix me" type of reading, then they know to leave me alone. My own columns are offered below. You don't need to agree with my tarot outlook, but the lists will demonstrate what kind of things you might! want to consider. AFTER you've done this out of your head, you may find it helpful to draw one or more cards for each column for deeper insights. 

MY TAROT WORK (James Wells):

IS NOT THIS                                                                                                ; IS THIS

* answer-based                                                                                                * question-based

* about fate                                                                                                        * about choice

* will...?                                                                                                               * how...?

* should...?                                                                                                         * what if...?

* fortune-telling                                                                                               * fortune-creation

* passive                                                                                                             * proactive

* a monologue                                                                                                  * a dialogue

* a belief                                                                                                             * a tool

* intuition vs. intellect                                                                                  * intuition AND intellect

* either/or paradigm                                                                                     * both/and paradigm

* about prediction                                                                                          * about insight


From the Medicine Woman tarot deck, I drew one card for each column for additional feedback.


What my tarot work IS NOT:      ACE OF BOWLS, REVERSED. My tarot work is not primarily a psychic reading (although intuitive moments do happen). Nor is it a hook of neediness or a seed that I plant to create co-dependence.


What my tarot work IS:               9 OF PIPES, UPRIGHT. My tarot work is an ongoing work in progress. It's a way for me to integrate all of the roles and energies that I am into one coherent whole. Tarot, for me, is also a tool to assist my clients and me to merge with our whole, authentic selves.


James would love to receive feedback from readers of this article. Email him to let him know what you came up.



Buffy New Year Spread

This spread is similar to the astrological spread. I assigned the first house to January, the second to February, etc., since I wanted to use it as my New Year's Spread for the coming year. In addition to the questions, I looked at each card as the "Card of the Month." March 21st - April 21st is another good time to do a yearly reading, since it will more aptly correspond to actual dates.

                                                                  11        9
                                                             12                 8
                                                          1                          7
                                                               2                 6
                                                                    3         5

Buffy's House -- Corresponds to the first house and Aries, astrologically speaking. The series begins and ends with Buffy, a warrior who is able to kill her lover to save the world. A lot.

Where do I need to develop courage in the coming year? What do I need to slay?

Anya's House -- Corresponds to the second house and Taurus, astrologically speaking. Anya may no longer be a demon, but she is still crystal clear on what is important. Getting her needs met is paramount, and she has no time for small talk.

What are my basic needs in the coming year? What will quench my lust(s)?

Giles's House -- Corresponds to the third house and Gemini, astrologically speaking. Giles is the Watcher, after all, and Gemini is the sign of the Observer/Journalist.

What do I need to "see"/observe this year? What will reward further study?

Joyce's House -- Corresponds to the fourth house and Cancer, astrologically speaking. Buffy's Mom wants to nurture, but is often completely in the dark about Buffy's activities and what she needs.

What am I clueless about right now that will be very important for me to nurture in the coming year?

Willow's House -- Corresponds to the fifth house and Leo, astrologically speaking. Willow is the heart of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. As the show evolves, so does Willow. Her identity shifts in several ways--from computer geek to Wiccan, from straight to gay--but her essence--that of a smart, loving, and supportive friend, remains. Still, don't underestimate her importance. As she says to Buffy, "I'm not your sidekick."

What important area of my identity will become clear to me this year? In which areas will I grow and shine?

Oz's House -- Corresponds to the sixth house and Virgo, astrologically speaking. Oz processes everything but says little--a perfect combination of Mercury and earth. He is willing to put others' needs before his own, and lives a life of rare discernment.

What/where do I need to serve in the coming year? What do I need to keep pure?

Faith's House -- Corresponds to the seventh house and Libra, astrologically speaking. Faith is Buffy's shadow self in more ways than one--her unmet needs for validation from others twist her, but she continues to seek connection and partnership.

What do I need to know about partnership in the coming year?

Angel's House -- Corresponds to the eighth house and Scorpio, astrologically speaking. Mysterious and moody, Angel's passionate nature makes him a character who can be utterly good or completely soulless. The light will kill him, but sometimes his intensely tortured nature makes that sound like a good thing.

What will I be brooding about in the coming year? What will be most intense and dark?

Spike's House -- Corresponds to the ninth house and Sagittarius, astrologically speaking. A constant traveler, Spike searches for perfect love. His spirituality and philosophy shifts and shifts again...sometimes in one episode.

In what areas will I find myself changing on a philosophical/spiritual level this year?

Cordelia's House -- Corresponds to the tenth house and Capricorn, astrologically speaking. Cordelia is very concerned about others' opinions--and she has the Prada bags to prove it. "Making it big" is very important to her--and she doesn't much care who she has to run over to do it.

What do I need to focus on achieving this year in terms of my status in the world?

Xander's House -- Corresponds to the 11th house and Aquarius, astrologically speaking. Xander is the quintessentially committed friend who can't quite find his footing, career-wise. He's a bit of a rebel and an eccentric.

What unusual aspect of friendship will arise this year?

Tara's House -- Corresponds to the 12th house and Pisces, astrologically speaking. A pure and psychic witch, Tara's dreamy and unfocused exterior simply sheathes her power--and her willingness to self-sacrifice.

What areas or approaches this year are rich for me to mine for psychic growth?

Center of the Wheel -- House of Joss. Buffy is the brainchild of Joss Whedon, who created a unique and compelling world. Joss touches every character...and every character touched Joss.

What do I need to know or do to become more creative, brilliant, and innovative in the coming year?

Tarot Is/Tarot Isn't Spread © 2004 James Wells
Buffy New Year Spread © 2004 Diane Wilkes