Voyager Tarot - Way Of The Great Oracle
James Wanless' book is designed to help you become your own oracle, using the Voyager Tarot.
By James Wanless
Book - Published by Merrill-West Publishing
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
Voyager Tarot - Way Of The Great Oracle definitely opens the gateway into what the Tarot can be. I was also intrigued when I saw that the forward was by Lynn V. Andrews, whose work I have read and whom I regard very highly. From the introduction:
"Symbols are the messenger of the spirit, and "Voyager Tarot: Way Of The Great Oracle" is a modern message of symbols to seekers and healers everywhere. Symbols take us into the "sacred dream wheel" of the unconscious. Here in the spirit or infinite void, we become whole. Healed and empowered by the experience, we transform ourselves and our planet.
It is vital that we return to the "way of the shaman". "Voyager Tarot" offers such a way through the world of symbols. Symbols are windows through which we can transcend our ego and our thinking mind, which is what my teacher, Agnes Whistling Elk, calls the "self lodge". In this state, beyond time and form, we reunite with the Great Spirit." 1
Ms. Andrews goes on to talk about reaching our personal destinies through accessing our intuitive selves, where we are able to move away from the limitations we place on ourselves with our mental processes. She cites one of the gifts that the Voyager Tarot brings us as the "ability to read symbols in accordance with your own intuition - your own dreams and visions." 2
In his preface, James Wanless sees oracles as a way to understand ourselves, to find our own truth and to realize the richness of the universe (and our place in it). He has purposefully chosen to use the Voyager Tarot oracle because of its wealth of symbols. In my humble opinion - it works!
In Chapter One, Dr. Wanless gives us the "Four Golden Truths":
1. We want it all.
2. We have it all.
3. We must seek it all.
4. There is a way to get it all.
We realize these truths by living them, using the "Seven Steps Of Power" presented in Chapter Two.
1. Consult the oracle.
2. Read the symbols.
3. Dialogue with yourself.
4. Envision yourself living the truth.
5. Inscribe your vision.
6. Share the truth.
7. Stay on track.
The steps are laid out for us, with examples from Dr. Wanless' own life experiences. The technique used here can be card a day, or it can be a larger spread - this is up to the Seeker. The emphasis here is on consistency - this must be done daily; and on follow through - keep a daily journal and take the necessary actions to implement the energy of the card(s) into your daily life. Quite frankly - this gives a whole new life to card a day readings (which I am already fond of!).
Dr. Wanless goes on to discuss different types of oracles, which fall into two basic categories: those derived from nature, and those derived from the human mind. Under the nature category he places Astrology, Alchemy, the I Ching, Geomancy, Shamanism, Crystals, Auric colors (the human aura) and Palmistry. Under mind-made oracles (and the words "man-made" certainly come to mind here) he places Tarot, the Kabbalah, Runes, Numerology, Psychometry and Mythology. There is a very good description of each of these disciplines given in the book.
Each of the 78 cards of the Tarot - Major Arcana, Minor Arcana and Court Cards, are presented in the following manner:
- A discussion of the energy of the card.
- The Qualities of the card (evolved and unevolved): Mental, Emotional, Physical, Action In The World, and Spiritual Wisdom.
- 3. The Oracular Universe: Astrology, Alchemy, Time, Geomancy, Shamanism, Aura, Psychometry and Chirognomy.
- 4. Consulting the Oracle: How to place the energy of the card in your life.
There is a truly great chart on page 49 called the Holistic Map Of Consciousness, which relates the Major Arcana cards Fool through Fortune with the Ace through Ten of each suite, as well as the Court Cards. There is an enormous amount of food for thought here.
In Chapter Seven Dr. Wanless discusses the Court Cards as being our "Inner Family" - where the cards represent the child, man, woman and sage within ourselves. Since my personal preference has always been to view the court cards as inner qualities, rather than literal people in our lives, I found this section very interesting!
This book does exactly what it was intended to do - present a system that would enable us each to embark on our own personal life voyages. Even if the reader does not agree with all of the material presented, it is food for thought, and definitely sparks creative thought! I would say that I wish I had read this book a long time ago, but I hold the belief that things come into our lives when they are supposed to. Now is the right time for me - and perhaps for you!
Footnotes: 1. Ibid page vii. 2. Ibid. page ix.
© Bonnie Cehovet
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.