Voyager: DIY Mindfulness Psychology
Voyager: DIY Mindfulness Psychology is a resource and aid for living authentically and living mindfully, through James Wanless' practice of 'transformational mindfulness'.
By James Wanless · Book - 200 pages · Published by Buro Voor Tarot
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
I have followed the work of James Wanless for … well, it seems like a lifetime! From the creation of his Voyager Tarot deck, through his books (Voyager Tarot: Way of the Great Oracle, Intuition At Work, Sustainable Life: The New Success. and New Age Tarot), and the Sustain Yourself cards. It is all about finding the resources to live our best lives, and leave the best imprint on the planet. In Voyager: DIY Mindfulness Psychology Wanless aims to create a path for becoming a “Universal Human” through the practice of “transformative mindfulness”.
In his foreword, Wanless speaks of being at a professional breakpoint, not wanting to continue as he had, knowing that he had to take the next leap. The leap that he took was to commit himself to the path of aliveness. He is now living his destiny! He feels that Voyager psychology works because it is the right message for the right times.
Wanless reminds us that we are free to be whomever we want to be, that we choose our own way of life, and in that way are becoming personally free. With that freedom comes a responsibility – to be responsible for ourselves. We are our own life anchor.
One of the essential skills for DIY psychology, according to Wanless, is being mindful. To see yourself truthfully, and as well as seeing what is going on in your life truthfully. It is important to see yourself as you are, and to not judge yourself. Wanless also reminds us that we do not want to project that which we “want” to see as our truth. He also makes the very interesting observation that mindfulness opens the doorway to self-remembering. Through “re-membering”, Wanless feels that we can regain our natural state of wholeness – that of being happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise.
The work of mindfulness psychology is based on the use of the Voyager Tarot cards. They assist the reader in attaining and keeping the basic state of mindfulness. One of the ways that this is done is that of picking a card a day from the deck, and connecting with the archetypes. The reader reflects on themselves, and their day, through the cards. Wanless explains that the intent of the Voyager cards was to act within the system of Tarot, but that it is also a multi-use tool, given its updated imagery. He feels that the Voyager Tarot is the right “media and medicine for the challenges and pathologies of the times”. Because it is inclusive of many psychologies, it is essentially a “hybrid brand”.
A very important thought in this book is that once the reader knows themselves, they possess the tools and inner resources to create their own future, and fulfill their own prophecy. It incorporates oracular divination, Hermetic psychology, depth psychology (the psychology of the collective unconscious), cognitive behavior, Holistic psychology, self-actualization, transactional psychology, a transpersonal psychology, and more!
Voyager psychology helps the reader to ground and center, to find their identity (termed self-identity in this book), and to find their sense of security (termed self-security in this book). The Voyager Tarot helps the reader create a life map – how to make decisions wholistically, to do what is purposeful and meaningful for you as an individual.
The reader is encouraged to embody the archetypes of the Tarot in their life, to keep on growing, and to improve themselves. It is interesting to me that Wanless speaks of trying to find his path in his 70’s, and how many of his clients are women in their 50’s who are also trying to find their path. This is reflective of my clients also, and of my life – I am in my late 60’s … about to go into my seventh decade, and consciously trying to activate a new life path.
He talks about “folk therapy counseling” – basically kitchen table wisdom, which most of us are already familiar with. The Voyager cards become a map – a “Multidimensional Awareness Profile” – which includes seventy-eight stages of consciousness, symbolized by the seventy-eight cards of the deck. There is a nicely done chart that shows the association of the cards through numbers (i.e. the Magician, card number one, with the Aces; the Priestess, card number two, with the Two’s, etc.)
The plan here – to remember and be mindful of who you are!
There is a section on choosing a daily card that emphasizes that how we chose our cards gifts us with the ability to manage out life on a daily basis. We can trust the mystery (draw cards face down), or follow our curiosity (draw cards face up).
Different “maps” are described, including the Wholeness MAP, the Life Card MAP, the Fortune Creation MAP, the Hero’s Journey MAP, the Question and Answer MAP, the Mental Health MAP, the Mental Health Checklist MAP, the Physical Health MAP, the Health Checklist MAP, the Business Success MAP, the Relationship MAP, the Checklist Relationship MAP, and the Spiritual Illumination MAP.
The plan here – to BE the map that you create! The powers that transform you are those of awareness, symbols, surprise, play, positivity, payoff, practice, and counseling (including conversational counseling, archetypal counseling, and self-creation counseling.
In the section “The Book of You”, Wanless presents the 78 cards of the Tarot, what they mean, and how they work in your life – both as positive energy, and as shadow energy.
At the back of the book is a template for daily card draws, as well as a listing of references sources, other works by Wanless, his social media contact information, and available training in his systems.
This book is a great source and resource, aiding the reader into exploring understanding themselves, and living authentically.
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer.