The Amazing James Wanless' astrological chart

Click here for more info on Captain Pick-a-Card! (James bears an uncanny resemblance to Jean Picard, from the Starship Enterprise)

Every now and then, the clouds part and I do a chart for someone I believe is not only following their path, but is also lighting the way for others.

James Wanless is one of those people. For those who don’t recognize his name, he is the creator of the unique Voyager Tarot, as well as his more recent deck and guidebook, Sustain Yourself, which teaches the principles of discovering aspects of yourself that lead to health, wealth, and happiness. He’s also written Intuition @ Work & At Home and At Play.
It will come as no surprise to astrologers that there’s a 9th house/Sagittarius/Chiron-the-teacher/mentor theme running through James’ chart!

James travels the world, teaching through the power of archetypes and imagery how to cultivate your “sustain-abilities.”

Self-Sustainability is the New Success – an inspired, evolved way of life. Sustainability requires applying universal eco-principles to live Whole – how to be Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. This training teaches you how to coach yourself to become more self-sustaining and develops your skills to use these principles for coaching others to create their own Whole Life.

Evidence that James is walking his path and fulfilling his destiny is obvious from the way he lives his life; but in the chart, I look for the direction one’s path should be taking in the North Node. Because of its association with karma and one’s life purpose, the North Node receives a great deal of attention. Almost everyone who cares also wants to be on the correct path. No one wants to feel like he or she is wasting their life.

James is clearly not wasting his. Instead, he’s making use of his Chiron/North Node conjunction by living out the Healer-Teacher archetype implied by Chiron’s myth.

There are any number of more superficial things I could say about the chart, but it’s always a risk being superficial with an 8th house person, and the depths of James’ character resist superficial judgements or assessments.

Venus rules the chart, and influences not only his rising sign, but also his Sun in Taurus. Although with Libra rising and Sun in the 7th, James’ charm is what we immediately notice about him on the surface, Libra’s ruler Venus, posited in the 8th, conjunct Saturn with both in opposition to Moon in Sagittarius in the 2nd, speaks to a difficult time overcoming some feelings of doubt and insecurity, perhaps specifically to do with 2nd and 8th house issues, which usually involve one’s material reality in relationship to deeper, spiritual values. Oppositions mean you’re going to have to pick one or the other earlier in life, until you find a way to integrate the energies as you get older.

Also, this opposition implies to me a bit of a psychic struggle at some point to determine what precisely mattered to him, where his values lay, and whether or not those values were in accord with his family of origin, as well as the zeitgeist. It would not surprise me at all if James thought of himself as somewhat ‘odd’ growing up, and possibly at odds (as Moon-Saturn opposition people so often are) with the value systems (represented by the material 2nd house and the spiritual 8th house) around him.

Venus and Saturn in conjunction can take many forms; some people never learn to overcome the negatives of that combination. James, on the other hand, exudes caring concern, and I will tell you from spending some time in his company that he’s an extraordinarily generous soul; giving of his time, attention, and energy. I’m not sure when he rests, to be honest. He’s making use of the generosity implied in the Jupiter in Cancer in the 9th to fulfill the role of teacher/healer, which is given to those with planets in the 9th.

And then we move on to another seemingly harsh aspect: Sun square Pluto. Since Pluto is not conjunct the Node-Chiron conjunction, it lessens some of the inherent (and sometimes overwhelming) power Pluto might have brought (in other words, James could have been a terrible egoist, with a Pluto-Sun square, involving Leo, yet he is not). He’s very kind and even humble, but there’s a concentrated will underneath the surface charm.

The Pluto-Sun square in the fixed signs of Taurus and Leo, if misused, can lead to many power plays and enemies, but somehow James has transmuted the negatives some of these placements imply, and has turned the challenges into gold—literally and figuratively. Literal gold, with Moon in the 2nd, doesn’t surprise me; on some level, James feels the need to acquire, but with the Moon in Sagittarius, I think his real “gold” lies in the friendships and contacts he makes all over the world.

The 9th house, Sagittarius, and Chironic influence all reinforce the message of the Teacher-Healer in James’ chart. And if you wonder why I’m promoting him and his work, look no further than the simple fact that my Sun falls on his Midheaven, and is 5˚ from his Jupiter. It’s my karma to bring him to your attention! Plus, I just think he’s a really good person, who, with Voyager Tarot, created something unique no one had ever seen before, that changed the way we think about ourselves and what tarot is capable of.


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