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The Spiritual Roots of the Tarot

Russell’s new book, The Spiritual Roots of the Tarot, has been published by Vermont publishing house, Inner Traditions. Prior to being called tarocchi, tarot cards were called trionfi (the triumphs) possibly inspired by the writings of Francesco Petrarch, attributed with being the founder of Renaissance humanism. Playing cards were introduced into Italy in around 1377 and were known as carte de giocare. When the additional twenty-two heretical cards were added to the regular playing cards, their name changed. Russell explains how these additional 22 cards were essentially 'portable stain-glass windows' that depicted a 'progressive', non-Catholic approach to Christianity. Immersed in a card game, the deep spiritual mysteries depicted in the symbology of the cards remained hidden in 'plain sight' until discovered in 2007 by Russell.


While living in Italy researching and writing his first book on this subject, Russell discovered that these twenty-two cards held ancient sacred knowledge that belied their more modern use for tarot reading. His new book, what some have called the real-life Da Vinci Code, contains the template for an approach to mindful living that would result in one being aligned with a love-centered consciousness. Russell proposes that this theology of love was the brainchild of the neo-Gnostic Christians later known as the Cathar. Their last days before being completely eradicated by the Church were primarily in and around the Milan/Florence region, the home of the first tarot cards. Russell produces plausible, well researched evidence that suggests the emergence of these special twenty-two cards off the back of the Cathar genocide was no coincidence. 

This 'hidden' knowledge is now at the foundation of all of Russell's work. His Pathways to Mindfulness program encapsulates the deep mysteries he discovered, but in a modern vernacular, and devoid of religion, in spite of its deeply religious origin. This book contains some of the most important knowledge that would make it possible to have a love-centred global reset. 

"Very detailed and thorough. Grateful to the author! Loved and inspired by this labour of love." 

Amazon Books 2022

The Get Out of Jail Card

This book was self-published by Russell in 2018. Russell felt the need to explain that what he teaches and mentors in his Pathways to Mindfulness work was something he personally had been through. It could be said that this book is a mini autobiography of Russell's life, depicting his journey from worldly success and fame, to a life of abject suffering, then creating a reality where joy, peace, and love are the norm.


Russell is very honest and transparent as he reveals how his life unfolded when he was aligned with unsustainable values, and then the nature of the healing and transformation that occurred as he chose to be more aligned with sustainable values. The book is typically about a two hour read. It also has been written in a larger than normal font, making it easier for people to read. The back page blurb reads: 

"One of Australia's thought leaders in Western mindfulness, Russell Sturgess shares intimate details of his own "awareness" journey. This illustrates his innovative approach for helping people discover a deep sense of their self-worth through living mindfully. Together, self-worth and mindfulness naturally result in a much better quality of life. 

Like most people, Russell had become imprisoned by his fears. The walls of Russell's prison were made up of depression, obesity, divorce and bankruptcy. These were cemented together by his fears and doubt. Building your own prison you may have used different bricks and cement.

Finding his 'Get Out of Jail' card, Russell dropped over 50kg in weight. He found a fulfilling purpose in which there was no space left for depression. Topping up the love he found for himself, his relationship was no longer seen as the source of his love. Russell also experienced a radical change in values, which reflected in him gaining a new perspective on his finances. We all need a 'Get Out of Jail' card to free us from our prison. You are worth it!"

"I found the book honest, easy to read, and extremely generous of spirit."

Terri Nash, Johannesburg, SA

Metanoia, Renovating the House of Your Spirit


Russell self-published Metanoia in 2009. His revelations about the origins of the tarot, and his thesis regarding the original purpose of the cards took the tarot world totally by surprise. He first presented about Metanoia at a tarot conference in 2009 in Brisbane, Queensland Australia where Rachel Pollack, an internationally acclaim tarot academic observed that what Russell presented was research and an application of the cards that she had never heard of before, or had ever considered. 

His second invitation to present at a conference was in St Suzanne in France in 2011. More of the worlds leading academics were in attendance and they too were 'blown away' with Russell's book and thesis. This resulted in Russell being invited to do more presentations on Metanoia at tarot conferences in the UK, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand. The back page blurb reads:

"For millennia, humanity has searched for a source of spiritual guidance; a map to enlightenment, leading to a closer relationship with the Divine. In the current age, with its escalating global epidemic of lifestyle disease, environmental degradation, and personal disillusionment, this search has taken on a new imperative. In answer to the need for guidance, a former lay minister and alternative health practitioner, Russell Sturgess, presents a new paradigm of healing based on a long forgotten formula for spiritual transformation. 

Drawing on his diverse knowledge of the scriptures, and his knowledge of the Marseille Tarot and Temple culture, Russell weaves together a harmonious tapestry of ancient symbols, practices, and teachings, to reveal sacred journey of healing. When applied personally, this spiritual map provides guidance towards achieving health and vitality, clarity of mind, reduces stress, and builds a greater capacity for intimacy. In the broader context, the sacred knowledge revealed in Metanoia leads to a deeper reverence for Mother Earth and her environs, and a love of the Divine expressed through a constant prayer of gratitude. When practiced authentically, this formula can create sustainable personal and global healing."

"Russell Sturgess was incredible...I have his book on my bookshelf from three years will blow your brains...READ IT."

Stella Luna, Brisbane, Australia

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