The unenlightened might suggest a “prediction of Tarotists” or perhaps “a jingle of fortune-tellers”. The obvious one would probably be a “pack”, but after spending this weekend at the TABI conference, in the company of like-minded people, I rather think that “a counsel of Tarotists” might be more apposite.
My main motivation for attending had originally been largely to catch up with old friends (I was part of the organising team for the first 4 conferences) and I wanted to be part of that wonderful vibe again, but, as always, it was a tremendously useful and productive weekend. I came away buzzing with new ideas, plans and knowledge, (not to mention a box of freshly laid eggs and some white sage seedlings, courtesy of Louise and Caroline). My long-suffering DH had to put up me in full “data dump” mode once I was home. The red wine helped, I suspect 😀
We didn’t just play with cards this weekend, (though there was more than a little of that going on). There were also sessions covering the business and counselling aspects of Tarot. These are facets of Tarot that, at best, tend to exist as a background process when we are at the sharp end, giving readings or are likely to only be given consideration when there is time. At worst, they can be overlooked entirely, so it is good to have their importance highlighted in our conscious minds.
Mary Collin gave us lots of good advice about the business end of Tarot and my, already long, to-do list on that front has grown a good few inches, along with the enthusiasm to do something about tackling it.
As for Emma Sunnerton-Burl’s talk on Counselling, I was slightly taken aback to realise that I had been using the skills gained in my former business life unconsciously in my Tarot work. “Soft” skills that I had acquired on courses and during of my previous career as a *Business Analyst, System Designer and Project Manager are just as relevant in the Tarot world, it seems.
*(you don’t need many soft skills as a Software Developer – they don’t tend to let you out of your box much).
On the pointy end of Tarot, I was absolutely delighted and amazed by the results of combining Oracle cards in a Tarot reading, as advocated by Cilla Conway, whose Devas of Creation deck is simply stunning.
The rest was a feast for the senses:
For the eyes, we enjoyed Will Worthington‘s stunning artwork, including some of his original works in the most beautiful hand-crafted frames, evoking the spirit of the Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts movements. I simply love his work and have almost all the Tarot and Oracle decks that he has worked on. He was kind enough to share with us some of his background as an artist and it was a pleasure to speak with him afterwards. Will came across as modest, unassuming and quietly passionate about his art. I hope that he was not too discombobulated by being put in the spotlight.
For the spirit, it was a genuine treat to have Mark Ryan, the original creator of the Greenwood Tarot and its reincarnation, the Wildwood, talking to us from Los Angeles via a Skype session. I couldn’t help but feel a kinship with someone whose approach to Tarot is so synchronous with my own. His view of Tarot as a mirror is one which I have long expounded. We share, as no doubt many others do, a similar experience of being “tested”: asked to do three consecutive readings and the cards coming up almost the same each time. (Oh yes, been there, done that!) Tarot is one of those things that you can approach from many different directions, so it is always good to discover that you are not the only person using the road, less-travelled or otherwise. Mark is a very entertaining speaker and I sincerely hope to have the opportunity to meet him in person some day (especially in the bar 😉
For the mind, John Matthews shared his knowledge of the Wildwood Tarot and the thinking behind the images. We also had the opportunity to try out the Bow spread and had me back in full professional Tarot Reader mode. I did manage to have a quick chat with him and I am greatly looking forward to his next project, which he was kind enough to share with us. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the final guided meditation, which I hope to read about on one of the other attendee’s blogs.
And last, but by no means least, there was cake (and what a cake!). What more could a Tarotist want – I can’t wait for next year 😀