I’m home from another deeply satisfying Readers Studio. This is one Tarot event I will just not miss, even though the ten-plus hours of travel to and from the east coast is exhausting. (Yesterday was my rest, recoup, and reconnect-with-my-sweetie day.)
Even now I have a collage of mad images and snippets of conversations, faces and readings dancing around in my head. I realized on the way home that the folks I connect with at the Readers Studio are becoming another family for me and these events are our family reunions. Even though we may only see each other once or twice a year, our bonds are strengthened each time and go a little bit deeper.
I love being with people who really “get” me and value the work that I do. I love being able to share my unique gifts with others and be appreciated for it. (Who wouldn’t?)
I’ve been involved in a number of spiritual and mundane groups over the years, and I’ve found that the people of the Tarot tribe are some of the warmest and most generous people anywhere. There is a significant lack of superiority/ego among the Tarot luminaries — the authors, teachers and deck creators. They are accessible and totally down to earth. Is there something, do you think, about a lifelong study of Tarot that helps people maintain this balance of self-confidence and humility? I wouldn’t be surprised.
One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the community forum at the very end. When Ruth Ann handed out RS08 certificates by calling out each participant’s name, the whole room enthusiastically clapped and cheered for each person. “It’s like everyone is getting congratulated for just being who they are!” I whispered to Sir James, who was sitting next to me.
Ciro Marchetti and his lovely wife Maria confessed that they had some trepidation about the event before arriving. (Ciro is an accomplished digital artist in many fields other than Tarot.) “We thought that either you would all be a bunch of stuffed shirts,” he grinned, “or else there’d be a long line of broomsticks in the carpark!” Everyone roared. They did not expect the kind of warmth and friendliness they experienced. Ciro’s beautiful decks have meant a lot to the Tarot community, and he got to experience that appreciation first hand. (And I thoroughly enjoyed talking shop with him about art techniques in the vendor’s room on Sunday afternoon.)
Debbie Lake has posted a colorful, detailed report of the event on her blog, so if you’d like a blow by blow description of what went on (including notes on the presentations), check it out. (There’s four great posts.) And yes Debbie, we definitely need to have more time together next year!
A few of the highlights for me:
- James Wells’ workshop on “The Answer is in the Question” (excellent!)
- Spending time with my new old friend Beth Owl’s Daughter
- Ferol Humphrey’s reading for me regarding the two houses we have for sale and the completion of the Gaian Tarot (all positive! yay!)
- Hearing from Beth and others how they use the Gaian Tarot majors deck with clients
- Reconnecting with Julie and Corrine & Dan
- Talking shop and chatting with Mary Greer and Beth Owl’s Daughter at the cocktail party
- Elizabeth Genco’s very helpful workshop on “Marketing Your Metaphysical Business”
- The readings I did with the Gaian deck in progress
- Showing off my photos of grandbaby Grace to whoever was willing to look at them!
- Getting to meet Marie White of Mary-El Tarot fame in person and exchanging readings with her
- Sunday’s round-table breakfast on “The Art of the Tarot” that Corrine led — I never tire of hearing about other artists’ creative process and talking about my own
- Hearing “so how is the unpacking going? That snow you had last week was really something!” from total strangers, then realizing they read my blog! So they aren’t really strangers after all!
- Finding a big bowl of Emergen-C packets by the water coolers each morning (after I had thought to myself on the plane: “Wouldn’t it be great if they provided packets of Emergen-C along with the coffee, tea and sugar?” So did I manifest it? How cool was that! (I love Emergen-C for the caffeine-free energy rush it gives me, and I didn’t bring enough packets with me.)
- Managing to eat pretty well even without my green smoothies — lots of fruit & nuts that I brought with me, salads and even a great chicken & veggie stirfry at the Bistro (pricey but excellent). I managed to stay up late, get up early and maintain a good energy flow — I’m actually very pleased about that.
- More conversations than I can remember with absolutely delightful people. Barbara Moore. Tami, Lydia and Bev from Toronto. Sally from Ontario. Morwenna from Germany. Anastasia from San Francisco. Carolyn from western Mass. Kimberly Fordham who did the Toscano Tarot. Amy of Tarot Calendar fame. Elinor Greenberg. Debbie and Matt, of course! At the moment I remember more faces but not names. Thank you all!
Many, many thanks to Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone and their hardworking staff from the Tarot School for putting on yet another amazing event. Next year, guest speakers are James Wanless, Geraldine Amaral and Rachel Pollack. It will be one of the last two weekends in April, so mark your calendars now. This conference sold out quickly so I’m sure it will again. Blessings, all!