Note: The hotel didn’t offer wifi in the rooms and I didn’t want to pay the cost of having it there. Therefore these reports are being post dated.
In this installment, we learn about the second day’s activities at the Readers Studio, discover how me and a partner won a cuppy cake, and how I partied hard with other tarot enthusiasts.
Sleep eluded me once again for I feel asleep sometime after 3am. I figure that the next time I do an East Coast trip, I’ll end up working up to that time zone by adjusting my sleep schedule at home for about two weeks before I head out. But I got up early enough to shower, organize myself for the day’s activities and get downstairs to nab a bagel for the Breakfast Roundtable with Mary Greer.
Breakfast Roundtable with Mary K. Greer
Unlike many of the other offerings at the Readers Studio, the breakfast round tables are more participant oriented. In this session, Mary asked us to discuss our personal pet peeves regarding tarot. She explained that we all have a certain bias towards tarot and learning and the fundamentals (we’re all fundies) and that through acknowledging where we have bias can help us overcome these blocks. She then passed around her tarot deck and gave each one of us a minute or so to discuss our opinion.
I loved many of my peers responses and have written down some things that touched me. As for what I said, I talked about how many of us take the tarot too seriously. When people ask me my involvement in the cards, I tell people that I’ve been playing with the cards since I was 13. Tarot started out as a game—which I view as being a part of the spirit of play—and it’s so easy to get caught up in the “seriousness” of learning meanings, spreads, etc. One thing I’m trying to do is just play with my deck(s) and learn what amazing ideas can just come out when one plays with the cards.
Barbara Moore— Spreads class
Barbara’s fun session reminded us that while we view the cards as our “tools”, the spreads we use and lay the cards out are also items in our toolbox. Therefore, she wanted to take us through a journey of how we can create our own spreads. Her discussion of creating spreads broke down into three parts: create a spread to focus a reading, shapes the answer, and makes interpreting cards easier. She also told us that audience participation wasn’t required but correct answers would win a lovely cupcake.
I ended up being partnered with the lovely rockstar, Theresa Reed, also known as The Tarot Lady. Upon hearing about the cuppy cake prizes, Theresa declared that we had to win one. So we set off to brainstorm ideas for our spread. We randomly picked a card, the 3 of cups, to base our collaboration off. Then we patiently waited until Barbara called upon us to share our brainstorm ideas. She was pleased with our response so we won our choice of a cupcake. We agreed on a scrumptious chocolate cupcake that had pudding inside. We then cut the cake in half, ritual style, and slowly enjoyed our win.
Our five card reading took off from being fueled by sugar. Using Barbara’s techniques we created a spread that not only could be used as both ritual and spread but it also was very flexible about how cards could be read and moved around to create even more meanings. At the end of this class, we were invited to submit our spreads back to Barbara who promised to compile our results into a book for all of us to treasure. As a gift from both Theresa and I to you all, I’ve designed this download of our spread for you to read and try our what we created. I hope you all enjoy. We created magic here and I can’t wait to start using this spread in both my tarot practice and magical one.
Caitlin Matthews— Significators class
I was definitely looking forward to Caitlin’s class on Significators. They’re one aspect to tarot that I’ve never really understood or used. I’ve never really liked the traditional method of pulling significators, which is match the court card that closely resembles the appearance of the client. Oh, how I was wrong. Caitlin gave a wonderful class on the various ways you can draw and use significators to add depth and insight into tarot readings. One method had us pulling cards as if they were stacked as a book in our hands. Loved that idea (but then again, I love books). She showed the class showing us a “mapped” method that uses two decks and two significators to show how the energies surrounding the situation can be worked on. This is something I will also play with in the upcoming weeks to see how it fits best in my practice.
Finally, she ended the class by showing us how significators can be used in a powerful and transformative ritual that can bring change into our lives. Caitlin also blew me away with her singing voice as she used it to still the excitement of working with tables into silence throughout the afternoon.
We were given an hour or so after Caitlin’s class to prep for the banquet. It sorta felt like tarot prom night as we all headed up to our rooms to don our finest tarot costumes and regalia. Because I travel so light, I brought only one real fun item to wear— the page shirt that my mom bought me especial for this trip. Originally, I was going to wear it with my purple skirt but the hotel was cold so I put on my khaki capris and felt more page-like. Then I bounced down to the lobby and started admiring the attires. Pages, Fools, High Priestesses, Witches, the happy squirrel, and even the Pizzaphant all attended our gathering. We had steampunk characters and others dressed in their fineries. During dinner, I sat with my friends from the Tarot Media Company and author, Paul Quinn, of Tarot for Life fame. Paul and I had a lovely discussion on puns, writing projects, and our cats. I was very glad to have had the opportunity to connect with him. The Tarot School brought in some musicians to entertain during dessert and they reminded me a lot of my friend s00j and her sounds. I didn’t get to enjoy the music for too long as I was getting ready for the night’s class with James Wanless.
James Wanless— Fool to Fortune
Apparently the idea of Fortune and focus was strong for me this weekend, as I attended a second break out class with the word Fortune in it. James Wanless is a fun teacher. His class taught us a technique to bring the first 11 cards from the major arcana in a way to help clarify one’s goals in life and to attain our goals in life. It was such a lovely and fun thing to do with the majors only; again, something I normally don’t do in a day-to-day setting.
The one thing that stood out in this class for me was that my partner and I kept selecting the same cards but in different orders. It was like we were orbiting around one another with our paths with what we wanted to do. Again, this process taught me lots and I want more time to play with the process and see where it fits into my practice and offerings.
More Nightly Fun
After the class, I hung out with Andrew and Rose again. We sat in the lounge and caught up on some internet silliness. Rose and I talked about her Meetup groups, and I think she almost has me convinced to sign up and start a group of my own here in PDX. We also brainstormed more ideas for my book and that had me chomping at the bit for a chunk of writing time.
I did break away for a bit to chat with Marcus and Tali from Tarot Professionals to ask them some specific questions. I also got to wish Dan Pelletier a happy Beltane just as the clock struck after midnight. Toddled off to bed around 1am again feeling very happy and full of love from this wonderful community.