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 the third and final installment, we find out what I did the last day; see just how deep I go with a tarot reading; and find out what happens when I stay awake all night long.
I slept in this morning. I really wanted to try either the second roundtable discussion or go to the yoga/meditation room but I figured my body needed the rest. When I tumbled downstairs for breakfast, I got invited to sit with another attendee and we just chatted about tarot and our normal lives. It was a relaxing break in-between all the action. Once full, I was ready to head out again and snag a spot for the final day’s activities.
Foundation Readings Revisited
Our first assignment was to regroup with our Day One Foundation reading buddy and revisit the reading. Thankfully Paul was just a table over from where I sat so we quickly hopped to work. Using as much as I could recall from the sessions, I plunged deeply back into the reading. I used some of the astrology to connect, as well as moving the cards around to get various perspectives. Paul blew my mind when he related the King of Swords (in the Shadowscapes) as the man who does his best thinking on “his throne”. I laughed at the joke but I could totally see where he was coming from. In the end, I felt like I was able to give him a much smoother reading that was deeper than what I had tried to do in the first part. Likewise, I learned more about the cards Paul had drawn for me when he reread them with the knowledge of the “stage cards” and some of the other techniques he learned throughout the weekend.
Wald gave some of us the ability to come on stage and relate our findings. I got to represent the first-timer group and talked about how this reading pushed me into the deep end, deeper than I had ever been able to get to and that it was a glorious thing. “Tarot is a powerful investment,” Wald says. “And it will grow and shift and deepen as I learn, read, and go to conferences and network.” I also related the notion of personal body placement. During my first reading, Paul was on my “bad ear” side (i’m deaf in my right ear) so it made for a bit of a strain to understand and grok what was reading both as a reader and client. However, during this revisit I sat on the other side of Paul where I could hear him better. I felt that this sitting also cleared my head and allowed me to do the work that I needed to do better in the reading. In the end, I was proud of myself for standing up in front of everyone and sharing my thoughts. I get horrible stage fright.
James Wells—Inquiry Circle Process
I’ve been reading James Wells’s Circle Process blog for awhile now. So it was a treat to have him get up in front of us all to show us exactly how it works. It’s a three part process where he asks a group a question, allows them to answer and pose a new question, and then he has the rest of us discuss the question and create a new set of questions that he and the first group then answers. Corrine, Mary, and Barbara up to the stage to start the process.
Themes of maps, patterns, and what tarot will become were the focus of our discussions. I picked a great spot for this as I got to hear the thoughts of Susa Black, Wald, Ruth Ann, and a few others. We totally went deep with our thoughts and it’s going to be interesting to see how tarot changes throughout the next few centuries and beyond.
Closing Session and Beyond
During the closing session, I ended up winning a wonderful majors-only deck designed by Beth Seilonen, called Watchers, (#33 of 100). The wild and primal figures just called out to me and they felt as if they belonged to the West Coast Indian tribes. I was able to talk to Beth for awhile after the Readers Studio ended and she told me the story of how the deck and the Watchers came to be in the East coast. I highly encourage everyone to go check out Beth’s Cat’s Eye tarot website, she produces a wealth of new tarot decks all the time. The one she made AT the conference is so drool worthy that I may have to acquire it for my collection when she produces it. I look forward to working with this deck and seeing what the Watchers have to say about the Pacific Northwest.
Wald and Ruth Ann performed the closing ceremony by handing out certificates of attendance to us all. I felt like I was back in college where everyone cheered for everyone else as they received their documents. They told us who was going to be the three master class presenters for next year, which got me drooling and hoping I can figure out how to go. We then dismissed the elements and the con was officially over.
I hung out and watched as people milled around to exchange last minute details. Susa had purchased a new deck and she asked me if I’d help her break it in. Honored, I allowed her to do a wonderful reading for me. We parted and I meandered around a bit more to see if any of the vendors needed assistance. Rose grabbed my arm and we headed out into the lobby to find a trolley for the boxes they needed to ship back.
As we wandered back to the ballroom, excitement rang out from beyond the doors. Apparently Ruth Ann had fallen off the stage and hurt herself. We all called to the front desk to get an ambulance and then waited in the wings for them to arrive. They finally showed up and whisked her away to a hospital. (We overheard later that she broke her collarbone and a rib. Since I haven’t heard from her much since being home, I hope she’s resting well and healing well.)
The mood now dimmed and darkened, we decided that staying in for a last meal was on the agenda. With the Tarot Media Company booth all packed we exited the ballroom to forage. Andrew, Rose, me and Susa had a light snack and a drink to commemorate the evening. Susa and I chatted more about tarot and writing and books and studies with The Tarot School and how that was going. I’m thrilled that I get to see her and everyone else soon at SF BATS this August. I’m also looking forward to Susa’s book on tarot and ritual, which promises to breathe new life into tarot and magical practices. At one point, I was called away, only to schedule a tarot reading for when I got home.
Rose and I headed back up to my room to chat more. We talked shop and shared the tarot decks we had brought with us. Andrew showed up later and provided a soundtrack for our chatting. I did a two-hour reading with her that was part reading and part transformative ritual. During this long session, kender called to tell me of the death of Osama bin Laden. Being in NYC during this was interesting. Ground Zero was too far away but the air had a bit of electricity in it. Most of the people I talked to about it seemed relieved about the event and thought it brought closure to this chapter in our history. Nothing negative or positive was said and it was a good feeling to have.
Rose and Andrew left to go to sleep around 1am and I left my room for the last time. I snuck downstairs to check out and then I used the wifi in the lobby to just web surf and chat with my West coast friends. Around 4am I grabbed a ride over to the airport where I ended up talking tarot and Qabalah with a gentleman who was on his way to Florida.
The security gates opened and I swiftly went through and got back to my gate. I ended up chatting a bit more with one other attendee who was on the same flight as I was. We didn’t sit next to one another for all I wanted to do was sleep on both plane rides home. I didn’t get much sleep on either flight but thankfully the flights weren’t delayed. Upon getting home, I DID sleep for a blessed 6 hours in my own bed. And it felt glorious— dreams of tarot running circles in my head.