Last week, I attended the first Tarot Intensive held by Katrina Wynne at her home along the coast. The weather was beautiful for the entire week and I’ve come home with new ideas, tricks, and a whole new crew to support me on my tarot journeys. I have also attained Level One Certification in Katrina’s Tarot Counseling Certificate program. Now that I’m settled in and have hand time to recuperate, I feel ready to write about this wonderful experience.
I left early Tuesday and picked up my companion. We both agreed to help Katrina set up and prepare for both the Intensive and the Retreat. And boy did we work our butts off. We folded large tarps that threatened to carry us away like huge sails. We dodged the monkey-dog Mookie, and we also scrubbed the floors of Katrina’s wonderful yurt so that they’d be polished and ready for the week’s events. I was so tired Tuesday night that I crashed early.
Wednesday morning was cool and I headed to the yurt early to claim my spot and to have a few minutes of quiet. An hour or two passed and the rest of our ragtag tarot crew showed up. All in all our pod, as we decided to call ourselves, numbered five. Which I thought was the perfect size. Big enough to do readings for one another and small enough to have personalized attention from Katrina.
The Intensive started out with a Beginning Tarot course. While I think I was a bit beyond this level, I was excited to see how Katrina taught it. She doesn’t teach any one set of meanings for the cards but the way she does teach what the cards mean is very universal and integrated into the personal meanings of both student and deck imagery. I rather liked it and gained a few extra insights into how I could incorporate this style into my own. We broke for a wonderful Swiss dinner (yes, I’m still savoring how good the cook did), we worked on giving our first set of readings between each other. I slept well that night, even though I felt the first strings of anxiety coming up for the Certification test I was going to take on Thursday.
Thursday started out much like Wednesday, except we went into the more Intermediate Tarot items. We drew daily cards and talked about how they reflected what was going on. I drew the 9 of Wands which perfectly represented the protection, fear, and swirl of emotions over the tarot test and my bright personality. Then, Katrina took us through many types of spreads and also shared a real reading to show us how she performs readings with clients. Seeing how she incorporated her techniques into a real reading was key for me as I’m trying to learn her style of Tarot Counseling. Seeing it live really helped put all the pieces that we learned together and helped give me a more rounded idea of what goes on and how her methods differ from mine and other readers.
After another superb dinner, we spent another two hours reading for each other and taking the written part of the Level One Certificate. This time, Katrina took notes on those of us who were working on our certificate levels. Despite my anxieties, I loved being coached. This was the first time I had ever had another reader really give me feedback on my style and technique and “performance” and it felt good to receive positive and constructive criticism for something I am 100% committed to.
Everyone then left for their tents or hotel rooms and Katrina and I spent another hour and a half talking about my tarot goals and how she could help me. Once we were done chatting and getting a loose game plan going, she printed out a copy of my Level One Certificate. This means I’m now certified! Wahoo!
It was hard to sleep Thursday night but somehow I willed my body and mind to sit still enough to do so. Friday morning greeted me to a hawk flying over Katrina’s wonderful woodland property. I packed my campsite up and with help from another student, we got it all loaded into my car just in time for the last day of class to start. Katrina spent this final session on sharing some psychology counseling techniques with us. This was immensely helpful to me as there’s not enough books out there on tarot that delve into this deep and intriguing topic. My Powell’s wish list has now grown leaps and bounds with all sorts of books that she (and others) have recommended for me.
After swapping emails with everyone else and saying good byes, we all left to return home to our normal lives. I spent most of the drive processing the things I learned and the advice I’ve been given from my new tarot friends. Just after turning down Highway 34, I was gifted with a final sight… a black bear lumbered his way across the highway in front of my car. Which made me revert to childhood age as I exclaimed, “Bear bear! Bear bear!”, while bouncing in my seat for the next mile or so.
All in all I had a wonderful time and learned so much from everyone. Katrina plans on having another Intensive for us, to continue our learning in a few months… in Portland, even. I’m looking forward to continuing learning and growing and experiencing a new way of reading tarot from a very wise woman.
For more information, and pictures of the intensive, check out the wrap up post on Katrina’s blog. I’ll add some images to this post as soon as I get the images off my camera and get permission from the others to post them.