Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Uranian Holiday

I just got back from Readers Studio 2011 in New York and I’m still recovering. I’d like to stretch it out as long as possible to preserve the glow. It was a weekend of Big Things. As it turned out, there were many more Big Things than I had bargained for!

Thinking back, the last bit of really confident control I had over the weekend was packing for the trip on Tuesday. I had an early flight on Wednesday and did my typical pack bags until 11 pm dance. And oddly, I remembered everything: the costume for the parade of trumps, the decks people said they wanted to pick up in New York, the boarding pass, the shoes, the whole catastrophe. I was ready. Or so I thought.

The alarm went off at 4 am and I was up like a shot, jumped into my clothes, grabbed my bags, kissed the cats and dog goodbye and we were off for the airport. The line to check bags at the curb was proof positive that horses aren’t the only ones who can sleep standing up. After a pleasant exchange with my skycap, lumbering through the security line, being x-rayed head to toe (best done when you’re asleep and not thinking about it), I was grateful my gate was at the top of the escalator. Before I knew it I was on my way, and with only a slight delay in Chicago due to what turned out to be a Presidential visit, I had spent the day asleep in the air, grateful for my tendency to go “lights out” the instant my seat belt buckle is snapped. There is such a thing as a calm before the storm.

First, I want to send my heartfelt sorrow to those who lost loved ones, homes, etc in the tornadoes that ravaged the South last week. I have just a few phobias and tornadoes are in that slot; I don’t really consider it a phobia if you define phobia as an irrational fear. I’ve been close enough to tornadoes in my life to feel assured that my fears are quite rational. Of course the first thing I found out after getting into my hotel room was that there were tornadoes reported in the Hudson Valley. I immediately started thinking about which would be better shelter, the bathroom or the hallway. Luckily for everyone in Queens, the tornado warnings/watches lifted and it just looked like an annoyed sky rather than a vengeful one. I talked to my husband John and he joked that I was not to call him at 6 am the next morning just because I thought it was 9 am and was having fun.

Picture Postcard Tarot
(c) copyright 2010 Marcia McCord

The Tower is a card indicating a change that is like a lightning bolt from the blue, something that resets your thinking, reprioritizes your life, makes you realize the good news or bad news that you have based your assumptions on some shaky ground and they are falling. It can be the “Great ZOT!” of realization but it also has its traditional “scary” meaning of something really big is going to happen, something you have minimal control over, something that brings your plans down in a sudden collapse of rubble. The Tower is tied in astrology to the planet Uranus, a surprise party planet that will be dancing in my sun sign of Aries for the next 7 years. Little did I know that my choice of Trump costume as Strength was going to be necessary in more than one way.

The call I got early in the morning on Thursday was a Tower call.

“Hi, Dolly.” He calls me Dolly.

“Hi, Sweetums.” I call him lots of things. “I thought you didn’t want to talk to me so early in the morning?” It looked at my watch. Was it 3:30 am or 4:30 am in California?

“I’m at the emergency room.” The hotel room spins. And as it turns out he had emergency surgery later that afternoon. There was no way for me to get a flight back. Besides the weather delays, the President had made New York his next stop after Chicago. I called friends. I called in favors. I hoped my cell phone charge would last. I hoped I had remembered to take my blood pressure meds. Thank God for William, Nancy, Rosie and Derek and all our friends who tag-teamed to make sure John had someone there when I couldn’t be. Thank God for our family who tried to be there as best they could too from a long distance. Thank God for the surgeon and nurses and medical care performed with excellence and humanity. Thank God John is OK and home.

I should know better than to ask, “Good grief, what else can happen?”

Knowing John was safe, I stayed at Readers Studio and had a most excellent time. Thank God for all the Readers Studio folks who knew my story and sent healing and love and shored me up. I went to the wonderful classes on romance readings with Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone who are the Readers Studio organizers. I zipped over to the Aeclectic Tarot dinner and had a great time meeting people for the trade train. I had brought some copies of my decks to sell or trade and they went fast. The next day I talked to John all throughout the day, violating my own rule of having my cell phone on while in a class or meeting, but dashing for the door when it rang. All was good. The lovely Corinne Kenner’s class on astrology and the tarot hit the mark especially for those new to astrology and gave us different perspectives on the cards. “Cupcake” Barbara Moore helped us develop our own spreads with her effervescent charm. My group of three was proud of our new spread, the Sword of Action, and eagerly submitted it for Barbara’s compilation of the RS11 new spreads. I listened first with skepticism and then with awe and finally joy to Caitlin Matthews as she explained how she, once skeptical of using significators had learned their value. James Wells led a roundtable with our tarot stars. And my dear Thalassa provided wit and humor throughout, especially as organizer of the Parade of Trumps. And I fell in love, utterly head over heels with Lon Milo Duquette’s musical interlude, no less than the Pete Seeger of tarot!

My roomie Beth Seilonen stuck close to her vendor table and sold both her many luscious hand-crafted limited edition decks and my few offerings too. We agreed we were ready to take the bus to the diner with Marcus, Tali, Mike, Paul and the gang. I had the “lob-stah” and it was delish!

Oh, and I shopped. Wow, did I shop. I had seen Aaron Rathbun’s leather tarot cases at past tarot events and drooled. My goal this year was to get one or two. GOAL! My special orders will be shipped at the end of this month, pictures to come. There were cases made of antique sari material, cases made of recycled felted, quilted and embellished sweaters, cases knitted by the esteemed Mary K. Greer. There was jewelry and I indulged in pins made by the encyclopedic Robert M. Place, a cat, a mermaid and a wyvern, all at the hand of the alchemical master himself. And I sacrificed my checkbook at the table of the Tarot Garden, falling under the spell of a few goodies of rare and careful nature (Dan Pelletier was aptly cast as the Devil in our Parade of Trumps, tempter that he is).

And then the Tower proved not to be complete. As we were packing up after the certificates had been handed out and many of the hugs and email addresses had been exchanged, our hard-working Ruth Ann fell from the stage and landed hard and painfully. She broke her collar bone and a rib. I called 911 and handed the phone to a guard when they asked for the address. Those of us with her rushed to her side to provide what we could in Reiki, prayers and support, making sure that she was as comfortable as possible until the EMT’s arrived.

After a delicious meal at Uncle Peter’s with our enormous Sunday night group where I was fortunate to sit near some of our Australian attendees including none other than Annie Dunlop, former president of the Tarot Guild of Australia, we returned to the hotel. Invited for a nightcap and asked if I had one more copy of one of my decks, I dashed back downstairs to the lounge in time to see the stunning announcement by President Obama: Osama Bin Laden was dead. Yet another Tower moment for this amazing weekend! And we were all curious about the future once again.

Thanks to all of the wonderful people who were there, who were my partners in the classes, who were charming dinner companions, who purchased my decks and who made even the most Uranian of holidays a delight!

Best wishes!


  1. I'm so glad your husband is recovering. Wow. Until you spelled it all out, I didn't realize what a crazy weekend it really was. No wonder we're tired!

  2. Glad to hear you Hubby is ok. Thank you for letting me know that day while you waited to hear how he was.
    I feel honoured to be the first to purchase your decks at the RS11.

    Nice to meet you and hopefully she you next year!

  3. Thanks so much for your kind wishes! He is back to his normal schedule and is off to literacy tutoring for two ARC clients this morning.