Thursday, May 3, 2012

Readers Studio 2012 Part 1

I went to New York to be the Page of Swords, to soak up new information, new ideas, new ways of looking at things, to listen to what others had to say. I went there to be all the other pages too, to soak up inspiration, emotion and cool tarot decks.

I wanted to talk with people in person whom I text, exchange Facebook and Twitter messages, meet through Donnaleigh de LaRose’s Beyond Worlds on Blog Talk Radio or through telephone classes with the Amberstones’ Tarot School. I wanted to see what Jeannette and Dan had for me at the Tarot Garden, decks new and old, bargains and, ahem, Big Kid Tarot decks. I wanted to see what the stars of the Tarot world had to say and even what they avoided saying. I wanted full immersion Readers Studio. I got it.

As thrilling as Bob Place and Sasha Graham’s trip to the ancient tarot decks was for me, that was, after all, just the preview of the reason I had spent all day on an airplane last Monday. Let the official treats begin, especially since the appetizer had been so savory!

Thursday I realized I had not signed up for Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone’s early bird class on the Court Cards. I had had a few deep dives into the courts in the last year or so, had even taught my own class. Happy that they accepted walk-ins, my cards and I made our way to a table and we began what seemed like a benign process of picking out our court cards, selecting our favorite suit, selecting our favorite rank, our favorite card within suits, etc. When we laid out the cards from our four stacks in a 4 x 4 grid, we had a spread which showed our favorite card in the upper left through our least favorite in the lower right. Taken together, it was an almost uncomfortable revelation of the make-up of our own personality, showing our tolerances, our strong likes and dislikes and even the “ho-hum” section. Well, there I was, spread like “filet of soul” upon the table before me, with my sunshine and shadow, my strengths and foibles. What started out to be a great little court cards review turned into the best and scariest of the inner journey of the Hermit.

Maybe there was a reason I picked the Hermit as my costume for the Saturday night dinner?

Friday afternoon James Wells took us on a Dante’s Inferno walk through the stages of grief, a sucker punch of a reading session that I must have sorely needed. It was powerful, to say the least. James shared his own poignant story of his father’s recent death. I was glad we were all in there together in our guided tour of the Underworld with James and, like Dante, we were allowed out again to breathe the quiet air of earthly pleasures.

Earthly pleasures turned into a quick round of the travel version of Jude Alexander’s Tarot Game including my new friend from Scotland, Andrew Duncan. It’s a cut-down version of the larger game with fewer parts but no less fun. And when you’re done, you’ve got a reading! Had to get one at Tarot Media Company!

I wandered towards the hotel bar and restaurant and found a big round table of folks to enjoy jokes and the occasional serious discussion with: Aulruna, Becky, Ciro, DemonGoddess, Frances, Rana, and oh, I just KNOW I’m leaving people out. It was big, lively table and we had a nice light-hearted dinner. Note: You must be 21 or older to ask Ciro about Superman. The discussion that followed that, however, made him blush, so we feel everything evened out.

I wandered downstairs, early as it turns out, for the first of the optional evening workshops. Now, this is a True Confession. I have begun to wonder if my enrollment in Thalassa’s classes is the kiss of death for attendance. This is an unreasonable fear because the times it has happened before, no one knew of my enrollment besides Thalassa and me and sometimes my friend Kristine Gorman. The last couple of classes I have had with her, I’ve been the only other one there and started to think it was me. Deodorant? Check. You know the list of things you go through. So I waited until at least four other people had signed up for her class, then put my name in.

It turns out I needn’t have worried. The class was well attended and Thalassa always has a great trip through the Dark Side of Tarot with a pie-in-the-face approach to confronting those scary cards. If you haven’t taken one of her classes, you’re missing out. Just saying.

Arriving at her classroom early, though, I was greeted by none other than Mary K. Greer who was teaching her class in the room next door. Or, rather, she would be except the dividing wall between the two classrooms had not been set up. We looked at each other and decided that while we could call the event people at the hotel, we were also reasonably intelligent (ok, Mary’s reasonably brilliant and I’m just following along) and could figure out how to get a fuzzy wall to make two classrooms out of one. It was a fun exercise in real world problem solving and I felt happy that I had had a behind the scenes moment with one of my favorite tarot authors.

Evening class was over at 10 pm. The cool kids retreated to the shelter of the bar and other happy tarot people. I, however, did not. The Spectre of Work arose at its appointed time like some Dickensian Ghost of Software Implementation Present and I dashed up to my hotel room and my three (not a typo) computers I brought to get through the evening. I worked from 10 pm until 3 am, got up again at 7 am and worked until 9:30 am, missing part of Shawn Nacol’s class.

Best wishes!