My card of the day is the Ace of Staves, which seems a really great card for discussing my experience at this years' Readers' Studio as it really was a great time for new opportunities and looking at my vocation in a new way! (OK so it has been a week since I was there, but hey! I needed time to process).
As a vendor, I don't always get to have time for all the presentations and workshops, but I do try to listen in as I can. I arrived on Thursday afternoon in the midst of the Tarot and Psychology Symposium, and was at least able to hear most of Elinor Greenburg's presentation on Tarot as a Therapeutic Tool. I have some new irons in the fire (which I'll be sharing soon) and it was interesting to hear about Tarot from this perspective. It seems as though more and more Tarotists are looking at Tarot this way.
I was there with my very able helper Emily, and we were soon joined in our vending area by the very talented Rachel Paul of the Dark Carnival Tarot. Rachel and her husband turned out to be great Tarot buddies and Rachel and I had a great time hanging out and making art together while we vended. The Dark Carnival is a very modern, urban, young deck - I am sure my university students would really relate to it well. The images are intense, loaded with color, beautiful, and wild.
There was a cocktail hour later in the evening, but I found myself way too tired to make it. I think I fell asleep by 8:30 that night!
Friday was a very bustling day as most people coming to the conference arrived. Emily and I did "Foundation Readings" for one another. For those not familiar with these, they are a staple of the Readers' Studio conference in which the conference begins with all attendees reading for one another. The reading is then re-visited on Sunday. It's a great way to get things started and a great way to get people talking - although truly, Tarot people are very friendly and never seem to have a problem talking to one another!
Our vending area was joined on Friday morning by another very talented lady, Monique Hudson who creates beautiful decoupage jewelry. Emily and I came home with several of her creations. We all promptly decided we had the best vending area in the room. (No offense to other merchants! We just felt we rocked!)
The Foundation Readings were followed by a lovely Newcomers' ritual, led by Sheilaa Hite who gave a beautiful guided meditation. After that, we were served a sumptuous buffet luncheon. So far, a great start!
I have to confess the rest of the day is a bit of a blur to me. Em went into Manhattan to meet up with her sister in the afternoon and I enjoyed meeting loads of new people and making new connections. Again, another evening in bed super early. So much for the LeNormand class I'd been wanting to attend. *Sigh*
One thing I think would have made the event absolutely perfect would have been perhaps to include some energy/body workers amongst the merchants - I know my back got stiff from all the sitting and I would definitely have put some money towards a massage. And maybe I wouldn't have crashed so hard every night, although it's hard to say at an event like this, with so much energy to go around.
Saturday was another great day. Since there really weren't too many people interested in shopping at 8AM, I was able to attend the Breakfast Roundtable with Theresa Reed which focused on Tarot as a business, attracting new people to Tarot and so on. I gave my new bud Rachel lots of props as someone to encourage as a young person who is bringing lots of new people unfamiliar with Tarot to the Tarot. Theresa proudly proclaimed herself to be a Ferengi and was very happy to help us with the discussion on expanding Tarot as both a business and a practice.
Saturday night was really the most fun. The Readers' Studio Dinner Banquet was happening, and people were encouraged to dress up as their favorite tarot cards. Em and I went as the Fool and the High Priestess.
After the banquet, we decided to check out the Readers' Studio Tarot Lounge - an area of the hotel taken over by the conference for hanging out, doing readings, and so forth. We had the very unexpected pleasure of getting to chat with Mary K Greer!
Here's Rachel and her hubby Bill chatting with Mary. We are sitting on the very adorable inflatable couches the Readers' Studio installed in the room!
Sunday morning we stayed for a bit, but had to run off early due to having to head out to a Beltaine ritual later that day. I have to say it was a wonderful time, lots to think about, and lots of new connections!