“Crashing” Readers Studio 2012
This weekend was different from all other weekends out of the year. Readers Studio’12, tarot conference was in town. Organized by the Amberstones of The Tarot School (NYC), Readers Studio is the place to be to meet tarot people, talk tarot and learn about tarot. 2012 is a special year for Readers Studio, it is it’s 10th anniversary, and I am crashing the party!
I wanted to attend the event this year but was unable to; instead I planned on “crashing” the event. I am going to try and recollect the events that transpired to the best of my ability. So I visit Readers Studio 3 nights in a row, on Thursday,Friday and Saturday night. I live about 25 minutes or so away from where Readers Studio was so I was able to visit. I was so happy that I did, the experience was so touching and great. I was able to meet face-to-face many of the prominent names in Tarot. Upon my arrival the first person I spotted in the lobby was James Ricklef. I joined James at a lobby table with Alec Satin and other readers. Alec and I had a nice conversation. Thalassa Therese showed in the lobby and I greeted her. We hit it off right from the start, which I knew would happen. Thalassa has such a great personality and lovableness you cannot resist. We took some funny photos together.
A little later my Tarot Thug mother Therese Reed aka The Tarot Lady along with her daughter Megan found me and we went on the search together for my other mother, Donnaleigh de laRose who was missing in action someplace with Mary Greer lol
Once we found Donnaleigh I ran into her arms for a hug. We all ended up in the hotel bar at a table with other readers, Chanah Liora Wizenberg was among them. We ate dinner, talked tarot, took photos and Donnaleigh was doing readings for Megan. It was all so surreal being there with my tarot peeps. To be able to meet them was all so surreal. Even thought this is the first time I am meeting Theresa and Donnaleigh I feel like I have meet them before, as if I knew them my whole life.
Through the night I meet some more people. I had a checklist of people I needed to meet lol I was able to meet more men of tarot, Mike Hernandez, Ciro Marchetti, Robert Place and Dan Pelletier. After dinner I got to meet my “stalker” Nancy Schultz and my new buddy Toni Brooks.
Back into the lobby I found Ferol Humphrey who is such a sweet woman I felt a connection to her quickly. She is very open and kind. Then I spotted Tarot Diva Sasha Graham and had a few words with her. Then whom did I see next? The ravishing Barbara Moore! Dressed in a beautiful green dress, I just had to twirl her around just a little. By the end of the night midnight I went home.
Friday, night 2 I got back to R.S at around 9:30 and stayed until 2:30 into the morning. I got into the lobby looking for a familiar face; I was greeted by RoseRed Robinson who recognized me as that “tarosophist” guy! That was one thing that made my night, thanks Rose! I spent a little bit with her. I dropped off three decks I no longer wanted at the free deck and book table. I got to see Donnaleigh again, she brought me my Gilded Royale Tarot which I was dying to get my hands on. That deck is simply stunning in it’s quality, I am sacred to shuffle it because it is just so stunning. More people started showing up in the lobby, Ciro Marchetti and Robert Place joined Donnaleigh and me in the lobby and we spent some time in a deep conversation on tarot, history and religion that was amazing. It was so amazing to be able to converse with one of the smartest men in tarot!
Later on I met Doug Reuschel and Oliver Puzon. James Ricklef showed up again and was hanging with us. Then I saw James Wells. So at one point there was large group of us in the lobby just hanging and talking. I got to see my long Island tarot mother, Stacey laRosa. Then all of a sudden who do I see coming up, non other than Mary K. Greer! I walked up introduced myself and gave her a hug. It was so wonderful to meet Mary. I was still waiting to see Rachel Pollack and finally I saw her come in with other people and I said hello and gave her a hug as well. It was a great pleasure to have met both Mary and Rachel. Two tarot legends and idols right there with me was amazing. They are so humble and so approachable; I felt very comfortable with them. I spent more time with Ferol and she showed me a spread she uses which I will have to try.
The night was getting late and I was about to leave but I popped into one of the rooms where the free deck and book trade was and I found a group of readers at a table. I spent the rest of the night here. I made some new friends; one of them was Rana George who is my new favorite person! She speaks faster than me and I was shocked. Normally I am the one who speaks the fastest. I have finally met my match. Toni Brooks was there along with other great people. I was not sure what the conversation was about, I knew it was heavy and deep but I was a little lost lol It was getting late and I was tiered, I had a blast with them and finally I had to leave.
Saturday night I returned once more, I did not plan on coming back a third time but I could not stay away! I spent the whole night at the bar hanging out with Donnaleigh, Theresa, Barbara and many others. Barbara had with her a very special device called The Prognosticator. A steampunk fortunetelling device, a one of a kind in fact made just for her! Oh how I wanted to sneak off with it 7 of Swords style lol Stacey LaRosa finally made her way into the bar where me and her spent some time together talking and looking at the new Gilded Royale tarot and comparing it to the older version. As we were doing that who shows up next to us? Ciro Marchetti, perfect timing Ciro! We spoke to him about the cards and some of the changes with him. I finally got to meet Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone in this finale visit to RS. Which was a real nice treat. I had to meet the hosts of the Readers Studio, how could I not! The treats did not end, it turned out that Valerie Sylvester who I was sitting with me had a tarot deck which I want so much. She had a deck in a pouch and I asked, which deck did she have. I learned that this question can lead to some exciting results. Val had an The Illuminated Tarot by Carol Herzer. I am a Rider Waite Smith junkie and this deck was giving me an overdose! I did 2 quick readings and posed for a picture with the cards lol. As the night came to end, I left parting ways from my tarot peeps saying good night and safe journey home to them all.
Overall it was simply amazing to meet everyone, even though I did not attend any classes as an official guest of the event I enjoyed visiting. To be with like-minded people was a welcome change. To converse with those I consider to be mentors and idols was a very special experience. I will never forget these three nights. I feel more closely connected to the tarot community now and have more to reflect on in terms of my own place and role in everything.