April is now one of my favorite months. Not only is spring reawakening, but Reader’s Studio (RS) is also held in April. Reader Studio, hosted by Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone of the Tarot School in NYC. It is a yearly Tarot conference where readers from across the country and across the world come together for a weekend of pure Tarot goodness. While many readers are writing blogs on what happened at RS, I wanted to focus more on my experience (as well as what happened). This was my first time officially attending RS, so I “lost my virginity” and wanted to write down how RS has affected me. Day one I meet with James Wells my foundation-reading partner. We ask a question to our partner, they do a reading and we record the reading, positions, and cards. We will later revisit on Sunday.
There was the first-timer welcome, where all the first timers to RS are welcomed with a little ritual ceremony. I thought I was going to be sacrificed to the Dark Goddess but my life was spared. It was great to see so many first-timers! I was not alone, and there were so many young faces! A good sign that Tarot is alive and well with the younger generations.
The master class leader was none other than Mary K. Greer , who spoke about a subject which as she said would be controversial. I thought it was a subject that every reader needed to hear. The topic was about the fallibility of our intuition and how things like a prejudice or jumping to a conclusion can impact our work. It forces all of us to really sit back and reflect for a moment on our unconscious processes during a reading. The reading exercises we did were a difficult one, which challenged me. I walked away learning I had a weak spot I need to develop and work on.
Later that night I took Rachelle Pollack’s study group.There were many good study groups that night I wanted to take, but I could take one. It was a joy to sit and listen to Rachelle’s stories and learn from here. The class was on Gods, Goddess and the Tarot. The class was engaging and powerful. A reader in the class shared a powerful experience and did a reading with Rachelle on it. Later we did readings with a partner. The reading I did for her was spot on and spooky accurate, a good way to end the night. Day two I woke up early to be at the morning roundtable talk lead by Heatherleigh Navarre, just love this woman. Her energy is amazing. The topic was about the two sides of Tarot, intuition vs scholarly/book ways of reading the cards. I loved this topic, again like Mary’s it was needed. We need to talk about these issues because it keeps each other side in check. Sometimes it one side may become a little snobby in that they things their way is “better”. There are two ways to read, some read without picking up a book and other love to read books on tarot, learning systems and associations to use in the readings. I always saw myself as being more in the book camp than intuitive. I know intuition plays a role, but I do not rely purely on the intuition, though I know it is there in the background. The reason why I like going about things from a book/system perspective is that there is something to “backup” what I am saying when I give a reading. What I am saying seems less like it is coming out of no place or out of my ass to be blunt. I like having a system that is there that anyone if they know the system would also look at my reading and understand my conclusions and impressions.
We had two mater class leaders today. These were two excellent teachers that I am so upset I never knew about before! My god where I F**K have I been??? Anyhow, first up was Caitlín Matthews. I was very excited about her class because it was on the “sight of line”, which way cards are facing and the direction of the reading. A technique I already used, but after Caitlín’s class I have a new way of using this method and a new reason to use reversals again!
Caitlín taught us the oldest spread she knew about from the 18th centaury. Controversy seems to be the theme this weekend, the spread as designed to inquire about another person. The perfect spread for third parties, a touchy subject for readers. We broke into groups and used the spread on a fictional or real person. I was doing the reading and did not know who the person the group picked. I did the reading and it went well. At the end they told me I was reading for Elvis Presley.
The fun did not stop, next up was Sheilaa Hite a woman with a very large resume! Her class was very interesting and I love the way she communicates and presents herself on stage. She taught us a spread to use to look at different sides of a relationship. Some of the cards I got for my readings made my go “HMMMM” and Sheilaa came and gave me her views and I was blown away and got a glimpse at her perspective. I bought her book on tarot spreads.
Saturday night was the big night of the banquet. I sat with my gurl Theresa Reed the Tarot Lady who I was making cry with tears of laughter. The topic of the evening our table for some odd reason was a certain male appendage. I didn’t laugh that hard in a long time. A great night was had by all. I also treated the room with a quick belly dance 😉
Day Three’s morning roundtable was held by Doug Reuschel who opened the floor to all sorts of questions that the room had and people had the chance to answer them.
We later broke into incubators, small groups where we talked about a topic. The incubator of choice for me was “the dark side of positivity” lead by Barbara Moore. We had an excellent conversation on what happens when we focus only on the positive, how to handle negative readings and difficult situations. I learned the most from Barbara and Heatherleigh who gave me some tips I will use.
Later I found my foundation-reading partner James to revisit our foundation readings to apply what we learned over the weekend to our readings. I applied Caitlín’s techniques and saw how much the readings expanded and told a bigger story. In the end and after everything what can I say about my experience? Reader Studio was amazing and an experience every reader should be a part of. If you are a reader and never been to RS and have the means to attend do it! RS has recharged my batteries and motivated me to be better, to learn more and to just do more with Tarot. It has shown me what I need to work on, new techniques, and new perspectives. People came up to me and told me they enjoyed my videos/blogs and have learned much from me. It was a great to know that I am impacting others, my efforts are being recognized. It is a good feeling to know you have helped another person. Above all I had one hell of a good time with my tarot peeps. Which is one of the best things, the human connection. Our work we do can be very isolating if you do not anyone who reads the cards in your town. Online interaction is fun, but nothing like meeting in person, sitting together, working together, eating together and of course laughing our Asses off together. You make memories and make friends for life!
And all the Tarot Swag you can get!
See you at Reader Studio 2015!