Every Spring, I head to New York to attend my favorite Tarot conference of the year, The Reader’s Studio. Hundreds of tarot folk arrive from all over the country and around the world, to learn, share, and grow in their relationship to that historic deck of 78 cards has become an essential toll of my life’s work. This year, the event will be a little different for me, as I’ve been invited by our hosts Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone, of the prestigious Tarot School, to actually present one of the morning Breakfast Roundtable sessions. I have spent the past few months pondering a dozen different topics, trying to come up with and idea that is entirely new in the tarot world (and I eventually decided that might not be possible!), and finally narrowed it down to two different, but equally intriguing (to me) topics for the morning’s discussion. Here they are:
“The Space Between
As tarot readers, we are often asked by those we read for, “How did you KNOW that?!” This is a question as old as divination itself. Many tarot readers devote years to the study of historical interpretation systems, others may use the cards as more of an intuitive prompt for their readings, but most of us lie somewhere in between the wholly academic and the exclusively intuitive approaches. We make use of the wealth of information available to us on the “right” way to read tarot, and we also call on our own reason, intuition and experience. In this way, we dwell in the space between the world of tarot academia and purely psychic readings. What can we learn from examining this “space between”? Is it necessary, or is it even possible, to categorically know to origin of our insights? What can be gained from exploring where we are, individually, on the spectrum of academic/intuitive reading, and can we grow our tarot skills by broadening our place on that spectrum?”
“Claiming our Tarot Identity
As tarot readers, we are often asked by friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers, to explain, justify, or even apologize for our interest in tarot, and our practice of tarot reading. Despite the phenomenal growth of tarot in just the past decade, the lack of awareness and understanding of tarot history and practice continues among the vast majority of mainstream society. Often, being “out” as a tarot reader means having to endure what I call “The Spooky Effect”. Well-meaning folk tend to assign some very strange and mostly inaccurate attributes to us, and less-than-well-meaning folk often project their fears and insecurities onto us, pigeonholing us as weirdos, wackos, and sometimes just downright dangerous. How, then, can we each craft an identity as tarot readers that will not only sustain and uplift us personally, but also help us to serve as “Tarot Ambassadors”, promoting awareness, education, and support for this time-honored creative and worthy pursuit?”
Still not sure which one will make the cut, but I’m eager to share the conversation with such a bright and inquisitive group of like-minded souls. If you’d like the chance to hone your own Tarot chops, find out more about the Tarot School’s Reader’s Studio 14 here: http://tarotschool.com/RS14/index.html. So far, Carole (Our fearless leader – and my mom, of course!), Grace, and Charise and myself are all planning to attend and represent out Boston Tea Room family. We’re hoping that more of us will be able to make it, too. Maybe we’ll see you in New York!
~ Heatherleigh Navarre