Review of the UK TAROT CONFERENCE 2011
Thistle City Barbican, London
The 8th UK Tarot Conference took place in London on the14th and 15th October.
Friday evening’s subject was ‘Tarot and Astrology’ with Sasha Fenton, I knew Sasha would give a lively, entertaining and knowledgeable talk, as when I asked her if she was ok to speak for two hours, she assured me she could talk for two months without coming up for air! If you have ever had difficulty understanding the correlation of Tarot and astrology, then I recommend you buy one of Sasha’s books which explain this in easy to follow detail. We whizzed through astrological houses, meanings, symbols and put this together in an insightful reading in just two hours! Sasha is extremely funny and kept the talk lively, but at the same time shared valuable information to help us add depth to our readings. We finished Friday evening with talk and laughter over bottles of wine and nibbles, a chance for everyone to get to know each other before the main event on Saturday
Gaynor Thompson kicked off Saturday morning with an interactive and full on session. Gaynor has excellent knowledge of the cards and is also very intuitive which adds another level to the reading. Everyone pulled at random one major arcana and one minor card, and began a reading by taking special note of the numbers on the card, this did not relate necessarily to numerology but more on the lines of what does it mean to you. The session was very insightful and enjoyable.
After morning coffee break, Philip Carr Gomm introduced Adele Nozedar who has recently launched the Secret Language of the Birds Tarot. Adele told the story of how and why she created the deck, and during her session explained the meanings of the birds used and why they were chosen, also how they related to ancient society where their behaviour, characteristics and movement influenced the trend or decision of the day, in other words how the behaviour of certain birds was consulted for guidance. From time to time Philip would offer additional information from a Druid prospective which was fascinating.
During lunch break, John Matthews and Mark Ryan introduced the Wildwood Tarot deck with a full interactive session. They continued this theme with the first session after lunch. Mark gave us a little insight in to his childhood, where he had a fascination with Arthurian history and Robin Hood. Later in life he looked for decks which related to these subjects, during this time he became friends with Chesca Potter and together they designed the highly sought after Greenwood Tarot. He spoke a little about Chesca’s disappearance and dispelled rumours surrounding this, although to this day her disappearance is still a mystery. Together Mark and John showed a PowerPoint presentation of the Major arcana of the Wildwood Tarot, and explained how the deck was created and where the vision for some of the images were born, some of the stories behind certain cards were very personal and I am sure many like me felt privileged to be part of this.
Our final speaker of the day Richard Abbott shared an amazing reading ‘Discover your Four Roads’ how to discover four paths through numerology. Richard’s energetic and magnetic session had us all fully enthralled in what he had to share. The reading was truly enlightening and I will certainly share this with my groups (of course passing credit on to Richard).
This was a fascinating weekend with valuable opportunities for learning available to those who were starting out on their journey of discovery into the tarot and for those of us who after many years, just wanted to know more. Finally a huge a grateful thank you to Lo Scarabeo, Llewellyn and Kindred Spirit magazine for their support and generous ‘goodies’ for each of our attendees.
2012 is already in the diary, we will announce the line up, date and venue in January. I can’t wait! Kim Arnold