Review of the UK TAROT CONFERENCE 2008 by Suzanne Corbie
I am writing this at the end of a fascinating day that was yet another very successful UK Tarot Conference. Kim Arnold’s vision of bringing Tarot into the 21st century and promoting its depth and breadth of vision, history and understanding has been building slowly over the last five years and is without doubt, fulfilling that dream.
During the course of one day, we went full circle from one the world’s foremost authorities on Tarot, Rachel Pollack, describing the journey of tarot from when the cards were used for study by serious scholars to being used for psychological self development to Kay Stopworth, speaking about her new deck, Quantum Tarot, merging the imagination and intuition of the Tarot with the logic and science of quantum theory. In between, there were plenty of speakers to push our boundaries of understanding further.
Rachel opened the conference with a master class on the Friday evening that was sold out months ago and she did not disappoint. Her journey from understanding the cards in a psychological context in the 80s has led many people to view the cards that way and, always a pioneer, Rachel is seeking new ways of exploring the use of the cards. She began by exploring myths and legends that she felt illustrated the cards, helping us to gain a wider perspective beyond our narrow selves and this theme continued into her morning class, both of which were peppered with anecdotes that brought these themes to life.
Kay Stopworth used the Tarot as a vehicle for exploring the world of quantum physics and demonstrated how the world of logic and science can merge with the world of imagery and imagination and how we can use both in our tarot readings. She showed us how to separate our knowledge and reason from our intuition in our understanding of the cards, in order to be aware of when we were using one or the other and how to combine the two for a more profound reading.
Jane Lyle and Erik Thorell gave lunchtime workshops; Jane’s group worked on relationship spreads in the wider modern context which had a large group enthralled and Erik spoke of the fusion between tarot, astrology and i ching.
Tim Sullivan charged into the afternoon with his journey through the minor arcana, showing pentacles as the path of devotion, wands as the path of the creative, Swords as the path of wisdom and Cups the path of compassion. He certainly made the minor arcana come alive.
Riccardo Minetti from La Scarabeo, the only publisher in the world specialising in cards, spoke about the diversity of tarot from historical, esoteric, artistic, cultural and metaphysical viewpoints. Riccardo is passionate about his subject and it shows!
To finish off the day, Jane Struthers spoke about the differences between the study of tarot and the study of astrology and how knowledge of one can lend insight into the other, at the same time, stressing the importance of using your own intuition at all times.
If you missed the fabulous speakers, the fun and laughter, the goody bags, the champagne reception at Atlantis Bookshop, the meeting up with like-minded souls and the insights and creative tools to help develop your understanding of tarot further than you could imagine – All in one day– DON'T WORRY! The next Conference is already booked and under way. If you are a beginner, you’ll be enthralled and if you are a teacher or professional reader, you will be amazed at what you can learn and how stimulated you will be from new perspectives, accumulated knowledge and wisdom and many new, creative ways of using the Tarot.
18th October 2008
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