Today I had a wonderful morning teaching Tarot to 16 art students from the USA. It was a mixed group of both beginners and advanced Tarot readers, so I decided to work with something everyone could engage in, birth and soul cards. Fabulous.
I had a really busy day planned for my time in London including looking at a couple of venues. I left my US students, and as I came out the front door of the building I could not remember if I came in left or right. I took my chance and ended up going the wrong way, apparently Regent Street beckoned. Time was getting on and I had a really important meeting in Stamford Brook at 2.30, but first to the venues, it was now after 1p.m. but I knew if I moved quickly I could see the venues before my meeting. I took the tube to Notting Hill changed via a mile of escalators to get to High Street Kensington, it took forever, finally, I arrived. I called the venue and asked where to go, it was just a 2 minute walk. After much faffing she said I was in the wrong place. I needed to be in Gloucester Road, just jump on the tube blah blah, I was getting really stressed, I said I had not got time to get on the tube again, I would get a taxi. I hailed a cab jumped in and we moved 6 feet and stopped in the sheer volume of traffic. I think the driver saw me on the verge of a breakdown and swiftly took an odd turning and £15 later we were there.
I went to the concierge as instructed, asked for Miss Droopy Draws and he said he had never heard of her, well I said, this is where she said to come, I gave him the paper with her name and number, he called, and sure enough she answered with the hotel chain name. Take a seat, he said she will be here in a minute. Tick, tock, where is she, I got up and asked where she was I had an important meeting to attend the other-side of London and it already looked like I would be late. He called again and I could hear, ok, yes, ok right, ok, What’s going on, I said and took the phone from him.
The dopey cow on the other end of the phone said, why are you in Gloucester Road you should be in Kensington High Street (where I started). I said, are you having a bloody laugh, I didn’t just think oh I know, I will go on a wild goose chase in a black cab, you told me to come here, oh sorry, she said, WE have got our wires crossed you need to come back. I went mad, oh she said is there anything I can do? Yes, I said look out the f*cking window and find out where your office is and don’t waste my time, I put the phone down. Needless to say I did not go venue hunting and we won’t be going there. Will be back with more news next week.
If I say so myself, and I do, the Tarot Conference just gets more and more wonderful. The diversity of speakers and knowledge they have to offer always guarantees our attendees leaving with renewed vigour and enthusiasm for their Tarot cards.
Each year, as old and new friends arrive through the door, we welcome our ‘tarot tribe’ who, once again, have journeyed from the four corners of our wonderful planet to join us. We come together to expand our knowledge and also experience and learn alternative methods of working with what we all have in common, which is a passion and love for Tarot.
The Conference was officially opened on Friday morning by my dear friend Wicca Meier-Spring performing a short ceremony of welcome and intention. I then presented a workshop on the theme of using Tarot as an Emotional Tool. Half-way through my workshop, I was ‘given’ (yes, voices in my head) a channelled meditation. This was completely unexpected but, as I have learned to do, I allowed this to flow and subsequently we all experienced a meeting with the Court card we had been working with. I surprise myself sometimes! Everyone appeared to enjoy this unplanned addition to my talk.
We then broke for lunch. ……… After lunch, Andrea Aste presented his inspiring talk entitled ‘Tarot as a Story Telling Machine’ which was accompanied by a very beautiful visual video of his work. I was not aware beforehand that Andrea had produced a deck of Tarot cards previously and these were beautiful. Andrea’s presentation certainly gave us all something very different to think about. He is one smart cookie whose words intrigued us which, in turn, ensured he gained our full attention. We soon discovered he also possessed a great sense of humour which caused much laughter several times during his presentation.
John Matthews launched Wild Magic with Mark Ryan joining us by pre-recorded video. Poor Mark had a croaky voice due to being poorly, but we greatly appreciated the effort he made to ‘join’ us from LA. John did book signings and spoke about the creation of this lovely book.
Chloe McCracken kicked off the early evening session with ‘Angels of the Tarot: Temperance and Beyond’. Chloe is always an engaging speaker and delighted us with her in-depth research on the Angels in Tarot which led us to work on an Angel inspired reading with the cards.
Last, but not least, our final Speaker of the evening was the lovely Sasha Graham ‘Tarot and Your Shadow Self.’ Sasha guided us on how to use tarot to unlock and explore the Shadow Self. It was obvious she had put a great deal of hard work in creating visual slides and handouts for us. Sasha was an engaging and enthusiastic presenter. Shadow work, by its nature, is always very revealing to us as individuals, but Sasha took us through the whole process with ease. This led on to our evening event; an opportunity to mingle and socialise with that days Speakers and our fellow attendees. By 10.00 p.m. I was ready for bed, but left the lights on at the venue for the hardened few. Saturday promised to be another busy day.
Wicca once again opened the days proceedings with a hands-on opening ceremony. We were asked to lay 3 cards chosen by Wiccan to represent what we needed to get out of the day. The cards were laid in a row and we were then asked to repeat whatever she said. We all obediently repeated the words she spoke regarding the first card. The same happened with the second card. The words spoken by Wicca relating to the third card, ‘Move to the right’ were also faithfully repeated, As one, we all realised what was said and the room exploded with laughter. This set the tone for the day.
The day began with a wonderful workshop with Carrie Paris; Mediumship & Tarot: Divining with the Unseen. Using her many beautiful assorted charms, casting cloth, Tarot cards and antique photographs, proved to be a very powerful technique. Carrie also guided us through a moving meditation. I very much enjoyed this workshop as I found it inspiring on so many levels.
During our break Zandri, a very talented young photographer from Z.T. Photography joined us and captured many wonderful, impromptu photos of many of us. Take a look at Zandri’s inspirational work which accompanies this blog.
Kirsten Buchholzer guided us through her topic of ‘Temperance: From Despair to Paradise’ – which involved looking at various Tarot card positions in the Tree of Life. This proved to be somewhat challenging but the room was buzzing with discussion and activity which is always a great sign.
Our two lunch-time workshops were hosted by Joanne Watkins from Australia; The Mindset, Understanding Interpretation and Tero Hynynen who has shared details of the spread he worked with via his website https://www.thearcanum.uk/. These taster workshops are optional for our attendees but are always well attended and enjoyed.
After lunch, Steven Bright took the stage with his presentation ‘Looking at The Celtic Cross Through Different Eyes.’ A lovely presentation showcasing his soon to be available Tarot deck Spirit Within. We explored the Celtic Cross and the many alternative ways of working with it, including removing or adding cards. As someone who personally loathes the spread it really did make me think again. I may even be tempted to use it in the near future.
Our final speaker of the Conference was Sasha Graham with her second presentation entitled Tarot, Romance and Your Highest Self. I admit to being a little unsure of how this workshop would work but was pleasantly surprised by a beautiful presentation which used fairy tales to explore ourselves and the cards. Who knew this would work! Fabulous, and a perfect end to a perfect weekend.
Thank you to Eddison Books and Hay House for their very generous gifts for the goodie bags. Julie at http://www.prestige-pa.com/ for her support. The Atlantis Bookshop (Geraldine and Bali) for their guiding hands and Diane, Liz and Cathi my giggly girls who keep me sane when I wobble. Of course, thank you to my wonderful speakers, stall holders and everyone who joined us this year.
See you in 2018 when we welcome Rachel Pollack and Benebell Wen at a new venue to be announced soon. Until then, bye for now.
You can reserve your 2018 place by paying your deposit now http://tarotconference.co.uk/tarot-programme/
Testimonials from 2017
I just wanted to share a big thank you and well done on the conference. It was incredibly inspiring and I’ve made lovely new friends, as well as learnt a lot! Brilliant. LV
Kim, just two words ˜Bl**dy amazing’ Thank you so much GR
Such an inspiring first conference for me, I was so nervous about coming alone but have made some wonderful friends, it was so much more than I dared anticipate. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. HM
Just 4 weeks and a few days before the 2017 UK Tarot Conference and I am bursting with excitement. This year, we have a few changes which will make your Tarot experience even more FABULOUS!
I have arranged for a small stage to be erected in the main Clerkenwell Suite, as all the merchandise will now be contained in the adjoining Barbican Suite, we now have extra room to play with. The Barbican Suite will be set up, not only as in previous years for refreshments, but also as a Tarot marketplace including a private section for readings with some of our reknowned Speakers. (An approximately 30 minute reading will cost £45.00 and will need to be booked in advance). It will also serve as our event room for Friday evening with a paid bar with, as always, complimentary canapes.
Our auction will offer you all the opportunity to bid for several unique and hard to come by lots, (I really must stop bidding!) The proceeds of which go towards subsidising those who would otherwise not be able to financially afford to join us. Your generous participation really does make a huge difference, and is very much appreciated.
Someone had mentioned to me that we pack in too much! Therefore, although Saturday has a full schedule of Speakers, Friday has been arranged to allow more time for you to catch your breath with longer scheduled breaks.
I have a house full of boxes from Eddison Books and Hay House plus some treats from me for your goodie bags to look forward to upon arrival. I hope I’ve covered everything, apart from reminding you to check your in-box about 10 days prior to the event for the latest news.
Finally, we have a few deposits paid with the remaining balance still due, but technically, we are SOLD OUT! However, it is possible the few who have not paid their account in full, may be unable to attend so there may be 2 or 3 tickets to spare. I will let you know next week.
Wishing you all a great day,
Today is a Sun/Wheel of Fortune day and this morning I had a message from a wonderful tarot friend offering to put some money in to the bursary fund. One thing I decided when I started the conference is that NO ONE would not be able to attend because of lack of means. I will always try and make it happen as some of you reading this who have benefited will know.
This lady filled my heart with joy, her kindness in recognising the huge task ahead of putting on such an event makes me realise I am not alone, a one man band maybe, but with the support of the Tarot Community we will get bigger and better each year.
However, the Bursary fund means that we can offer more to those in the tarot community who cannot normally afford to attend the conference. So thank you to everyone who has hit the £10 donation button, I promise you it all goes to the people who need it most.
If you want to donate you can find the button at the bottom of the page HERE
Sasha was born just after midnight on a chilly Halloween night. Sasha received a BA in Literature and Religion and began her work with tarot. She conceived and produced tarot events at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Morgan Library and brought the tarot community behind the scenes with curators and educators. Rare Visconti, Marseille and Minchiate cards along with uncut Italian card sheets were unveiled. These treasures, previously shuttered in museum archives and unavailable to the public were examined and considered in a modern context. Sasha is proud of her Tarot Outreach Program. Sasha’s first ever of it’s kind outreach was developed for New York City’s at-risk, inner city youth. Working with kids who were transitioning out of the foster care system, Sasha used tarot and symbol as the igniting point of nurturing personal intuition. She taught that trust in oneself can be rebuilt. Sasha is the author of Llewellyn’s Tarot Diva, 365 Tarot Spreads, 365 Tarot Spells and served as editor and contributing writer of Lo Scarabeo’s Tarot Fundamentals, Tarot Experience and Tarot Compendium. She is currently working on Llewellyn’s Complete Guide to the Rider Waite Smith Tarot, hitting shelves in 2018. She is creating her first tarot deck with Marvel and Disney artist Mirco Pierfederici, The Haunted House Tarot. It will be released by Lo Scarabeo in 2018.
Sasha will be leading two workshops at the 2017 UK Tarot Conference
Friday: Tarot and Your Shadow Self & Saturday: Romance and your Highest Self