10th 11th October 2014 London
Last year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the conference and I was stunned that we exceeded the number of people attending this year, we truly are an international conference with attendees flying in from every corner of the world.
Our day began with the unpacking of gifts for our goodie bags generously donated by Llewellyn, Hay House, Lo Scarabeo and Kindred Spirit magazine which we hid away for the grand unveiling on Saturday.
We began on Friday at 2p.m. with a Master class hosted by Mary K Greer called “Tarot & Intuition: the Interplay of Creativity and Neuroscience”
The workshop covered how a tarot reading helps us step outside of the statistical universe. How we need to learn to trust our intuition, tap in to something beyond our daily comprehension. We discussed how we can sometimes, without thinking change what we say in a reading to fit a situation. We did a series of exercises and discussed a theory of how we could be more precise in a reading, for example could we look at the cards and see if the repair man would visit between 10 and 12 or 12 and 2, how accurate could we truly be with our cards?
After Mary’s two hour session we had an hour break, and for the first time we had an hour of quick fire card readings with myself. I posed questions to the group and they used different card reading techniques to discover the answer. One question using the minor cards only was, ‘what card would play you in a movie?’ Some very obscure cards came out of the deck, this exercise also made us look at our personality and possibly what others might see in us that we don’t see in ourselves.
Friday evening Israel Ajose took the stage, he is a huge personality and talked us through how we can combine Tarot and Magik. I LOVE this subject!! Israel asked the question ‘What is Magik?’ and never forget that Magik is real and powerful. It is part of a universal energy. If we create Magik it has to be in alignment to enable it to merge with the energy and work, in other words you can’t just ask for something to be or happen, you have to help it along. He showed us how by using a blend of tarot and astrology we can manifest something in our lives. I am not going to give the secret away, you will have to attend a conference to find out. However, we all need to remember we can evoke anything in to our lives!
Israel’s workshop was followed by the lovely Geraldine Beskin of Atlantis Bookshop talking about Lady Frieda Harris and the Thoth deck. Geraldine is a fountain of historical knowledge and told us about Lady Harris’s life with Crowley. We touched on Aleister Crowley who it seems was a miserable man, demanding, temperamental and must have been a nightmare to work with. This talk was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation of places where Freida lived and the people who were involved in her very colourful life.
After the evening workshop, I gave a sneak preview of a short film I am currently making, Unfortunately, it was not finished in time for the conference but I was thrilled that it had such a major impact. View it here http://tarotconference.co.uk/
The evening event was as always great fun, with a few nibbles and wine flowing we had our annual auction. This year it was a little different. The lovely Betty Jane Ware from Canada bought with her 5 bottles of Tarot Wine to sell.
With her generous heart she asked that with the money made from the sale of the wines, that we start a bursary to enable someone who might not otherwise be able to attend, have a place at the conference next year, and that we assist with travel and accommodation if needed. I thought it was a wonderful idea, and the sale made £195, so a great amount to kick off the Bursary pot. There will be more about how to apply for this next year. We also had a raffle on Saturday and the proceeds of this will also go in to the Bursary fund.
After goodie bags were distributed we kicked off with Mary Greer and the High Priestess. We looked at the history of the Visconti-Sforza tarot deck, Gugliema and other historical figures, this talk was fascinating, but for me went on a bit too long without interaction with the High Priestess and our cards. You can feel Mary’s passion for the tarot as she speaks, but after going through the history and many slides we only had less than 10 minutes to complete the High Priestess Spread. However, most really loved the subject and enjoyed the lecture.
After coffee break, we began the next session with the energetic Richard Abbot. I love Richard’s down to earth approach especially as he talked about people who have had a ‘spiritual bypass’ in other words, the majority of people love a reading but only want the good stuff! Tattvas and the Tarot was the subject of the talk. Something I don’t believe many in the room had heard of before. With a helpful handout we dived in to the cards which using the principles of Tattvas (which basically deals with quality not quantity), revealed some interesting results
Lunch time quickly arrived and we had two very different short workshops running, the first was with Dr Maria Antoniou hosting Soulful Enterprise – Five steps to a Successful Tarot Business which involved using your cards to discover what more one might need to look at to create a successful Tarot business. (See the Tarot Snippet article below by Maria on how to create a successful business).
This was followed by an almost full house (unusual for a lunchtime workshop as attendance is by choice and not part of the structured programme) by Dr Les Cross hosting ‘The 3000 year-old Bridge’ and how the ancient Oracle of Geomancy can be combined with the Tarot to create a powerful new spread (in fact two new spreads) bringing out the greatest strengths from both systems. This was a fascinating insight in to a subject few of us were familiar with. Les has great presenting skills and engaged the audience, he made a subject which one might think is involved and difficult, in to a relatively easy to understand system.
This certainly was a conference which challenged our view of tarot and in many cases opened a whole new vision as to how we could work differently and more effectively with our cards.
The lovely David Wells began our afternoon session with Sacred Pathworkings on the Tree of Life. We looked at the Tree of Life symbolism whilst David explained the journey to the Sun. I love the speakers who can be entertaining and knowledgeable and there is no doubt that David is both. David took us in to a meditation which was so powerful I wanted to open my eyes and watch the room, but as hard as I tried, I could not physically open my eyes, I was so deeply connected within the power of the meditation I had to go with the flow, I have never experienced anything like it in my life before.
The final session of the day was with Mary Greer who hosted a ‘Tarot Reading Circle’. We stood in a huge circle with people on the inner circle and those on the outside so we all had a partner. Mary had placed in a pool on the inside of the circle, decks of loose cards from which we had to randomly pick 5. Questions were asked by the ‘questioner’ and answered by the reader, the inner circle then moved round one person to the next and so it went on. This was a great interactive exercise which was enjoyed by all.
We finished the day with my meditation on the Justice card which I will share with you below, eleven years, it does not seem possible. For me personally something was different this year, in a good way, the dynamics have changed and I know something very special is brewing, you will have to watch this space as will I to see what is next.
On that note, 2015 we welcome Mark McElroy, Caitlin Matthews, David Wells and Sue Farebrother to name just a few of our key speakers. But for now, I am off to put my feet up it has been a very busy weekend!
Justice Meditation by Kim Arnold
Take a deep breath, close your eyes and just become aware of your breathing.
You find yourself standing on the large marble steps facing a grand white building. You push open the large door with ease and step inside.
The hall is magnificent, and as you look up you notice 4 stained glass windows with pictures representing the images of Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and Justice.
You are alone as you sit, relax and look at the windows, you look at the images and find that the Justice window draws you in, the sunlight is pouring through the coloured glass and shines its light upon you …. you find yourself immersed in the in the rich colours of red, gold and purple. The colours appear to wash over you and you can feel the healing energies working and rebalancing your mind, body and spirit.
Feel those colours engulf your very being. Slowly the colours begin to subside and you notice the person in the window holding a set of scales.
The scales are not equal …… there is something within you which is out of balance, think about a current issues which is troubling you, and as you go deeper in to meditation you are once again aware of the colours enveloping you.
Ask for guidance and as you do so a Tarot card appears in your hand, look at it, what message has Justice given you, the card will guide you to your answer. Spend a moment with the card until you clearly understand its message.
Now you are ready to take your focus away from the card and back to the window, and you notice the scales are now equal and the Justice window sits once again proudly and equally alongside Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude.
You stand and look around the grand hall for the last time, soak in the stillness and the energy of this powerful room.
You quietly retrace your steps back towards the door until you are once again outside in the sunshine. …… When you are ready open your eyes.