Thirteen years …… hosting an event on Thursday 13th seemed too good to miss as we ran up to the conference. A group of us met at Atlantis Bookshop and made our way to the British Museum to see the Lost Cities Exhibition. The Exhibition was fascinating, but for me you have seen one artefact you have seen them all, 30 minutes later I was out the other-side. A group of us went to find the John Dee exhibition and the crystal skull on display, now this was right up my street!
A couple of hours later we met at The Plough in Museum Street for our talk by Geraldine Beskin on the Bloomsbury Mile. This is the pub of the Magicians once frequented by Alistair Crowley. Geraldine as always, was full of fun and knowledge and this turned in to a real social gathering and a chance for people to get together before the conference.
Friday morning, the day of the conference, Betty Jane Ware from Canada offered a chance to read tea leaves. A nice gentle way to start the day. While this was going on a frantic race to prepare the room in time for our 2p.m workshop was happening. The ‘goodie’ bags kindly donated by Lo Scarabeo, Hay House, Llewellyn and myself were being made up, and the technical equipment tested. All ready and raring to go for the 2p.m. start with John and Caitlin Matthews showing the ups and downs of making your own tarot deck. They had the additional surprise guest of Mark Ryan popping in to announce the Wild Magic project. Mark creates an explosion of energy when he enters the room!
This year, for the first time we offered an additional workshop 4 – 5p.m. as we have been asked for something to fill the gap and I duly agreed. Richard Abbot gave a fascinating talk on near death experiences. The group were buzzing with his lively interpretation of Death.
Aware that the day was already crammed with speakers, after a beautiful blessing by Wicca Meier-Spring, we welcomed another additional speaker, no other than Ciro Marchetti, beautiful presentation with a mad 5 minutes of card throwing to win a prize, only Ciro can get away with that! We went straight in to Steve Hounsome Tarot Therapy workshop which was informative. He also bought with him his new Tarot Therapy Deck which went down well.
Finally, before we launched the English Magic Tarot, Wicca Meier-Spring hosted a beautiful workshop on spell casting with tarot, the visual presentation was fascinating and Wicca did a wonderful job of showing us how we can use the cards to create magic.
Rex Van Ryn, Andy Letcher and Steve Dooley presented the much awaited English Magic Tarot, a short film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S5vA-296ug followed by the ‘boys’ chatting was all it took for a long queue to buy the deck, which was available to be signed by all three.
We opened with a short blessing by Wicca Meier Spring, as always from the heart and a beautiful way to start the day.
I should not have a favourite, but I loved Lisa Eddy’s workshop Transformation Junkie Master Class. I could have listened to her all day. The exercises were powerful, she read the room beautifully, interacted and was articulate in her presentation. Touching on Death is something many of us avoid, however, dealing with this subject in such a sensitive way was empowering.
After the break Corrine Kenner presented Gods of Tarot, this gave people a greater understanding of the Gods and Goddesses connected to tarot through astrology. Those who were not familiar with astrology and tarot found this interesting and insightful.
Our lunchtime presentation was from Kirsten Buchholzer, The Biedermeier Oracle (Austrian Gypsy Cards). I was not present at this workshop but many said it was their favourite of the day.
After lunch we kicked off with Philip Carr-Gomm and the Opera Tarot. Linda Sutton the artist also joined us. A visual display of the images and beautiful music livened up the ‘graveyard’ hour. When Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma blasted out it literally bought tears to my eyes. After each piece of music we were asked to pull a card from our deck and feel the energy of the music within the meaning. This was a very clever way to use cards. Well done Philip.
As we prepared to leave the energy of Death, Juliet Sharman-Burke welcomed Temperance. Juliet is such a competent, knowledgeable and engaging speaker. Through her visual presentation she explained the qualities of Temperance and plenty more besides. An exercise using Temperance as the significator was interesting and enlightening. The perfect end to a great weekend.
Those of you who know me well know that I put my heart and soul (plus a few pints of blood) in to making this the best it can be. I am always open to feedback, negative or positive so that I can listen and improve the experience. By popular demand I was asked for more content on Friday and I provided it. So more or less content. What is the answer? I know some found it overwhelming and others said it was the best conference ever. I shall find a balance somewhere in-between next year.
We have today added a deposit button for 13th 14th October 2017 (on the programme page), oh yes, planning ahead already. But for now I need a rest!