On March 23, we held the Toronto Tarot Symposium. It was a gathering of 24 tarot enthusiasts. The six presentations were varied and appropriate for people of all levels of tarot experience.
Marilyn Shannnon shared how to employ crystals and stones with the tarot in ways that enhance the information that comes to both reader and querent. I offered a workshop on using the structure of the tarot to map out where you are in various parts of life, where you’d like to be, and how you might get there. Shelley Carter presented a colourful slideshow that compared the cards of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck with those of the various Marseille decks. Monica Bodirsky came up with a tarot spread to help us explore the conditions of a past life and what we can learn from it in this lifetime. Andrew McGregor’s session was on using tarot to predict and prepare for life’s contingencies (Plan A, Plan B, etc.). Freda Crake guided us through a meditation in which we spent time in Malkuth, the tenth sephirah on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.
Participants were enthusiastic to discover these different ways that tarot can look, be used, and thought about. The day concluded with a collaborative conversational process called World Café. At the end, we harvested ideas to take forward to create tarot community, inspire more more events, make the tarot a richer part of our lives, and encourage learning. Here’s what emerged, recorded by me in the form of open-ended questions:
- What would creating and maintaining a skilled, deep, inclusive, and self-expanding clan of tarot people in Southern Ontario entail?
- What small group experiences might be offered that contribute to the tarot clan’s sense of community?
- What larger group experiences might be offered that contribute to the tarot clan’s sense of community?
- What collaborative small and/or larger group tarot experiences might some or all of the presenters offer that contributes to that sense of community?
- How might people’s basic tarot skills be sharpened?
- How might we assist people to find themselves in the tarot, integrate it into their spiritual practice(s), and connect it to their archetypal journeys? What role might other tools, processes, and modalities — e.g. dream exploration, astrology, numerology, non-tarot decks — play in this?
- How might we offer a symposium that gives people longer sessions/presentations/workshops to deepen their understanding while keeping the symposium affordable, time-efficient, and enjoyable? What might “deepening” actually mean or look like at such a gathering?
- What space(s) would allow presenters and participants to communicate well, contribute to all feeling nurtured, and be easy to access?
- How can we ensure that the experiences we offer include people of many levels of tarot experience while keeping a diverse range of people authentically engaged?
- What do we who offer tarot experiences on a professional basis need? How can we meet the needs/requests of tarot explorers while growing and thriving in ways that really feed *us*?
- How can we balance our desire to present something innovative and creative with the needs of those who attend an event? If we could do our most creative, innovative tarot presentations without censoring them, what would look like, and who would our true audience(s) be?