Welcome to Part Two of the conference report continued from my previous post. Today’s piece is about the second day.
Journal entry excerpt from the morning of Day Two: I’m heartened by the interactions here at the conference. People are mingling, sharing, learning, and teaching no matter if they’ve been involved with the tarot for four minutes or four decades. What gifts does today hold for me/us? Let’s walk into the day and find out.
Over the past two or three years, several people have been getting into the Lenormand cards, a non-tarot divination tool. The first presentation of Day Two, by the delightful Rana George, showed us how these cards might be employed well. First, she had us do a Square Spread, a three-by-three grid of cards with the intention depicted in the centre and the commentary around it. Then, Rana took us on a tour through a grand tableau — a 36-card layout — that she did for a client who remained unnamed throughout the session. We were shown how Rana discovers key topics based on the significator, how to tie specific situations together by lining up rows and columns of cards, and how to weave a story that makes sense from all of this. The clear handouts and the presenter’s friendly style had all of us nodding in understanding.
After lunch, Dallas-based Gina Thies offered a combination presentation-workshop about the shadow. She was inspired to do this by a quote by the late Paul Foster Case in which he said that Key 15 (the Devil card) is a very important card. Another great quote, by Jodorowsky, that she used is, “The demon is only a mask of God.” And this one, by Carl Jung: “Find out what a person fears most and that is where he will develop next.” Our first activity was to take Trump XV from our deck and simply spend time looking at it until a character name leapt into our awareness. Mine was the Cynic About This F***ing World. Oh my! Gina’s layout of four pairs of cards — the Four Natural Enemies on the Path Spread — was very revealing, addressing what scares one, what one is clear on, the powers one holds, and one’s next development. The final exercise was so simple yet powerful. We paired up with someone, sat back to back, and interviewed each shadow character (from the beginning of the workshop) and drew single wisdom cards for each one at a time. The Cynic that showed its face through me earlier now received a new role and name — the Truth Bearer. Beautiful!
As one of the breakout sessions, I gave a workshop on custom-created tarot spreads. Group members called out definitions of a spread/layout, including: a map of the tarot consultation, a constellation of sub-topics within a larger topic, a container for context, and much more. I took the participants through an intake process wherein the querent’s goals, challenges, and objectives for the tarot session are clarified. Then everyone went through my How to Create Your Own Tarot Layout in Five Easy Steps. From what I could tell by walking around the room, people’s creativity was stimulated as they generated wonderful maps of personal exploration. I wish that we’d had more time so people could have read with their spreads during the workshop, but we didn’t. Hopefully, people have been using their layouts since returning home. I felt energised by offering this topic, one of my favourites!
Some people flew or drove away after the closing of the conference. Others of us went to Razoo’s for Cajun food and caught up with one another and had several laughs. Back at the hotel, a small group of us ended up having a wonderful conversation about how the tarot is for so much more than personal stuff, how it’s also for addressing situations in our culture and world. Inspiring!
Then, on Monday, I flew home. Aaahhh…
Image of Trump 15 from the B.O.T.A. Tarot by Paul Foster Case and Jessie Burns Parke. Photograph of remaining people at conference by Spencer M., using a device owned by Katrina Wynne.