In this third installment about my recent trip to New York, I’ll cover the events of Saturday, 25 April, Day Two of the Readers Studio proper. See my previous two entries for the days that led up to it.
So much goes on at the Readers Studio, that one can’t be at everything, so I didn’t make it to Marilyn Shannon’s breakfast roundtable on Using Tarot to be Fearless, Kind, and Happy, but by all reports it was very good. Nor did I make it to any of the rituals in the meditation room hosted by Carolyn Cushing, but once again heard that they were helpful.
From 9:30 through 12:00, we all took part in Theresa Reed‘s wonderful session, How to Read Tarot Under Any Circumstance. Theresa’s intention was to give us tools and tips to help us remain calm, grounded, and clear-minded regardless of what’s going on so that we can be professional throughout any tarot encounter. We witnessed her capacity to do this as she fluidly carried on with the first part of her presentation despite snags with the audio-video equipment. Excellent walking of the talk! Theresa (aka the Tarot Lady) took us on a tour of the Seven Nightmare Clients — the Skeptic, the Downer, the Hysteric, the Creep, the Bully, the Penny Pincher, and the Trigger — complete with fun cartoons and real-life stories. They were hilarious because so many of us have, at some point, worked with many or all of them. We were offered clear advice on how to deal with each. In addition to being a tarot reader, Theresa is a yoga teacher, so she offered a variety of yogic techniques to help us read cards even under stressful circumstances. The breath, focused concentration, and visualisation all came into play. Each practice was/is simple and effective. We were given an opportunity to practise the concepts with a partner, alternating roles of tarot reader and difficult client. Enjoyable and revealing. Theresa strongly encouraged us to set and stick to clear policies and boundaries around what we’re happy to do readings about, what we won’t do readings about, how people need to book sessions with us, how they should not book sessions with us, what happens if querents cross boundaries, and much more. Her advice to keep our policies in plain view of ourselves was wise; it can be easy to slip into “loosey-goosey” mode around them. How to Read Tarot Under Any Circumstance was a polished, enjoyable, and user-friendly workshop that I know all of us will refer to again and again.
We spent 3:00 through 5:30 p.m. diving deeply with Carrie Paris. This multi-layered experience was a delicious taste of how Carrie works with tarot/divination clients over a period of weeks and months to help clear away distractions and distortions that get in the way of the soul’s purpose so that one can be a living vehicle for the mission that the soul wants and needs to carry out in this lifetime. Carrie’s questions and prompts helped:
- If you could leave this session with an answer or a sense of clarity, what would it be?
- What if we let our passion piece look at us and talk to us?
- Are you giving equal focus to the human/soul experience?
- What is my highest wish for myself?
- Is this highest wish really mine?
- What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits. (This one was from C.G. Jung).
Carrie reminded us that a reading that addresses such issues needs to honour spirit, heart, mind, and body. The spread she provided did that. My own cards, from the Thoth deck, were:
- What’s waiting on the other side of that old story/distraction? Ace of Wands.
- What love poem does my soul want to recite to me? 10 of Cups plus a couple of slips of paper pulled from an envelope of words (See my poem below).
- What does my soul want me to know? Queen of Swords.
- How will I be a vehicle for my soul’s mission (in one word)? Prince of Discs.
We concluded with soul-gazing, five to ten minutes of looking into another person’s eyes, a profound act of witnessing that is a journey beyond the verbal. Tears streamed down my face as my workshop partner and I beheld one another’s essence and I received an even larger, richer vision of who my soul says I can be. Life-giving stuff!
In between workshops, I gave private readings using the Thoth, Gorgon’s, Medicine Woman, and Voyager decks. Yet again, it was an honour and a privilege to help people unpack layers of story and gain support through the language of the tarot. Praise Life!
Saturday concluded with a sumptuous four-course dinner and a dance party that gave us a chance to relax, let loose, and blow off some steam. It was a treat to move the body, enjoy some music and a drink, and connect with people socially. Aahh!
Here’s the poem that my soul recited to me through the 10 of Cups during Carrie’s workshop:
Oh my fountain,
thou harbour of my heart,
I worship the sacrament
that you are;
I worship the sanctuary
wherein flows the sweet river
from which I drink deeply
of the pattern
that underlies creation.
You, my beloved,
are that sanctuary.
Images: The Devil from the Halloween Tarot; the High Priestess from the Morgan-Greer Tarot, and the 10 of Cups from the Thoth Tarot.