Journey To The Readers Studio 2011 – Part II

(The image above is the Magician, from Joanna Powell-Colbert’s “Gaian Tarot”.)

As you saw in Journey To The Readers Studio – Part I, my literal journey to the Readers Studio was not that great. Something that I did neglect to mention was coming into La Guardia at night. I love the lights! Lights at night, and coming in over water during the day (this would be for Sea-Tac, my home airport) are breathtaking! Today I am going to talk about the things that went well – and there were many of them!

The first person that I saw as I approached the desk at the Marriott was Canadian Tarotist James Wells. How nice to talk to such an upbeat, loving person at the end of such a horrendous journey! This was very fortunate, as I soon found out that my roommate, Anna Burroughs Cook, had not signed in! I had left her a message to go ahead and sign in, that I would be there late Friday night, but she never got the message. I flip flopped all Friday night between hoping that she was just rooming with another person upon finding out that I was not there yet, and worry that she had taken sick and was unable to come. At this time I was not aware that she had not gotten my message.

I signed in, got my room key, and went up to my room. Quickly turned around and went back down, as the keys (both of them) would not work. The gentleman at the desk reset two new keys, and went up to my room with me to make sure that they worked. They did – yes! Showered, washed my hair, and crashed.

I went down to the ballroom where they were holding the event, and immediately felt right at home. I met Beth in the hallway, and she introduced me to the lady (I do apologise – I have forgotten her name!) who located my registration packet for me, and advised me not to lose the little icons for dinner and desert for the banquet that night. I set my stuff down at a table, placed a book that I had brought with me on the exchange table, and my flyers for my upcoming book on Birth Cards on the table outside designated for that, and then went to look at a few of the vendors. They had such great stuff!

I spoke to several people, and had several people come over and introduce themselves to me, including Theresa Reed (who told me that Anna had been there the day before, and had left when she found out I was not there yet) and Kate Chapman. Lovely ladies! I am so happy that Kate decided to come – she is an incredible person (as is Theresa!). Koneta Bailey came over to introduce herself, and we talked for a few minutes. Fortunately for me, she came over to my table, and became my partner for Saturday’s presentations. She is way nice, very, very smart, and shuffles like nobodies business!

Before I forget – thank you Llewellyn for the miniature decks in my welcome packet ( the “Das Feen Tarot” and the “Dragons Tarot”)!

The first presenter on Saturday was Barbara Moore (who is indeed a fashionista!). Barbara took us through the process of creating a Tarot spread, from the focus (on the question), to defining positions and developing a layout. She discussed the dynamics of a single card spread, pairs, lines, circles, and the cross. I loved her discussion of cards moving within a layout. Koneta and I developed a spread that we termed the Ribbon of Time Spread. I say “we”, but the credit goes to Koneta on this one! I hope that I can find a way to present this spread that shows how beautiful it can be!

BTW – Barbara is not above bribing people! She searched NYC for the best bakery, and brought cupcakes with her to give to those individuals that were willing to share the process of creating their spreads! At the end of her class those who wished to share gave Barbara a copy of the spread that they had created, with the knowledge that she will be creating a PDF of them, and sharing with all participants. This will be incredible! Bravo Barbara!

Before the class began I had the good fortune to meet Tarotist/author Paul Quinn. If you ever get a chance to meet Paul, please do so! He is a wonderful gentleman! At the break I got to meet Gina Thies (hopefully I have spelled Gina’s name correctly!). She is a lovely lady, and had one of the most creative costumes going at the banquet Saturday night!

Koneta and I lunched with Joanna Powell-Colbert and the Gaian Tarot Circle people. They are a wonderful group of individuals, and the lunch was really very good! I did not go exotic – I had a hamburger, which is something I had not had in a long time. The food and the conversation were magickal!

The afternoon session was lead by the esteemed Caitlin Matthews. One cannot help but be absolutely in awe of this lady! Aside from her incredible warmth and wisdom, she has an excellent singing voice! She used song to get the group to quiet down after each exercise, so that she could continue speaking. I have only seen this done in ritual before, and it was absolutely amazing! Her presentation was on Hunting the Lady – Using the Significator Skillfully. She discussed choosing the significator in a random fashion, working with a spread entitled the Web of Life, using two chosen significators as map references (When Significators Meet), using a chosen significator in a spread entitled the Tarot Council (from Rachel Pollack), using Ancestral Resources (from the new Celtic Wisdom Oracle by Caitlin Matthews), and using a random significator in a spread entitled Supporting Our Priorities. There was also a Royal Wedding Present spread, and a spread entitled the Wheel of Souls (from the work of Daan van Kampenhout).

Caitlin used the Wheel of Souls spread in a very memorable manner – she asked for a volunteer from the audience that was willing to work on a personal issue publicly, and then brought her up on the stage. (The volunteer was a lovely lady whose name I have forgotten!). Audience members were then chosen, on at a time, by the lady getting the reading, to come up on stage and act as one of four Souls (Universal Soul, Family Soul, Tribal Soul and Individual Soul). The whole performance was mesmerizing! Thank you to everyone who participated – you were truly gifted with the Sight!

Tomorrow, in Part III, I am going to chat about the banquet, the vendors, and whatever else comes to mind! Please join me!

https://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/journey-to-readers-studio-2011-part-1/
https://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/journey-to-the-readers-studio-2011-part-iii/

(c) May 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Christine Payne-Towler – Book Recommendations Part 2

I am happily ensconced on Christine Payne Towler’s site, http://www.tarotarkletters.com/arkletter_essays_and_articles/index.html. I could stay there for hours, looking at her book and deck recommendations, reading (and many times rereading) articles, essays and Arkletters. Today I want to bring Christine’s own book into the spotlight, as well as two other highly valuable reference books. I love building a personal library, and it helps to get recommendations from someone of Christine’s caliber.

The first book that caught my eye was Carl Jung’s “Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle”. This is an extract from Volume 8, a parapsychological study of the meaningful coincidence of events, extrasensory perception, and similar phenomenon. While not directly related to Tarot, it certainly has an application in how the Tarot is perceived by the reader as well as the Seeker. Not bad reading if you want to take Tarot to a deeper level.

The next book that caught my eye was Caitlin Matthews’ “Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom: The Divine Feminine From Black Goddess To World Soul”. Here the journey moves from pre-Christian spirituality to present day, seeking out the presence of the Goddess, the divine feminine power of wisdom. Throughout history, the Goddess and Goddess wisdom has been shunted aside – buried, if you will. In current times, focus is returning to the divine feminine in all of us.As readers, we use the Tarot as a tool of empowerment in readings, ritual, visualization and journey work. It is there to help us access our feminine wisdom and put it to work in our lives.

The third book, and one that I highly recommend, is Christine Payne-Towler’s “The Underground Stream: Esoteric Tarot Revealed”. This book makes you think, an I am quite enamored of it. Even if you don’t agree with everything Christine has to say, it makes you think about why things are the way they are in the Tarot world, and the world of esotericism. She discusses ancient knowledge, evolving magical traditions, weaving them together to illuminate the blind spots that hold us back from understanding the origins of the Tarot. She combines ancient astrology, Hebrew Kaballah, Alexandrian Hermeticism, Renaissance Magism and a history of the European Secret Societies to show the esoteric structure at the foundation of Tarot. Blatant self-promotion – my review can be seen here – http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/books/underground-stream/.

© April 2011 Bonnie Cehovet