|Mary K. Greer|
Things kicked off with a talk from Mary K. Greer, the keynote speaker, on Intuition and Neuroscience. Mary drew on lots of scientific resources, as well as personal experiences, and brought in plenty of interactive elements, too, to make this a fascinating presentation. She had us all fill out a form at the start to say how experienced a tarot reader we felt we were, what our "accuracy" was, and how we believed that we read. She then did some exercises to show just how much we are influenced by what is happening around us, and what we see and hear, in how we respond to questions. We also did a larger group exercise to look at how we are influenced by initial knowledge and how we deal with tricky ethical questions (a querent asking about abortion).
I liked that Mary did still leave a space open for "mystery". She said that in her experience there are a very few people (even from the pre-selected tarot community), who do better than the average 50-50 in their predictions. While I don't count myself among them, I hope I do bring "educated intuition", that balance of experience and openness to the various messages from the cards and the querent, to provide helpful readings.
|Krysten and I, so glad we got some time together!|
Next thing up was Kim Arnold, the Conference organiser, leading us through some fun tarot activities. She took these from The Tarot Activity Book by Andy Matzner, and it was a great way to break the ice and get into a more playful mindset.
Finally, Geraldine Beskin of The Atlantis Bookshop gave a talk on Lady Frieda Harris, who painted the Thoth Tarot. This was a talk I was very much looking forward to, but unfortunately didn't get to attend, as the baby was thoroughly bored of sitting in the Conference by that point, as well as tired and teething. So, an early night for me instead of drinks and nibbles with my co-attendees - the trials of motherhood...
|Mary K. Greer|
After a short break, which I once again spent breast-feeding rather than socialising, Richard Abbot was up with a talk about Tarot and the Tattvas. Basically, this is the sanskrit take on the elements - earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Despite disagreeing with Richard's comment that most people these days pooh-pooh elemental understandings (personally, I use them either implicitly or explicitly in all my readings), I loved this workshop.
|Dr. Maria Antoniou|
|Dr. Les Cross|
The reading circle run by Mary Greer after this was a fascinating experience. Everyone got to have some mini-readings, and we also experimented as readers with ideas like just describing cards literally, describing the "feeling/ambience" of the card, creating a fairy tale from it, and relating all of these back to the querent and their cards.
To close, Kim led another beautiful meditation (though I had to skip out on that as Baby was no longer feeling patient). Altogether, it was another amazing Conference, full of deep learnings, humour, history, insight and a lot of experimentation.
As I mentioned, the goodie bag we received was once again very generously endowed. So, I'd like to share a little of the Tarot Conference love by giving away the Numerology Guidance Cards (Hay House, 2013) from my bag. To enter, just comment on this post, and I'll annouce the winner next Friday, 24th October, in the post on Astrogem Geomancy.