Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Home from the 2008 Readers Studio

in Community, Tarot, Travel

Rs08I’m home from another deeply satisfying Readers Studio.  This is one Tarot event I will just not miss, even though the ten-plus hours of travel to and from the east coast is exhausting.  (Yesterday was my rest, recoup, and reconnect-with-my-sweetie day.)

Even now I have a collage of mad images and snippets of conversations, faces and readings dancing around in my head.   I realized on the way home that the folks I connect with at the Readers Studio are becoming another family for me and these events are our family reunions.  Even though we may only see each other once or twice a year, our bonds are strengthened each time and go a little bit deeper.

I love being with people who really “get” me and value the work that I do.  I love being able to share my unique gifts with others and be appreciated for it.  (Who wouldn’t?)

I’ve been involved in a number of spiritual and mundane groups over the years, and I’ve found that the people of the Tarot tribe are some of the warmest and most generous people anywhere.  There is a significant lack of superiority/ego among the Tarot luminaries — the authors, teachers and deck creators.  They are accessible and totally down to earth.  Is there something, do you think, about a lifelong study of Tarot that helps people maintain this balance of self-confidence and humility?  I wouldn’t be surprised.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the community forum at the very end.  When Ruth Ann handed out RS08 certificates by calling out each participant’s name, the whole room enthusiastically clapped and cheered for each person.  “It’s like everyone is getting congratulated for just being who they are!” I whispered to Sir James, who was sitting next to me.

Ciro Marchetti and his lovely wife Maria confessed that they had some trepidation about the event before arriving.  (Ciro is an accomplished digital artist in many fields other than Tarot.)  “We thought that either you would all be a bunch of stuffed shirts,” he grinned, “or else there’d be a long line of broomsticks in the carpark!”  Everyone roared.  They did not expect the kind of warmth and friendliness they experienced.  Ciro’s beautiful decks have meant a lot to the Tarot community, and he got to experience that appreciation first hand.  (And I thoroughly enjoyed talking shop with him about art techniques in the vendor’s room on Sunday afternoon.)

Debbie Lake has posted a colorful, detailed report of the event on her blog, so if you’d like a blow by blow description of what went on (including notes on the presentations), check it out.  (There’s four great posts.) And yes Debbie, we definitely need to have more time together next year!

A few of the highlights for me:
James Wells’ workshop on “The Answer is in the Question” (excellent!)
– Spending time with my new old friend Beth Owl’s Daughter
Ferol Humphrey’s reading for me regarding the two houses we have for sale and the completion of the Gaian Tarot  (all positive! yay!)
– Hearing from Beth and others how they use the Gaian Tarot majors deck with clients
– Reconnecting with Julie and Corrine & Dan
– Talking shop and chatting with Mary Greer and Beth Owl’s Daughter at the cocktail party
Elizabeth Genco’s very helpful workshop on “Marketing Your Metaphysical Business”
– The readings I did with the Gaian deck in progress
– Showing off my photos of grandbaby Grace to whoever was willing to look at them!
– Getting to meet Marie White of Mary-El Tarot fame in person and exchanging readings with her
– Sunday’s round-table breakfast on “The Art of the Tarot” that Corrine led — I never tire of hearing about other artists’ creative process and talking about my own
– Hearing “so how is the unpacking going? That snow you had last week was really something!” from total strangers, then realizing they read my blog!  So they aren’t really strangers after all!
– Finding a big bowl of Emergen-C packets by the water coolers each morning (after I had thought to myself on the plane:  “Wouldn’t it be great if they provided packets of Emergen-C along with the coffee, tea and sugar?”  So did I manifest it?  How cool was that! (I love Emergen-C for the caffeine-free energy rush it gives me, and I didn’t bring enough packets with me.)
– Managing to eat pretty well even without my green smoothies — lots of fruit & nuts that I brought with me, salads and even a great chicken & veggie stirfry at the Bistro (pricey but excellent).  I managed to stay up late, get up early and maintain a good energy flow — I’m actually very pleased about that.
– More conversations than I can remember with absolutely delightful people.  Barbara Moore.  Tami, Lydia and Bev from Toronto.  Sally from Ontario.  Morwenna from Germany.  Anastasia from San Francisco.  Carolyn from western Mass.  Kimberly Fordham who did the Toscano Tarot.  Amy of Tarot Calendar fame.  Elinor Greenberg.  Debbie and Matt, of course!  At the moment I remember more faces but not names.  Thank you all!

Many, many thanks to Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone and their hardworking staff from the Tarot School for putting on yet another amazing event.   Next year, guest speakers are James Wanless, Geraldine Amaral and Rachel Pollack.  It will be one of the last two weekends in April, so mark your calendars now.  This conference sold out quickly so I’m sure it will again.   Blessings, all!

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Carolyn Cushing Tue - Apr 29th 2008 11:18 am

    Greetings, Joanna!
    It was wonderful to meet you at the Studio! I am back home and catching up with life here in western MA. Fortunately, we have a Tarot Playgroup tonight at Awen Tree so I can keep the energy up. I just went over there to check in about tonight and found Melissa, an artist and big fan of your work, sitting with a sprained ankle. She was really cheered up by the idea of you coming to do something at Awen Tree later in the year. Let’s keep in touch about it.
    Be well,

  • Ferol Humphrey Tue - Apr 29th 2008 5:29 pm

    Hi Joanna! I loved being able to spend some time with you at RS08, and even adding more fun to that was finally getting my hands on a print of your Two of Wands, that beautiful image of two people in delight and fascination with each other. Now I own it! Also, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your reading~ I always wonder. I hope to see you again soon, maybe at BATS? But next year for sure! Oh, and I want to be sure and say, GREAT blog of the event! Thank you for all of us at Living Tarot!

  • Joanna Wed - Apr 30th 2008 8:30 am

    Carolyn, I was glad to meet you too. You have a great smile! Thanks for inviting me to western Mass and giving me lots of ideas. The Awen Tree website looks great, I’d love to do a workshop there. We’ll talk!
    Ferol, I’m so glad you took home the Two of Fire! And thanks for inviting me to the message boards at the Living Tarot. What a great place. Not sure I will make BATS this year, but I will definitely be at RS09. Your reading meant a lot to me. Now I wish I had recorded it, but I do remember the high points and shared them with Craig when I got home. Thank you!

  • Danielle Wed - Apr 30th 2008 10:17 am

    Wow it sounds like you all had a BLAST!!! I waited too long to get my tickets for this year, but I won’t make that mistake again! Reading your descriptions of everything that went on makes me really excited about finally getting to one of these! Here’s to next year!

  • Valentina Burton Thu - May 01st 2008 8:17 am

    Hey, Joanna!
    It’s Valentina from Dallas, the one who is on the Raw diet and was dealing with that at RS08, you may or may not remember me…anyway, I am planning to FedEx a big box of food to the hotel next year, as well as research local restaurants who will deliver stuff I can eat…I think this will be a way to avoid the “Gilligan’s Island” syndrome (marooned with nothing to eat)next year.
    If you want to collaborate on this, stay in touch and we’ll eat better next year!

  • Joanna Thu - May 01st 2008 10:30 am

    Danielle, I’d be very happy if you were able to come to RS09!
    Valentina, of course I remember you and I’d be delighted to collaborate on ways to get fresh, raw food to the hotel. At other conferences I’ve scoped out the location of a Whole Foods or other natural foods store and stocked up on green smoothie supplies before the conference started, but I didn’t manage it this time. We might have to take a taxi somewhere but if we went together that’d be good. We’d need a fridge in the room too which I think we have to pay for. Although at BATS I told the hotel I had food allergies and had to provide my own food so they gave it to me for free. I’m blathering now but let’s talk about it before RS09! Julie Cuccia Watts is also a green smoothie aficionado and she brought supplies from home this time but I understand they wilted a bit. 🙁