Instead of doing a Readers Studio roundup which I normally would be doing at this time of year, I will have to do a Beltane round-up/rundown instead and talk a little bit about the class I taught over Readers Studio weekend (thought not AT Readers Studio): “Tarot and Talismans.” The Readers Studio roundup of links is at the bottom of the post, so if you’d like to skip and go straight to that particular bit of goodness, go ahead! No offense taken!
It’s been a busy few weeks! A few weekends ago, I attended a beer festival with my husband for the first time. This is something he has been attending every year for the past six years. I have not, because the Readers Studio tarot conference usually falls on the same weekend. So, he runs off and samples beers for a weekend, and I run off to see my tarot peeps, play with new decks, and learn from some of the brightest minds in the tarot world.
It all works out. Usually.
He’s been saying for a couple of years now that I should attend his beer festival one year with him. With this being our first year married, I decided that this year would be the year, and I chose to go with him for the beer festival over Readers Studio… only to find out that they were NOT on the same weekend, for once.
A relatively accurate depiction of how my husband had been describing the beer festival, via GIPHY
By then, my decision had already been made… and I had Beltane weekend free (because I hadn’t realized that Readers Studio fell on Beltane weekend).
This time last year, I had taught Using Tarot for Spell-Work at the Beltane festival, so I approached the organizers and asked if they wanted me to teach again this year. They said yes!
“What should I teach?” I asked.
“Tarot and magick!” they said.
Ummmm… ok. It was time to create a new class, specially for Beltane, that combined two of my loves: tarot and magick. But what to teach?
I thought about it for a few days, mulling over class proposal after class proposal, searching for inspiration anywhere and everywhere. Then, the inspiration came to me as I looked down at my own arm.
… where my High Priestess tarot card tattoo sits, always looking up at me, chastising me frequently and guiding me often.
What was it about the High Priestess card that made her the High Priestess? What were the symbols on her that I absolutely needed to make that card her and mine?
And then it hit me. The pomegranate. The symbols. Often, when I am having trouble interpreting a tarot card with regard to a client’s situation, I soften my gaze and look at the symbols on the card to guide me to the most correct interpretation for their situation.
We can take those symbols, that are already imbued with that tarot card’s energy, and we can turn those symbols into talismans.
This is how “Tarot and Talismans” was born. I excitedly sent off my class proposal to Bernadette of Brid’s Closet, and we were off and running!
As I set out to teach that day, I wore the following talismans around my neck:
-my sword swallower sword from the coney island freak show bar gift shop
-my tree ring
To me, each symbol/talisman meant something significant:
-the sword to clear the way, symbolizing the element of air
-the pentacle, associated with the element of earth, to ground and protect me
-the tree ring, also for grounding, but could so easily be used as a talisman for longevity as well
In a different person’s hands, these symbols could mean something entirely different; or nothing at all.
The Beltane festival is on the grounds of the beautiful Palaia Winery. And a little aside behind-the-scenes story: I got married here! And the decision to get married here was made… last year, after the Beltane festival in which I taught Using Tarot for Spell-Work!
Before teaching this year, my husband and I walked over to the tree we got married under, and we thanked it. We call it the Wedding Tree (for obvious reasons, though I’ll admit it’s not a particularly clever name). I poured out a little bit of the wine we were drinking and thanked it for being there, for blooming, for sheltering us under its gorgeous green and brown branches as we were handfast. [Click on the link for some behind-the-scenes wedding goodness!]
As I put my hand up to the bark of the tree, I asked something of it: grounding. That flowed into the talisman of the tree ring I wore around my neck, so that I felt stable and ready enough to teach.
And then, we walked to the teaching tent, everyone gathered around, and I began the class.
For those that attended: thank you! If you signed up to receive a PDF of the handouts for the class, it’s in your inbox!
-OR- As a special little fun thing for Friday the 13th, I’ve made the PDF available to download in this blog post. I was going to take it down by Friday, May 20th, but it will still be available to download until midnight, May 23rd… just in case Mercury Retrograde got your computer a little wonky!
Whew, like I said, busy few weeks/weekends! And now for your Readers Studio Round-Up!
Since I didn’t get to attend Readers Studio this year, I would be remiss in not trying to give you SOME taste of the experience of going to a tarot conference. Instead of seeing it through my eyes (because how can you? I wasn’t there!), I have rounded up some of my fellow tarot bloggers’ links that describe one of the big tarot conferences of the year. Take THEIR word for it! 😉
Soul Proprietor: Thoughts on Conferences
Readers Studio 2016
How was your weekend?
Inner Goddess Tarot
Fearlessly Into the Shadows: Readers Studio Tarot Conference 2016
Original Weekly Round-Up image courtesy of Gualberto107 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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