Last year, I went to my first tarot conference - the Northwest Tarot Symposium in Portland. It was amazing, and I got to meet Barbara Moore. She is one of my tarot heroes, and when I met her, I promptly burst into tears because I am a gigantic dork.
This year, I went back to NWTS as a presenter and got to meet Mary K. Greer! When I met her, I promptly burst into tears. Because I am still a gigantic dork. My friends said that if I ever meet Rachel Pollack, they'll hold a pillow behind me for when I faint.
I attended Mary's presentation and it blew me away. The exercise involved choosing a card to represent ourselves and describing it/us to our partners. I was using the Dreaming Way deck and pulled out the High Priestess as "Me". In describing this to my partner, the amazing Brother Thom, that the HP was reading or working on something else, and was looking up, annoyed, because she was being interrupted. Brother Thom said that the work that I'm doing on my book is taking me from my family, day job and other things. Repeating 'me back to me', Brother Thom said that I needed to find the bright side of the moon instead of just the sliver lining, and that all of these things were good - the interruptions, the new work and the old. I walked away from this presentation knowing more about myself and the High Priestess - and it was only 90 minutes long.
In the presentation, she also spoke about her experience in reading for clients. Some of my notes include:
- Repeat what your clients say so they can hear it.
- Allow your clients to find their own power - taking yourself out of the reading.
- Looking for the meaning in an experience - not a solution but as an understanding of what the purpose of this reading is.
- To break our habitual way of seeing things that feed our assumptions as reader
This is seriously a tiny snippet of what I learned that day, and it has helped me give my clients more in depth, personal readings.
My favorite part of the weekend, though, was on Sunday afternoon. Several of us were sitting around, talking cards, and Ms. Greer joined us. The group of people kept shifting, and so did the conversation, but we basically talked about clients, Thoth vs. RWS decks, how to know how much to charge, and which decks we love. It was relaxed and fun and I didn't cry once. As much as I loved the structure of the conference, this spontaneous gathering of brand new readers and readers with over 40 years of experience was my favorite part.
Here's the thing - you can find card descriptions online. You can read hundreds of books and websites. All of these work, but they're no replacement for sitting down with Experience. Go to tarot conferences. Take the classes and workshops. Mary K Mothaf'ckin Greer and Rachel "Hot Damn" Pollack are teaching a course TOGETHER in August. I wish I could go, but for those who can, here is the link.
Thank you again, Mary, for your work and amazing library of books, articles and blog posts that help us all become better tarot readers. And for not minding when I cried all over you.
We decided during the hangout that due to her amazing career and insights into the cards, Mary is a true tarot badass, and that her business cards should read "Mary K. MothaF*ckin Greer". So I had one made one for her.