Thursday Night at the Readers Studio 2008

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I hate being rushed, and I really hate being late. So, there I was, having sorted out all the things which came up at the last minute, rushing down to the hotel lobby to register and find the classroom for RuthAnn and Wald Amberstone‘s Advanced Birth Cards class with only 15 minutes to spare. I hopped into the elevator, and who is in it but the Amberstones themselves! Recognizing the pre-registration letter I held in my hand, they greeted me most warmly and we had a lovely conversation during the elevator ride. (This would be a common occurrence throughout the four days of the conference, giving me new respect for the concept of the Elevator Speech.)

In the lobby, I easily found the registration table – it’s very easy to recognize a Tarot crowd! I had a wonderful conversation with the women ahead of me in line, as we all waited patiently for our turn at registration. Conference schedule in hand, badge around my neck, I wandered into the classroom to find just the right spot. I saw a few empty places here and there, and chose a likely-looking table. I found myself seated next to Paul Nagy (whom I had just met that morning), and after more interesting conversation around the table, the class began!

If you haven’t worked with Birth Cards before, I highly recommend spending some time on the topic. As the Amberstones point out, if you know someone’s birth cards, you have a great deal of information available to you for their reading that you would not have otherwise. There are various ways to calculate Birth Cards, and, being as we were in the Amberstones’ class, we were using their method. This gives my Birth Cards as Moon and Hermit. The week before the conference, I actually used the Tarot School’s Birth Card Calculator to figure out Birth Cards for my husband, several friends, and most of my extended family. The Darling Husband is Devil/Lovers; mom was Star/Strength; dad was Tower/Chariot. For my grandparents, siblings, nieces, and nephew, almost every single one of them was Moon/Hermit or Tower/Chariot. What are the odds? The one exception was my paternal grandmother, who is a Sun/Wheel/Magician. Whee!

The Amberstones shared a Relationship Mandala spread using your Birth Cards and the Birth Cards of someone close to you. [Warning: this is about to become personal. If you want to skip the personal stuff, you can go ahead two paragraphs.] I chose to do a layout with my mom’s Birth Cards. The layout is:

                 1. Your Public Self

3. Other’s Public Self                 4. Other’s Private Self

                 2. Your Private Self

So I ended up with:

                 1. Hermit

3. Strength                 4. Star

                 2. Moon

What I realized, looking at the cards, was that my mother would have seen it this way:

                 1. Moon

3. Strength                 4. Star

                 2. Hermit

Since she could never recognize my Hermit qualities (studiousness, the ability to accomplish goals, disciplined effort) and only saw me as a temperamental, wild child Moon, she couldn’t see how much we had in common – both our public and private selves have many similar qualities – it was inevitable that we had many difficulties in our relationship.

I played around with this spread with my parents’ cards, and with various combinations of cards for various friends and family members – all quite fascinating. I think this would make an excellent meditation for Memorial Day, or any other personal day of remembrance.

Paul noticed me moving the various pairs of cards around, and commented that my Hermit seemed particularly outgoing!

We then took a break, and moved on to the Tarot Tree of Life associated with each Birth Card pair. RuthAnn had created a diagram for each set, which was amazing. We discussed the relationship between Tarot and Kabbalah, and the influences of each upon the other. I did a quick comparison of the various Trees for the pairs I’d worked with in the prior exercise – very interesting! (I did more work on this concept on the plane ride home – stay tuned!)

Then, suddenly, it was 9:30, the class was over, and the full weight of the week, the flight, and the lack of sleep hit me. Except that I was hungry. The Darling Husband had returned from Manhattan just as the class finished, so we met for a quick dinner, then returned to the room and passed out once again – after setting a very early wake up call to attend the Breakfast Round Table with Robert M. Place!

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