Saturday at the Readers Studio 2008

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The wake up call at 6:15 am Saturday didn’t register immediately as a signal that I was supposed to get out of bed. A few minutes later, the Darling Husband gently nudged me and asked if I was still planning to go to the Breakfast Roundtable with Robert M. Place – since “a few minutes” was actually a full hour later, leaving me 15 minutes to shower, dress, and hightail it downstairs to the class. I managed it in 25 minutes, still giving me 5 minutes to actually get to the class.

Except that the class was not in the Atrium, as scheduled. Nor in the restaurant. Nor in the main event room. Perplexed (how does one lose an entire group of Tarotists that early in the morning?), and in desperate need of food and coffee, I made my way to the hotel restaurant. Even though I didn’t find the group (they ended up meeting in the bar, as a more private area than the Atrium), I did find breakfast and coffee, and managed to be mostly functional in time for the first regular morning session.

The morning was devoted to a session led by San Francisco’s very own Thalassa. Always entertaining, Thalassa also provided a great deal of information and ideas about working with the difficult cards of Wheel of Fortune, Hanged Man, Death, Tower, and Judgment. She created a spread based on these cards, and we as a table did a reading for Andrew with the spread. I’ll let him choose whether to share the spread, since it was his reading.

Then a break for lunch and shopping – I browsed, but didn’t buy – so many choices, and so many decks and books at home that I haven’t worked with yet!

The afternoon session was led by James Wells, who is an excellent example for anyone who wants to make a full time living as a professional Tarot reader. James focused on constructing useful questions to improve the answers found in the reading. Everyone knows that the more focused and powerful the question, the more focused and powerful the reading will be. James suggested that “why” questions – one of the weakest ways to phrase a question – can be rephrased as “what” questions – to give them much more potential.

James led us through two excellent exercises. The layout for the first one:

3 4

1 2

1. What resources support you

2. What obstacles block you

3. Advantages of this path

4. Disadvantages of this path

5. What the wise self wants you to know about this.
Shuffle and pull the first card – and then move the first card through the entire layout. It was a great exercise for us as a table, seeing both the advantages and disadvantages in the same card, and really having to quiet the internal chatter to hear what was going on underneath.

The second exercise was to come up with a topic for a question, but not the question itself. Then we went around the room to at least three different people, told them our topic, and then they gave us five or so questions for that topic. You then ended up with 15 – 25 questions on your topic, from which you selected the five which most fit your situation. I received some great questions from my partners (and hope the questions I gave them were helpful!), and constructed a spread which specifically addressed my question and could also be adapted for general reading.

We were all energized by all this moving around and exchanging of questions and ideas, and then suddenly the afternoon session was over! The evening presented so many options – a pizza party with the Amberstones, evening sessions with other teachers, socializing in the Atrium – how to choose? I went back to my room for a bit of quiet time, treated myself to a nice dinner, a hot bath, and an early bed. The desire to be sociable was strong – but not as strong as the need for rest – after all, a full day on Sunday was still ahead!

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