The first Tarot Salon at Laughingbrook Spellcrafting & Ancestral Arts was awesome! I’m just now getting around to my usual morning routine of running and writing, having stayed way later than planned in order to chat with lingering students and friends (and enjoy the remaining wine and desserts).
I can’t believe I had originally conceived of this course as a one-night affair, because even with two nights (more than six hours of total class time!) there were still things that had to be cut last minute. In our discussion of tarot history, we only just made it up to 19th century France and the influence of Éliphas Lévi. I’ll definitely have to turn the Golden Dawn portion into its own Tarot Salon, because this is a chunk of history that can’t be brushed over at the tail end of class. I know there were attending students itching to talk about the impact of Aleister Crowley, but there was just no way to do him justice in what time we had. But there will absolutely be a class in the future! Believe me, I could have easily doubled the time we spent on history and not run out of steam (you should hear me spout about Paul Foster Case…I’ve got some serious feels). Tarot history is one of those subjects that always seems to get glossed over in conversations about becoming a good reader, but I strongly feel that understanding the traditions and people who’ve made the cards what they are is essential to attaining anything resembling mastery (as if that’s every really possible). And the history of tarot is full of all kinds of sexiness (not to mention magic). Who wouldn’t want more?
The practical portions of Tarot Salon went even better than I had hoped, with some students having the opportunity to read for others for the first time and a couple of seasoned tarotists picking up a new trick or two. I find that the process of taking next steps in tarot is often more a matter of changing perspective. We did a number of exercises to practice what I think of as “objective” reading, where we explore the line between what we think we should tell a querent and what’s actually (sometimes literally) in the cards. How do we figure out what’s coming from us and what’s coming from the cards? And how important is that, really? Where does the power of tarot actually lie?
Interesting questions posed over an interesting two nights. We also worked on issues surrounding reader anxiety, what to do when you draw a blank, and how to choose effective spreads. I think my favorite part of the course may have been the analysis of the Rider-Waite Fool card, which I like to do in order to impress upon students (especially old hands) that there’s still so much to notice and study, even in a card that’s so familiar. Nothing’s more satisfying than hearing, “Oh! I never knew that!” from someone who’s been reading cards for decades.
So, if you’re a Charlotte-area local (or find yourself just passing through), please take the opportunity to join us at the next Tarot Salon! Sign up for the Tarot Skeptic newsletter to receive monthly updates, including information about upcoming classes (plus other fun tarot things like tips and coupon codes for readings).