Hi Tarot Tribe, it’s Ethony and do I have a lot to share with you today.
I finally got to go to the Readers Studio in New York hosted by the incredible, kind and generous Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone and it was an incredible experience. Not only was this the first Readers Studio I have ever been to but it was also my first time in New York and I already can’t wait to go back.
Wald and Ruth Ann are just divine, I don’t have enough words to describe how lovely they are. I have wanted to go to the Readers Studio for years, I had to cancel a couple of years ago because I got pregnant and it was so nice to finally get to meet these two generous, beautiful souls who love the Tarot so much.
So this video and blog post today is going to be an overview of the event, a bit of my travelogue, my goodie haul and a couple of announcements at the end.
If you are not a fan of more personal posts and haul videos this may not be for you but if you are interested in attending Tarot conferences, especially the Readers Studio then at least stick around for that part. I am going to put all of the links of the Tarot people and products that I show in this video in the description and over in the video transcription at www.ethony.com for ease. So with that, let’s jump right in.
My week really didn’t start until Wednesday due to travelling across the continent and work deadlines. So we are going to jump to Wednesday even though I left Vancouver on Monday.
I got to meet so many people that I have been connected with online for years at this event. That is one of the pure joys of Tarot conferences. They are like family reunions with people you actually want to spend time with. It is also great that you meet people with whom you have an instant connection with because you love the same things.
One person, I was so fucking excited to finally meet after knowing, respecting, working with, and I feel I can say I’m a friend of, was Theresa Reed. The Tarot Lady. She is and has been a source of inspiration, information, support and wisdom for years and not only is she fucking incredible at what she does but she is a fellow Gemini and we both love a lot of the same stuff so I was so giddy to meet her. I got to have breakfast with Theresa which was so overdue but also worth the wait.
After breakfast, I was very lucky to have a couple of fellow Canadians, Lori from Inner Goddess Tarot and her husband to travel downtown from our conference hotel and go to the MET with. I would have been SO lost. I have travelled the world on my own and the subway and transport system in New York takes some getting used to.
I’m so glad we did take the subway. It is iconic and the experience is pretty cool. There were some young dancers in our train doing performances in between stops which, felt so New York. After getting a little turned around we arrived at our stop and walked past iconic places such as Bloomingdales and a very small section of Central Park to head to the MET.
I was one of the lucky people who had booked the MET talk/workshop with the one and only Robert Place so we had a few hours to walk around (you can spend a few days in that place, it’s huge) so we explored a few of the sections before we had our event.
There is an Athena that is in the main lobby of the MET and I was so moved by that, cause you know how much Athena means to me. I loved the Greek/Roman area and wanted to spend more time there and in the Egyptian wing.
Robert Place is a legend in the Tarot world if you have not read any of his books or have any of his decks and have an interest in Tarot history, the history of cards in general, Magic, mysticism and really want to get a good grasp of what some of the parts that make up the Tarot I highly recommend his work.
I have most of his works in my collection and bookshelf. I picked up another two over the weekend, The Tarot, Magic, Alchemy, Hermeticism and Neoplatonism & The Fool’s Journey; the History, Art & Symbolism of the Tarot.
Robert’s website and body of work can be found at robertmplacetarot.com.
It was incredible to be able to see some of the oldest Tarot cards that we have, that are over a thousand years old and I was *that* close to them. Robert walked us through many examples and we got see up close and personal the building blocks and foundations for what I and many of you do as your passion and profession.
Robert is also just one really charming, funny, witty guy. I feel really lucky to have not only been able to do that tour but to also meet someone (and be so welcomed, oh by the way I gush a lot in this video and blog post the people in our community are pretty bloody incredible) who I deeply respect and to have a laugh and connect with on a personal level.
After the workshop with Robert we headed straight into Chinatown and Little Italy for dinner and I had my first ever Cannoli!! They were so good and as we were in the cafe a lot of our fellow Tarot beauties came in and joined us. I did a little shopping and then a busload of Tarot peoples headed back to the hotel.
Thursday was the Tarot and Psychology conference. I have been battling a head cold for over a week (last year I was sick at NWTS this year it was the Readers Studio) so I was already starting to feel the drain on my system but I wanted to get as much out of the weekend as well.
Ellen Goldberg presented on the Archetype of the Major Arcana for Personal Growth and it was just fantastic. I really like Ellen’s approach and there is just so much information that she shared with us.
Jenny Suzumoto presented next on Tarot Healing, from Desolation to Celebration, I made it through over half of the talk with a horrible headache but I was about to pass out at my table so I went back to my room and had a nap. Well, more to the point my body forced me to have a nap. To which I did not recover from so I missed the rest of the day which was a shame. I did manage to go back downstairs for the welcome drinks for a couple of hours before I had to bow out again.
Friday is when Readers Studio officially starts and we were welcomed in with a ritual lead by Ruth Ann and that was lovely welcoming in the Wisdom of the Tarot and the elements that make up the Tarot.
We started off the morning with our foundation readings and I had the pleasure of working with Jenna Matlin from the Queen of Wands Tarot. It was so fantastic to see how she works, I love watching other Tarot readers work, how they work the magic of the cards and she is the REAL DEAL. I mean I already knew that but seeing it up close and personal was pretty amazing.
There are three main presenters every Readers Studio and I was very lucky to be able to interview Benebell Wen for her lecture and I adore that woman so nothing really makes me happier. This was also the time that each of the presenters shared what they were going to talk on, so it was an announcement for the whole room.
We had such an incredible lineup this year. Mary K. Greer, Benebell Wen and Rachel Pollack. I mean come on. Spoilt.
The Mary K. Greer shared with us wisdom on Tarot Symbol Work & Intuitive Training. Where we got to really focus on one symbol in the card and how it connects to other cards, our lives, memories and intuitive readings.
I didn’t opt to do any of the workshops or do readings outside of my normal workload as it was going to be too much and I’m glad I didn’t cause I was so tired at the end of every day and still recovering from being sick.
If you do decide to come to the Readers Studio in the future there are study groups, workshops and private readings on top of a jammed packed schedule. There is really just so much on offer and you get more than your money’s worth during the weekend. It really is mindblowing. You take home A LOT of stuff. Between giveaways, prizes, vendors and readers being generous AF, the swap table and the incredible market fair it is really just a deliciously tempting place and I’m glad I took two suitcases cause I needed it on the way home.
Saturday is the day that you require a lot of coffee and I felt like I was buzzing all day. The energy in the room was electric and being the extrovert that I am I adore being around people, especially my tribe. When you get that many magical people in one room things are bound to be pretty intense, in a good way.
V. led the morning discussion over breakfast on the old and new guard of Tarot and it was awesome. This was another Tarot community member I was just dying to meet after being friends on the social media’s for years. She is just. Wow. The breakfast talk was so informative and inspiring that we are a pretty open bunch still that makes me happy.
Then it was Benebell Wen ’s turn to take the mainstage where she talked about using the Tarot to connect with and work with Ancestors and Past Life Memory Recall and it was nothing short of spectacular. I had some really personal and touching experiences working with her offerings.
I again felt pretty down so I had to have a nap and miss Toni Puhle’s talk on Kipper Cards but I did get her set and I can not wait to share it with you all. Toni is another rad member of our community.
Rachel Pollack, who is another one of our living legends of Tarot was out final mainstage talk for the Readers Studio. Rachel asked us all, What is the Tarot For and it was such a lovely discussion and to be taken back to the foundations of the Tarot from such a pro was a pleasure.
Saturday night is the Dinner Banquet-Dress and Dance. I loved the Banquet, SO. MANY. PHOTOS. Sooo many people looked utterly incredible too. I had to fly out Sunday afternoon so I had dinner and then had to pack but for next year, I am totally going to stay and I am totally going to dress up.
Sunday morning, bright and early we had a breakfast Buffet and Roundtable with Jaymi Elford hosted our breakfast session called the Deck of Changes. Where we talked about how the Tarot can be used to help change the world and what if anything is our role in that as Tarot Readers.
Then we had incubators on each of the different tables and I would love to thank Gail for letting me host a table. My topic was Self-Publishing and Crowdfunding Your Deck and it was, I hope helpful to those people who came and asked questions about creating and funding your own Tarot and oracle deck.
I like being able to make my time and energy available to answer questions about the process. It can be a daunting thing to put lots of time, energy and effort into creating a deck.
I was also lucky to showcase my Bad Bitches Tarot, which I was honored to be able to do. I then had to say goodbyes and head straight to the airport to catch my flight. Sunday feels like it didn’t really happen it was such a blur. I didn’t get home until 2am.
I know I am going to miss people so I am so sorry if I forget to individually thank everyone who made the weekend so magical.
Diana Hendle, who is currently working on a Star Wars Tarot made my jaw drop when she offered this crystal ball in exchange for a deck, so I finally have a legit one. It is something else!
Liz Westwater gifted me a lovely set of body goodies from her business West Star Herbs Like many people that I had the pleasure to meet over the weekend Liz and I have been connected for a while on the internets.
A massive thank you to Wald and Ruth Ann and the incredible team for the most amazing weekend. It is going to be very hard to wait another year to go back and visit this space and people again. Everyone knocked it out of the park.
Thank you to new friends for being so open and lovely and not minding at all that I am a hugger. Thank you to everyone who came and said hello, who took home a photo with me or one of my decks or all three. Really you light up my fucking world.
I am also allowed to announce that I am going to be presenting on the mainstage at the Readers Studio in 2019. Sasha Graham and George Kourly are the other two powerhouses who are going to be taking the main stage and there is a Divination conference on the Thursday with Carrie Paris, Rana George and another lovely presenter that I did not catch the name of. So I am SO there for this too.
I am also going to be hosting a giveaway!!
I have a few things from the Readers Studio that I would like to pass on to some of the lovely community members. So make sure you are a member of the Tarot Readers Academy Facebook Group (which is my little group) so that you will be notified when the giveaway goes live.
Things that are already in the giveaway pile are a copy of the Zillich Tarot Deck in a Tin and the Magpie Oracle and casting cloth from Carrie Paris. There will be more too!
On top of the things I have shown throughout the video here is the other magical goodies I got over the weekend.
I am of course going to do unboxings of all of the decks that I got over the weekend. I have a MASSIVE backlog after the Northwest Tarot Symposium so I need to lock myself away and record for about five days straight to get them all done!
I also picked up the Stretch Tarot from the swap table so I am pretty flipping happy about that!
So I am home and more or less rested and already thinking about the Readers Studio next year. Thank you so much for watching.
See you at 2019 Readers Studio
Do you want to go to this magical event in 2019? There is a Readers Studio Facebook group that I would encourage you to find and join if you are interested in checking out next years event and connect with the community there.