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Toronto Tarot Symposium 2012

My blog has been quiet. It’s simply because the writing bug hasn’t hit. I’ve still been heavily involved in Tarot. I’ll be updating the site with a wonderful piece on the New Year’s Astrological Mandala, a wonderful goal-setting exercise based on the 12 houses of the zodiac. I spoke and consulted at the SOTA 2011 conference and will be part of the Spirit Track for SOTA 2012. And, I am thrilled to be one of six practitioners at the Toronto Tarot Symposium, working with several of my Tarot faves.  See below for information!

Are you passionate about the tarot?

Tired of top-notch tarot workshops being offered in far-off locations?

Looking to expand your tarot skills and connect with like-spirited people?

Join Southern Ontario tarot teachers and practitioners Monica Bodirsky, Bev Haskins, Peter LeBlanc, Andrew McGregor, Marilyn Shannon, and James Wells at the

Toronto Tarot Symposium Saturday, March 10, 2012 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the social room at 40 Homewood Avenue, Toronto, ON (Level B1)

This is a day for you to:

* gain practical tarot skills through six experiential workshops * learn through a panel Q & A time

* mingle with your tarot peers

* have your name entered in a draw to win a cool prize!

All of this for ONLY $78 (pre-paid by PayPal, cheque, or cash) What you’ll need to bring:

* a tarot deck(s) of your choice * a notebook (or laptop, iPad, etc.) * a brown bag lunch or money to purchase lunch nearby * anything you require to feel comfortable (journal, blanket, cushion, water container, etc.) * a willingness to explore

Your commitment and pre-payment ensure that this truly Ontarian tarot event takes place:

Call or email James Wells (416) 966 – 2685 circleways@yahoo.ca

Send payment ($78) to James by PayPal, cheque (address will be given upon contact), or cash (in person).

THE MARCH 10 WORKSHOPS and PRESENTERS

The Secret Language of Tarot (Monica Bodirsky).  Tarot can be easy to interpret at a glance but most artists include a variety of personal, universal and traditional symbols that express abstract concepts. This workshop will consist of a brief introduction followed by a few simple exercises to give you access to this often-overlooked aspect of reading tarot. Monica Bodirsky is a tarot reader who spends her spare time as an exhibiting artist, educator, entrepreneur, writer and human rights activist.

Welcome Spring! (Bev Haskins)  The cycle of the seasons is a metaphor for the journey of growth our souls take. As we approach the Spring Equinox (March 20th, 2012 – 1:14 a.m.), it is time to push the tender seeds, that we have incubated in us all winter, toward the light. In this workshop we will let the Tarot  help us define the nature of these seeds and how we can best allow them to “blossom”. Bev  Haskins is a co-creative Tarot counsellor, circle process facilitator and owner of Lakeside Retreats where many courses and workshops offer opportunities for personal growth and awareness. www.bevslakesideretreats.com

Tarot and Astrology (Peter LeBlanc).  Esoteric studies have linked tarot and astrology for over 200 years.  You will explore some of those general links as well as get a chance to play with these elements using your own tarot deck and birth date. An avid Leafs fan, Peter is a tarotist, teacher and the owner/operator of White Sage Tarot who has worked in education and tarot for more than 20 years.www.whitesagetarot.com

Bringing the Magic Out of the Tarot and Into Our Lives (Andrew McGregor). Through ceremony and the power of the natural world, we can bring the transformative power of the cards into our daily lives. We will talk about tools, techniques, and tricks to draw in the power of plants, crystals, and places to create the life we are looking for. Andrew McGregor‘s work as a reader helps people get clear about their lives, then helps them achieve their goals.  His store, the Hermit’s Lamp, is a space for classes, practitioners, art shows and much more. www.thehermitslamp.com

Miss Merle’s Phantasmagorical Reading! (Marilyn Shannon).  This fun, inventive way to get out of your head will prompt spontaneous brilliance in your readings as you tap into your intuition.  Originally created by Rachel Pollack, this light and lively way of reading can become deep and provocative.  Trust Miss Merle! Marilyn Shannon is a long-time reader, student, and companion of the tarot who is also known for helping people be fearless and for teaching the ancient art of scrying: crystal ball reading.  www.kingstonpsychic.com

The Power of Personal Layouts (James Wells).  Fed up with unhelpful textbook tarot spreads?  The best possible layouts for you and your seekers lie in your own imagination and life experience.  In five simple steps, you’ll be able to create relevant spreads to explore life’s intricate situations through the cards! James Wells is a Toronto-based circle process host, tarot counsellor, author of Tarot for Manifestation, and the caller of many growth-oriented gatherings that encourage personal and planetary wellness.  www.jameswells.wordpress.com/

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Falling Asleep with the Tarot

Hockley Hike

Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night? Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with your mind racing and the inability to fall back to sleep?  I use a unique combination of advice I found somewhere on the internet and a Tarot strategy referred to as ‘Entering the Card’ to help me drift back into Slumberland.

I have been contemplating writing this blog entry for quite some time now.  I have always had difficulty falling asleep. I’ve tried various homeopathic, traditional and not-so-traditional remedies (although have never ventured into the realm of the ‘sleeping pill’), meditation, change in routine but all, at some point, seem to fail. Not this latest one, though.

Mary Greer, in her book ‘Tarot for the Self’, describes an activity she calls ‘Entering the Card’. This exercise involves selecting a card, picturing it in one’s imagination, and then entering the card, taking detailed notes from the experience. I have used it many times when working with a new deck, struggling with a particular card or when teaching students.

And, while poking around online a little while ago, I came across a brief article on suggestions to deal with difficulty sleeping. One of the suggestions that resonated with me was a visualization exercise. I was to imagine a peaceful place and then enter it in my mind. It then suggested that I increase the amount of detail that I imagine. For example, if I was near running water, I could see the river and then the small waves on the surface, the small plants breaking the surface of the water, the fallen leaf that floats by. The only thing that did was make me have to go to the bathroom. 🙂
I’m not one for detail in everyday life. Those who know me would probably refer to me as a ‘big picture’ kind of person. It isn’t until I fully understand something that I’ll bother with the detail. So when I tried to visualize some of my favorite relaxing destinations (fall hikes, Hawaii, Corfu Island, the ‘Muskokas’, the ‘Kawarthas’), I had difficulty picturing detail. But I know the Tarot well. And I have worked with a few decks for awhile so I can easily visualize several cards in detail. I began picturing cards that I thought had a peaceful theme (Empress, 4 of Swords, 4 of Cups, The Hermit, The Star, and many of the cards from my Gaian Tarot deck, etc…). I would enter the cards and then stop, look around and let me five senses take over. I would pick up things, note smells, talk to people and, sure enough, sleep came.

Pick a card that you think will work for you. Try it and let me know.  And… sweet dreams!

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Gaian Tarot Give-away!

Gaian Tarot fans (or really, any Tarot fans),

For those of you who’ve attended my classes or read my blog (and, if that’s you, you’ve discovered that I am not a prolific summer writer), you know what I HUGE fan of this deck I am. Please check out this opportunity to get your own copy FOR FREE. But act fast. The raffle takes place on September 4th.

http://www.gaiansoul.com/2011/09/raffle-giving-away-the-gaian-tarot/#comment-4667

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At Treehaven in Erin on the 30th of July

Well… the title says it all 🙂  I am available for Tarot consultations at Treehaven Natural Foods on Main Street in Erin from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 30th. Since I usually slow things down over the summer months, this will be the only date I am available until late September.  Please see the ‘About Peter White’  page for fee information. Contact me at whitesagetarot@gmail.com to book your time!  Also, Treehaven now has an increasing selection of Tarot decks and books for sale.  Hope to see you there!

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Free Teleconference

On Tuesday, July 12th, several of my favourite Tarot people are hosting a  teleconference.  See below for more details. Hope to ‘see’ you there!

“Join James Wells, Joanna Powell Colbert, Bev Haskins, Andrea Mathieson and Jeannette McCullough on this fr*ee teleseminar for an experiential look at the elements of Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit, especially as they appear in decks like the Gaian Tarot.
 
How might the tarot be a means of listening to Gaia’s whispers, cries, and laughter?
 
What is the deeper, larger reason for us to listen to these elements of Nature?
 
We invite you to join us for this call — part meditation, part teaching, part conversation — held in the sacred circle we create in the ethers between our telephone and computer lines.
 
Have any tarot deck with you when you call in — the Gaian, if you have one. If you don’t have a deck, no worries. Just have a symbol of each of the four elements plus Spirit with you during the call.
 
This teleseminar will give you just a hint of what you’ll experience during the Gaian Tarot Retreat this coming October in southern Ontario (www.gaiantarot.com/retreat).  Whether or not you plan to join us then, we look forward to having you on this call. 
 
Tuesday, July 12th, 5PM Pacific / 8PM Eastern
 
To join us on the call, call this number:
(206) 701-8388
Conference ID: 528955#
 
(Check for local dial-in numbers here, including Canada:
http://www.instantteleseminar.com/local/)
 
To Skype in (audio only), dial ”joinconference” from your Skype dial pad and enter the conference ID. Click here to watch video instructions on how to Skype in to a live call.
 
Or, to listen in online, click this link:
http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventID=20815986
 
Pass it on! Please invite your friends to join in!”

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Blues, Jazz and the Tarot

I’ve finally done it. After humming and hawing, the Ontario government made the decision for me. The last installment of my HST rebate cheque gave me the push I needed to sign up for the Gaian Tarot Retreat in Ancaster this coming October.  I’m excited about meeting new Gaian Tarot fans as well as ‘workshoping’ with some of my favorite Tarot leaders: Joanna Powell Colbert, James Wells and Bev Haskins.  

For more information, check out the following link: http://www.gaiantarot.com/retreat/index.html

This weekend, Orangeville hosts the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival. Although I didn’t grow up as a fan of either genre, I have developed a soft spot for this festival. I always make it a point to check out several of the dozens of acts that find their way to my neck of the woods at this time of the year and am always impressed by the talent. This morning, before I head out to catch local Blues artist Heather Katz (with my son’s piano/organ/improve teacher playing the keys), and kindly ask the weather gods to bless us with sunshine, I thought about how the Tarot might represent blues and jazz.

I was drawn to two cards from my Gaian Tarot deck: the Elder of Air and the Six of Fire. This card combination seemed to stir passion for those who bend the rules and dance the beat of their own drummer (Six of Fire) but also highlight the level of mastery required to share one’s message with the rest of the world (Elder of Air). The combination of the these two genres links the passionate element of fire with the cerebral element of air. It is a musical genre that touches both the brain and the belly.  I would think musicians who can play both of these genres would have to be exceptionally skilled but also be able to play with abandon.  I compare this to the more reserved energy of a classical musician. (A genre I might represent using the Hierophant from the RWS: doctrine, discipline, rigorous learning).

As I head out a little later this morning, and as 10,000+ people descend on our little town and as I enjoy the musical menu of the day, I just might also look to see if I can find these characters 🙂 . Just food for thought this morning.

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Storytelling with the Tarot

Thoth EmpressOn Wednesday, May 25th, to celebrate World Tarot Day, I led a workshop entitled ‘Demystifying the Tarot’ at a natural food store in Erin called Treehaven.  The small turnout caused a ‘rethink’ of the structure of this workshop. So, three Tarot peeps… me, a woman who had been part of our bi-monthly Tarot study group and another who I had met through the Guelph Occult Meetup group proceeded to spend 2 hours just talking Tarot. I must say, despite my initial disappointment at the turn out, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

We began by simply talking, about our favourite decks, cards we see often in our Tarot work, our past experience with the Tarot and how we work with it. The three of us asked each other questions. We moved to an unstructured comparative look at cards from different decks, looking at the differing symbols and meanings in front of us.

We then moved to a storytelling activity. I can’t give direct credit as to where I got the idea from but I won’t claim it as my own. I know Rachel Pollack does a significant amount of story-based work in the Tarot. Maybe I read it in one of her works. I was also inspired by the teacher-librarian at my school who had shared a storytelling deck with me that she was using in one of our classrooms.  Regardless, I’m sure it’s an adaptation of someone else’s idea.

To prepare for this workshop, I had previously divided the decks I brought into 3 sections: the pips, the courts and the majors.  I suggested we use these 3 piles to tell a story. We selected the Thoth deck and randomly drew our cast of characters from the courts, our theme from the majors and began developing a plot with the pips. It was a great process. At first, we laughed a little at a suggestion that the story might become risqué. We then began the process. The deck shared our sense of humour and offered up the Empress, home of abundance, fertility, and sensuality,  as our theme.

Thoth Queen of CupsWe continued the exercise by drawing the Queen of Cups as our protagonist (a supportive, but at times overemotional and menopausal mother), the Queen of Swords as a secondary character (her sharp-tongued adult daughter – although, upon reflection, maybe her equally sharp-tongued neighbour would have better suited the Queen but, for our purposes, the daughter worked fine) and then began constructing our story. Our starting plot points were the 6 of disks (success) and the 2 of swords (peace).  I believe, had our time not expired, we would have created quite the story; we appeared to be in fine form 🙂

Try the activity. Divide your deck into three sections (pips, courts, majors). Shuffle them well. Begin by drawing a card from each. Remember that your major card will remain the overarching theme of your story. Draw just one. You drew ‘The Fool’? Your story could develop into an adventure story. ‘The Chariot’? A fast-paced story a la ‘Fast and the Furious’.  ‘The Moon’? Could be a little twisted and scary, don’t you think?

You might find that, once you’ve drawn your characters, beginning your story with ‘Once upon a time, there was a …’ and then proceed to describe the character using your knowledge of the Tarot or the image presented on the card. Then make them go somewhere or do something by drawing cards from the pips.  The 6 of swords might take them on a journey over water, the ace of wands might be the sign of a new song idea or the 5 of pentacles might indicate a struggle to make ends meet.

The three of us decided that at some point, we would take this concept further. If you decide to as well, please feel free to post about here.