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BATS – Bay Area Tarot Symposium

BATS is the Tarot highlight of my year – two full days packed with workshops, panel discussions, shopping, readings, raffle prizes, and mingling with authors and deck creators. With three workshop choices in each time slot, it was agony deciding which to forgo and which to attend. Two presentations stand out in my mind.

Shawn Nacol, a very energetic and dynamic speaker from New York City, gave us techniques and spreads for helping clients identify their goals and map a way toward them. Carole Pierce is an English professor specializing in the interface of Tarot and literature. She walked us through a close examination of Arcane 17, Surrealist Andre Breton’s meditation on the Star card. This was an intensely poetic way of engaging with the card that went way beyond divinatory meanings.

During some quiet moments before one of the workshops, Ellen Lorenzi-Prince (Crone Tarot) showed me prototypes of her Minoan deck that’s being published next year. The cards glowed with the grace, strength and magic of the Minoan civilization.

The weekend was topped off with a panel discussion featuring some of the wise sages of tarot like Rachel Pollack, James Wanless and Mary Greer. I was delighted to learn that several of my fellow old-timers who discovered Tarot in the 1970s used what was my first deck back then, David Palladini’s Aquarian Tarot.

A highlight of the weekend was the reading I received from Joseph Ernest Martin. He laid out a Celtic Cross and referred to the cards from time to time, but much of his information came from his guides. Receiving information from “beyond” made the experience very special for this earth-bound girl.

BATS started twenty years ago with 25 attendees, and now it’s one of the biggest tarot events on the planet. This year there were 120 participants, 23 presenters, and at least two dozen vendors. Be there the weekend of Aug 25, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Express on Van Ness in central San Francisco for an unforgettable tarot experience. The event is organized by Thalassa and the Daughters of Divination – http://www.dodivination.com

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