I attended the annual TABI conference in Birmingham last weekend. This was my first time going to any Tarot conference. I was really excited not only about the fascinating line of speakers but also for the chance to hang out and put some faces to the names of folks I interact with online.
The conference was at Conference Aston in Birmingham, a place I had never been to before but would recommend to anyone as a conference venue after my excellent experience with it. The food was yummy, facilities were clean and the conference room was just right for a group of our size (thank you conference organisers).
The day started with a presentation by Karen Mahony from Baba studios. I found it fascinating to hear about the evolution of her work and the decks her husband Alex and she have created at their studio based in Prague. I was struck by her description of how they created their most recent Alice Tarot deck based on the Alice in Wonderland series. The level of detail and thought given to each aspect of the costumes and layout was mind-boggling. I particularly enjoyed the technique we worked on at the end of her presentation, based on layering of minors and majors for added depth in readings.
Our next speaker, Chloe McCracken, spoke about pendulums and how they could be used for wellness. I particularly enjoyed this presentation, as I had never worked with a pendulum before. I had fun calibrating, eliciting information and working with the pendulum. It’s definitely something I want to try out from time to time in the future.
Creator of the Transparent tarot among other projects, Emily Carding spoke about the Tarot and sigils. A sigil (yes, it’s a tongue twister) is a sign or word that is created with intent in order to manifest the desire of the creator. I enjoyed working out my personal sigil based on an affirmation for myself (Believe!) as well as one that we made in groups for the well being of the world (a lofty but worthwhile goal, indeed).
Our last presentation was by Julia Jeffrey, creator of the Tarot of the Hidden Realm, who gave us her deck to work with using exercises in the session. Julia’s amazing art work, where each card was a picture in itself ready to tell a story, is something that stays with me even after the presentation.
For me, the best part of the conference was getting to know, talking with and hearing from others involved with Tarot. Hearing about other people’s approaches, views and creative pursuits was really inspiring. I learnt new things including the amount of work it takes to create a deck, that pendulums are so fun, and also walked away with the most generous goody bag ever (gasp, I have three new decks!) The conference was good fun, gave me something to think and blog about, and allowed me to connect with other Tarot peeps. A weekend well spent, I’d say ☺