Readers Studio 2018: First-Timer’s Insights

Readers Studio 2018 was both my first time as an attendee and first time as a presenter. The tarot community is truly one-of-a-kind. Having now experienced the astrology community, pagans, Taoists, and Buddhists as social collectives, the favorite is hands down my tarot peeps. You won’t find a warmer, more enthusiastic, more diverse, more welcoming, more integrated and united, or more supportive tribe.

The Readers Studio is a weekend extravaganza of three master classes, breakfast roundtables, general sessions, tarot incubators, study groups, showcases, and many delicious event offerings. They also feed you, so there’s a cocktail party, luncheon, formal dinner banquet, and breakfast buffet. Ongoing throughout is the merchant faire where you can buy amazing goodies from small artisanal proprietors or get a tarot reading from one of the Studio’s selected celebrity psychic readers.

This post is going to be a review of my first Tarot Readers Studio experience. I’m sure I’ll be attending in 2019– and next year as an attendee and eager student only– no onstage pressures (yay) so I’ll be able to focus entirely on mingling, learning, and of course, sharing an unconscionable number of live tweets and Instagram posts.
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Life Update & Why a Pause on Video Making and More

So you may or may not have seen the below tweet from me not too long ago.

Hubby set about helping me resolve this issue. He bought me a new bigger and better hard drive. Had I known he was going to do what he was going to do on the date he did it, I would have told him to stop, yes, in part because I’m astrology-superstitious and Asian [not only retrograde Mercury and a void of course moon, pretty brutal transit aspects to my natal, but it’s also the week of Tomb Sweeping Day, a time in the Chinese calendar when the dead return to visit their living loved ones, i.e., if you believe it, stronger forces of paranormal activity at play], but also because I would have said, “Wait, hold on. First let me back up everything because all the current connected drives contain the sum of my life’s work.”

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Integrating the Culture-Specific Craft I Share into Your Path

I’m writing this post mostly for my own benefit because I get the question asked so often and I’m kind of getting to the point of laziness where I dread typing and rehashing out my answer. Now in the future I can link to this post.

Everything I share….everything…is set with the intention, the hope, and aspiration that if you’ve found it, resonate with it even when it’s not your culture or even anywhere close to what ordinarily enters your personal path and craft, that you will nonetheless feel an untainted, anxiety-free freedom to integrate it into your path.

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PantheaCon This Weekend + Personal Update

Hey all! For those of you who’ve been reaching out asking me about the password for the previous protected blog post, “Introduction to Buddhist-Taoist Esotericism [PantheaCon],” that is material reserved for those who will be at my presentation this Saturday morning for… oh, what could it possibly be for based on that title… that’s right, smarty pants, you!–PantheaCon! =)

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List of 2018 Bell Chimes In Episodes

In the Fall of 2017, I started a fun little series on my YouTube channel, called “Bell Chimes In.” Here’s a refresher of the 18 episodes that came out last year:

List of 2017 Bell Chimes in Episodes

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“Bell Chimes In” is a video series on my YouTube channel where I pick a topic that is oft talked about and chime in with my perspective. In doing so, I hope you’ll chime back. After the video, please join in conversation with me through a video response, blog post of your own, or by adding your thoughts in the comments section of the video.

I hope this series won’t be about me. I hope that it will be about us, about discourse, and the collective ideas of a community. There will be a new “Bell Chimes In” video every Sunday for the first quarter of the year.

# Title of Episode Video Length Date of Publication Blog Post
19 Good Witch; Bad Witch 13:15 01/07/2018 N/A
20 Race, Culture, and Spirituality 18:44 01/14/2018 N/A
21 Demonology 20:17 01/21/2018 Link
22 So You Wanna Create a Tarot Deck? 7:50 01/28/2018 Link
23 Tradition vs. Solitary 18:39 01/28/2018 N/A
24 Do No Harm? Diet and Spirituality 19:55 02/04/2018 N/A
25 What is Déjà Vu? 16:22 02/11/2018 N/A
26 Authenticity; Truth Seeking 15:15 02/18/2018 N/A
27 Spirit Guides, Patron Deities 15:45 02/25/2018 N/A
28 Starseeds and Multiverses 17:51 03/04/2018 N/A
29 Saturn Return (and Decisive Age) 15:20 03/11/2018 Link
30 People of Color in Spiritual Spaces 20:33 03/14/2018 N/A
31 Mercury Retrograde 11:16 03/25/2018 N/A
32 Selling Spirituality 14:52 03/30/2018 N/A
33 Three Truths (of Mine) 18:56 04/14/2018 N/A

We’ll then go on a short break. Be sure to check back for updates to the schedule.

Mysterious Lady of the Ninth Heaven (Jiu Tian Xuan Nü, 九天玄女)

I love watching videos of people sharing their deeply personal experiences with deities of different pantheons and what those experiences have meant to them, so now I’m sharing one of my own. =)

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We’ve arrived at our final installment of the “Bell Chimes In” series for 2017. For those of you who’ve watched all 18 episodes, thank you so much for coming along on this journey with me. As I close out the year of venturing into the terrain of YouTube (I know I am no pioneer on this front, but it was for sure an unfamiliar and new adventure for me), I should probably share with you why I ventured out in the first place: the Lady of the Ninth Heaven.

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Talismanic Charm Bracelet for Protection

The charm bracelet itself began as an amulet or talisman used to ward off evil and harm. Charm bracelet talismans made from shells were documented in Africa 75,000 years ago and were also used in ancient Egypt. Medieval knights wore charms for protection. Then it was in the early 20th century that the charm bracelet came back as a fashion accessory.

This post is a DIY how-to for crafting your own talismanic charm bracelet and some commentary on the different purposes such a talisman can offer.

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Failing to Predict Disaster

My mother possesses an eerily keen sense for what’s to come and can feel future events in her bones. But I remember this one personal tragedy that had blindsided her. None of the talismans, trinkets, doodads, protection circles, shielding, prognosticating, or spirit guides prepared her for what happened. It shook her to her core and she had no choice but to acquire wisdom the hard way. Knowledge is one thing. Wisdom is another. If you accept that there is a greater Divinity, then sometimes our knowledge is blocked so that we can have clearer access to wisdom.

I recall once hearing an interview of a well-known celebrity psychic medium who attained fame and fortune for that ability to see what is to come, and yet when that medium’s own mother came down suddenly with a terminal illness and then passed on, that medium did not see it coming, at all. In the interview, that medium talked about the wisdom gained from that hard check to the ego.

Why is there such irony in this world? Those who seem to have the Sight cannot see coming the worst of all calamities. They’ve built a paradigm around the ability to forecast, so that we can plan ahead and prepare, and yet that one thing that needs the most planning and preparation they could not predict.

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Selling Fu Talismans

In this episode, I answer a question that was presented to me: Can a non-Asian craft and sell Fu talismans to the public?

I recorded the video rather on the fly on the same day the question was presented to me, and didn’t fuss over my face before recording, so now in retrospect when I see the video, I cringe. Ugh. This is what happens when you don’t check your hair or makeup (the eyeliner was already smudging after a long working day) before you hit “record.”

The Fu talisman is a form of Chinese sigil magic that dates back to 400 BC and was later integrated into Taoist mystery traditions around 100 AD. If you’re not familiar with what a Fu talisman is, check out the below links:

The book description for The Tao of Craft (linked here) offers some insights into what a Fu talisman is. On the page of Fu talisman instructables (linked here), you’ll also find images and examples what some Fu talismans look like.

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