Readers Studio 2019 Recap

Left to right: V. Von Schweetz (redlightreadings.com), Connie Kick (kickinittarot.com), Arwen Lynch Poe (tarotbyarwen.com), Jen Cintrón (intuitiveinsightstarot.com), Ethony Dawn (ethony.com), and me

Readers Studio 2019 was the first time I’ve ever attended a conference as an attendee only, with no presentation obligations. And it was fantastic. I’m not sure I ever want to go back to presenting. It was that fantastic.

Maybe other presenters are different, and less vain, but when I’m scheduled to present, I spend a lot of time focusing on me. How do I look. Do I know my stuff. Will my PowerPoint slides work. Will there be a tech malfunction. Pray to gods there are no wardrobe malfunctions. How do I look. Do I know my stuff. What do people think of me. Is my presentation good enough. They’re gonna realize I’m a total fraud. How do I look. Also, how do I look.

This time, I didn’t think about me at all. I dressed comfortably, didn’t even bring more than the pair of shoes I wore onto the plane, and 100% of my attention was on learning and mingling. I had a blast.

For day job work reasons, I couldn’t make it to Thursday’s Divination Day, and boy do I regret it! I heard it was phenomenal and I’m really kicking myself for not having the chance to attend.

Ethony’s Foundation Reading for me. Deck pictured: Bad Bitches Tarot

For the Foundation Reading on Friday, my partner was my good friend Ethony. She gave me the reading I totally needed and since we’re close, I asked a legit question, meaning you know, you don’t skimp on the truth, the facts, and how you’re really feeling. And Ethony’s reading was amazing!

It was really cool to get to observe her reading style. I don’t know if she realizes it (I think she does) but she channels most of her readings. You can literally see her change state. Something Ethony-but-not-just-Ethony comes through, and when she’s done, something leaves her eyes, something returns, and she’s chattering like good ole’ Ethony again. It’s so fascinating.

From Ethony Dawn’s master class

Her master class was early Friday evening. She channeled and shared with us the Thirteen Muses of Tarot, but I’ll just share the one I felt an immediate connection to as the muses were being revealed to us: Brujula, the Muse of Transition Readings, who is a compass and guide at our crossroads. Ethony also showcased thirteen beautiful card images depicting the muses. The reading I did during Ethony’s master class was really powerful.

I gave away one of my First Editions of SKT, along with the Book of Maps and a little vial of healing dust (hyperlink takes you to a description of it). It was really cool to get to do that.

At the breakfast roundtable on Saturday morning, Al Juarez talked to us about telling time with the tarot. A roundtable discussion is when the moderator, in this case Al, moderates everyone n the room to share their insights into the given topic.

Some of the really cool things I learned at that roundtable about telling time with tarot:

Charge a tarot card based on the question at hand. That charged card becomes your significator. Shuffle the deck and proceed to distribute the cards into 12 card piles representing the twelve months. The card pile you find the significator in will indicate the month that the queried event will happen.

Gina Thies shared a really cool point: develop a system for tarot divination that covers the who, what, where, when, and why of a matter. The card or cards you pull for the “when” will help you with telling time.

From George Koury’s master class

Saturday morning was George Koury’s master class on the Peter Pan method of reading, which reveals your life purpose. George is a psychic, medium, and angel communicator who descends from a family line of psychics and mediums. He commands a powerful, yet nurturing, gentle, compassionate presence.

So, How do you deduce your own life purpose? Start by asking the question: What did you love to do as a child? The answers you brainstorm in response to that question can help point you toward your life purpose. I loved that!

Next was a master class with Sasha Graham. Her presentation was titled, “The Magician’s Secret and Seven Sacred Cornerstones of Constant Magic.”

Sasha is the real deal. We had such a powerful, magical, but also impressively informative master class with her. In one of her writing prompts: “My heart’s work is…” I can’t even believe what I blurted out onto paper. Even now, reading it back to myself, I giggle nervously.

Should I share it? Bah. You know and I know I want to. Why front. Okay here it goes:

The prompt was: “My heart’s work is…” and as soon as she said go, you had to write. Your pen could not leave paper so if you just didn’t know what exactly to write, you were supposed to write “I have more to say” and just keep writing that until you actually have something original to put down.

From Sasha Graham’s master class

So, funny enough, most of journaled my page was “I have more to say.” But then every so often, I’d blurt something out. By the way, just so you know, I totally took these master class prompts and sessions seriously, and when she said go, I went. I entered a trance state and did my thang.

On Sunday morning, we revisited our Friday Foundation Readings and this time, applied the techniques we learned during the three master classes. That meant identifying which of the 13 tarot muses came through in my reading (Ethony’s master class), what the cards might reveal about my life purpose (George Koury’s), and how to see the unseen in this reading spread (Sasha Graham’s).

My Readers Studio haul

I came home with lots of goodies! Liz Westwater of West Star Health & Healing gifted me with her Angels Sing spray, which is a magical blend of angelica root, gemstone-infused water, and so much more. It smells divine!

By the way, next year’s lineup of master class presenters is going to be so much fantastic. I’ve already marked it in my 2020 calendar to attend. Will I see you there?

Learn more about Readers Studio at the Tarot School.

THE TAROT SCHOOL

Avoiding the Thoth Tarot Because Crowley

A recurring sentiment you’ll hear, even among tarot readers, is that Crowley’s Thoth deck should be avoided, because Crowley. After e-mailing me paragraphs of rehashed Internet research on the salacious nuggets of the man’s biography to lay the foundation of their point, the inevitable question will come: “Should I avoid working with the Thoth because it’s got bad juju?”

I’m always amused when this question is presented for me to answer, as if I have any reasonable idea whether you in particular should work with or avoid working with the Thoth. It’s a matter of personal preference, and so it’s a question I can’t answer without knowing you through and through.

Continue reading “Avoiding the Thoth Tarot Because Crowley”

2019 Masters of the Tarot Conference at the Omega Institute

July 19 – 21, 2019 will be the Masters of the Tarot conference held at the Omega Institute in Rhineback, New York. The Masters of the Tarot conference is an annual tradition started by Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack. This 2019, the master teachers featured at the event will be Mary and Rachel, Michelle Tea, author of Modern Tarot and many other works of fiction and creative nonfiction, and the renowned psychic Terry Iacuzzo, author of Small Mediums at Large. Oh. And also, me.

If you’ve ever been interested in attending a tarot workshop held by me, this may be your last chance to meet me in person and pick my brain, at least for a very long time. I won’t be making any public appearances for the tarot in 2020 and some significant plans to shift gears have been in the works for some time now. So at least for me, the 2019 Masters of the Tarot conference is going to be very special and deeply personal. My workshop presentation topic will reflect as much. =)

Also, you’re going to be learning innovative and profound insights into the tarot from living legends: Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack.

Michelle Tea is a prolific author who has published numerous memoirs and novels. One of her books, How to Grow Up (Penguin/Plume), is currently in development with Amazon Studios. Tea is the curator of the Amethyst Editions imprint at Feminist Press. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, Cosmopolitan, Marie Clare, xoJane, and BuzzFeed, among others.

Terry Iacuzzo is a New York City based psychic and regular contributor to CosmoGirl and Seventeen. Way before there was Theresa Caputo of Long Island Medium, there was Terry Iacuzzo, a Sicilian-American psychic medium who came in to this world one Halloween in 1948. Read this fascinating Q&A about being a psychic and coming from a psychic family, featured in the New York Magazine back in 2014.

The tuition for the event is $465, which covers workshops by all the master teachers, all panels, breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Omega Dining Hall from Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 21, and daily open classes in meditation, yoga, tai chi, and more.

Continue reading “2019 Masters of the Tarot Conference at the Omega Institute”

How to Read Tarot Cards: Eden Gray’s Hungarian Method

Skill Level: Intermediate & Up

This is the third video presentation of Sightsee the Tarot, a new series I’ve started on my YouTube channel.

If you haven’t watched the previous videos on a psychological approach to the tarot, the Nine-Card Open Face Spread and Self-Help Tarot Journaling (Tarot Counseling), watch those and then return to this session, or at the very least, watch the first three minutes of the Self-Help Tarot Journaling video for the theoretical model distinctions between predictive tarot reading and tarot counseling. I’ll be making reference to those distinctions as we explore predictive tarot reading.

Please note that intermediate proficiency with reading tarot in spreads is presumed. I proceed with explaining Gray’s approach with the understanding that you already know how to read the cards. Also, in terms of a tarot spread, this particular method can be rather vague, and relies heavily on the skill of reading cards in pairs. So elemental dignities also comes in to play.

Nonetheless, armed with a book of card meanings, I think this may still be a good video workshop for the total tarot beginner to work through. So do not be dismayed, tarot beginner! Still give this tutorial a shot!

Continue reading “How to Read Tarot Cards: Eden Gray’s Hungarian Method”

Giveaway: The Simple Tarot Beginner’s Kit by Angie Green

Angie Green, the creator of the Simple Tarot, is running an incredible giveaway for the Beginner’s Kit! You can read a review I did of the deck here.

I get the incredible opportunity to team up with her and run a giveaway through my channel for one of her Simple Tarot Beginner Kits!

Deadline for Giveaway: March 15, 2019

Winner Announced: March 16, 2019

From Angie:

The winner will receive a Simple Tarot Beginner Kit by Angie Green.

From Me:

In addition to winning Angie’s Simple Tarot Beginner’s Kit, you will also win and receive a signed copy of Holistic Tarot.

About the copy of my book: Note that this is from the first print run of Holistic Tarot. There have been subsequent edits, revisions, and many other print runs, so just know that this edition has all the original typos and errors. It’s from the very first batch of HT ever printed. So maybe it’ll be worth money someday? Who knows. Anyway.

I’m also going to include the following in a magical tarot starter kit:

  • a consecrated crystal,
  • a bottle of aura, energy, and space clearing spray,
  • a blank tarot journal that I will intuitively hand-select for you, and
  • a plush velveteen drawstring bag for your tarot deck.

Eligibility for the Giveaway

U.S. residents only. This giveaway is limited to those living in the United States.

Second, I ask that more seasoned tarot readers to please sit back on this giveaway. I’d like this giveaway to be reserved for those just starting out on their tarot learning journey.

So, how do you enter? To enter, complete To-Do #1, To-Do #2, and To-Do #3. That’s it. =)

To-Do #1:

Share any one of the below photos of the Simple Tarot on Twitter, Instagram, or as a public Facebook post with the hashtags #thesimpletarot and tag the deck creator @thesimpletarot and in your caption, share why you’re excited about this tarot deck and giveaway! Or you can gush about all the cool free tarot resources Angie gives away here: https://thesimpletarot.com/resources and share that link.

#thesimpletarot

@thesimpletarot

To-Do #2:

Link to a posting from this website (benebellwen.com) or a video from my YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/c/BenebellWen) that you really liked and felt was insightful to you, including a few short words on why you liked it. 

To-Do #3: Most Important!

Leave a comment to this blog post that includes:

(1) Hyperlink to your completed To-Do #1, and

(2) Hyperlink to your completed To-Do #2.

When you leave your comment, please be sure to include the e-mail address that you’ll check in the event you win, because the winner is going to be notified on March 16, 2019 by the e-mail of record per the comment you’ve left to this blog post.

You do not need to publicize your e-mail address in the comment! It can stay private!

When you fill in the comment box, just input the Email address in the Email line only, where it includes the note, “(Address never made public).”

I will see your Email address, while it remains unpublished on the blog post, and will use that Email address to contact you in the event you’ve won.

Only those who leave a comment below with a working e-mail address (and who reply within 24 hours to the notification that you’ve won) are eligible.

The winner will be announced here on this post on March 16, 2019.

I will e-mail you to let you know you’ve won and will need your full mailing address. I’ll mail you the Holistic Tarot starter kit, give your name and address to Angie, and she will mail you the Simple Tarot Beginner’s Kit.

Selection Process:

The name of each commenter to this blog post (To-Do #3) will be written on a slip of paper and put into a container. I’ll pull a name at random and film the drawing, which I will then post to my Instagram on March 16, 2019.

On the same day, I’ll privately notify that individual via e-mail and update this post to announce the winner.

The winner will have 24 hours to reply to my e-mail and claim the prize. If I don’t hear back from the winner in 24 hours, I’m going to draw a second name and the prize will be awarded to the second runner up, who again, will have 24 hours to claim the prize, and so on, and so on, until somebody claims the prize within the 24 hours of e-mail notification. =)

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

3/17/2019 Update

Sorry, sorry I’m late to this! It’s been a hectic weekend!

Image14

#9 is the winner. Hello, Dana! You’ll be getting an e-mail from me in 5, 4, 3, 2…

Website Terms of Use

Self-Help Tarot Journaling (Transformative Tarot Counseling)

Skill Level: All (General)

This is the second video presentation of Sightsee the Tarot, a new series I just started on my YouTube channel.

If you haven’t watched the first presentation yet, the Nine-Card Open Face Spread from Jung and Tarot by Sallie Nichols, go watch that and then return to this session, because we’ll be building on what was covered about Jung and Tarot.

Since this is a journaling-only session where the tarot cards you’ll be working with will appear across the screen for you, you won’t need your own deck and you don’t even need any knowledge whatsoever of the tarot.

Attributions for the cards you’ll be journaling through are going to be provided for you, given through the perspective of Jungian archetypes and applicable in a psychological approach to the tarot.

Start by downloading the supplemental handout linked below. It’s going to be a 10-page PDF file.

Tarot Journaling Hand-Out

Applying Transformative Tarot Counseling Techniques

You can print it out and write directly on the handout sheets, then add it to your tarot journal, or you can copy the questions longhand into your tarot journal and work directly from the pages of your notebook.

This guided journaling session is intended to help you work through any anxieties or frustrations you currently face and arrive at different perspectives, gained insights, and realizations of the answer.

Subject | Key 1 The Magus or Key 2 The Priestess

For the first card we’re journaling through, you’ll be selecting from either Key 1 or Key 2 to represent you. You project your sense of identity out onto the archetype of either the magus or the high priestess and then work through prompts to gain a different perspective of yourself.

This is insight into the inner divine masculine or inner divine feminine, and applying core counseling techniques in a tarot journaling prompt for yourself to help you better realize the anima or animus.

Although I’m a straight female, Key 1: The Magus pulled at me more and I felt I identified more with the magus than the high priestess while going through this exercise, so I journaled with The Magus. In other words, you don’t just simply choose Key 1 because you’re a guy and Key 2 because you’re a girl. It’s more about how you identify with the archetypal energies these keys represent.

Known, Conscious | Key 12 The Hanged Man

For the second card, we’ll all be journaling through The Hanged Man from the New Era Elements Tarot as feaured in the video. There are many reasons I chose this card. In esoteric tarot, it’s considered the most important card in the tarot deck for truly understanding the tarot. It’s the card that facilitates the initiation (which comes after, in Key 13: Death), or transformation of consciousness.

If you’re coming in to this journaling session with a sincere intent to work through a problem you’re facing, then more likely than not you feel a bit like the hanged man and need to figure out what next course of steps to take to progress forward. So it’s just a great card for processing current anxieties, fears, and roadblocks.

Also, it kind of works out perfectly that when this video is produced, the year 2019, 2 + 0 + 1 + 9 = 12, so we’re in the year of the Hanged Man.

Unknown, Unconscious | Key 3 The Empress

Since we’re working with The Hanged Man as the known and conscious, the underlying Key with a common numerological denominator is Key 3 in the tarot, The Empress. Thus, working with that attribution, we journal through The Empress to retrieve insights from our own unconscious, the layers underneath our current known anxieties, fears, and roadblocks.

Next Step | Key 4 The Emperor

The Emperor is a critical card in the tarot Majors to work through for personal sovereignty and achieving a sense of self-determination. It’s about independence and coming in to your own. It also happens to follow Key 3: The Empress in the consecutive order of the Majors. The coming year, 2020, will incidentally be an Emperor year (2 + 0 + 2 + 0 = 4).

In the next video of this series, we will be moving out of the world of tarot psychology and into the realm of fortune-telling and predictive readings with the tarot, working with the techniques and reading style of Eden Gray. Be sure to check the Series Page for the scheduled upload.

Sightsee the Tarot: Series Page

Click on the Series Page for a List of All Episodes

Reading Tarot for Others (Free Book of Maps Chapter Download)

The Book of Maps Vitruvian Edition is going to be a significantly larger volume book than the First Ediiton, with new chapters.

A collection of those chapters are intended to showcase the more practical side of the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, especially how a professional tarot reader or one who reads tarot for others might be able put the deck into everyday use.

Continue reading “Reading Tarot for Others (Free Book of Maps Chapter Download)”

Sightsee the Tarot: Video Series

SIGHTSEE THE TAROT is a video series on my YouTube channel that takes you on a tour of the tarot, from discovering new books and tarot thought leaders to workshopping classic tarot spreads and tinkering with particular tarot decks.

Together, we’ll work through specialized reading techniques, provocative topics in the world of tarot, or explore notable perspectives and points of view. I’ll guide you every step of the way through these hands-on presentations. Pause as needed and resume the video only when you’re ready for the next step.

When you can’t have a tarot instructor in your home with you, in person, this Sightsee the Tarot series is the next best thing. As your host for this series, here is my objective: to coax you out of your comfort zone and get you to try out a diverse range of approaches to the cards.

Continue reading “Sightsee the Tarot: Video Series”

Shadow Work (Bell Chimes In #37) & Applying it Right Now to A-Z New Age Practices

Bell Chimes In is baaack for 2019. =) And we kick off the series with #37, on shadow work.

Well, it’s not really about shadow work. I realize now in retrospect I never even actually addressed what shadow work is, or even what it is to me. I just jumped right in to my opinions and tangential thoughts.

Anyway, I want to conjoin that video chat with a blog post on the most recent thing to fire up the tarot, pagan, occult, and New Age communities: Doreen Virtue’s “An A-Z List of New Age Practices to Avoid and Why.” At first my response to that article won’t seem to relate to shadow work, but just stay with me. I’ll get there.

Which by the way, is totally okay. Shadow work, that is. It didn’t make it onto Virtue’s list of demonic things. So we’re good. Phew.

Continue reading “Shadow Work (Bell Chimes In #37) & Applying it Right Now to A-Z New Age Practices”

Top 5 Oracle Decks of 2018

Continuing with the 31 Days of Tarot community challenge by Ethony, let’s talk about my top five oracle decks for 2018.

These are my top five oracle decks from the previous year, meaning (1) acquired the deck in the year 2018, and (2) actually worked with the deck in 2018, but most of these were published well before 2018.

The Celtic Shaman’s Pack by John Matthews and Chesea Potter is a deck I plan on reviewing in-depth at some future point. It’s an older deck that was then re-released  (and given a redesign) in 2017, but one I didn’t acquire myself until 2018. And I love it. Wow, I can’t even.

The guidebook that comes with the cards is everything you want to get you oriented in working with Celtic shamanism for yourself. I cannot shower this oracle deck with enough high praise, except to say you’ve got to try it to believe it. You can look forward to me posting a deck review of it this year, in 2019.

Continue reading “Top 5 Oracle Decks of 2018”