Monday, May 17, 2004

Hermgirl's Excellent Tarot Adventure

I've been computerless for a couple of weeks, and a couple of days ago I got my computer back from the cleaners (I have it on good authority that it is now clean as a whistle.)

So I wanted to share with you all about my weekend.

I went to Divinationfest on Saturday, which was presented by Daughters of Divination, as was Thoth-a-palooza on Sunday, which was a talk given by the lovely and talented Lon Milo DuQuette.

I had expected a larger "psychic fair" type of thing, but was pleased to note that it was a more intimate gathering, not the cattle run sort of thing I had been to before a couple of times (in my teens I went to one where I met a man who became my "Tarot teacher" for a couple of months, the upshot of that being that I've been reluctant to go to any Tarot/psychic type functions til now for fear of bumping into this person again, but that's another story for another time.) Of course, it would be nice to see more people go to these things, hence my plugging of the appropriate websites.

Anywho, I got there on Saturday and it was set up like a classroom or a church meeting. I sat down, right next to Mr. DuQuette, and proceeded to gush at him like a teenager. Sometimes I am overly enthusiastic--I have to cut that out.

Then things got started, with Thalassa, the Mistress of Ceremonies (who, in the words of Will Farrel channeling James Lipton, is "Scrumtrelescent." Anyone who lives "with a herd of feral dust bunnies and too many Tarot decks in what looks like a fortress made of books" is my kind of person), holding an Intuition shaver over her head. The theme of the fest was to get ourselves to think oracularly by listening to what was going on in the universe.

Joseph Ernest Martin was there, creator of the Quest Tarot, talking about what makes a good psychic. Then he led us thru an exercise in which we tried focusing in on a picture he had in an envelope and seeing how close we could come to what was inside. There was also some discussion about how the military investigated what kinds of personalities make a good psychic. They got a bunch of these people together, trained them, and used them for their psychic skills, didn't give them any kind of support when they got burnt out, and then threw them away like toilet paper. I'll just let everyone mull that over for a while.

Then Lon Milo DuQuette gave a talk entitled "Psychic Power? YOU'RE FULL OF IT!" in which he told some great stories and even recited stentorially from Shakespeare's The Tempest. I'm a sucker for a great speaker.

Then there was an interesting divinatory technique demonstrated called Aura Soma. We were lead through a chakra tune-up, instructed to ask a question, then choose from about a hundred bottles with colored water and oil in them. Each bottle was half filled with tinted water, then filled to the top with oil of a different color. Each was keyed to a Tarot card. The interpretations were very poetic, like, "This is the bottle of the Jade Emperor," "This is the bottle of the Guardian Angel", it was extremely interesting.

Then there was a woman teaching on palmistry, which doesn't really excite me too much, so I stayed in the narthex, listening like a fly on the wall, perpetrating like I was reading the books and flyers. I found it quite educational to listen to the event facilitators share their troubles with each other.

Then there was a raffle (I won a prize!) Then it was over. It had been an extremely good day, I even made a new friend and we had lunch together. I walked down to the BART station, stopping in front of the Diva hotel, where I stood in the square that had Chita Revera's handprints.

Sunday I had a little trouble getting there on time (those busses in the city are not easy to figure out.) When I arrived Lon Milo DuQuette was talking about the life of Aleister Crowley. He interspersed this with stuff about his own spiritual journey. Then he talked about the Book of the Law (thereby rendering himself a center of pestilence.)

From there he talked about the Quabalistic progression of the creation story, working his way into a slide show discussion of the trump cards and the minor arcana.

On the whole, I was very glad I attended this, I feel as though I have a better handle on the cards after this weekend. Plus I bought lots of books, yay! So I will have lots of homework ahead of me.

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