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Many people like to gather with others who share their interests. They join, for example, book clubs, sports leagues, knitting groups, political action committees, or neighborhood associations. They take classes. They network and participate in online forums.
In this sense, tarot is like any other interest. Tarotists, whether professionals, amateurs, novices, or collectors, gather all over the world in various ways to share their passion and knowledge and to learn from others. Tarot, after all, is about connecting…with your inner wisdom, with the divine, with people you read for. It can also be about connecting with new friends. And, you may even get to meet some of your favorite authors and artists.
Besides, it's warming up out there! Time to get out of the house and into your community. Here are some ideas to help you do that.
Many cities have regular get-togethers organized through www.MeetUp.com. If you haven't checked it out yet, go to that site, type in your zip code and the word "tarot" and find the details of the Tarot MeetUp nearest you. And, if by chance, there isn't one, consider starting one.
Tarot MeetUps are usually casual and open to anyone regardless of experience—the only thing required is interest. These MeetUps generally have an organizer but are not hierarchical. Each month, there is usually topic to focus discussion, but they can be free flowing. People bring in new decks and books to show and tell. It is a great way to meet your tarot neighbors, to check out the latest tarot decks, and to spend time with like-minded folks.
Online communities abound, with one of the most popular being Aeclectic Tarot. While there is nothing like face time, online experiences can be rewarding. There is a lot of discussion and debate; you'll certainly get to read many different points of view. Also, you can usually find specific sub-forums on subjects that are of particular interest to you. And it is also a great way to practice readings, if you don't have willing volunteers nearby.
Other community experiences are conferences. Some of these are broader in their appeal and others are much more focused. For example, The Readers Studio is for readers (often, but not always, professionals) who want to hone their craft. Attendees are expected to have a basic understanding of tarot—there are no "Tarot 101" classes here. Instead the goal is achieve noticeable improvement in reading skills.
Some conferences are less focused. Because of this they can feel more casual and less intimidating to a novice. They are also usually more affordable. Conferences like the Los Angeles Area Tarot Symposium and the Bay Area Tarot Symposium are more like a celebration of everything interesting that's going on in the world of tarot, with a wide range of presenters. Sometimes the conferences do have a main focus. For example, this summer's Minnesota Area Tarot Symposium will focus on one of the things we all love most about tarot: the art. It's a great chance to meet tarot artists and deck designers…and even explore your inner artist.
There are also tarot classes and workshops, which are a great way to learn something new and meet people who share your interests. Local metaphysical shops or continuing education programs often have classes. Also, if you want to know what's going on in tarot community, and to see if there is a conference or workshop near you, check out http://www.tarotcalendar.com/.
Barbara Moore (Saint Paul, MN) has studied and read tarot since the early 1990s. She wrote the bestselling Tarot for Beginners and more than a dozen other books, and she has contributed to many bestselling tarot kits, ...