American Tarot Association Rocky Mountain Tarot Conference - August 25-27, 2000

Greetings Everyone!

The ATA Denver Conference 2000 was a true Tarot Happening!   It was amazing, and was exactly what I expected. The only thing that truly surprised me was how wonderful and nice everyone was. I felt like I had been reunited with my family. In this group, I wasn't the odd man or woman out. Everyone loves Tarot as much as I do! It was a new and amazing experience for me.

There were so many learned people there! All of the speakers were excellent and held nothing back. They are all gifted souls and I feel very fortunate to have met them all!  


From left: Mari Geasir, Arnell Ando, Mike McAteer, Ken Genetti, Connie Walters, Kahren Tedesco , and John Gilbert. 

John Gilbert is as wise as the Magician in the Tarot Himself would be! And every bit as fun.  John's input into the conference was  key.

Because of him, the conference flowed very smoothly. He made the participants all feel very much at ease.  I had the opportunity to converse with him at length, and he helped me validate the way that I read for others. Since he probably has more practical experience than anyone on the planet, if John says you're doing something good, you know you are!

Mari Geasair gave a fabulous lecture on how to be a better professional reader. She gave very practical advice, and was very outgoing and charismatic.   She was particularly helpful on the subject of problem clients, such as a client who comes to you wanting you to "make everything all better" She gave specific ways on how to avoid the "fix-it" trap,  She also suggested ways of dealing with skeptics.  She said if someone says that Tarot doesn't work for them, agree with them: "You know, you are right. It doesn't work for you. It works for other people, but for some reason, it just doesn't work for you."   If you do this, the person has the option of saying, "Okay," and walking away, or asking you to help them understand how it could work for them. 

Geasair is convinced that people need mysticism and want you to show it to them. She says, "They want to believe," and readers can assist them with that desire.  She also brought up a really good question for a professional reader to ask him or herself--"Why am I a reader?" She advises against getting your self- worth from other people validating you as a reader.   I signed up for her telephone lessons on this subject because I found her knowledge invaluable.

Arnell Ando is the Queen of Collage Tarot-Making and a gifted teacher. I  purchased two of her last remaining decks and immediately fell madly in love  with them! Arnell is one of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life  and her significant other--Mike--is her perfect match.

Kevin Townley's lecture on the Cube in Space was so intense I found myself  riveted to my chair!   I was glued to his persona the entire time. Julia Gillentine gave a fabulous lecture using theories in Numerology and lots more. Now I have studied Numerology, but she offered information that could only come from a person with her spectacular insight and years of study.

Alexandra Genetti's lecture was so colorful!  It was packed with great ideas concerning the connection between nature and the Tarot. She talked about things I had never thought of before.  Her approach was very logical, and came from a Nature-based perspective.  While her approach to Tarot doesn't correspond to anyone else's, the system she created and shared with us, based on the solar system, moon cycles, and astronomy as a whole made a great deal of sense. I may not agree with her, but her explanations of how legends of old influence us today made me understand Tarot and Life itself as I had not before. Bless her heart! I love her spirit for life and enthusiasm.  Check out her deck, The Wheel of Change Tarot, sometime!   Oh, and lest I forget, her husband Ken really has the gift for song.  The combination of music and tarot during this weekend was really magical.

I was ever so surprised by our first speaker, the famous Pamela Eakins.  Silly me, I have her deck (Tarot of the Spirit) and never put her together with it. Her mother, Joyce, is the artist for the deck.  Unfortunately, she couldn't make the trip due to illness. Let's all send her good vibrations for healing and wellness. Pamela was scintillating! This deck is, in my own very humble opinion, a modern day Thoth Deck. Yes, it is that powerful.

Pictured from left: Mike McAteer, Arnell Ando, and Ken Genetti
You know the character of the lecturer has as much to do with how you embrace  the knowledge as the knowledge itself. Every lecturer whose workshop I attended was very talented.

The attention given to each of us as participants was unsurpassable! The  knowledge gained was invaluable and the friendships unforgettable. I highly recommend attending one--or more--of these conferences any chance you get. 

They are well worth your time and money.

My respectful thanks to John Gilbert, the ATA and everyone who attended. All and all, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

In fact, I'm going to...I'll see you all in Albany this September at the next ATA conference!


Connie Walters

About the Author:

Connie Walters has been reading and studying the tarot for 15 years.  She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader with the American Tarot Association (ATA) and is working towards certification as a Tarot Master.  She has read tarot professionally for many years, and has also taught tarot classes.  She is also an amateur astrologer and has studied numerology.  Connie has begun work on a tarot deck of her own, and has created several cards for collaborative decks.

Review and pictures copyright 2000 Connie Walters

Page copyright 2000 Diane Wilkes