World Tarot Congress 1997

This conference, hosted by the International Tarot Society, was outstanding in every way. It was well planned, well attended and no detail was left undone. Upon arrival each attendee was given a large manila envelope which contained the conference program book, personalized name tags, which used Waite-Smith cards to indicate which events you were registered for, and two raffle tickets - one for the opening ceremony and one for the closing ceremony.

The opening ceremony was a panel discussion on Psychological vs Predictive Tarot Readings. Most of the guest speakers had input to the discussion, but the highlight for me was Eden Gray. At 96 she was articulate, wise and funny. She explained how she came to write her popular Tarot books while running a metaphysical store in NYC in the 1950's. Customers would often ask her about Tarot cards and she said her clerk knew more about them than she did. She set about remedying this situation, but found that most of the available books were difficult to understand translations. She researched the subject and decided to write her own book. Two more followed, and many of us who started reading in the late 60's and early 70's owe a huge debt to Ms. Gray for making Tarot interpretation and reading accessible.

The Conference schedule is given below. As you can see the first problem is that there were four presentations scheduled for each one and a half hour period. Choosing between four subjects that all sounded like "must see" events was very, very difficult, but somehow I did it. I will be honest though - part of the time I spent in each lecture was devoted to wondering what I was missing in the other three rooms.






Tarot of
the Spirit
Carol Jean Rose
Tarot Gypsy
Robert O'Neill
A Meditation
on the Tarot
Arnell Ando
Alternative and
Therapeutic Methods
of Using Tarot
Janet Berres
Tarot Spreads
Shuffling a
Full Deck
Julie Cuccia-Watts
The Door that
Swings Both Ways
Rachel Pollack
Tarot Soul Questions
and the
Body of the Goddess
Norma Cowie
Court Cards
as Attitudes
Cynthia Giles
Whose Tarot?
Geraldine Amaral
Tarot Cards
and Zen
Brian Williams
Queer Mysteries
Gail Fairfield
Choice Centered
Tarot and
Mary Greer
Tarot for the
21st Century
Amber Jayanti
The Holy Qabalah
and Sacred Tarot
Art Rosengarten
Divination, Love
and Violence
Marie-Claire Wilson
The Spiritual Tarot:
The Keys to the
Divine Temple

Saturday night was the Banquet/Costume Party, however, I did not attend. Instead two friends from Tarot-l and I went to an excellent Seafood Restaurant. I had the Blackened Amberjack and a pint of Stout. Yum! My dinner companions and I did make it back to the hotel in time to see the judging of the costume contest. There were some really imaginative costumes. Some of my favorites were a great Tower, a group three of cups, and a great Wheel of Fortune (no description will do here, you had to be there). There were several categories of prizes but the overall winner was an excellent Ten of Swords. Once she flung herself onto the floor, there really was no choice. She was also the audience favorite. Unfortunately I did not have my camera at the time.

Sunday I had an early breakfast scheduled with John Gilbert, Secretary of the American Tarot Association. John related how he came to work with the Tarot beginning in the 1950's. He is a wealth of history on Tarot before its popularity explosion in the 1960's and 1970's.






Sunday October 12, 1997




Cynthia Giles
Tarot 2000
Lisa Roggow
The Tarot and
the Tree of Life
Frances Camberis
Archetypes as
Role Models
Alexandra Genetti
The Tarot Tree
Game of Tarot
Lon Milo DuQuette
The 'DNA' of the
Mary Greer
Tarot Reader as
Midwife of the Soul
Thea Bloom
22 Keys to a
Tarot Practice
Ed Buryn
Tarot: Myth
or Reality
Marcia Masino
Tarot as Initiation
Gary Ross
Tarot and
Interstellar Magic
Rachel Pollack
Major Arcanas


Closing Ceremony




Scenes from the Conference

This page is Copyright 1997 by Michele Jackson