Impressions of Readers Studio 2012

By Ellen Lorenzi-Prince

Many thanks to Ellen-Mary Keough O'Brien, aka Coneflower Tarot, for graciously granting permission to us to use the photos and captions featured below in Ellen's article! Check out her very cool website at and Like Coneflower Tarot on Facebook…we do!!! Thank you, Ellen!

What was great: having open, meaningful dialogue with someone I just met. I'm reserved and live a reclusive life; this doesn't happen often. But in this environment my heart blooms. A stranger and I skipped the small talk and went straight to sharing our hopes and fears, our knowledge and intuition. And someone I just met became someone I fondly remember and hope to meet again. This has happened for me at every tarot gathering. It was slow to start, but with each year the bonds deepened, the connections widened, and the sense of community grew. 

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Discussing Ellen's upcoming Minoan Tarot during a break in James Wanless' class. --with Shari Lynn Smith and Ellen Lorenzi-Prince.

What else was great: showing my new deck to folks without feeling I was presuming or boasting, because the interest was genuine. This means so much to me. Knowing others see something in what I do helps me endure my dark and doubtful times. A corollary greatness was being surrounded by inspired creativity, from Joanna Powell Colbert's new tarot queen paintings and Ann Marie Lollo's charming journals to Nancy Antenucci's evocative dance and Jeannette Roth and Dan Pelletier's hilarious SNL-style debate on tarot tradition. 

What else was great: giving career advice to a futures analyst using the archaic images of the Minoan Tarot. Building bridges between disparate things like this--that's tarot magic. 

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Discussing the whole person profile spread for our table -- with Debbie "The Tarot Broad" Lake, Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, James Wells, Mary K. Greer, Joanna Powell Colbert and Gail Wood.

What else was great: the master classes. James Wells, through his own experience of grief, offered exercises for moving from pain into wisdom. Shawn Nacol spoke on the four elements as the root of tarot, and their dynamics and relationships as the core of a reading. James Wanless had us looking at our whole selves, what we've got and what's missing, and showed how this technique can be used to read the energy and potential of any group. A corollary greatness to the teachers would be the hosts, Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone, whose efforts provided a strong foundation for a towering experience.

Let's see, what else was great... I signed up for readings in the evening from Thalassa and from Rachel Pollack. I read for myself and had nothing pressing on my mind other than the usual obsessions, but I like to see how other readers work. So I hadn't a lot of expectations, but again I found magic. Their clarity, wisdom, and dexterity with symbols laid a path before me much brighter and stronger than the narrow way I'd been setting for myself. 

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Beth, Ellen and Joanna -- with Beth Owl's Daughter, Ellen Lorenzi-Prince and Joanna Powell Colbert.

What was tough: being a West Coast night owl at an East Coast conference. My usual bedtime was an hour before I had to get up in the morning. But this and other traveling discomforts are expected at least, and the spiritual and emotional impact of the experience lasts longer than the physical pain.  

What else was tough: winding down after the energy high, both in the hotel room at night and upon re-entry back home. But I remember the goodness and grace, and whether I take the next steps fast or slow, the illuminated path remains. 

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