Readers Studio 2018 Poster by Ryan Edward
Did you want to know what Readers Studio is really about? Wondering if you missed out, but unsure whether it’s worth testing the water next year? Well, this is the blog you need!
Readers Studio 2018 was my first rodeo. I knew, when I wrote the book, that a trip was destined. It was on my bucket list, but I never made the effort. Every year rolled around and it had sold out. „Fate“ I thought, I can’t go anyway - it’s full! This year was different, the urge in my belly was insatiable, I had to bring Kipper to New York.
I am not an outwardly spiritual person oozing spiritual loveliness, or part of the „love and light“ section of our card reading community. I consider myself a „normal“ person who grew up with divination in an everyday and „ordinary“ way. Perhaps this is what made me nervous at first to get there. I do read tarot, but as we know, I am more a Kipper, Gypsy and Lenormand peep at the end of the day. So workshops on Tarot were not high on my to-do list. All this made me unsure whether Readers Studio was for me and whether the people attending Readers Studio were my crowd.
When I got there, I kept my head down; checked in and retreated, before anyone spied I was there. I wanted to see my surroundings, find my room, discover the conference areas and generally just settle into the hotel eco-system (to be fair, even after a few days there, I still stood at the reception desk confused as to where the elevators were - the ladies were always polite when they giggled and pointed me in the right direction).
When I felt ready, I hit the elevators and went down to the ballroom, where the merchants tables were and started getting my table ready, my red table cloth being the first step in creating my space. The room was quiet, so I was happily unpacking boxes and just going through the mechanical actions to get my table ready.... then .... in walks Rana George! I could feel her walk in, I could smell her walk in and when she smiled... that was it! the tone for the conference was set. The biggest hug in history followed and all my insecurities faded into nothingness. Every RS „noob“ deserves a „Rana George Moment“, whether with Rana herself or another returning member of the RS family (because family is exactly what it is). That warmth was everything, I was there, I was me and that was OK.
The photos below are only a handful of those taken, I didn’t select any particular photos, it was purely a blind selection - full photos are on my The Card Geek Page on Facebook!
The first full day of the conference is the pre-day (next year it’s Divination and the speakers announced are AMAZING!) so I got to my table early, ready to rock and roll. What you won‘t realise, is that not all merchants are set up and ready on that day. Some come later in the day to get their tables ready, so the morning is really the hard core RS family and those who have come for the pre-day lectures. This is amazing, as it is the perfect opportunity to meet people before more descend for the following day. My sales on the pre-day were exceptional - I can highly recommend!
Later in the day my personal Lenormand crush walks in, Carrie Paris. I have been working with Carrie and we have Skyped a few times, but she is even more awesome in the flesh (yes I am biased and I am gushing) and why I mention Carrie, is actually to explain something to anyone considering going next year - the „greats“ in Cartomancy and Divination in general are indeed great. They take the time for everyone who attends, no matter whether you know them personally or if they are just on your „friends list“, they take the time to answer questions and enthuse about their line of expertise. Carrie spent so much time at her table explaining the mechanics of casting, Patrick Valenza explained in depth the story around the Mildred Payne oracle, Andrew Kyle McGregor discussed the motivation behind the Cancer Sucks deck - all genuinely nice people who are passionate about divination, I could have listed so many more here btw! Make sure you ask what you want to ask, it is the perfect opportunity to get insider info on the techniques you use - take a list with you to the conference if you like and you will get your personal obstacles discussed by a professional in their field.
What may also be worth noting, is, that the people you know online may not be instantly recognisable in the real world! Of course, there is no missing Ferol, Ruth Ann & Wald or the other names you will see often (and who usually have professional photos of themselves online), or your YouTubers, who we see in „real life“ in their videos, but the readers you converse with on facebook may not immediately jump to recognition when they enter the room. I had many cases of „I love you and your videos“ but, I had no idea with whom I was speaking. Then I realised that it’s fine! I cannot know everyone’s face, because not everybody posts constant selfies on instagram. A lot of people have a meme or an emoji as their preferred image - the name badges help tremendously and I quickly adjusted to name-badge checking before speaking. It’s like having the royal whisperer, who tells you who everybody is :)
The RS Schedule is full to busting. I had high expectations of sitting in every possible session and I even thought it was expected of you. I was so wrong! It is physically impossible to attend everything. The first two days, I did and I suffered for it. I missed lunch on two days, because I was trying to sell in between the sessions I was attending - a recipe for disaster. Do not feel awkward retiring to your room for breaks in between. The energy from so many people at once and constantly is exhausting. Choose the sessions that are most pertinent to you and put the other sessions on your „wish list“. So, if you feel you have the energy, you can pop in on them too, but only „if“.
Rolling on from the sessions is the learning. I did learn a lot, I am even using one of Mary K Greer‘s techniques in this post and „rubber-banding“ myself back to the narrative (those who attended will understand I guess. Realise it isn’t all about what spreads we learn, it’s the techniques that lay between the reads. Don’t pressure yourself to learn and don’t be afraid to take photos and make notes. Benebell Wen lead a powerful presentation on Ancestral Memory which is worth its weight in gold and Rachel Pollack led an amazing discussion which made my brain hurt at times, because it was full of leading questions, created to make a reader think. The Mary K Greer presentation was taking a different look at the tarot deck and that in itself was a step outside the usual constraints of our readings - every session made me think - every session made me analyse how and why and add learning to the top of that - all I can say is that I managed to earn a migraine by Saturday lunchtime - just in time for my own workshop on the Kipper Cards! Again the lesson is to not pressure yourself, take in the information that is offered, but don’t apply everything at once. Make notes and reassess later! Also, if you are running a session, make sure you know what the hotel has in terms of business centre for printouts etc and how your room is laid out!
So by hour 1 of pre-conference I realised they were very much my crowd and I was looking forward to the vast amount of time I had to spend with my new found card crowd..... On day 1 it feels like we have so much opportunity to sit and chat and bring the world to rights. However, this is not what happens! The whirlwind begins and takes you with it! If you want to spend time with a particular person make sure you pencil it in in both your diaries beforehand! The days whizz by so quickly that you don’t even notice it and on the Sunday you think „where has it gone!?“. If you are wanting to give out gifts or freebies - do it early on! The Sunday comes before you can sneeze! I spent Sunday morning running from person to person who I wanted to personally thank for their role in my success and I wished I had done it earlier! I even forgot one book gift (which I thought I had given but hadn’t!) and now feel awful - I know there is no reason to feel awful and I will post it out this week, but it‘s not the same! So, the story is to be aware of the time you have and make it happen. Do it on day 1 or 2 at the latest! (Same goes for the selfies!).
You will run around like a headless chicken if you do not prioritise your time. There is a schedule, you do not have to follow every second of it. The amount of people in the room is overwhelming, even if you attend conferences or present at functions. We are talking a mix of all cultural backgrounds, whether introvert, extrovert or in the middle somewhere, people you have met online, people you admire or follow, people you have never met before, all with their own spiritual abilities and divinational specialities - it’s a hive of activity - a hive of energy - all buzzing together in a room with no windows add strong air conditioning to the mix (which we aren't used to in Europe) - be prepared mentally for this and don’t push yourself - anyone who gets emotional will get even more emotional! It is inevitable with the mix I am describing. You may be the most level headed person in the world, but this melange of personalities will have an effect on you - it may be an effect you aren't expecting - be open to it!
Is it worth it?
When I landed in New York and went into Manhattan, I thought “what have I done?” - a fish out of water doesn’t even cover the situation. Remember, I live in Munich, a place where we have space, when you land on the plane you see fields and greenery. There are what I consider to be a lot of people, but next to New York it is nothing! Seeing the sights in New York City was an incredible experience, but not one I was ready for - don’t get me wrong, I was totally excited and really enthusiastic but the sheer amount of people was surprising (I did live and work around London, so I do have a decent yard stick for population!). Then Readers Studio and oh my goodness - it is worth it on every level of your existence! Even if you don’t have the same experiences I had, you will enjoy every single crazy second. If you don’t know anybody - you will do before one hour has passed (I promise!). I had so many „moments“ that were worth a trillion migraines. I got to meet so many people that I always wanted to; I got to meet so many people that I didn’t even know I would want to meet, but when I did, they were truly awesome. Yes, I sold product, yes I „networked“ as in any profession, but the experiences that made it worthwhile weren’t monetary in any way. I had some interactions that I can only explain as a „shift“, like the world took a step to the left in that moment, something changed in me and in my surroundings and understandings, where the moment was self-contained and time would be irrelevant. The moment that made the world shift the most was with Donnaleigh de LaRose. She came to my table and it shifted before words were even exchanged. The first look at one another created the shift and for that moment alone I would attend a million Readers Studios. See, I didn’t even mention the SWAG!
See my YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/thecardgeek
A few tips:
Noobs - I was a noob and I will be a returner!
Take selfies - don’t be shy - don’t wait too long!
Stay with your system of choice, but try the others out, too! In the foundation reads I completed them in Tarot, as was expected, but I also pulled out my Kipper and Lenormand decks to complete in the systems I work in most.
Don’t be self conscious - we are all in the same boat!
It’s OK not to know what’s happening.
Take a few fruit bars or your best energy source.
There is coffee available (I didn’t realise it and kept going to Starbucks LOL).
Nobody has an ego!
Take breaks up in your room - have a shower to wash off the session.
Most Merchants take cash, paypal and credit cards - just ask!
Ask the merchants about their story - share your experience, too.
If you are really new to Tarot - take a list of meanings with you to the sessions.
Give newbies the chance to settle in before descending.
Remember, a newbie may have travelled a long way and come from a very different city!
When you descend, do it with gusto (the Rana George Moment).
Give noobs your card - so they can place you.
Befriend noobs on Facebook (I would even suggest a post in the FB group so all noobs can present themselves).
Look out for noobs who are eating alone.
Remind noobs what is happening yet (i had to get my schedule out so many times and kept forgetting LOL).
Tell Noobs it is OK to have a list of meanings with them for the cards! Some may be really new.
Links you may find useful (and to those I have mentioned too):
The Tarot School
Ferol Humphrey www.ferolhumphrey.com
Rana George www.ranageorge.com
Carrie Paris www.carrieparis.com
Deviant Moon www.deviantmoon.com
The Hermits Lamp www.thehermitslamp.com
Donnaleigh de LaRose www.donnaleigh.com
Mary K Greer www.marykgreer.com
Benebell Wen www.benebellwen.com
Rachel Pollack www.rachelpollack.com
Ryan Edward www.inset.cards
I have many groups on Facebook - join the World Divination Group and navigate from there! www.facebook.com/groups/worlddivinationassociation