Celebrating The Tarot Weekend 2022

Our Tarot Weekend 2022 was a wholehearted celebration and exploration of a centuries-old divination deck that has captured the hearts of so many. Here's what happened...

By: The College of Psychic Studies.   Posted

The College of Psychic Studies has a deep relationship with the tarot. Not only do we have some very special decks in our archive, including a first edition Rider-Waite-Smith, but tarot has long been an integral subject of our prospectus. We have witnessed tarot's rising star in global awareness, and are delighted that this very special cartomancy tool is at last receiving the widespread recognition it deserves. We wanted to do our bit to support and nourish the swelling tide of respect for the tarot... and thus the idea for a very special Tarot Weekend on 18-20 November 2022 was born. 

Tarot Weekend Friday night soirée

Those who have been to the College's open days will know that we put on a VERY good party! Friday night opened our Tarot Weekend with a soirée. As the fizz flowed, everyone met and chatted with the Tarot Weekend speakers and their fellow attendees. Amidst all the fun, we each popped downstairs into the Sanctuary for tarot readings with our skilled advanced tarot students! Oh, and everyone LOVED the goodie bags!

Opening our Tarot Weekend on Friday evening was Etan Ilfeld. An accomplished entrepreneur who owns and runs Watkins Books and Publishing, John Hunt Publishing & Mind Body Spirit magazine, Etan shared anecdotes about some of the many famous visitors to Watkins bookshop, including Aleister Crowley and the poet W.B. Yeats - also a College member.

Spectacular Saturday speakers

Many students at The College of Psychic Studies have graduated from Tarot Master Avril Price's legendary tarot courses, so who better to open our Tarot Weekend? Avril's passion is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. In this fascinating presentation, she shared valuable discoveries from her three decades-plus of studying the cards' multilayered symbolism and hidden meanings. Watch the interview.

Next up was the extraordinary talent that is Nicolas Bruno. Nicolas flew in from his home in New York to reveal the fascinating backstory of his Somnia Tarot deck. These photography-based cards have taken the tarot world by storm, especially following the revelation that these enigmatic images are all self-portraits! In his talk, he revealed the terrifying ordeals of his sleep disorder, which greatly influenced the creation of this deck. Watch the interview.

After lunch, the beloved owner of Atlantis Bookshop Geraldine Beskin took the stage. A veritable font of knowledge on all things occult, tarot, Golden Dawn, and magick, Geraldine shone a fascinating light on the mysterious Lady Frieda Harris, who collaborated with Aleister Crowley to create the artwork for the Thoth Tarot. Watch the interview

Closing the Tarot Weekend's Saturday was Fulgur Press owner and publisher, Robert Shehu-Ansell. Many will know Fulgur Press for its exquisite publications on Austin Osman Spare, Leonora Carrington and Ithell Colquhoun. Ithell's exquisitely perfumed 'Taro as Colour' has been selling fast in the College's shop! In his talk, he revealed her inspirations, which included the Golden Dawn, Tarot and Surrealism. Watch the interview.

Extraordinary Sunday speakers

Opening our second day of tarot delight was Head Librarian and Programme Director of Morbid Anatomy, Laetitia Barbier. Laetitia joined us from her HQ in NYC to speak on the historical iconography of the tarot. Laetitia is a FASCINATING art historian, and divulged a wealth of revelations on those aspects of the tarot that have been left behind in history. Watch the interview.

If you wandered through the concurrent Creative Spirits exhibition, you'd have come across an eye-catching gender-fluid deck on display in the Tarot room. The talent behind the vivid iconography is Olivia M Healy. In her talk, Olivia placed tarot firmly in the 21st century and revealed a deck that can represent all. Watch the interview.

Next to take the stage was artist and curator, Jonathan Allen. Jonathan discovered Austin Osman Spare's original hand-drawn tarot deck in The Magic Circle's archive. Spare, whose occult artworks are coveted the world over, was championed by Aleister Crowley among others, and in this talk, Jonathan revealed extraordinary insights about his very special cards. Watch the interview.

Closing our enriching Sunday was the wonderful Julian Vayne. He brought his interest in the occult and chaos magick to reveal the tarot in a new light - as a tool for meditation, psychogeography, journeying and magick. Watch the interview.

Our inaugural Tarot Weekend was a wonderfully rich weekend, with some very special people. We received some very warm and wonderful feedback, and we'd like to thank everyone for joining us in celebrating and honouring this very special deck of cards. 

Love the artwork on the Tarot Weekend posters and banners? It's by our very own Cadanse Dickenson, who many will recognise from the College's admin team.