I've gone to a few Tarot conferences, so I am asked
frequently whether it is worth it or not. When I am,
my answer is always a hearty "YES!" The follow-up
questions are frequently "But isn't it a hassle to
travel?", "Doesn't it eat up a chunk of time?", "Am I
really going to learn something? Aren't they just going
to talk about things I already know?" or "But I saw the
agenda and I'm not interested in the speakers or
topics, why should I go?"
Yes, it can be expensive to travel to and attend a
conference, but it does take a significant investment
by the people who put on the conferences to actually
make them happen. If you are a professional reader --
someone who gets paid to read, in most cases, you can
write off your expenses against the income you make as
a reader. Check with your tax preparer to be sure, of
course. Most of the conferences I have been to (I
haven't been to all of them -- yet), are reasonably
Yes, the topics presented may not be of interest to
you, or you might be more knowledgeable about some of
the subjects than the speakers... but that doesn't mean
you aren't going to learn something. People of all
skill levels and all backgrounds attend conferences.
I can guarantee that if you don't learn something from
the speakers (I can almost guarantee that you will),
you will learn something from those who are sitting
around you and they will learn something from you.
You will sit next to the author of your favorite Tarot
book or the artist of your favorite deck. They will talk
to you and be as interested in you as you are in them.
You will share experiences and tips, and you will read
for each other. You will meet people. You will make
friends. You stay up late talking to people in person
you have only ever known before online. You stay up
way too late and you have a blast!
For me, though, the most important reason to go to a
conference isn't for any of those things. It is for the
feelings that you get when you get there and those
feelings that you bring home with you. Let me try to
explain what I mean...
Face it, many of us are located in areas where Tarot
reading isn't really a mainstream occupation. If
reading at a public function or asked what we do,
frequently there is an apprehension that there could be
some sort of confrontation with someone who thinks
we are Satan's spawn for reading cards. Even meeting
reading friends at the local coffee shop or restaurant
can have a bit of tension because we all know there are
those people who will be compelled to say something to
us about what we do. We are alone. We feel like a
minority buried within what seems like an intolerant
When you go to a conference, you are set free. There is
nothing like the feeling of embracing what you love out
in the open, in public and no one says anything. You
meet and see all the other people who are attending...
people just like you. You aren't alone. For once, you
are not in a minority. The hotel hosting the conference
and the restaurants making money feeding the attendees
don't care what you do. Our profession becomes "just
another business conference" (but most likely a more
FUN one!) in their eyes. You see there is tolerance.
You see that you aren't the crazy one when there is a
I've been reading cards for 10 years, and it wasn't
until after I went to my first conference a few years
ago that I had the level of comfort necessary to "come
out" about it at my day job and to my relatives (other
than my immediate family). I love going to conferences!
I wish I could afford to go to all of them, everywhere!
Why should you go? Because when you come home
you bring with you the confidence to be yourself and
secure in the knowledge that you are not alone.
Sheri Harshberger has been an "oracular samurai" for