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A Sense of Belonging

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on January 28, 2010 | Comments (4)

Way back when I first became involved with tarot, there were not very many tarot organizations. I remember three: the American Tarot Association, the International Tarot Society, and Daughters of Divination. They were known for, among other things, their conferences. The ATA put on many regional conferences throughout the country. The Daughters of Divination hosts BATS (the Bay Area Tarot Symposium). The ITS hosted the World Tarot Congress conferences in Chicago.

***I actually forgot the name of the ITS and had to google “world tarot congress” to find it out. I was shocked to see a picture of me dressed as Death taken at the 2002 costume banquet. Then I kept looking at photos…getting completely distracted. There are some really funny images out there!***

Sadly, the ITS is now defunct. The ATA is entirely re-created. It still focuses very much on education, but does not (as far as I know) host conferences. The Daughters of Divination still hosts BATS.

Now, about a decade later, there are many more tarot organizations. In addition to organizations, there are less formal communities, some virtual and some meet at a physical location.

I am a bit ashamed to say that I don’t technically belong to or participate in any current tarot organizations or communities except my local Twin Cities Tarot Meet Up. I had not really thought about it until someone recently brought it to my attention.

So now I am curious. Do you belong to any organizations or communities? What do you like best about whatever group(s) you participate in? Oh, and if you are asked to speak at an organization’s conference, you should probably join it, right? Yeah. I thought so. I better go take care of that.

Reader Comments

Written By Bonnie Cehovet
on January 28th, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

Barbara –

Great article! I wish that I had been able to attend the ATA or ITS conferences, but I wasn’t. I still need to go to BATS and LATS (Los Angeles Tarot Symposium), but I have enjoyed the Tarot School conferences.

So much to do, so little time! And yes – I do feel a speaker should join the organization they are speaking at! (Besides – I am a TABI fan!)


Written By sam
on January 29th, 2010 @ 3:45 am

No, however , if i were to come across a group that shares my passion of tarot and was legit, i would participate. I’m sure I would learn alot faster that way as well. ha. =)

Written By Beth Owls Daughter
on January 30th, 2010 @ 11:06 am

I had always hoped to go to the ITS, and was so sorry when it went away (I had planned to start a local chapter here in the Research Triangle, maybe call it Triangle International Tarot Society, just for the acronym!)

I then was going to join the ATA, but that was when they were going through some deep internal problems which, happily, have been resolved in fine form.

But while waiting for a place to get together with other Tarot peeps, Meetups.com appeared on the scene. Our local Tarot Meetup, started by Meetup itself, never could get going. Month after month, the system would send out invitations for someone to lead it, or pick a location, but no one ever stepped up. So before it went completely under, I jumped on board in 2003, and became its organizer.

From the brink of extinction, we are now the oldest and 2nd biggest Tarot Meetup in the world, with some 325 members and growing. We meet in person every single month, and have a truly fantastic bunch of folks. We study the Tarot together, do practice readings, have presentations from our members, enjoy “show and tell,” and gleefully enable each others’ deck collection addictions.

I am so honored to be able to nurture this piece of the Tarot community. It is a labor of love, sometimes very challenging, but the rewards are deeply satisfying. I highly recommend starting your own local Meetup if you don’t have one already. They are a fantastic, inexpensive way to connect – in person on a regular basis – with other Tarot people!
Beth Owls Daughter

Written By Stephanie Arwen Lync
on February 6th, 2010 @ 9:45 am

I have never been to a Tarot conference but have been to many writing conferences. The networking and shared learning experience is invaluable. I very much want to go to the Tarot School’s but it is right after (as in just a few days) a writer’s conference. I can’t take that much time off from work at this point. 🙁

I do belong to two Tarot groups. One is TABI which I just joined last night. The other is the American Tarot Association. I am also the current president of the ATA.

The board has actually kicked around the idea of a conferences but there are aspects of it that are simply daunting. I would love to hear from people who have been to Tarot conferences, put them on, etc.

And I must put in a word for Meetups as well. As Beth says, they are a great way to meet others. I was involved in one in Denver. We had a blast. It was something I really looked forward to attending. I am a long-distance member of a few Tarot ones including the incredibly active one Beth Owl’s Daughter organizes.

So, please, let the ATA know what you think would be reasonable prices for a Tarot conference. The board is very interested in doing more tangible things for our members. I’m guessing I can’t put a URL in this so my name is clickable to the ATA site. You can find me and my email on the About page.

Great post! I’ll look forward to reading others input as well!

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