From Bats to Newts and Beyond…
Sometimes, amazing things come about from a moment of frivolous commentary. That’s pretty much how the Northwest Tarot Symposium came to be…
In the summer of 2014, Jadiza and Jay DeForest were discussing how few large Tarot related conferences were available in the US. At that time, it was limited to Readers Studio in New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium, affectionately know to many of us as simply, “BATS”. Jay quipped that, “If we ever held a tarot conference in Oregon, we’d have to call it Newts” on account of our rainy climate. After a quick online search, Jadzia said, “NWTarotSymposium.com is available” and so, NWTS (which most people refer to as “NeWTS”) was launched.
Wanting to create the event in a spirit of cooperation with the two existing large events, the DeForests contacted Ruth Ann & Wald Amberstone from Readers Studio, and Thalassa from BATS, to talk about how to start a new event without upsetting their long running established ones. All of them were very supportive and offered lots of insight. It was agreed that with NWTS several months apart from BATS, and thousands of miles away from Readers Studio, they could all coexist and support each other’s events wholeheartedly.
In March of 2015, the first Northwest Tarot Symposium took place with an impressive list of Authors, Artists, and Cartomancy experts offering classes and workshops. The event was well attended for its first year, and when it was done, the positive reviews and congratulations poured in. It is safe to say that NWTS was an immediate success!
With each subsequent year, the event has grown steadily. Presenters and Attendees come from all over the US and Canada, as well as South America, Australia, United Kingdom, and Europe. The event has expanded to include three full days of workshops and classes, plus a full extra day for the Professional Development intensive. There is also a large Metaphysical Market and Psychic Fair with NWTS, that is open to the general public for free, and features dozens of artisans, deck creators and metaphysical practitioners.
It really is amazing to see what a large event this has become in just a few years. It’s a place for people who are just beginning to explore Tarot, Lenormand or Oracle card reading, as well as those who have been reading for many years. Whether someone reads cards as a hobby, for part of their spiritual practice, or is a professional reader, there is something for everyone.
And, NWTS is a very friendly and open environment. It is the sort of setting where one might find themselves sitting in a class, or for lunch, right next to one of the authors of their favorite books, or the artist who created their favorite card deck. Everyone is welcome and made to feel right at home among their friends and community at the Northwest Tarot Symposium.