Suppose you could go back in time 100 years. Imagine that you suddenly found yourself in London, in 1912. What would you do first? Stare at the buildings, take a ride in a hansom cab? Maybe buy some stamps or collect a few coins to take back with you? Go to a book store to buy first editions, or maybe a newsstand for the latest Sherlock Holmes story? Dash over to the British Museum to see what treasures they have brought back (plundered) from Egypt or India?

But suppose you saw a poster, “Mr. Arthur Edward Waite and Miss Pamela Colman Smith will speak about their recently published ‘Rectified Tarot Pack,’ Atlantis Book Shop, Museum St., this evening.” Might that be your first choice? And as you rushed excitedly to the Atlantis, what would be in your mind? What would you want to ask?

Maybe you would ask whose idea it was to have action scenes on all the cards. Or how those scenes were chosen. Were they based on some over-riding idea–the Holy Grail for the Cups, Masonic myth for the Pentacles, as Mary Greer has suggested–or were they derived from the fortune telling meanings they were meant to illustrate? Or was it all based on the Kabbalah Tree of Life? Or maybe you’d ask about the mysterious “stages” that some characters seem to be standing on. Or whether the Court cards were based on actual people.

Most of all, you might want to ask, “What truths can I learn from these cards? What will help me become a better reader?”

Well, as far as I know, no time machine is available (unless, of course, H. G. Wells should show up in his own invention and say to you “Quick! Get in, we’re going off to meet Waite and Smith”), but something along those lines will be happening in just a few days at the Omega Institute


The third annual Omega Tarot Conference will be held July 27-29. Mary Greer and I have been teaching at the gorgeous Omega campus every summer for 24 years (we might be Omega’s longest-standing teachers). Two years ago Omega asked us if we would like to host a conference, the two of us plus three other teachers.

This year our theme is “Readers and Deck Creators,” with Caitlin Matthews, creator of the Arthurian Tarot and many others, in a rare American appearance, Robert Place, creator of the Alchemical Tarot and many others, and possibly the supreme Tarot artist in the world right now, and Joanna Powell-Colbert, whose Gaian Tarot has been leading Tarot readers around the world to new and profound insights into what the cards can teach us. And of course Mary Greer, who worked with Ed Buryn on the William Blake Tarot, and myself, creator of the Shining Tribe Tarot, and the Vertigo Tarot, with Neil Gaiman and inspired artist Dave McKean.

So–what would you ask people who actually create the decks? What could you learn that would make you a better reader–no matter what deck you use? How could you see the cards–again, no matter what deck you prefer–in new and dynamic ways?

I have to say, I am excited every year when we do Omega, but this is special. There has never been a Tarot conference quite like this before. At the same time, this is not about the teachers, or how we made our decks, or what they mean to us. As with every Omega Tarot class for the past 24 years it’s all about the participants. How you can become a better reader. How you can develop a new relationship with the cards. How you can discover the Tarot’s deeper messages, and what they mean in your life.


And now, as they say on late night television–Wait! There’s more!

5 days more, to be precise. Immediately following the weekend conference Mary and I will be teaching a Monday to Friday workshop, Reading Tarot Cards With Magic and Wisdom. We will be drawing on the wisdom of the Tarot’s ancient traditions but also the individual wisdom of each person’s life. And we will experience the magic when the cards come alive in a reading, when the cards act as an opening for intuitive understanding to pass between the reader and the questioner.

Come for the weekend. Come for the five day. Join us at Omega for a wonderful experience!

Here is the link for the 5 day:  http://eomega.org/workshops/omega-tarot-conference

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 1:02 am  Comments (8)  

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  1. […] I sit in the Salt Lake City airport, waiting to leave for my connecting flight in Detroit. My final destination is the prestigious Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, to attend the 3rd Annual Omega Tarot Conference. I am excited and a little overwhelmed. Robert Place will be there, whose book on Tarot history and symbolism I thoroughly enjoyed, as well as many other famous Tarot names. Rachel Pollack has written a great post about it, posing a great question: What would you ask? […]

  2. […] What Would You Ask? […]

  3. Very nice information. Congratulations

  4. […] What Would You Ask? (rachelpollack.wordpress.com) […]

  5. Seriously. That was a good read. I will stumbleupon this online site for later.
    I like your style.

  6. Hola! I’ve been following your weblog for a long time
    now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble
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    • Thank you! Makes my day.

      On Tue, Dec 31, 2013 at 7:30 AM, Shining Tribe

  7. […] What Would You Ask? (rachelpollack.wordpress.com) […]

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