NOT even one of the best mediums in WA could predict that covid would scupper her plans for a state-wide tarot conference in Fremantle.
Veteran tarot reader Jo Watkins spent years planning her first WA Tarot Conference at the Italian Club, but just a few weeks out from the March event she had to pull the plug because of recent covid restrictions.
“Several guest speakers and stall sellers, including many ticket holders, cannot attend because of the mandate regulation of being vaccinated to participate within the conference venue,” Ms Watkins says.
“Tickets sales had been sold to people from all over WA, as far away as Kalgoorlie, and within the southwest region.
“I have had a great deal of interstate and international interest in attending the conference.”
The conference had a host of guest speakers lined-up, talking about ‘The Fool’ card, as well as Q and As, readings, networking events, catering and merchandise.
Ms Watkins has rescheduled the tarot conference to March 18-19 next year at the same venue and hopes to make it an annual event.
Most people probably only know tarot reading from dramatic scenes in films like Live and Let Die, when James Bond (Roger Moore) is dealt ‘The Death’ card by Solitaire (Jane Seymour).
Ms Watkins says, contrary to popular belief, the card does not mean the end of the road.
“It’s not uncommon for ‘the death’ card in the movies to be portrayed in a reading as a forewarning encounter on the horizon,” Ms Watkins says.
“The card indicates changes and transformation – not death of the body. It represents a transition stage occurring from a natural development.
“‘’The death’ card can often be read as a positive card, depending on the question and the surrounding cards in the spread.“
So how has tarot card reading evolved since it began more than 600 years ago?
“The illustration within tarot card decks has evolved (modern illustration approach) over the years, but the meaning of the 78 cards is still interpreted the same way,” Ms Watkins says.
“The spread of cards is designed to form a method of storytelling of one’s life and assist with answering questions.
“A reader could also use a strategic placement (spread) of the cards—combined with psychic or intuitive ability to obtain further information.
“Please note – nothing is set in stone; free will is encouraged; guidance is divine intervention.”
Based in Perth, Ms Watkins started reading tarot cards in the early 1990s. She soon got the tarot bug and by 2008 was teaching card reading and appearing as a guest speaker at international events like the UK Tarot Conference.
A professional member of The Tarot Guild of Australia, she opened the Perth branch in 2019 and has created her own tarot deck.
“I have self-published a tarot deck and tarot colouring-in book,” Ms Watkins says.
“I am currently finishing my second tarot deck.
“On average, creating a tarot deck based on the traditional 78 cards can take anywhere between one to two years or longer.”
To find out more about the conference go to tarotconference.com.au