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Tarot Study Hall Online: The Majors

Saturday May 30th the focus for Tarot Study Hall will be the major arcana! The iconic 5th suit that makes a Tarot deck a Tarot deck. We will dig into the 21 cards that comprise the “Fool’s Journey” and demystify some of the symbolism behind these fascinating archetypes. We’ll cover some study techniques and various ways to approach interpreting the shining stars of the Tarot!

Tarot Study Hall is presented through Zoom every Saturday 12:30-2:30pm Central US time. (Note: There will be no Tarot Study Hall on 5/23.)

If you’ve never been to one of my Tarot Study Halls before, it’s an open-format class for all experience levels, ages, and now… any location (technology is kinda amazing, to be honest). During Tarot Study Hall I offer my favorite Tarot study tips and give personalized instruction based on participants’ needs and interests. Bring any questions you’ve got and we’ll cover what we can! You are welcome to stay for the whole two hours or to drop in and out at your convenience.

This is a pay-what-you-can workshop. Each week that you would like to join in, send me the fee you are comfortable with prior to 11:30am that Saturday through my Venmo @LauraPensar or PayPal.me/LauraPensar and I will send the Zoom meeting link and password to your email. (So make sure you include the email address you want this information to go to! The Zoom invitation emails will come from laurapensar@gmail.com )

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Tarot Study Hall Online: Court Cards

This Saturday (May 16th) the focus for Tarot Study Hall will be the court cards! Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages make up the Tarot court for each suit. Sometimes considered challenging to read, the court cards can provide useful insight during a reading if approached from the right angle. We’ll cover some study techniques and various ways to approach interpreting the dominant personalities of the deck!

Tarot Study Hall is presented through Zoom every Saturday 12:30-2:30pm Central US time.

If you’ve never been to one of my Tarot Study Halls before, it’s an open-format class for all experience levels, ages, and now… any location (technology is kinda amazing, to be honest). During Tarot Study Hall I offer my favorite Tarot study tips and give personalized instruction based on participants’ needs and interests. Bring any questions you’ve got and we’ll cover what we can! You are welcome to stay for the whole two hours or to drop in and out at your convenience.

This is a pay-what-you-can workshop. Each week that you would like to join in, send me the fee you are comfortable with prior to 11:30am that Saturday through my Venmo @LauraPensar or PayPal.me/LauraPensar and I will send the Zoom meeting link and password to your email. (So make sure you include the email address you want this information to go to! The Zoom invitation emails will come from laurapensar@gmail.com )

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Learn Lenormand Class for OracleKC

Oracle KC is bringing back my Learn Lenormand card reading class! This time online! Lenormand is a card-reading style from the Victorian era. These 36-card decks are a great way to begin or bolster an existing card-reading practice. Lenormand is simple and direct; ideal for exploring issues dealing with timing and considering practical solutions. For this class you will receive a copy of Little Lulu’s Lucky Lenormand deck, booklet, and the Lenormand lesson workbook! AND… you will be doing simple readings for yourself by the end of class! No experience necessary.

Class: Sunday, May 24th 1:00pm Central (Class will be held through Zoom, class materials will be shipped to you.) Class registration through Oracle KC: Learn Lenormand Class

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Tarot Study Hall Online

I’m bringing my Tarot Study Hall open-format class online while we all shelter-in-place! And it’s pay-what-you-can. (Because, believe me, I understand.)

I’ll be hosting Tarot Study Hall through Zoom every Saturday. Join in anytime between 12:30-2:30pm Central US time. (NOTE: We will be skipping 5/23 and resume again on 5/30!)

If you’ve never been to one of my Tarot Study Halls before, it’s an open-format class for all experience levels, ages, and now… any location (technology is kinda amazing, to be honest). During Tarot Study Hall I offer my favorite Tarot study tips and give personalized instruction based on participants’ needs and interests. Bring any questions you’ve got and we’ll cover what we can! You are welcome to stay for the whole two hours or to drop in and out at your convenience.

This is a pay-what-you-can workshop. Each week that you would like to join in, send me the fee you are comfortable with prior to 11:30am that Saturday through my Venmo @LauraPensar or PayPal.me/LauraPensar and I will send the Zoom meeting link and password to your email. (So make sure you include the email address you want this information to go to! The Zoom invitation emails will come from laurapensar@gmail.com )

*Please note that I will not be giving readings during class. I will help you read your own cards but I will not be interpreting a full spread for anyone. If you are interested in booking a reading with me you can schedule it through this link: Book a reading.

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The Emperor’s New Clothes

The Tarot card for 2020 is The Emperor. The Emperor has never been my favorite card in the deck. Nor am I particularly averse to him either. And so at the beginning of this year I figured he would be a somewhat boring focus, but I was determined to make use of this archetype to my advantage.

I had originally set the intention that I would face my financial fears (and I have many of them) and learn to empower myself in the “business” side of my business. And now, in the midst of this pandemic, I am engaging with this archetype in ways I never could have imagined. The Emperor and all he represents are so present and in my face that I honestly cannot see around them to what lies beyond.

So here I am in “Financial Fears Boot Camp.” My household lost 95% of our income in the past month due to the pandemic, and it is unclear when or even if many of those gigs will come back. My partner is a performing and teaching musician and much of my work involved public events and classes. Now, like so many, we find ourselves trying to find new avenues to offer our services in quarantine-safe ways, while homeschooling our children, while navigating the overwhelming and confusing (and ever-changing) paperwork involved with the various economic-relief programs we are applying for, working to ensure our families health and safety, and attempting to create a new budget in the darkness of a complete unknown. We vacillate between feeling deep gratitude for the many blessings we have and frustration for being expected to be productive, creative, and entrepreneurial in the midst of trauma and grief. Our days are a blur of scrambling to catch as many balls before they drop as possible, doing what we can to preserve our health (both mental and physical), and paralyzing anxiety and well I guess shock.

Early this week I finally pulled out The Emperor card from The Dreaming Way Tarot and set him on my desk in front of a stack of the largest books in my library (my makeshift computer-stand for all those video conferences) where I can see him as I work. He is a reminder of what I’m grappling with and that in January I had promised to myself (albeit naively) that by the end of this year I would not be afraid to engage with this archetype anymore.

As my partner and I adjust to groundlessness in alternating bouts of complete awkwardness and surprising moments of grace… we realize there are so many throughout the world who are facing harder loss. We brace for the possibility that there are bigger challenges still ahead. But more and more I am beginning to realize that so much of the discomfort we are feeling is the patriarch’s own discomfort at being told he must go home, he must be passive, he must take shelter in the domestic; that his system on its own is not as strong as he had thought/hoped/insisted. We are starting to notice that the Emperor’s clothing is not what we had been told.

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Free Tarot Workshop Series at Kansas City Public Library

The Kansas City Public Library asked me to teach a Tarot workshop series at their Central branch. This four-part series is/was free and open to the public. The first three workshops were a complete success: Intro to Tarot, Tarot Spreads, and The Fool’s Journey. The fourth one, Make Your Own Tarot Journal, has been postponed due to the pandemic… and as it was the one workshop in the series that was craft-oriented (we will be making and taking home our own Tarot journals) this one will have to wait until we can gather in-person once more.

I love teaching introductory cartomancy classes and helping people read cards for themselves for the first time! It’s an honor to share this art form that I love so much with others. (Thank you for these photos Kaite Mediatore Stover!)

Being able to draw arrows on a transparency while teaching is really fun. We had everyone from a complete beginner who’d never held a deck before to those who work with cards with their clients! Thank you  Kansas City Public Library – Central and Llewellyn Worldwide! I look forward to our final workshop in the series… hopefully someday soon.

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Above & Below: A Holistic Approach to Astrology and Tarot

Exactly a year ago, Quinn and I set out to make a simple booklet of Tarot and Astrological correspondences… it evolved and so did we. “Above & Below: a holistic approach to Astrology & Tarot” is a workbook to take you mindfully through the seasons of the year. I couldn’t be happier to be launching this work with you, Quinn. High five!

I’m so overwhelmed by the support for Above & Below! Thank you to everyone who came to our book release celebration yesterday! Quinn and I were blown away by the turnout AND we are sold out of the first edition! We will be printing a second edition ASAP. (Denver people, I believe you can still find a few copies at Ritualcravt) Thank you all again! And especially gratitude to Alessandra Dzuba and Oracle, Kansas City for hosting our release party!

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Medicine Cards, 1988

My father had the Medicine Cards deck when I was growing up. I remember reading the book cover to cover in one sitting while lying on the living room floor after a particularly frustrating day at school. His deck was misplaced at some point over the years after I moved out. I’ve been looking for a copy recently because it’s honestly the only “oracle style” deck I’ve truly liked working with so far. Kaite Stover gifted me a sealed 1988 copy! It was like opening a time capsule… I was instantly back in my parents’ living room, carpet patterns pressed into my kneecaps and elbows as I poured through the pages getting my first taste of archetypal profile readings (wouldn’t know that term until many years later though) and being super annoyed that Mouse kept showing up in my pulls. I can’t really explain what it’s like to meet back up with this deck so many years later. I think I was 18 the last time I really saw these cards. And Mouse has shown up again; this time I don’t mind. Thank you, Kaite!!! I’m out of words. This truly means a lot to me. Thank you.

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No Unlit Wicks

My mother taught me that you never display a candle in your home without at least lighting the wick just long enough for the flame to dimple the wax. She would see unburnt tapers as decorations in peoples homes and bristle. “Tacky,” she said. “Like putting a lamp in your living room but not plugging it in.” My grandmother let me know that it was considered “tacky” to place the candle without lighting it because you must invite the light to stay in your home by letting it know it is welcome.  In college I had a roommate who had a pair of antique-German-decorative candles that were her pride and joy… never ever lit, pure untouched wicks. It endlessly annoyed me to have these soulless candles in my living space. Beautiful but empty. Flame not only never invited but actively unwanted. “Tacky” wasn’t really the problem… They were empty, cold, lifeless.  We are not a family of snuffers either. I was taught to safely cup the flame, extinguish it with a breath, and whisper “Thank you.” None of this was ceremonial. None of this was magical. This was just how you keep a candle in your home. Grandma would worry when the candles would drip a certain way or if the smoke darkened or the flame flickered too much… but she never really explained much. I would feel her anxiety or laughter in my gut… and my mom would generally roll her eyes and dismiss it all.  I know little of my great grandmother, except the way grandma would get a sweet enchanted look as she described her mother and the way Great Grandma decorated their small home and lit candles and made the world magical on Christmas Eve… so my image of Great Grandma came to be something like The Ghost of Christmas Present: larger than life, welcoming you to join Her by the hearth, evergreens and sparkling beads strewn everywhere, and a wreath of candles on Her head making it all twinkle. Sometimes it is Her I think of as I blow out my candles and whisper, “Thank you.”

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Personal Year Card

Another focus card you can work with over the course of the year is your Personal Year Card. This card covers you from your most recent birthday to the next one. Calculate this the same way we did the Tarot Birth Card but use the year of your most recent birthday (2019 or 2020) instead of your birth year. I’m a Sagittarius, so my birthday December 2019 to December 2020 works out to be my Temperance year. I’m trying to embrace and relax into the idea that I will be learning how to achieve more balance within my life on both a large and small scale. I know Temperance seems like it should be a relatively “chill” card to have as a focus, but Personal Year Cards have a way of letting us see where we need to shift our attention and do some work. So being open to using Temperance as a part of my personal practice means being attentive to not only the areas of my life that are currently in-balance and clicking-along smoothly but ALSO noticing the areas of my life that are hovering around the extremes. I have to hold my achievements and my perceived failures in equal weight in order to really embrace and benefit from all that this archetype has to offer. This means accepting some current clumsiness for the sake of the longterm goal. Temperance is active; balance is not passive. I work with Temperance now so that I can integrate it into my “normal” for the next year. New year, new lessons. If you choose to work with a Personal Year Card in your practice I suggest thinking of it a bit like a coach or personal trainer… they are there to encourage you, for sure, but the real reason you’ve enlisted them is because they will push you in areas you wouldn’t easily push yourself. (Example of how to calculate a Personal Year Card: June 9th Birthday = 06 + 09 + 2019 = 2034. Then 2 + 0 + 3 + 4 = 9 The Hermit)