Wednesday, November 16, 2022

CTS 2022 Year in Review

 CTS's members are looking forward to our annual holiday potluck party and gift swap coming up December 3!

In the meantime, it's fun to look back on everything we accomplished over the past year, especially as this was a time of serious transition and we rose to meet the challenge.  Earlier this year, as we emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided as a group to experiment with a hybrid meeting schedule (alternating virtual and in-person every other month) and learned to manage the logistics pretty seamlessly.  Members continued to step up and design great online presentations for our virtual meetings, including some topics that leveraged the virtual format and could not have been done in-person.  Meanwhile, it was great to start seeing each other in-person again.

This year we met in person to read for each other, show-and-tell our favorite tarot books, and give away a number of free decks kindly sent to us by a past CTS member who had moved away.  Online presentations spanned all kinds of interesting topics like tips for giving romantic readings, Jungian principles in the tarot, active listening as an important tarot skill, and using our astrological sun and moon signs to identify teacher and coach cards in the tarot deck.

We also used one of our online meetings to get together to collectively design a tarot card together using a photo editing phone app and screen sharing.  We also used the breakout rooms feature in Zoom to engage in comparative reading exercises (which allowed for structure, quiet and privacy in a way that meeting in-person to read for each other never could).

We are currently working on our presentation schedule for 2023, which will continue to follow an alternating virtual and in-person meeting format.  It will be exciting to see what types of presentations and activities our members will cook up!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Creating a Community Tarot Card

 Earlier this year, CTS opted to shift to a hybrid meeting schedule, with every other meeting taking place in person and every other meeting taking place online.  Little did we know to what degree continuing with online meetings would enable us to take advantage of topics and technologies that would be much harder to implement in person.

September's meeting topic was a perfect example.  We worked together as a group using a combination of Zoom screen sharing, a phone app called PicsArt, and a stock photo site called Unsplash to create a Queen of Coins tarot card image.  The image is below, next to the original image for comparison.

Everyone really seemed to enjoy the presentation and we were very happy with the card we created.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Hybrid Schedule Update

 On April 2 CTS had its first in-person meeting in two years!  It was very exciting to see everyone again.  The meeting featured a tarot book show and tell - a fitting activity for an in-person meeting.

As we detailed in our previous post, CTS is switching to a hybrid format.  Every other meeting will be online, and every other meeting will be in-person.  This means that May's meeting will take place via Zoom, and we will be back in-person again in June.  You can check out the entire schedule, including which meetings are in-person and which are online, on our meetings and presentations page.

One thing we have all missed during the pandemic has been opportunities to sit down and just read for each other.  In years past, an informal gathering would take place after our formal meeting activity or presentation, sometimes at another location nearby, and many of our members would sit down and chat and perform readings.  This unstructured reading time was some members' favorite part of being in CTS!

For this reason, we are modifying our hybrid schedule going forward.  Online meetings via Zoom will involve a structured presentation, because that's the format that works best for a video chat with several people.

In-person meetings will be less structured, without a formal presentation or planned activity.  People will be able to make announcements and share ideas as needed, but then we will move directly into periods of free reading where everyone can just hang out, enjoy each other's company, and read to their heart's content!

We are very excited to introduce this new structure that balances all the different things CTS members need and love.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Hybrid Meeting Format for 2022!

 What a wild ride it has been.  Throughout the pandemic CTS continued to meet the first Saturday of every month at the same time as always, but in a virtual environment.  After experimenting with conference calls, we settled on Zoom, and now we have it down to a science.

As things start to normalize (in theory) we now need to think about what the future holds.  Meeting online offered a lot of benefits, including making it easier for past members who had left the DC area to reconnect with the group and for ongoing members who had long commutes to get to us to attend more frequently.  It also enabled us to use technology like PowerPoint and Kahoot! Trivia in ways that wouldn't have been possible in person.

But we also missed getting to see each other face-to-face, enjoying organic side conversations and practicing reading for one another after the end of our formal presentations and meeting activities.

It became clear that CTS will need to have a hybrid format going forward, so we could have the best of both worlds.  The question, though, was what that format would look like.

We surveyed our members to get their opinions on multiple options, which fell into two main umbrella categories: 1) an alternating schedule, where we stick to a single meeting each month in its traditional format, but alternate in-person and online every other month, or 2) online meetings every month with supplemental in-person activities.  These supplemental activities could include a second monthly gathering without a structured presentation, or a quarterly special event, like a party or field trip.

The survey results were clear: An obvious majority of our membership wanted to stick to our traditional meeting format once a month, and to alternate between in-person and online meetings - so that's what we'll do!

Starting in 2022, meetings that take place in odd months will be online, and meetings that take place in-person will be in-person.  This ensures our beloved December holiday party falls in an in-person month.

Obviously, the world is changing rapidly, and this is new territory for us, so we may need to make adjustments going forward.  But, for now, we're happy to have settled on a solution that works well for our members.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

2020 is a Wrap

Yesterday, 12/5/20, was the last CTS meeting of 2020.  This has been such a strange year, but we managed to continue meeting successfully every month through Zoom.  The group has a lot to be proud of.

Of particular concern was how we would pull off our annual solstice/holiday party.  Under normal circumstances, we meet at a member's home to enjoy a potluck and exchange mystery presents (used tarot decks, books, and related items wrapped up so you can't tell what they are or who they're from).  This year, we pivoted by doing Secret Santas by mail and opening our gifts via video chat, plus some webhosted tarot trivia.

Hopefully, by this time next year, we will be able to return to our old holiday traditions, but we can pat ourselves on the back for how well we adapted in 2020.  We plan to continue meeting virtually well into 2021, until we know it's safe to meet in person again.

The 2021 meeting dates have been posted to the meetings and presentations page.  We are now in the process of setting up meeting activities and presenters for 2021 and will begin posting them as they become final.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Taking Tarot Onilne

Everyone is being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic right now, including tarot readers.  CTS has done its part to encourage social distancing by cancelling scheduled in-person meetings.

But that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy tarot together!  CTS has a new Facebook community (just for registered members - see our how to join page if you're interested in connecting online).  We have also decided to hold our monthly meetings via conference call for the foreseeable future.

We had originally planned an entirely different topic for today's meeting when we thought meetings would continue to be in-person, and when we realized we needed to be socially distancing we thought we would have to cancel today's meeting entirely.  But then one of our newest members jumped to the rescue and came up with an innovative tarot trivia game that could be played over the phone. 

We weren't sure how a conference call would work with so many members, but were willing to try, and it actually went really well!  In fact, we had unusually high turnout because members who live further out, or who have moved out of the area, and have a hard time making it to in-person meetings were able to join. This has inspired us to continue to try to hold meetings by phone until things get back to normal.

You can view our meeting schedule for the rest of the year on our meetings and presentations page.  You will note that the listed schedule is still super tentative as we try to coordinate with scheduled presenters about either converting their presentations to a remote format or, where it would make more sense to hold a particular presentation in person, to postpone their presentations for later in the year and come up with a new, virtual-friendly topic for that month.

In any case, we are thrilled to still get to connect with our tarot buddies during the pandemic.  For many of us CTS has become like family and monthly meetings are a constant in our lives even while other things are up in the air.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Coloring the Tarot!

Those familiar with the traditional Rider Waite Smith tarot deck understand the importance and nuance of color in tarot.  The RWS has been recolored over and over again - from the original cards that came out around the turn of the 20th century, to the Universal Rider Waite, to the Radiant Rider Waite, many have sought to "update" the coloring of the original cards - changing not the hue but the saturation and tone of the hues.  Intellectual property rights to the card images can even hinge on which of these nuanced colors are used.

Color also provides important cues in tarot.  Each of the four minor arcana suits is associated with a different element, and, in turn, we all tend to associate certain colors with each of those elements: bright reds, oranges and yellows with fire (wands); ethereal grays, whites and ice blues with air (swords); deep blues, greens and purples with water (cups); and rich greens and browns with Earth (coins or pentacles).  So tarot deck artists can use color to send important signals to tarot readers about what a card is meant to mean by helping us understand what element to associate it with.  But uses of color certainly don't stop there.

In February, the Capital Tarot Society is thrilled to be hosting special guest speaker Robin Ha at our monthly meeting.  Robin is the author/illustrator of New York Times best selling cookbook Cook Korean, and is also a tarot enthusiast.  She has illustrated a tarot-themed coloring book as well as a number of art prints that appeal to witchier tastes.

At February's meeting, Robin will be leading us through a color-your-own-tarot-card exercise and talking about her inspiration to draw and publish tarot-themed items.  We're all super excited!