tarot conference

An Anniversary & Reader’s Studio ’16 Recap Part I

This post is part of short series sharing my experiences at a tarot conference in April…

One year  anniversary

A year ago, I went out on a thin and precarious limb and filed my DBA,  set up a newsletter and began a tedious job – I built this site from the ground up entirely by myself.

For a few weeks during that process I was working two jobs, 50-60 hour weeks, and sneaking in web pages and copy on the side.  A fire had been lit in me. A very big one. One large enough to shine light into all the terrified and self-defeating pits that had kept me from acting sooner. That fire started at the ’15 Reader’s Studio.

Last year, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was terrified, shame-filled, and had an unquestioned habit of living as small as possible. And I didn’t even know it yet. Sure I had some neat tools. I had awareness and the wherewithal to steep myself in down-time and self care at a big con. I had a ton of support. A conference is a major expense, even for a person with stable full-time work. (That’s not me btw.)  In April of 2015, I was even broker than I am right now.

But I’m a native New Yorker. Manhattan-born and Bronx-raised. In New York, I have places to stay and I know how to commute. So that’s what I did. I commuted to the conference. I counted every penny. Even though the expense was just beyond my edge, I made it happen. I didn’t even have the courage to give out my business cards, I was so tiny. You can read about the first time I attended this conference here.

A photo posted by Siobhan Rene (@siobhansmirror) on


My airport pull from last year.

This year went a little differently…

This year’s trip to the Reader’s Studio started two days earlier since I opted to attend the Tarot and Psychology conference the day before. I did my customary airport pull before flying to NY but this time, I spared not one thought for what anyone else thought of me doing tarot in the airport.


You can see a cooler and a filtered water bottle in the picture above. This year I cooked almost all my meals and drank only filtered water. I’d been experiencing growing food allergies and awful acid reflux for months and refused to make myself sicker. I was concerned about self care last year too, since I was already seeing signs of my health’s decline. This year it was like self care 301.

The signiture meal of this NYC visit. #vacation #donecooking #wholefoods only #notthestoretho

A photo posted by Siobhan Rene (@siobhansmirror) on

(I was so proud of myself at the time. But this isn’t a balanced or gentle meal at all. I totally wouldn’t eat this anymore. :x) 

Last year I came in secret. Hyper aware of NYC as the home of all my family. This year I was greeted at the airport by my father. The person I used to be most concerned about finding out about my tarot business. When I saw him last April I had already completely come out about what I did. This is one of many ways I’ve changed this past year. Being out meant more family time. Time to show him the strange food I eat and try and explain what, exactly,  I do.

A photo posted by Siobhan Rene (@siobhansmirror) on

Visiting Fam. Just what happened to that KFC??!

Wednesday Night

That first night I faced a challenge. My plan was to cook the meals I’d need for the event. But Theresa Reed was hosting a super AWESOME picnic downtown for event attendees. I’ve been following Theresa on social networks for over a year now so I knew she’d pick restaurants worth sampling. I REALLY wanted to go. (They even had plenty of gluten free options! Surely it wouldn’t be so bad for me…) It was a hard choice. In the past it wouldn’t have been a choice at all, I’d have just gone! To hell with eating the rest of the week! And to hell with my diet. I agonized for a bit.


Then I remembered my airport card pull – that slow and steady knight of cups and the patient juggler – and then I started to cook. Whatever else happened, I’d need food and it would take time and energy to cook it. As much as I wanted to socialize and eat bad-for-me food, I knew that both of these things would drain me big time. I decided to prioritize self care and keep the evening light so that I didn’t burn out from day one. (Who is this crazy person who says no to tasty food and burn out?)


tarot conference

The view as I approached the hotel. I was so excited I had to try not to run…

Every morning I’d start my trek to the conference with a 45 minute bus ride and brisk walk across a highway overpass. This bridge has a special place in my heart. When I stay onsite at the hotel, I might miss it. It’s because this is the point at which I can feel the energy of my tarot tribe. Not in the lobby. Not in the conference rooms. This energy becomes palpable all the way across the highway as I approach from the next street. It feels like tiny electric currents on the top layer of skin. Like finishing a 20 mile ride.  It feels incredible. It’s my intuition, my 6th sense, but amplified. And I’m not alone in this. I’ve heard other seers admit that they could feel it too.

Taken from my Reader’s Studio Twitterchat back in March 16’…

Boston Tea Room@bostontearoom: Ah, the sense of community! The primal feeling of tribal belonging that takes place and envelopes you! #rstudio16

Siobhan@siobhansmirror: Something about it sharpens my psychic antenna too! I’m all like what is THIS??#rstudio16

Theresa Reed@thetarotlady@bostontearoom @siobhansmirror It’s because we feel safe to let our shields down when we are with our tribe. Intuition happens! #rstudio16

Boston Tea Room@bostontearoom@siobhansmirror There is a psychic synergy that takes place. Everyone has heightened perception! #rstudio16

This bridge felt like a gateway into another world. A world filled with mystics and seers and unchecked acceptance. It was a fabulous way to start each of my conference days.

tarot conference

The infamous psychic gate bridge – or at least that’s what I’M calling it

Stay Tuned
to Read what happened once I crossed this bridge..

Can you believe this blog is 1 year old?!

Featured images: Morgan Greer Tarot & Centennial Smith-Waite both from US Games

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