The Banquet

Beginning at 7 p.m., the rooms in which we had just been digesting tarot data became transformed into a banquet area in which we digested food. Service was excellent (as opposed to that of the Purgatorial coffee shop, where you had to wait a hundred years simply to obtain a menu), as was the food, but the best thing about the banquet was the splendid company.

Liz Hazel played piano as we feasted, which was an anticipated pleasure, as it was advertised in the WTC program guide. Renaissance woman Paula Gibby showed that, in addition to being a magnificently sensitive collage artist and exquisite author, she has the voice of a trained opera singer. This is no doubt because she is a trained opera singer, though her slender frame doesn't inspire thoughts of Pavarotti. Paula spontaneously joined Liz at the piano and began to sing, bringing tears to more eyes than mine with her beautiful and powerful voice. The high point of her performance was O Sole Mio, which she dedicated to the Italians from Lo Scarabeo. She had never sung it before! Despite the poor acoustics of the room, everyone was riveted. Definitely a magical musical moment.

Many people were bedecked in tarot costumes, giving the large room the feel of a Renaissance Faire. There was even a parade of the archetypes. To maintain the tarot theme, Liz played "March of the Siamese Children" from--what else?--The King and I.

After the meal, we were treated to a video from the last Tarot Congress, which included an appearance by Brian Williams. Following that was an uncut version of Erin Bartlett's tarot documentary, some of which was filmed at the 1999 World Tarot Congress. Christine Payne-Towler, Cynthia Giles and Mary Greer all had considerable face time.

Since I had behaved so well the night before, I felt it was incumbent upon me to make it a late night. I got to spend it with some of my favorite old and new friends in the tarot community, and focused on living joyfully in the moment, instead of thinking of all the other wonderful tarot people with whom I wasn't able to spend time. Even though I went to bed at a not-outrageous 2:30 a.m., I couldn't sleep, because tarot fever had firmly fixed itself upon my brain. Card images raced and danced in and out of my brain all night. 

Click here to see more pictures of the costumed revelers.

Click here to go to the last day of the conference.


Photograph of Ellen Lorenzi-Prince merged with the Moon from her Tarot of the Crone 2002 Sally Anne Stephen
Report and page 2002 by Diane Wilkes