The Northwest Tarot Symposium – 6-8th March 2015

The Northwest Tarot Symposium takes place in Portland OR from the 6th to the 8th March 2015.

I’ve never attended a big tarot conference before (though I had a lot of fun at the TABI conference in Birmingham a few summers back) so I’m pretty damn excited. This will also be my first trip to Portland – a city I’ve always wanted to visit.


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The NWTS includes speakers including one of my biggest tarot heroes, Barbara Moore, who will be leading a workshop on using tarot to explore your ‘soul’s purpose’ and Gina Thies on shadow work in tarot (her workshop is called ‘The four natural enemies on the path’…ooh!) There’s also a workshop on sexual symbolism in tarot (led by Katrina Wynne) which sounds really interesting, plus loads more (you can view the programme here).


I got in touch with NWTS organiser Jadzia DeForest to find out more about next month’s event.

Why did you choose Portland for the NW Tarot Symposium? I know you live there, but what makes it a good place for a tarot conference? Is there a big tarot ‘scene’?

Portland is a wonderful city all around. We chose to locate the Northwest Tarot Symposium here in part because Portland is between the two larger cities of Seattle and California’s Bay Area. As a convenient mid-way point we can draw attendees from both Washington and California which have tarot scenes of their own. There are also a lot of tarot-enthusiasts in the Portland area, you’ll find them in many circles in town.

There are loads of amazing people speaking at NWTS – I’m especially excited to see Barbara Moore and Jaymi Elford, and Gina Thies’s workshop sounds amazing. Who are you most excited about? 

That’s actually a really tough question. There are so many great presenters for this first year. I am looking forward to meeting Barbara Moore and so many others that I’ve only interacted with online. As for workshop topics I’m really looking forward to Marcia McCord’s presentations on Lenormand, The Creators Journey with Carmen Waterman, and The 4 Natural Enemies on the Path with Gina Thies.

Which events do you think will provide something new, maybe a topic that doesn’t usually get discussed at a tarot conference or something special or unusual?

It will certainly be a different kind of tarot event. For one, we are including an art gallery and silent auction. So you can actually browse tarot art! And, Saturday evening we’re having tarot-inspired belly dance performances. That’s sure to be something unique. The symposium is focused on not only tarot, but oracle decks and the Lenormand cards.


This is the first year of the NWTS – can you tell me a bit about how it came about? When did you start planning?

My husband and I had been thinking of putting on a tarot event locally for a while. There are no other large tarot events in the Northwest, the closest to us being the Bay Area Tarot Symposium, so 2014 seemed to be the year to start planning one. We began planning last March. Almost a year from the event date: March 6-8, 2015. We brought together a team of people and started putting the word out. The positive response we’ve received over the past months has been great!

Is it likely to become a regular event? 

Yes, we plan on making the Northwest Tarot Symposium an annual event. The 2016 symposium will be in either March or early April. Details will certainly be on our website:

How would you sum up the aim of the event? What do you want people to ‘take away’ with them when they leave?

Overall, this event is about bringing together the tarot community. We purposefully have included presentation topics for all levels: the new to tarot, the tarot student, and the author / deck creator. At each level we hope that each person will take with them new insight and knowledge.

We also hope that everyone will make a new friend, professional connection, or in some way get better acquainted with their fellow card readers.


The Northwest Tarot Symposium (NWTS) is held at the Monarch Hotel in Portland, Oregon – March 6th – 8th 2015. Tickets are $225 (for a full pass) and can be bought from the website.

Website: (there’s a mailing list for updates!)

Facebook  |  Twitter @NWTarotSymposium

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