first party

GeminiLady

Well gang,
I have "officially" been asked to do my first party. I have to say I am looking forward to it, but I'm also nervous. It will be a small gathering, and several of my neighbors will be there (that do not know I read tarot---SURPRISE!)
Any tips, advice or whatnot would be greatly appreciated.

Love and Light,
Gem
 

Melvis

My best advice is to have fun! :D

I've only done readings at casual parties, where I read for one person while everyone else watches, so if this is a more formal affair (like if you've been hired for the party or if your host had a plan of action in mind for the evening), my advice may not be fitting. (Hey, my advice may not be fitting anyway, but it's free! ;P )

What I like about reading at parties is that when you start out a reading everyone is usually making lots of noise: oohing and ahhing about the cards, speculating on meaning, etc. But as the reading goes on, everyone starts to focus on YOU because they've realized that it's not just what's on the cards that's interesting, it's you, the reader, that really makes the reading meaningful. You'll suddenly feel very powerful! :)

The other advice I have is, if you are reading for individuals in an informal group setting, you'll tend to give shorter readings (in order to keep people interested and to fit in as many as possible). It's very helpful to have some way for the querents to write down the spread and position and card meanings to take with them.

Also, I've noticed that people tend to get bored if I do the same Celtic Cross spread for more than a couple of people. It's good to have a couple others in mind (if they fit for the querent and the question asked, of course) that you can intersperse with the C.C.

Anyway, I've rambled (as usual), but most of the readings I've ever done have been for individuals while a group of people watched, so I actually have a little experience in this area!

Good luck, Gemini! :-D

Peace,

Melvis
 

Jeanette

Great idea about using more than one spread, Melvis. I would suggest that you practice your technique awhile before the party - just the basics, shuffling, laying out cards, etc. It may be noisy and distracting, you may lose your concentration. Also, do you plan to incorporate any "props" ? Incense, spread cloth, candles? Will there be a table ready for you, will you have to provide one? Will there be children present, who may want to handle the cards (maybe even run off with them)? Be prepared with a plan of action ahead of time on how to deal with practical matters (your cards may end up with food, drink, or who knows where). Do you think you may want to hand out cards for future readings? People may get hooked, you'll be surprised, and you could have potential customers! It might be nice to stretch, move, have a soda, or something refreshing between readings. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!! Please let us know how this goes for you, I'm wishing you all the best... Jeanette
 

Jeanette

P.S. Maybe you could take polaroids of the spreads, and make sure your hands look nice, everyone will be looking closely at them! OK, I think that's it from me, hope it helps. :) Jeanette
 

Melvis

Jeanette: That is an excellent point about making sure your hands look good! I would never have thought of that...the most I usually do is to put lotion on them so I don't get any paper cuts! ;P

Peace,

Melvis
 

Mojo

I enjoy reading at parties for all the same reasons as Melvis. I'm actually pretty shy in a roomful of strangers, but having my cards gives me an instant ice breaker, and you quickly become the center of attention.

I agree with the need to have multiple spreads to keep things interesting. You want to choose spreads that can be done in about 15 minutes so that everyone who wants a reading gets one. This means usually 3 or 4 card spreads. I have a series of laminated cards which diagram the spreads and what the positions mean, which saves me time describing them and lets me get right to the reading.

I also have a little tarot "game" that I like to play. I ask three people to volunteer, then ask them to clear their minds while each of them shuffles the deck in turn. Then I just lay out 7 cards in a row and I look for the pair which seems most intriguing or even the most entertaining. Then I'd ask a question about the situation they describe and see which of the three it applied to.

For example, at one party, I had the 2 of Cups come up next to the Queen of Wands, both reversed. I asked, "ok, which of you guys recently broke up with a girl because she was being a tramp?" The crowd loved it, and the "guilty" party was as intrigued as he was embarrassed....

Once I have a a connection, I slide those two cards up to a new row and I fill in the row with 5 more cards to make a complete row of seven... I use this to tell more about the situation.

Then go back to the original line and look for the next pair that tells a story and repeat the process.

I find that usually I can tell a story for all three people out of the cards dealt. It's a lot of fun and it involves the entire crowd rather than just one person at a time.
 

Thirteen

Great advise so far. Let's see what I can add:

(1) Make sure there is a special area for you to do your readings, separate, away from noise (well, as much as possible at a party), curtained off (or with a screen), a large table (even with small spreads you don't want cramped cards) and a big, comfy chair (you're going to be sitting for a while).

(2) Make sure someone checks on you and brings you food and drink, especially drink. Cold water, juice, iced tea or coffee. You're going to get dehydrated doing all that talking.

(3) Wear fun clothing to make yourself stand out as the mysterious tarot reader--play with your look, but keep in tune with the party (casual or elegant, you get the idea). Just make sure what you wear is also comfortable and cool. It can get hot at parties.

(4) Most important advise is the one you were already given. Have at least 4 spreads of no more than 7 cards. People will be waiting and you can't do the Celtic cross for them all, it takes too long. And three card spreads are boring to look at.

Have:
a) A relationship spread for the couples
b) A future love life for the singles
c) A career/job spread
d) A general future spread for all else

Practice these spreads so that you can do them up fast and they speak to you.

Here's two general spreads that are easy to use:

Star

1

5 6

7

3 2

4

123 form one triangle, 456 form the other so you get a Jewish style, 6 pointed star.
7's in the middle of it.

1 = foundation of question
2 = present
3 = immediate future
4 = action or lack of action needed for a good result
5 = Others who can help
6 = Opposing forces
7 = Outcome

Horseshoe: 1 is down to the left, go up 2, 3, 4 at the top, start down 5, 6, 7 at the bottom right opposite 1.

1 = Past
2 = Present
3 = immediate future
4 = Something on the querent's mind
5 = person connected to the querent and their additude
6 = obstacle
7 = outcome

Have fun and let us know how it goes!
 

Thirteen

Sorry, that star spread didn't come out quite clear. Let me try to explain it, just in case. Here's hoping these little partial diagrams work.

1 is the apex--at the top, the highest point. Down to #2 to the right, #3 to the left (across from one another), as if you were drawing an upward pointing triangle.
1
/\
2 3

4 is the apex of the downward triangle, the lowest point (#2 is to the right and just above it, while #3 is to the left and just above it).

2-\/-3
4

Draw up to 5 (just below and left of 1) and across to 6 (just below and right of 1).

1
5-/\-6

Six pointed star, yes?
 

Thirteen

:p I'd modify but I can't get the damn thing to work on my Mac.
 

Jeanette

Thirteen, my brother has a Mac (he's an art student & only Mac's run his programs). My mom's always calling me for help with her stuff on that Mac, and I can't even begin to help her. Sometimes even the Mac guys can't explain things! Oh well. Anyway, thanks for the spread suggestions, I'm going to try them too. Your diagram did help! Jeanette