It’s been a month since BATS was held by The Daughters of Divination in San Jose, CA. I’ve had a chance to post about all the great sessions I went to, and all the learning and growing that can happen when you dive deep into a topic you love. In this final post I wanted to focus on the interviews I was able to conduct. I had the chance to interview a lot of people at BATS, and even before or after the event via e-mail. I asked everyone the same question.
Picture yourself at BATS 2025. How has the event, and the community it serves, changed the most in the last 10 years?
If you have been following these SF BATS Reports, you know people fell into two camps. The following three responses capture that nicely. Some people could not picture the future without Thalassa at the helm. And, really, if you have been to BATS you know that her irreverent and sassy commentary is a must.
Pamela Eakins was one of these. She had this to say:
“I have to admit I am absolutely dumbfounded by this question! I have lost sleep over it! I am laughing to myself, but it is TRUE. Do I think the Tarot will be around in 2025? Absolutely. Do I think it will be More Pervasive than Ever? Absolutely. I have been watching this amazing growing movement since the 1970s and I have been very happy to be part of it since the early 1980s. I have been part of BATS since the beginning — way back at Fort Mason. How lovely that was! BUT, I cannot separate BATS from Thalassa (and the Daughters of Divinitation, of course). To me BATS is Thalassa’s BATS. So, if I try to think of BATS in 2025, I can only think of Thalassa. Will she continue to host it? Will she still be organizing? Will she retire? Will others step up to take over the organization? And — where will I be by then? Oh, my, we have all grown up together.”
In a nice piece of synchronicity I ended up going out to lunch with a woman who got into tarot because of Pamela Eakins and her Tarot of the Spirit. She sang the deck’s praises so much that right before I left I picked up a copy of the deck and book. I can’t wait to get started learning all about it.
Now, many people see the event Thalassa built growing and expanding, even if she does choose to retire. I have to admit I was delighted with how many people see a bright future for the event. Valentina Burton, the Fortune Teller of Dallas, has high hopes:
“BATS is now held in an elegantly restored vintage hotel in lovely San Francisco, close to marvelous restaurants and shops, and parking is free! The event has grown where the annual attendance is around 500 people. There is now a traditional Thursday night, Friday and Saturday night party, all hosted by different groups within the DOD. (Sort of like Mardi Gras Crewes) The community has changed primarily in that more people are professional, full-time Readers (that is their occupation) and the choice of workshops reflects that, with more of the choices being about professional development.”
Many people drew cards, of course! Would you expect anything different from a group of people into tarot? Pamela Steele, who debuted the Wizard’s Pets Tarot at BATS this year, drew the 3 of Coins and said:
“The last decade has brought a far more professional element to tarot and the attendees at SF BATS. The quality and level of presentations has moved beyond what we’ve experienced as traditional tarot into a realm of blending spiritual understanding into our daily lives. SF BATS has helped many readers and divinatory practitioners achieve a level of mastery in the craft bringing us access into mainstream society that previously was believed to be a dream for ‘some day’.”
I like the idea of ‘some day’ not being too far away. And now, for my prediction:
“I drew two cards from the Sakki-Sakki tarot deck. The cards that jumped out were the 8 of Cups and the 6 of Coins. In this deck the 8 of Cups signals a “shift in focus” and leaving something behind. That means we are in for a big change for BATS in the next 10 years – perhaps a move away from the weekend model that has worked so well, perhaps a move in location (the hotel does have issues and Thalassa has hinted at that.) The 6 of Coins indicates that the change is not due to money troubles, that in fact will lead to an “easy flowing of resources” and a focus on philanthropy. This combined with the 8’s focus on an inner truth seems to point to a BATS that is different in a way that allows it to work toward a higher purpose. As many have said, the event of 2025 will likely include a greater diversity of people and divination of traditions, as well as a greater use of technology to reach more people. I’d venture that the move away from something signaled by the 8 is actually a move toward greater inclusion as the 6 would imply.”
Thank you to everyone who participated in the interviews – it was great fun!