Hello! Bell here. Just some rando updates.

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Jul 16, 2022, 1:27:28 PM7/16/22
to News & Updates from Benebell

Hey you! It’s been a while since I sent out a newsletter. Not a peep from me since November 2021. So much has happened since then that I don’t even know where to start. =)

Northwest Tarot Symposium

My dear friends Michelle Welch and Roger Welch are running NWTS this year, and I’m excited. I’ll be one of the keynote speakers on Friday, October 7. I hope you’ll be there!

The lineup looks fantastic and a lot of amazing people are involved, both those you’ll see onstage and those who are the ones behind the scenes making NWTS possible. Plus, it’s a time of the year to get together with your tarot community. Come meet people you’ve been chatting with online for ages but never got the chance to see face to face.

What will I talk about? Okay, truth—I’m currently debating between two topics. Proposal #1 is the one I submitted, but argh, now I’m thinking maybe Proposal #2 is better? 

Here, let me just get to it, and you can reply back to this e-mail with your thoughts.

Proposal #1: The History of Occult Tarot, Made Easy

Let’s cover three centuries of tarot reading methods, how our philosophical approaches to tarot card interpretation evolved from the 18th century to present day. Also, how has astrology, Hermeticism, alchemy, Cabalism (the Qabalah), and Rosicrucianism influenced the evolution of tarot into an occult tool?

Proposal #2: The Tarot Reader as Healer: Why Now, Why You, and How

We’d be discussing the intersections of holistic healing modalities and applications of it through the tarot, and how to ensure every tarot reading session is, fundamentally, also a healing session. Let’s have a conversation about faith healing, mental health, and navigating querents’ health-related questions.

Either way, I’m looking forward to being with my community again. I haven’t been to an in-person tarot conference since summer 2019. =/ I miss you all!!!

Order your tickets for NWTS 2022 here: https://nwtarotsymposium.com/tickets

Hope to see you in October! <3

I Ching, The Oracle – Its Shamanic-Historical Origins

I just turned in my completed manuscript to North Atlantic for book #3. It’s a practicum-intensive primer on Taoist mysticism through the framework of the I Ching. Of course, it also includes my translations, which have evolved substantially from the version that was part of my “I Ching and the Practitioner” online course I had been offering. These new translations have a ton of annotations, more in-depth explanations of etymology and the poetic wording of the original text, and a wealth of historical research.

It’s going to be a hefty tome. The current word count of the draft I turned in is 30% more than Holistic Tarot, so we’re talking 260,000-ish.

But, I mean, don’t freak out. No one is telling you to read it cover to cover. It’s supposed to be a reference book. You locate the topic you want to know more about from the table of contents or index, then read just that section.

It’s not like War and Peace. It’s more like an encyclopedia. Though, I mean, as a kid I was certainly *that dork* who read the Encyclopedia Britannica cover to cover, so…

But also you can study it cover to cover first page to last, in the order of chapters it comes in if you’re a total I Ching beginner and want to become as knowledgeable as possible on the subject. Each chapter will build on the other in terms of training you to become a masterful Taoist mystic.

That Etteilla Deck I’m Working On

Some of you may recall that before I went somewhat radio silent to finish the I Ching book, I was working on illustrations for an Etteilla tarot deck and writing a companion guidebook on the system.

I’m hoping to get back into it before the year’s end, but I feel disoriented. Like I think these are the type of creative projects where, once you’ve started and you’ve got good momentum going, it just goes voom. But if you stop or that momentum breaks, the magic kind of dissipates, and it takes a lot to reignite that magic and get the train back on the rails.

If you’re like, what is she even talking about, here are a few blog posts on what I had been working on, plus some of the Instagram videos I shared:

Melancholia and Turning Points

I think I might be going through Something. It’s probably no different from what everyone else has been enduring both through the pandemic lockdown and during this…I don’t even know what to call it…post-something period.

I think a lot of the melancholia is social media fatigue. And at the heart of that is society fatigue. I’ve arrived at that point where you ask yourself, “Wait, why do I want to be among people again?” -- You know the feeling?

Also, recently I saw corruption, spoke up about it, kept speaking up about it, and then…err… at this present time, let’s just say I’m home nursing my wounds and trying to rekindle my faith in humanity. =)

There’s this trope from pre-modern China of the idealistic young scholar who enters court life to change the world, but after becoming a government official, decides to leave power and status behind to go live as a hermit atop a mountain and paint, or write poetry. And the artwork they produce is always melancholic. Like, the level I vibe with that right now? =)

And it’s not even like you want to become a hermit just because people are shit. You want to become a hermit because you realize you’re shit, too. You don’t trust yourself to be a good person all of the time, so maybe it’s better for you to stay apart from society.

So. Why “Turning Point” in the section title? Few people walk a straight path. It’s more often a winding path with several turns in directionality, and that’s all I think I mean here. I can intuit I’m coming upon a turn, though I haven’t quite figured out which way to turn, or even whether to turn. I’m just intuiting that we’re quickly coming upon that cusp.

I say “we” because I have a feeling it isn’t just me. It’s more like a tidal wave and I’m one droplet of gazillions on that wave. I’m just waxing poetic on how the tidal wave is going to affect me, this single droplet.

And no one is saying this wave is of apocalyptical proportions. It’s just a wave, and humanity has been through many. Most people alive right now have witnessed many. It’s nothing new. Just another turn in the winding road.

And if it is a “tidal wave,” can the single droplet even decide which way to turn? Is there even choice or free will involved?

Has There Been a Shift in the Tarot Community?

Okay, so the answer is no. I’m the one who has changed.

For the last five or so years, I kept thinking I was observing this change-in-motion of the tarot community. But inquire further to ask what I think has changed, and I wouldn’t be able to provide a good answer. I can’t point at any one credible thing that shifted. The movements have always been there.

And then I realized, oh crap, nothing’s changed, not really. I’m the one who has shifted.

To those who consider themselves a part of the tarot community, what are your thoughts? I won’t share any of the e-mail replies I get. (Also, I probably won’t be able to reply, though will read.) I’m just curious what other people’s perspectives have been. For one, it helps me to answer the question, is it just me? What the hell? =)

All right. This is long enough for a newsletter update. =) I always get so verbose and just ramble on and on. I’m trying to curb that. No, not really. No, I really am trying. 

I hope you have all been well, or at least managing to make it through these crazy times. 



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