The Many Sides of Pamela Colman Smith: A panel discussion with Susan Wands, Mary K. Greer, Elizabeth Foley O'Connor, Dawn Robinson, and Sasha Graham.
This Event took virtually place on February 16, 2022, via Zoom. Admission: $8
Watch trailer here:
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Join five authors of the life Pamela Colman Smith, co-creator of the Waite-Smith tarot deck and multi-talented artist extraordinaire, for a panel on Sunday, February 20th at 11pm PT, 2pm ET, 7pm GMT, exploring the many facets of her life.
Why is she endlessly fascinating and inspiring to a worldwide community a century after her major works were produced?
Learn the real story of this independent spirit who explored artistic mediums in established venues and avant-garde platforms, generating and self-publishing her own works. Her interests and talents intersected with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Lyceum Theatre, the Catholic Church, Swedenborgianism, and Arthur Dow of the Pratt Institute who influenced the Arts and Crafts Movement in the United States.
A mystical seer who performed her Annancy Tales as a one-woman show, she also designed toy theatres, stage sets and costumes; was an acknowledged poet, author, illustrator of ballads and folktales, suffragette, and a publisher of books and broadsheets.
Pamela lived a life filled with bohemians and outlier artists, theatre directors and photographers. Pamela Colman Smith has fascinated the tarot community with her creation of the 1909 Rider Waite Tarot Deck, as it was then known. Her huge outlay of artistic creations inspired by her second sight and original point of view live on to this day in many museums. We'll be showing some newly discovered works that haven't been seen before!
Susan Wands is a writer, tarot reader, and actor. A co-chair with the NYC Chapter of the Historical Novel Society, she helps produce monthly online book launches and author panels. In London, she has lectured at Watkins Books for their Recorded Authors series, and at Atlantis Books, also traveling to present at the Occulture Berlin Festival. Ms. Wands’ writings have appeared in Art in Fiction, Kindred Spirits magazine, and The Irving Society journal, FIRST KNIGHT. Some of her podcast interviews include: ‘Biddy Tarot’, ‘Imaginary Worlds’, ‘Bad Ass Bitches Tarot’, and the ‘Spirited Tarot’ YouTube channel. Her historical novel series based on Pamela Colman Smith will have the second book, High Priestess and Empress, published by SparkPress in 2023. The first book, Magician and Fool, is available online and Emperor and Hierophant, the third book in the series, is in final edits. She is currently petitioning the English Heritage Organization to dedicate a blue plaque on Pamela Colman Smith’s London birth place. Sign the petition here: https://susanwands.com/
Mary K. Greer is the author of 12 books on tarot and magic. Discovering tarot in 1967, she has been teaching it since 1974 in colleges, privately, and in conferences and workshop venues around the world. Her 1984 book Tarot for Your Self revolutionized the practice of tarot, being the first book to describe reading for oneself as a self-help and personal creativity tool. A college professor for eleven years, Mary taught both tarot and 'women's biography and autobiography' courses which prepared her to write Women of the Golden Dawn about four original members of that magical organization, contribute to U.S. Games Systems' The Untold Life of Pamela Colman Smith, and write biographical introductions to reprints of classic works on tarot and on magic. Mary loves teaching her Jungian-based interactive method of reading tarot in such diverse places as China, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, as well as around Europe, Great Britain and Canada. Her blog features posts on Pamela Colman Smith and on women's age-old role as diviners. She also comments on the appearance of tarot and divination in popular media from poetry to books, films and music. You can find her at marykgreer.com and on Facebook.
Elizabeth Foley O’Connor is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Gender Studies Program at Washington College, a liberal arts college on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her literary biography, Pamela Colman Smith: Artist, Feminist & Mystic, was published this summer by Clemson University Press/ Liverpool University Press. She was a co-author of the 2018 Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story, along with Stuart Kaplan, Mary Greer and Melinda Boyd Parsons. In addition, has published essays and reviews on Colman Smith, James Joyce, Kate O’Brien, Jean Rhys, Ford Madox Ford, and fin de siecle little magazines.
Dawn Robinson is a graduate/postgraduate in social science and education; she also graduated in literature. In recent years, she has been commissioned to write local history books, and is the publisher of Bude & Beyond hyperlocal website.
She researched her book Pamela Colman Smith~Tarot Artist~The Pious Pixie intensively, focusing especially on Pamela's conversion to Catholicism and her later years in Cornwall, including Bude where Pamela's life ended. She says: "for a period of years, my fascination with Pamela took over my life; it meant I visited some wonderful places in and met interesting people linked to her; to me, the research is the fascinating part. I believe my book added to the body of knowledge about her and corrected some myths."
Sasha Graham teaches and lectures around the world. Her work has been translated into Chinese, Italian, Russian, French, Spanish, Polish, German, and Portuguese. She is the author of Tarot Diva, 365 Tarot Spreads, 365 Tarot Spells, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of the Rider Waite Smith Tarot, and The Magic of Tarot. She served as editor and writer of Lo Scarabeo’s Tarot Fundamentals, Tarot Experience, and Tarot Compendium & Tarot Original 1909 series. Sasha is a contributing author of Llewellyn’s Magical Almanac, 2020, 2022, Witches’ Datebook 2022, and Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar, 2021, 2023. Her tarot decks include Tarot of Haunted House, Dark Wood Tarot and the forthcoming Tarot of the Witch's Garden.
Sasha’s evolving story (you might call it a fairy tale) just goes to show you what happens when you push forward, follow your instincts, and believe in magic.