Tom and Joy at the old Isis Books for a DTM meetup August 24, 2006.

Tom and Joy at the old Isis Books for a DTM meetup August 24, 2006.

The Denver Tarot Meetup was founded in July 2006 by Scott Womack. The group met weekly (unheard of for a meetup at that time; most met monthly) in the small conference room of a great little coffee shop on Lincoln and 7th called Scooter Joe’s. Scott recounts that the first meeting was just him and one other person; by the second meeting, he had filled that room and they had to spill out into the café.

From the beginning, Scott was dedicated to making the group open, accessible, and relevant to all levels of readers—we would have professional readers and brand-new just-got-my-first-deck readers in the same group, working on the same material. So Scott was a master of planning events that all participants could learn from. Scott was also uncompromising in his vision of advancing group members to the position of presenter. Regular members back then included Joy Vernon, Cheryl Pershey, and Arwen Lynch and we, and others, contributed presentations for the group.

Kat and Scott at the old Isis Books for a DTM meetup August 24, 2006.

Kat and Scott at the old Isis Books for a DTM meetup August 24, 2006.

DTM’s first spin-off group was the Denver Tarot Geeks, started by Joy Vernon in May 2007.

DTM continued to grow by leaps and bounds and moved to Gypsy House Café, where the large basement room was big enough for groups of 20 or more.

Scott was dedicated to creating partnerships—he had the vision to create joint meetups with the Denver Tarot Geeks. He also mentored Fredda Laurel, a DTM member and presenter, when she was inspired to start a metaphysics meetup—her Introduction to Metaphysics Meetup is now one of the largest metaphysics meetups in the world.

Martien & Teressena Bakens, Creators of The Fifth Tarot at Gypsy House Cafe for a DTM special event, August 11, 2010.

Martien & Teressena Bakens, Creators of The Fifth Tarot at Gypsy House Cafe for a DTM special event, August 11, 2010.

Scott developed tarot games like Tarot Tunnel, Guess the Deck, and Tarot Detectives. He hosted tarot movie nights and tarot poetry. He always insisted on setting aside time after the meetup to share readings so that participants would have the chance to receive readings as well as practice giving them. He initiated the tarot socials in early 2009. Scott brought in nationally recognized tarot names like Martien & Teressena Bakens, creators of The Fifth Tarot.

Scott from the beginning never saw himself as the ongoing leader of DTM. He wanted it to mature into its own self-sustaining group, not dependent on a single person. He worked with a number of assistant organizers and would periodically hand the group off to an especially active member for a period of time.

Eventually, in January 2011 Scott handed the group off to Joy Vernon. Joy invited his assistant organizers to continue working in their same capacity in the group and John Michael Allen took her up on the offer, becoming the group’s first co-organizer.

Sherry Shone and Sherry Padilla at the DTM booth at Celebration Fair September 5, 2014.

Sherry Shone and Sherry Padilla at the DTM booth at Celebration Fair September 5, 2014.

Under Joy’s leadership, the group continued to grow. We are now the second largest tarot meetup in the world. We found our current home at Living Earth where we meet twice a month.  This year we merged with Renna Shesso’s “Totally Tarot” to add 1st Tuesday Tarot, which encourages group members to step into the experience of presenting a topic. We expanded the tarot socials to four a month plus a Lenormand social, for a total of eight regular meetups every month. We also continue to bring in well-known names including Barbara Moore, James Wanless, Katrina Wynne, Shaheen Miro, Beth Seilonen, Erik Dunne, Toney Brooks, and Vicki Noble.

Grace Padilla and Mary K. Greer at Fort Greene for The Fountain Tarot Launch Event June 25, 2015.

Grace Padilla and Mary K. Greer at Fort Greene for The Fountain Tarot Launch Event June 25, 2015.

Co-organizer Sherry Padilla brought DTM to Celebration Fair for the first time in 2014—people commented that they had never seen a meetup with an info booth at a big fair like that.

Additional DTM spin-off groups include Castle Rock Tarot, Metaphysics With A Twist (MWAT), and the Fort Collins Tarot Meetup, to name just a few.

What started out as two people having a tête-à-tête about tarot over coffee at Scooter Joe’s Café has grown beyond all expectations into a leading group in the field of tarot and a vast network of connected tarot communities. It seemed a natural next step to partner with Tarosophy Tarot Association of Keswick, England to produce TarotCon Denver. Scott’s vision of community, camaraderie, education, partnership and leadership has guided us this far—where else will it take us as we celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2016?

See photos of all the DTM past events on Meetup.com.

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Joy will be speaking on “Unlock Your Transformation with the Empyrean Key” at TarotCon Denver 2015. Visit our Speakers page for the full line-up of presentations and workshops.

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About the Author

Joy Vernon has been studying and teaching energetic and esoteric modalities for more than twenty years. She is the organizer of the Denver Tarot Geeks, Denver Tarot Meetup and Denver Traditional Reiki Meetup, and she served on the faculty of Avalon Center for Druidic Studies. She is one of the psychics at Isis Books and is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and a member of the American Tarot Association and Tarosophy Tarot Association. Joy also teaches Traditional Japanese Reiki. For information on upcoming classes or to schedule an appointment, please visitJoyVernon.com.

© 2015 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.

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