Connie Bender is a familiar face at the Eugene Saturday Market, where she has done Tarot card readings for more than 22 years. The daughter of a “water witcher”, Connie’s intuitive powers were first recognized by her grandfather, who owned a parcel of land in the Corvallis foothills. Her grandfather would take each of his adolescent grandchildren out on the property – which held underground water reserves – to see if they had “the juice.” Connie had the juice. She says, “the stick felt like a dog at the end of a leash, pulling me.” Whatever it is that Connie possesses, the gift runs in the family.
Connie knows the history of her calling. Tarot, she explains, was created for people who weren’t very literate, thus the striking imagery adorning each card and card set. When asked why many people consider Tarot to be so effective, Connie says “The cards don’t lie. You can’t erase such profound imagery from your mind.” When it comes to card sets, Connie is fully loaded. She owns more than 80 decks. Her home is inundated with them. She says, “I can work the cards the way a practiced musician can play an instrument.”