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Give me a hand

Empty your teacup and she will predict your future. Pick a card and she will help you resolve your problem. Or perhaps you need a spell to make you feel better, asks Lina Choudhury Mahajan.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2009 00:58 IST
Lina Choudhury Mahajan

Empty your teacup and she will predict your future. Pick a card and she will help you resolve your problem. Or perhaps you need a spell to make you feel better?

Just ask Swati Prakash. Says the tarot therapist, “We are a fatalistic people. Our biggest mistake is in thinking that our destiny is written in stone.” Tarot reading, says the brain behind the Tarot India Network, “not only helps you look into your future but also enables you to rectify your mistakes and improve your life.”

The Tarot India Network now has 900 students in Mumbai, most of whom keep in touch with her over email or drop into her recently-opened shop, Magick, in Bandra. “We hold meetings once in two months where several students come together but I am in individual touch with many of them who drop into my store to meet me daily. We work on problems and new spells and solutions together,” she says.

If the word ‘spells’ evokes images of the witches from Macbeth stirring newts’ eyes and frogs’ toes into a cauldron, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. The spells that Prakash refers to are rituals that encourage positive thought. “We’re all capable of utilising our mind’s positive energy; we just need to know how,” says Prakash, who also helps her students meditate and go into trance-like states (to conduct spells). Her store also stocks implements that help cast magical spells.

Prakash, who also dabbles in wicca (which includes the ritual use of magic), dream working (a form of dream interpretation), past-life therapy, energy healing and astrology, says these teachings are all tied together.

So how does tarot therapy work? “If you want to solve a problem through a tarot reading, you first have to cleanse yourself. If something has made you angry, throw away your negative energy and anger. Releasing anger is important,” says Prakash. She adds pragmatically that it may not be necessary to forget, but forgiving and letting go is important. “Guilt is worse than anger. And spiritual healing can help you get over it,” she elaborates.

Tarot reading also helps people dig into their sub-conscious, she says: “It helps you remember forgotten reasons that might be responsible for some present conditions in your life.”

The Tarot India Network organises regular events for members. Says Nandini Hate-Mane, a tarot reader from Kandivili, “Swati arranges beautiful sessions where we go outdoors and meditate at times.” She remembers one trip on a boat that docked in the middle of the Arabian Sea, where the entire group meditated.

The group even has child members. “Children have a lot of magic in them. They can easily connect with fairies and angels,” says Prakash, pointing out that these children, who have a heightened sense of awareness and can be clairvoyant, are called ‘indigo’ children.

However, you don’t need to be an indigo child (or adult) to join the Tarot India Network. “All that is required is a reasonable interest in tarot,” says Prakash. You don’t have to pay to join either; simply log on to and register with the website. Emails will tell you when and where the group meets and holds seminars.

So what’s next on the agenda? A meeting to ‘summon the fairies’. Be there if you believe in them.

This weekly column examines the diversity of urban communities