Tarot card readings interpret your subconscious, not the future.

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Kathy Brown looks over her tarot card reading.

Melissa Stratton talks with Samantha Vieczorek about the 3 tarot cards she pulled from the deck.

Melissa Stratton places her hand on the 9 of Pentacles as she explains the meaning behind the card.

A traditional tarot card deck.

Melissa Stratton does a reading with the Daughters of the Moon cards on Samantha Vieczorek of Tunkhannock.

Melissa Stratton does a reading with the Daughters of the Moon cards on Samantha Vieczorek of Tunkhannock.

TUNKHANNOCK— Tarot readers are often mistaken as psychics. At a reading, people may expect to hear: “You will meet a dark haired man next month.” But tarot cards aren’t laid out to tell the future.

Instead, tarot cards are placed on a table to indicate what direction one should head. Tarot card readers Kathy Agate Brown and Melissa Stratton want their clients to be comfortable with the trend of their own lives. They describe themselves as counselors as they lay out a map of advice.

“I want them to have a better handle on a situation than they had when they walked in,” said Brown, owner of Shooting for the Moon, a spiritual development center in Snydersville. “When I hand the cards to them and they hand them back, they have given me permission to read them.”

Clients can come with their own questions, but readers usually brings out what’s in the subconscious. Brittney Lopes of Mill City has her cards read by Cora Mitchell in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“The first time I got my cards read it was a mix of fun and curiosity,” Lopes said. “I wanted to see what it was like and what the cards could tell me.”

Brown explained tarot readers use the energy in one’s aura to find out what is going on in their subconscious.

“I will read what fears are surrounding you,” she said. “The cards keep the conscious mind busy so the subconscious can connect heart to querent (the reader).”

There are some skeptics out there, including Alison Lin of Scranton. She said she wasn’t sure about what is was, but also wasn’t to keen to find out.

“I would get it if it were at a party,” she said. “But I wouldn’t spend money on it. It doesn’t seem worth it.”

“I was not always into tarot reading,” Stratton said. “I was very skeptical at first but then I realized what it was about. We are not psychic and can only tell the future as much as someone has it inside them. We tap into people’s inner map. Readings are accurate because it is something you already feel inside. Sometimes the cards are so accurate it still blows my mind after all these years.”

Tarot decks have 78 cards which are divided into two parts; major and minor arcanas. The major arcana, or trumps, are 22 archetypal cards considered to be more powerful and universal.The minor arcana are 56 cards divided into four suits. According to Brown and Stratton, the minor cards are equivalent to playing cards and represent the day-to-day concerns of life.

The cards are dealt in various spreads or formations and are interpreted in relation to one another and the reading.

“My favorite is the Celtic Cross. It is a 13 piece layout and each position has a meaning,” Stratton said. “Then there are three-card readings that are shorter and deal with the past, present and future. All different readings are good and it is just the preference of the reader.”

Brown and Stratton explained the two types of readers someone could encounter. Ones like themselves, who want to guide clients in their true direction and others who Brown describes as “charlatans.” Stratton calls them “gypsies,” saying they have the ability to read people but are only in it for the money.

Lopes said a reader shouldn’t order you to do anything because the reader provides the overall picture and what you decide is up to you. She also said if the reading bounces around and doesn’t have a flow it is a sign of a bad reader.

“People come in with their own agenda and own questions, but in reality, they are getting messages that are more important to them,” Brown said. “You are always the master of your life. You are always in control.”

If your interest has piqued and you’re wondering what the cards have in store for you, stop by the annual Northeastern Pennsylvania Holistic Expo on Aug. 8 at the Mount Airy Casino and Resort. There will be holistic and eco-friendly professionals to guide you toward a healthier lifestyle.