Strolling through the shops of Reykjavík, you might have noticed that tarot cards are sold in many places. The cards can be used as a way to tell fortunes, as they are believed to yield mystic powers and esoteric wisdom that is revealed to those who have mastered the art of tarot. I paid a visit to one of these people, Natalia Grociak, who has become an expert on the topic. What started as a fun hobby has evolved into a part of her daily life, through which she’s able to help others.
Modern day fortune teller
Interested in hearing what the cards have to say to me, I set up a date for a reading with Natalia. Upon arrival at her apartment, I cannot help but notice that this place is home to a spiritual soul. Warm tones of the decor together with all the plants and art pieces welcome you into a serene yet mystical scene. This is exactly what you would expect from a venue where fortune tellings take place—apart from the lack of crystal balls, of course.
Natalia guides me to the living room and offers me a seat near the coffee table. She puts on calming, meditative music and lets me pick an incense to further set the mood for the reading. As the dark, flowery smell suffuses the room, Natalia lights candles and gathers everything needed to the table: a bowl of crystals and several different card decks.
“Each tarot deck is split into two parts: Major and Minor Arcana Cards. The Major Arcana are the pillars of tarot, representing the archetypal figures and themes that have the biggest influence on our lives. The Minor Arcana cards in turn work as a tool for the reader to explain the issues of the Major Arcana cards in detail. It enables the reader to see the person’s situation in depth,” Natalia explains.
Natalia arrays all the decks on the table and reaches out to the bowl of crystals. She selects crystals from her collection and places one on top of each card pile. When I ask the reason behind this practice, she tells me that the crystals are said to keep the deck’s energy in place throughout the process.
Now we’re all set for the reading that will tell me everything I need to know about the upcoming year. “Okay, let’s figure out what the main energies are for your inner self, work and love life in 2022,” Natalia says and starts shuffling the Major Arcana deck. I get to draw three cards from it, which will work as the base for the reading.
Reading the cards like an open book
Apparently the Chariot represents my inner self, Justice is work I will do and, last but definitely not least, Death describes my love life in 2022. “Don’t be disturbed by the last card, Death actually represents transformation,” Natalia calms me down. “Let’s see how the other decks explain these cards that you picked,” she continues.
Natalia shuffles the decks with accustomed hands and picks up any that are dropped during the shuffling process. She fills the coffee table with these cards and explains what each of them mean by themselves and how their denotation changes when they become a part of the reading as a whole.
Unlike the other tarot readings I’ve received from my friends, there’s no Googling involved in this one. Natalia knows everything by heart. It’s astonishingly easy for her to explain the details and move on to describing the bigger picture of the reading. She remarks on every little thing, such as the fact that I drew a lot of cards featuring the numbers eight and nine. That suggests this year is going to be about abundance and self mastery—which I obviously welcome with open arms.
Using her talents to help others
“I’ve always been quite spiritual and interested in everything mystical,” Natalia says. “As I started to learn the art of tarot, I felt like this was something I needed to share with others.”
She began reading the cards for customers at Bodega where she worked. That’s when she realised she can help others with her talent. “People have told me that my readings have clarified certain situations they’ve been in, or that they’ve gotten an answer to a question they had in mind,” Natalia remarks. “I truly believe that doing tarot can nudge you into the right direction in life.”
However, not everyone is open to tarot. Natalia has encountered her share of skeptics. “Nobody has to believe in anything they don’t want to, and I understand that tarot is not for everyone. However, it would be great if these people could recognize that there’s a lot of us who find these readings helpful and guiding.”
Maybe the whole point of tarot is not to get airtight revelations of one’s past, present and future, but to be a tool to help people reflect on their lives. My future might not look exactly like the reading I got, but one thing is for sure: Natalia’s reading gave me confidence and hope for 2022.
If you’re interested in getting a reading from Natalia, you can contact her through her Instagram account moon_astery.
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