[Exclusive Interview] Meet the Founder of Svetarot - Shweta Gandhi

Read excerpts from an interview with a journalist from The Plunge Daily

[Nandika Chand]: What inspired you to become a Tarot reader and jewellery designer?

[Shweta Gandhi]: On my 21st birthday, my friends in college gifted me the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. I had always been fascinated by the occult and esoteric sciences—astrology, numerology, dream interpretation—and I sometimes relied on Tarot readers to give me guidance. I never thought I would learn Tarot reading, but when I got the deck, I knew it was meant to be!


In one year, I had studied all the 78 cards of the Major and Minor Arcana, and learnt the celtic cross layout. I used to practice readings on myself and my close friends until 2019.


When I moved to Toronto in 2019, I decided to shoot weekly Tarot forecast videos on Instagram and YouTube, and my family and friends loved it! Everyone who got in touch with me told me that they resonated with Tarot's messages for that week, and they described what was happening in their life that matched the card that had come up. Tarot has always been 100% accurate for me, and I knew that those who were following its teachings were being guided in the right direction.

This motivated me to launch my own business in December 2o19, Svetarot - Tarot, Oracle & Crystal Healing Services, that would allow me to hold space and guide people through 1:1 sessions. I conduct 30-minute to 1 hour 45 minutes-long readings on Zoom, and people can ask the Tarot any question they have—related to relationships, love life, marriage, career, health, finances.


We start the session with a guided meditation to ground and tune into the energy of the question being asked of the Tarot. I shuffle the cards, and draw 10 cards and place them in the celtic cross position. I then interpret the cards and connect the past, present and future of the person.


Some Tarot readers say they find the messages and images on the cards a little realistic and pessimistic—like the Death card, which signifies endings and new beginnings (but never physical death), or the Tower card, which symbolises old structures and patterns falling apart in chaos. In this case, a wonderful addition to Tarot cards are Oracle cards, which are positive and hopeful messages from Spirit. I combine the two in my sessions to offer a wholesome perspective on the question/life situation.


Many times, I have noticed that the Tarot cards match the messages of the Oracle cards. For example, once the Temperance card in Tarot (which stands for moderation and balance) came up in a client’s reading, and then the “Balance” card from the Ask Your Guides Oracle deck popped up! When this happens, I know this is a synchronicity the Universe is orchestrating to give me a sign that all is well.


Another deck I have is the Chakra Insight Oracle, which has 49 cards for all 7 chakras in the human body. A quick 101 on chakras for those of you who don’t know: Chakras are pools of spiralling energy in our body, and there are 7 main energetic centers. Each chakra deals with a particular emotion, sound, colour and vibration, and these cards are beautifully designed following this theme. Chakra readings come complementary with every Tarot session, as it helps me tap into the client’s emotional energy that identifies what they’re really thinking/feeling.


Each chakra emits a different frequency and resonates with a certain type of crystal. For example, the Third Eye Chakra, which is in between the eyebrows, vibes with a purple/indigo crystal like Amethyst. I have always been attracted to crystals and could intuitively understand their vibrations. These crystals are also used for healing purposes, and it helps if you carry the crystal with you at all times (you can keep it in your pocket). If you wear the crystal, it helps to activate it even more as its powerful vibration merges with your body’s energy field, thereby manifesting your intentions even quicker.


Enter: Svetarot Jewellery—a bespoke line of bracelets, earrings, necklaces, keychains and more made with semi-precious crystals. Each crystal is cleansed with sage (dried leaves) and Palo Santo (holy wood) to ensure a pristine energetic vibration for the person whom it is intended for.


Usually, I advise my clients the right crystals they should wear on the basis of the Chakra cards that come out in the reading, and then I customise a bracelet/necklace for them.


[NC]: Was it a smooth transition for you? Did you face any hurdles?

[SG]: When I moved to Toronto, I literally started life afresh. Quitting my job as the senior fashion writer at Vogue India was very hard for me, and now I was faced with the decision to choose between fashion and spirituality as a career. After spending three years working in the fashion industry, I realised that the glamour was just a game of smoke and mirrors. My spiritual gifts weren’t being utilised, and my soul longed to delve deeper into spiritual studies, meditation and practicing healing modalities. It was hard to leave my dream life that I had been relishing for so long, but I knew I had to shed my skin to begin a brand new journey. That’s when I decided to launch Svetarot.


[NC]: Did you have to do a course to become a Tarot reader?

[SG]: I enrolled myself in private classes with a renowned Tarot reader in Toronto. In the first class, I did a reading for him, and he was impressed! He helped me hone my skills and taught me how to market myself as a Tarot reader and how to build an online audience.


[NC]: Has it been a spiritual journey for you?

[SG]: Yes, definitely. Tarot and Oracle cards are one healing modality I use to understand the client’s psyche and help them connect with their Higher Self. Crystals are another healing modality. I also practice palmistry, face reading, handwriting analysis, aura and chakra reading, Healing Touch (HT) and Reiki. Interestingly, I haven’t trained for any of these—I can intuitively understand the energy. I keep reading books on these subjects that help me understand the theory behind it.


Last summer, I spent 16 weeks studying, developing my psychic skills and learning how to be a medium (mediums channel information from souls who have passed over into the Spirit world) with the Canadian Fellowship of Spiritualists. I am now a certified psychic and developing medium! This means that I can now channel information and knowledge from helping spirits and guardian angels in the Spirit realm. The purpose of channeling information is to heal and help the other person through adversity. This workshop has helped me develop my clairvoyance and claircognizance skills immensely. Though I am still learning, it’s pretty cool when you “guess” a piece of information the client didn’t tell you beforehand, and you end up nailing the bull's eye!


[NC]: Has your family been supportive of your transition into a Tarot reader?

[SG]: When I told my parents that I was launching my own Tarot business, they told me it wasn’t a viable option financially. My Tarot teacher, however, convinced me otherwise. He encouraged me to move on from the fashion industry, and build my own Tarot empire in Toronto. To be honest, Toronto is not a fashionable city like its neighbouring city, New York. The year I moved here was the same year they shut down Toronto Fashion Week! I realised I had to switch my career into high gear if I wanted to follow my passion. So I decided to drop the fickle world of fashion, and stepped into the shoes of a young entrepreneur.


After being booked by 30+ people for private Tarot sessions, my parents realised that it was a lucrative career as people were booking my services, and they encouraged me to follow my spiritual calling. I use the name 'Svetlana' for my spiritual work.


[NC]: What is Tarot reading? Is it similar to astrology or numerology?

[SG]: Legend has it that the great library of Alexandria in ancient Egypt housed the legendary book of Thoth, which contained the secret teachings of mystery schools at that time. The illustrations on the Tarot cards for the 22 Major Arcana are said to be synonymous with a course in personal and spiritual development. The Minor Arcana is said to be added later, and could have been derived from the Italian game “Tarrochi”.


The images on the Tarot are linked to ancient beliefs, mythologies and religious systems like the Hebrew Kabbalah. The numbers on the cards have been tied to the teachings of Pythagoras, who believed that numbers and letters contained divine essence and extraordinary powers.


It is said that gypsies may have carried the cards to Europe in the fifteenth century (the oldest surviving Tarot cards are from the fifteenth century). The Catholic Church, however, thought that the cards were the “devil’s picture book” and were condemned as heretical. That’s why in the Middle Ages, the Tarot went underground, along with other forms of occult like astrology and numerology. The knowledge was passed down secretly, until the Renaissance period when Tarot resurfaced again as a fortune telling medium.


One of the most popular Tarot decks today is Rider-Waite, which was introduced in 1909. The main purpose of Tarot is to use it to see what the future has in store for you, but it’s important to remember that the future's not set in stone. The future is being created by the actions we are taking in the present, and if we change our present actions, we can change our future. So, at the time of the reading, the cards reflect a future that’s based on the present actions that a person is taking.


For me, Tarot has served as the perfect tool to connect with my Higher Self that guides me onto the right path. It has helped me understand patterns in my life, my relationships with people, and myself. It has definitely stimulated my intuitive powers and deepened my understanding of life and why we’re really here on Earth.


[NC]: Do you have a guru? Who do you follow?

[SG]: I am my own guru. I believe in the teachings of Hinduism which says, “Atman is Brahman” (translated as “Our soul is the same as the Universe, the ultimate reality.”) This message is reflected in the Law of Correspondence in Hermeticism which says, “As above, so below. As within, so without. As the Universe, so the soul.”


I believe our souls are made up from the same matter (or star stuff) that the Universe is. We are all connected in an infinite loop, and our common goal is to raise the vibration on planet Earth by raising our own frequencies through unconditional love, compassion and gratitude.


Right now, the world is going through Kali Yuga, the age of destruction. Political structures are falling apart; economies are collapsing; countries are raging a war over limited resources; the Coronavirus is just another addition.


All this is a huge wake up call from Mother Earth to spiritually awaken and realise that we’re eternal souls having a human experience in a beautifully-designed body that is only going to live for a limited number of years, and we need to utilise those limited years to work on our soul’s purpose or mission for this life. Interestingly, I am in the process of writing my first book, which is on how to find your soul’s purpose for this life and how to connect with your Higher Self.


The problem with our day and age is that most of us are lost in a 9-5 that is not serving our higher purpose. That’s why we feel energetically drained, listless and depressed to be living. If we remembered our true potential—the fact that we’re co-creators of our life’s journey—we would live each moment with light-hearted abandon and joy, knowing that there is no future that you are working towards, every moment is an opportunity to tap into that joy, love and gratitude.

[NC]: Do you get weird looks when you tell people you are a Tarot reader?

[SG]: In India, I did feel strange telling my family and friends that I was a Tarot reader as people didn’t understand its rich history and spiritual significance. One girl once asked me if Tarot was black magic! This level of ignorance made me understand that people are scared of the unknown—which includes secret knowledge only in the hands of a few—and some can be spooked when the Tarot sheds light on their life with profounding accuracy.


For me, changing my social media personality into that of a Tarot reader was literally akin to coming out of the closet. I was finally opening up to share and express my spiritual side that had been contained within for all these years. Thankfully, in Toronto, everyone is open and accepting, and I can proudly tell people that I am a certified Tarot reader, crystal healer and psychic.


[NC]: What insights can you give through Tarot reading?

[SG]: Tarot can shed insight into a person’s current situation in life, the past, the immediate future, the alternate future as well as the long-term future. It uncovers hopes and fears as well as the challenges they’re facing in the internal and external world. It also shows how they’re feeling subconsciously and the emotional attitude they’re consciously showing the people in their life. It’s pretty in-depth, and it helps people connect with their Higher Selves.


[NC]: Can you also see past life or ghosts (by the way do ghosts/spirits exist)?

[SG]: I can’t see spirits, yet. Some healers are gifted, and those who can see spirits can help them by communicating with them. Sometimes, some souls get stuck on the Earth plane if they die traumatically, and they are not able to move into the Spirit world. They start “haunting” places where they stayed because that’s the only place they know as home. These spirits who are stuck here on Earth are termed as “ghosts”.


[NC]: How did you venture into jewellery designing? What kind of jewellery do you design?

[SG]: To be honest, I have been making friendship bracelets ever since I was a little girl. It was a childhood dream, but it still amazes me that this idea saw the light of day. The idea of venturing into jewellery design came because I wanted to create bespoke crystal bracelets for people to wear so that they could keep their chakras/energetic pools aligned and balanced at all times. Some crystals like obsidian and tourmaline are great for protection from negative attacks, and these work as a fabulous amulet to wear every day.


[NC]: What's the response of your customers/clients?

[SG]: I launched my jewellery on my Etsy store, Svetarot Jewellery. I began with designing crystal bracelets, and then started creating necklaces, earrings and keychains with special significance for spiritual seekers and yogis. For Raksha Bandhan 2020, I handcrafted unique, one-of-a-kind crystal Rakhis and they ALL sold out!


I’ve received great feedback so far from everyone, and I am in the process of launching crystal sets and intention bracelets soon.


[NC]: What is your view in regards to being a Tarot reader and jewellery designer in India?

[SG]: I think India has a lot of talent, but the competition is cut-throat. I would have not been able to build a clientele of 200+ people interested in Tarot or crystals in India so quickly.


[NC]: Is entrepreneurship an easy path for young women?

[SG]: Entrepreneurship is not an easy task, especially when you don't have a strong financial backing. However, I am a firm believer in chasing your dreams and living a life of passion, and I recommend everyone to follow what their inner voice is saying to them. The question is: Are you listening to that quiet inner voice?


***


Shweta Gandhi AKA Svetlana conducts online sessions with clients worldwide. Get in touch:

www.Instagram.com/svetarot

www.Instagram.com/svetarotjewellery

www.svetarotreading.com

www.facebook.com/svetarot

www.svetarotjewellery.ca





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