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 A