Kelley Knight recently opened Modern Mystic Tarot at the retail emporium Paris on Ponce with the goal of bringing the occult practice into the mainstream. She believes the products, tools, and services she provides will not only help people have their own awakening but ultimately bring more power into their lives. I stopped in to see if a half-hour tarot reading could transform me.
Most clients come with a question in mind. Love and career insight are two of the most requested topics for readings. I have questions about the direction of my journalism career. Specifically, I want to know if I should look for full-time work (more stability) or continue on the freelance path (more creative). Kelley gets to work on finding — revealing! — the answer.
The Modern Mystic Tarot shop at Paris on Ponce opened in 2016 on 11/11. Coincidence or karmic numerology?
Kelley’s goal is to demystify the tarot — taking something that seems out there and bringing it into the Aquarian Age of information.
Tarot is not random. It’s a way to connect to a higher power and to the universe. The cards are a reflection of our collective unconscious. The tarot deck showcases 78 different human archetypes and experiences. When we connect and use the cards for guidance, each card has a specific meaning for the individual.
The order in which cards are shuffled and dealt has significance for the person sitting on the other side of the table.
Most readers shuffle the tarot deck and pull from the top. Kelley does not. She fans the cards out until she feels the need to stop — then she pulls a card, like this Three of Wands, and explains the meaning.
Kelley considers readings with clients as conversations. We pull a few cards based on my topic and she arranges the cards in intuitive spreads. Because she does not know in advance how the spread is going to look, I can ask questions and ask her to pull more cards to go deeper into my topic and our conversation.
During my reading, Kelley sees an "issue in the spirit position." This makes sense to her, because when I asked my question about the future of my work life, I was conflicted about the direction of my creative career.
Kelley lays cards down in rows or "paths" — like a choose-your-own adventure story. My reading features the Ace of Cups and Four of Wands. According to Kelley, Aces and Wands often signal new beginnings. Cups are related to the heart and emotion. She reads that I’m emotionally ready and open to a new full-time job.
I ask about timeline for my new job. She breaks it into three months — prior to January, first quarter, and second quarter. She pulls one more card that indicates that work will come before the New Year. She’s excited when she turns over the Six of Pentacles because it is a transition card, a card of prosperity that anticipates blossoming. It means I’m transitioning out of career hardship.
In addition to in-person appointments, Kelley does readings online and through video conference. She has clients as far away as India and Australia.
The next batch of cards signal to her that my mind is open, that I’m ready to start something new, that I’m ready to handle change emotionally, and that I can see the benefit and the balance of this change. She tells me that there’s a grass-is-greener side to me that I need to acknowledge. Will I commit to this path or will I be forever looking for something better?
Kelley wants more clarity around the idea of me taking full-time work because she sees residual trauma from conventional jobs. I laugh because she is spot-on. In 2016, I had two different positions eliminated, one right after the other. I didn’t know it was possible to be laid off twice in one year! Kelley says all that energy is still lingering.
The cards show that I have really good family milestones and celebrations to look forward to, as full-time work will advance my family collectively.
She pulls more cards that confirm that there are really good job opportunities in my future. The Father of Pentacles is very entrepreneurial. He is very good at making money.
All the cards Kelley pulls relate to what it might look like for me to have the full-time job and the right mind, body, and spirit necessary for this change of pace and lifestyle.
I spend a little time wandering around Modern Mystic Tarot to sample a variety of small-batch goods from independent makers.
Kelley sells small batches of protection oil made from the yarrow plant. Crystals are abundant.
Kelley has her own line of wellness products — aromatherapy soy candles with crystals, sugar and salt body scrubs, room sprays — available at the shop and online.
On Sundays, Kelley offers walk-in mini readings (15 or 20 minutes) without an appointment. This is especially popular with folks stepping off the nearby BeltLine to pop into Paris on Ponce.
Paris on Ponce
716 Ponce De Leon Place NE
11 AM-6 PM Monday through Saturday
12 PM-6 PM Sunday
Photos by Jason Thrasher.