by Zanna Shapiro
Brooklyn-based tarot reader Sona has been practicing cartomancy for almost a decade.
The art of divination runs in her family, who practice Santería, a religion observed in Latin America.
One of Sona’s earliest memories include reading horoscopes aloud to her grandmother, who raised her.
Sona’s grandmother had a heavy influence on Sona and her spirituality.
“Conversations about santeria, brujeria, curses, blessings, manifesting, angels, the dead, numerology, astrological signs and rulers were common and on her dresser was an alter with the bust of a Native American woman we called La India.
“When she lit the candles on the altar, she would tell me how Yemaya called to me. Yemaya in Santeria is similar to the high priestess, a goddess of water, ruling intuition, dreams, and feelings.”
Sona was introduced to the occult and metaphysical as a child, but began her own exploration several years later, “as a teen, I went through an obsession with all things witchy and magic.”
Her birthday falls near Halloween and she “was naturally drawn to anything esoteric or occult.
“I began studying astrology while in high-school. I would look up birthcharts for everyone I knew and learn about placements of signs, but it wasnt until after high-school that I seriously began an in-depth, thorough study of all things tarot, astrology, chakras, numerology, and crystals.”
Her study of tarot officially began in 2012 and she was conducting actively paid readings within a year.
Sona practiced by having a learning partner and journaling her readings. She gave readings as often as she could.
At that point in her life, Sona gave readings throughout Washington Square Park, Union Square, and the pathway tunnel on 14th St between 6th and 7th Ave.
“My friends and I were students of the Art Institue and members of a youth drop-in center called The Door at this time.
“As a hustle, we’d be outside selling artwork or offering tarot readings. The hustle was real.
“We were a group of homeless youth that stuck together. We were trying to get money so we could eat, but at the same time we were spiritually aware.
“We weren’t begging, we were manifesting.
“This really is how I got started. In my early years of tarot, I was just doing a suggested donation because I really wanted feedback regarding my readings. If I didn’t have the social support at that time, I wouldn’t have become confident enough in my readings to officially make my way with paid readings.
“I often get asked if I can read the client’s mind. I can’t, I am no psychic and I do not claim to be anything I am not.
“ I do however recognize energy and have strong intuition. This results in highly attuned readings
As a result, I often see things in the reading or get explanations from the cards that other readers may not.
“I have brought many clients to tears just from speaking on things they haven’t opened up about yet.
In most cases, my clients come for a reading to begin tapping into self healing. Sometimes it really catches a client offguard to hear something they haven’t said aloud to anyone come up clear as day in a reading.”
Sona does hourly based pricing. Sessions begin at $50 and up, not including tip.
Clients interested in a card reading will arrange to meet with Sona in a public setting.
With advanced notice, Sona can also incorporate in-depth astrological birth chart analysis and compatibility, as well as crystals into a session for an additional fee.
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