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story by KAETLYN JEFFRIES illustrations by HAILEE LUNTE

Come inside and sit down at her table. Feel the cards in your hand and shuffle them until you are ready. Think about what you want to know. Perhaps your deepest desire. She’ll pull the cards with a spirited touch and unveil the path to your destiny.

Mrs. Bianca is here to give you an answer to what you seek. Her growing wisdom in the art of tarot reading helps others discover their spiritual side and connect to the universe, she said.

Tarot card reading has been a part of Bianca since before she was born. Her family has been in touch with spiritual guidance and healing for hundreds of years.

From the time she was 5 years old, Bianca knew she was connected to the spirits surrounding her. She saw them. Felt them. Listened to them. Guided by her grandmother, she began accepting and sharing her gift.

She remembers her grandmother as a spiritual and loving woman as well as a good teacher. Carrying her grandmother’s teachings with her today, Bianca said she opens up her mind’s eye to all people no matter their background. She was told that her gift, like every being on this Earth, was one from God, and that humans are all part of each other.

Her own practice, Mrs. Bianca’s Psychic Readings, has been open in Bowling Green for 25 years and has brought in many curious and sometimes skeptical eyes.

“Everybody’s gifted. Everybody’s different,” Bianca said. “This is my gift, and I’m meant to do this.”

Around age 15, she started dabbling with tarot cards. Bianca said the cards, which were passed down to her, let her guide her clients and help them connect to their lives and get in tune with both themselves and the world beneath their feet.

She doesn’t ask any questions prior to the reading, nor does she want a client to tell her why they came. Bianca said she lets the cards speak for themselves and reveal their meanings objectively.

After a reading, Bianca wants her clients to feel a sense of clarity. She offers guidance in understanding the cards and said she would never let a client walk out confused or hurt.

A standard tarot deck can be divided into three groups, according to “Rider-Waite’s Pictorial Key to Tarot.” The major arcana includes 24 symbolic characters such as the fool, the magician and the hermit. This particular group of cards represent the many situations that one could face throughout life and specific messages that said situations could carry, according to tarot.com.

The second group, the minor arcana, is composed of symbols such as wands, cups, swords and pentacles delineated ace to 10. These cards are broader and focus on daily actions or decisions, according to tarot.com. The purpose of these cards is to reveal messages regarding long-term situations.

Lastly, the court cards show symbols of the court such as pages, knights, kings and queens, with the same symbols from the minor arcana. The Rider-Waite brand of tarot cards were created at the beginning of the 20th century and are brand of card Bianca uses.

These traditional tarot cards can be recognized by their bright red, blue and yellow hues, as well as the cartoonish character symbols posing in their rightful places on the cards. Bianca’s cards are over 20 years old, the colors fading from hundreds of readings; but, the images still speak to her.

James Prather, a WKU psychology professor, debunks pseudoscience, or beliefs with no scientific background like tarot, and evaluates their contribution to psychological evaluation.

Prather said that because tarot readings aren’t scientifically testable, their lack of evidence makes it difficult to evaluate them at a scientific level. Prather believes tarot may help people understand information about themselves, but it does not present any new information.

Tarot cards originated as a European card game in the 1400s and were similar to the modern rendition of tarot cards. Over time, their images were given symbolic meanings connected to properties of life which are used to read people’s futures and understand their personalities.

Prather said it’s entertaining, but also a mistake to put a lot of weight on those interpretations.

For Bianca, it’s less about factual evidence and more about faith.

“I can’t make them believe it,” Bianca said. “They have to do that themselves.”

She believes everyone has a little bit of extrasensory perception (ESP), also referred to as a sixth sense, and intuition. For Mrs. Bianca, it’s about whether or not we choose to follow its call.

Bianca listens for that deep gut feeling, which connects her to the surrounding spiritual energy, she said. This intuition and ESP aren’t physical according to Bianca, and reveal there is more to the world than what we see.

Bianca offers many spiritual practices such as meditation, energy balancing and aura readings, which are all used to help her clients find peace. With her God-given gift, she helps people find harmony within themselves and gives them comfort over the decisions lying in front of them, she said.

Bianca said surrendering to your destiny is not easy, but she is there to talk clients through it. Any fork in the road or question of purpose can be answered by a turn of the card, she said.

Revelation is often sought by those intrigued by tarot and is a familiar subject for Kylene Stephens, a part-time dance instructor at WKU.

Stephens is a self-practiced tarot card reader and has found many connections between the cards and circumstances in her life. She picked up the hobby from some college friends and found amusement in revealing her inner truths.

It’s traditional for beginner tarot readers to use a deck gifted to them or to find a deck they are drawn to, Stephens said. A crisp contrast of black and white imagery is what drew Stephens to her particular deck. After settling on this set of cards, she began drawing one card a day to better understand what they symbolize. From here, she was able to foster a deeper understanding of the cards and they were provide her with a place of comfort.

“They are good when I’m feeling stuck or if I’m unsure about something,” Stephens said. “I’ll just turn to the cards.”

Stephens said that for her, the major arcana represents aspects within the self, while the minor arcana and court cards offer her insight to aspects outside the self.

Tarot is an individual experience according to Bianca, and the interpretations are limitless.

Card meanings are different for everyone, Bianca said. She believes every aspect of life holds meaning for us, and the accompanying feelings are as unique as our fingerprint.

“It’s a puzzle, and when the pieces are put together it can have several different meanings,” Bianca said.

Those who connect with their spiritual side, like Bianca, often face criticism from non-believers, but she believes the world is getting more in touch with this type of work.

When she began her journey, her grandmother told her that some people won’t understand, but that she must be loving and accepting of them. Bianca thinks that acceptance of simple spirituality is growing in popularity.

But Bianca is respectful of anyone’s opinion. She said she sees past any of her own judgements and focuses only on the person across the table, looking at their heart and seeing the gifts they have to offer to the world.

Her door is open to anybody. Those who enter must know that there is a reason for it. She said there is a reason for everything; like fate, it is tied by a string.

“I let them learn for themselves and hope that they can take something away from it,” Bianca said.

Bianca regards all her psychic experiences as positive. Her mind is optimistic no matter the odds, and she treats them all as life lessons.

Picturing her work like a tidal body of water, Bianca said she views herself as a beacon of light, guiding clients to their destined paths in the universe.

“It’s harder to go against the tide and crash into a wave,” Bianca said. “You’ve got to let it bring you to shore.”

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