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Tea, Tarot and Cats

Indigo Sky Holohan Kantor reads tarot cards. (Photo by Adriana Darcy/Ithaca Week)

Indigo Sky Holohan Kantor hands Maggie Kent a stack of tarot cards and tells her to shuffle the deck until it “feels right.” Kent hands the deck back to Kantor, who lays the top 10 cards out in 3-by-3 rows face-down, with the final card resting on top of the center card. Kantor flips the cards face-up and begins her reading.

Kantor and Kent are seated inside Alley Cat Cafe for the reading. On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the cafe, in Ithaca, hosted its first Tea and Tarot event. Kent and many other members of the community came to the cafe to play with the cats, drink tea and get their tarot cards read.

Kent, an Ithaca College student who attended Tea and Tarot, said the ad for the event caught her attention.

“It said ‘tea and tarot’, and I love both of those things, and also there’s cats, so it gave me kind of an excuse to come here,” Kent said. “Not that I wouldn’t normally want to come here, but you know usually it’s like, it’s kind of out of the way, like I’m up at Ithaca College.”


Kantor, a barista and yogi at the Alley Cat Cafe, held the tarot card readings. They decided to bring their tarot card reading skills to the cafe as a way of celebrating the Halloween season and to try to help others find answers they may be looking for.

“I was thinking that other people might have a chance to get more perspective in their life,” Kantor said. “If they’re having struggles with finding answers or solutions, this kind of helps guide them maybe, towards a direction that they’re looking for.”

“The Key to the Tarot” by L.W. de Laurence. (Photo by Adriana Darcy/Ithaca Week)

According to “The Key to the Tarot” by L.W. de Laurence, tarot does not predict the future, but is a way to try to understand the past, present and future.

“The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs,” de Laurence wrote. “On the highest plane it offers a “Key” To The Mysteries, in a manner that is not arbitrary and has not been read in.”

Tarot cards are popular in many religions and among many groups of people. The origin of tarot cards is unknown, but according to de Laurence there is no documented history of them before the 14th century and they most likely originated from Egypt, India or China.

Kantor, 24, started reading cards when they were around 16 years old and was introduced to tarot card reading by their mother.

 “My mom, she’s into doing tarot cards and palm reading, and she’s always been interested in that sort of stuff,” Kantor said. “We consider ourselves pagans, and she kind of introduced that to me at a young age.”

Maggie Kent smiles for a photo after getting her cards read. (Photo by Adriana Darcy/Ithaca Week)

  Kent said she enjoyed the event even though she is skeptical about the accuracy of tarot card readings.

“I thought my reading was interesting. I’m very skeptical about tarot cards and stuff, but I like them, and I like the artwork especially, so getting my cards read by someone who knows more about them than I do was definitely interesting,” Kent said. “I don’t know if I would say its accurate, but that’s just me. It was definitely a fun experience, and the whole atmosphere here was really nice.” 

Kantor said that those who are more skeptical about tarot card readings should try to keep an open mind.

“We don’t have all of the answers to life, and sometimes you just got to leave a little bit of room for mystery and consider that maybe some things you thought were impossible are possible,” Kantor said.

Indigo Sky Holohan Kantor is referred to by their preferred pronouns, they/them. Featured image by Adriana Darcy.

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