Discovering divination

Often dismissed as a “pseudo-science”, tarot reading, palmistry and astrology can be catalysts in the journey of self-discovery

Along with psychic readings, Crockett offers dance classes and spiritual paraphernalia.
Along with psychic readings, Crockett offers dance classes and spiritual paraphernalia.
Photo: 
Kellye Crockett opened the doors to her store, Sacred Source, in 1999.
Kellye Crockett opened the doors to her store, Sacred Source, in 1999.
Photo: 

Down the hall from the Screening Room lies an alcove of mysticism.

Sacred Source, a store specializing in alternative spiritual items, isn’t immediately identifiable. A piece of paper taped above a beige doorway marks its entrance in an otherwise barren hallway occasionally populated by the scent of butter, the sound of popping kernels and chit-chat of movie-goers at the independent theatre down the hall.

Past its doorway, though, is a world of hidden knowledge.

The store, located at 120 Princess St., provides tarot card and palm readings, astrological predictions and tea leaf interpretations. It has been owned and operated by Kellye Crockett since 1999, although Crockett has worked in divination since 1993.

Crockett, who sits behind a small table at the far right-hand corner of the retail space, is fair, soft-spoken, but eccentric. She wore fitted but flowing deep-blue velvety garb, which served to accentuate a receptive, yet penetrating, pair of icy blue eyes.

She greeted me with a smile and a handshake. A sense of peace pervaded the room.

“It’s just a mix of a bunch of different herbs and spices,” she said, referring to the incense she lit prior to our greeting. It serves to quell different energies.

Crockett then led me to her corner table where our conversation felt more intimate.

“Magic of today is the science of tomorrow,” she told me. “Science will in some time be able to explain it all.”

Her readings, which she defines as the “art of divination,” are rooted in the esoteric knowledge and practices of Ancient Egypt. Crockett has travelled to Egypt four times and has undergone training in classical dance.

Divination forms like tarot and palmistry, which originated in Renaissance Italy and Celtic England, were also studied first-hand by Crockett during her six-year stay in Europe.

Crockett holds a BA and an MA in French Studies, a Bachelor of Education and is three chapters shy of completing her PhD in French Linguistics, which brought her to Kingston in 1992.

Tarot consists of custom-designed cards which depict certain scenarios, each of which hold a symbolic meaning. The reader uses their intuitive abilities to harness the client’s energies in order to interpret the meaning of the cards that have been chosen.

Palmistry, however, involves interpreting someone’s hand formation, while astrological forecasts use a person’s birth date, time and location to determine a birth chart.

The chart is based on the placements of different planets and asteroids, and their aspects to each other at the time of birth. This is used to predict certain events, as well as explain someone’s personality, habits and beliefs.

“I’m very fascinated by the different patterns and syntax,” she said. “Tarot and [other divination forms] are like languages in themselves.”

Crockett also speaks French, Russian, German, Spanish and is currently learning Arabic, which is the language set on her iPhone.

Her store, which is dominated by wall-length mirrors on its far side, also doubles as a dance studio where Crockett teaches yoga and classical Egyptian dance. Her products, ranging from incense to 150-year-old English goblets, gemstones, ritualistic wands and meditative CDs, border the sides of the space.

The Veils of Isis, a dance troupe Crockett founded in 2000, also gives performances in classical Egyptian styles, as well as other folkloric traditions.

Her interest in what she refers to as the “everyday divine” started at a young age while growing up in Prince Edward Island with her grandmother.

“[She] read tea leaves, so I grew up with that in my family,” she said. “She would talk about her psychic abilities, her intuition, her ESP and her dreams, and it was all very normal.”

Western society as a whole though, has suppressed divination as an alternative form of self-understanding, she said, marking it with negative connotations and classifying it as unreliable, or as a “pseudo-science”.

What’s left is a culture of disembodiment and self-alienation due to a misalignment of mind, body and spirit.

“This mind-body-spirit connection is so important and that is something that our society doesn’t pay attention to … our society separates it and we lose touch,” she said.

This, Crockett said, is partly attributed to a focus in technology, the influence of social media and the pressure to perform in a fast-paced, career-driven culture – all of which make people “forget the inner magic.”

“Alone time is vital because it is an enriching time and this is what people find in meditation,” Crockett said about the thousand-year-old practice. “[It has] so many benefits for us that … [it] can’t be practiced when we’re … chatting with [someone] on an iPhone.”

Meditation, she said, is the root of all esoteric art forms. The practice leads Crockett into an intuitive state which allows her to perform divination, she said.

“It’s about tapping into a pattern at a particular moment in time. We’re all interconnected and it’s a matter of energy and information and harnessing a particular pattern,” she said.

A self-described “spiritual” person, Crockett said she left the Wiccan path to focus more on her own spiritual pursuits, which are rooted in nature and human energies.

She equated skepticism about divination and other esoteric art forms to pre-Enlightenment views on technology, most of which were, at the time, viewed as absurd and incomprehensible.

“Everything revolves around energy and wavelengths and I just think science hasn’t come up with the appropriate explanations yet,” she said.

“I’ve read for lots of skeptics and I always give a recording, because even in the moment someone might say, ‘that doesn’t make sense,’ but … they can reflect on it,” she said. “I always end up getting a lot of good feedback.”

Self-discovery is the primary focus of the art forms, she added. She emphasized the importance of growth and understanding through each unique practice.

“It’s quite an amazing transformation.”

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