Let's Get Metaphysical

Starting Wednesday, Aug. 23, the sun is shifting into Virgo season, leaving behind Leo's bold impulse toward romance and creativity, and moving toward a time of self-examination. If that sentence sparks your interest, there's a hidden gem, with plenty of gems and crystals in stock, on North Main Street in Kent, Conn. Tarot in Thyme, created by Regina Olson, a tarot and astrology reader, is awash in the soothing fragrances of the essential oil bar, the bundles of sage and the citrus-scented wood of the palo santo sticks on display.

Olson, who explained she grew up with a strict Jehovah's Witness background, became interested as an adult in other types of spirituality, studying ancient Chinese practices like feng shui, which seeks to harmonize man-made structures with the environment's natural energy, and 9 Star Ki, a type of Chinese astrology based around numbers and natural elements. Tarot is her calling, however, and in private sessions held in a calming lavender room in the back of the store clients can relax and let the cards unfold.

This is also where psychic medium Janine Mangiamele holds her readings, for both individual and group appointments. Olsen met Mangiamele at a reading in New Milford, Conn., and was enchanted enough to offer her a place at Tarot in Thyme. Vivacious, quick and direct, Mangiamele colorfully describes her connection to the other side as a peek into a crowded party. During a read you're almost invited to picture a boisterous reunion of your ancestors as Mangiamele communicates what she overhears, snippets of spiritual smalltalk.

"People will pop in and say, 'Tell Bob I say hi,' and then that's it, " she said. "Or other people will say, 'Do you remember what happened twenty years ago…' If someone was funny and sarcastic when they were here, they absolutely will when they're passed. A psychic, whether they sketch or use tea leaves, reads information. Loved ones don't speak to them. But as a psychic medium, it's a bit like I'm a double major in college. For me it's both."

Virgo season is a time for solving puzzles, and Mangiamele's readings, which she invites you to record and write down, leave you with plenty of family questions and lore to uncover.

Archive Illustrations Yale University

Archive Illustrations Yale University

Archive Illustrations Yale University

Archive Illustrations Yale University

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