Posted by Kayleigh Robinson, September 22, 2017
niki b

Want to get enlightened? Meet The Drake's resident Tarot card reader, Niki Boghossian who just so happens to also be a server at the Drake Commissary. She sets up shop at the Drake Hotel Lounge or the Commissary on alternating (Tarot) Tuesdays and helps guests to get in touch with their intuition. We spoke to her about all things Tarot and ask some character determining questions.

Explain tarot in the most basic terms.
What I tell people if they come to me and have never had a reading before is first of all don’t be nervous. I think a lot of people are very nervous about Tarot and they’re like, “Are you going to tell me I’m going die? Is there going to be some crazy thing that’s going to be awful?” I always say it’s never going to tell you anything you don’t already know. I really do feel it’s just a way of focusing the energy that’s already around you and helping you to interpret that. You already have that intuition. Some people are more in touch with it than other people. It’s never going to be something surprising. It’s either going to confirm things for you or validate things for you and help you think about something in a way that you haven’t before. It’s not going to be something awful or scary. I also always say a bit of a blessing and a prayer before and I always only ask for information in the highest good for everyone that’s involved. I want every reading to be helpful and healing.

Do you have any stories about people getting super emotional when you read their cards?
One of my first readings here was a woman who had never gotten her cards read before and she sat there very quiet throughout the whole thing. At the end she called her daughter over. She was telling me how everything I was telling her was resonating with her and she started crying then I started crying. It was this wonderful experience of connection that we had. I know she walked away from that feeling better about the situation that we were talking about. That’s the ultimate goal. It feels so good to deliver those messages to people.

When/how did you get into Tarot?
Funnily enough my mom had a deck when I was growing up and I remember playing with it. I was always interested in it but never took it very seriously. I got my first deck maybe ten years ago and then I started really studying it and taking it really personally maybe a year and a half ago.

How do you study it?
A lot of people get intimidated by it because they think they have to memorize the cards. You get to understand what each card means but there’s a lot to do with what the suits mean and what the numbers mean. A lot of it is developing your intuition and clearing your head. I’m an artist as well and when I’m in the studio I find it very meditative. Creating work is turning off your head and letting those things kind of flow through you. I find reading Tarot cards very much the same in this way. It’s turning off your head and allowing those messages to flow through you. If you want to get into it and develop your skills with it, read books and also everything is on the internet in terms of courses. But a lot of it is to do with developing your intuition and developing your relationship with your particular deck of cards.

What’s one thing you’ve learned from reading people’s tarot cards?
Every time I do it I learn something new. When you’re first starting and you’re still learning, people come to you who are going through the same kind of things that you are. Every reading that you do for someone is also partially a reading for yourself. In that way, you feel super humbled but very connected to the person you’re reading. That’s a constant learning. Every opportunity is a learning opportunity for yourself as well. I walk away from these things and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do it for that reason. It’s very much a connected thing that feels super good to be a part of.

What’s your favourite part of reading people’s cards?
I work at the Commissary and I do so many different things so my head is always in a million different places. It’s an amazing opportunity to stop and connect with someone on a really personal level that you would probably never speak to in day to day life. It’s these wonderful little moments of connection with total strangers that are super unique. It opens you up to realizing “Right, everyone’s got their shit. It’s ok we can all get through this together.”

Do people come in more often with a question or are they just open to whatever the cards have for them?
A lot of people come in and ask them to tell me about their love life. The way you get the best results is to be super open. You’re welcome to think about your question or your issue while you’re shuffling but most often the cards are going to tell you what you need to know. It might not necessarily be what you are wanting to find out about but it is information that is very pertinent to you at the moment. Sometimes people say, “I wanted you tell me when I was going to meet my next boyfriend.” I’ll say, “Everything here is about career so maybe you need to focus on that and it could be through that that somebody comes into your life.” Just be open to it. In general, that’s a good philosophy in life. You just have to go with it or you miss so much.

Have you ever read anyone you know’s cards and how does knowing the subject affect the reading?
I definitely do a lot of readings for friends and it goes two ways. Sometimes it can be more difficult because you’re so aware of everything so you’re constantly trying to assign a meaning to something. Whereas with reading for a stranger it’s like, “Here’s what’s in front of me here’s what I see and here’s what my intuition is telling me.” Sometimes it’s so clear because if it’s a stranger they’re not sure they should talk to you during a reading but the more context they give the more we can put together and work through it because it is very much a journey. I generally do a ten card spread so it does tell this whole story but if I have certain context it can make these things much more clear for both of us. Sometimes when I’m reading for a friend or co-worker, it makes it easier in a way. But sometimes it’s just so clear. If I know that someone’s going through something and I pull a certain card it’s like, “Yes here it is, it couldn’t be more clear.” That’s fun for me too and a nice reassurance of, “oh yeah we knew this was the thing.” Some people are very much like, “I don’t want to give you anything I want to see if you’re right.” That’s their thing not mine. The more context you give, you get more out of it.

Which living person do you most admire?
My friend, Rei. She’s one of my best friends. She’s one of those people that you meet and right away you’re like, “Yep, she is good fucking people.” She’s one of the kindest, hardest working, smartest, most hilarious people that I know and just such a gem to have in your corner. If everyone could be like her the world would not have many problems at all.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I work in the restaurant industry so I have to say eating out. I love going out by myself and I love going with friends.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I was talking to my friend about this last night and I was like, “What do I say all the time?” She was like, “You say gross a lot and you call everyone a babe.” Either everything is gross or everyone’s a babe.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Going back to the extravagance question, I wish I was a better cook. It’s not that I can’t cook it’s that I will not. If I’m making a big dinner for people and I’m following a recipe I’m fine but if I’m just at home and making dinner I’m like “I guess there’s some rice and some soy sauce.”

What do you most value in your friends?
People that don’t take themselves super seriously. Obviously, I’d love for them to be kind and trustworthy and all of those things but really people who take themselves too seriously are just a drag. Just be cool man. It’s such a drain on your energy and there’s too much already taking that energy away from us. Lets just be cool and have a good time and not be shitty to each other.

What is your motto?
Can a gesture be a motto? I feel like it would be a shrug. Just doing our best, trying to get it done.

Who is your hero of fiction?
Ponyboy Curtis from the Outsiders.

What is your most treasured possession?
When I was thinking about this question I was like, “K if my house was on fire what would I grab?” It would be my computer and my cat because obviously, but I have this teddy bear that I got when I was like six years old. I got it at WrestleMania 6 when I went with my dad. It’s dressed as Hulk Hogan. It’s not a stuffed Hulk Hogan, it’s a brown teddy bear that’s wearing a yellow Hulk Hogan unitard. I would grab that, my computer and my cat.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I guess I would come back as a person because I can’t think of an inanimate object that I would be. I would come back as a person because it’s another chance to do some stuff.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Stoicism especially emotional stoicism. I get that some people are more reserved than others but that feeling of ‘you shouldn’t show how you’re feeling or be wrecked by your emotions sometimes.’ People who don’t think it’s okay to get messy sometimes. You learn so much about yourself through that release and never letting yourself go through that and never getting it out is so much more detrimental to you. Having that belief that you shouldn’t emote wildly. Not all the time sure, but people who don’t believe it’s okay to do that or that it’s virtue to not do that. That’s super overrated. Just feel your feelings. Don’t hurt other people or put your shit on other people but feel your feelings. It’s okay.

For $20, Niki will help you clarify any uncertainities you have in your life on Tarot Tuesdays. Just remember to give her as much context as possible and go in with an open mind! Check her out at The Drake Hotel Lounge or Drake Commissary on alternating weeks.

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Tags: betterment lab  drake commissary  tarot tuesdays  the drake hotel