posted on Feb, 27 2004 @ 11:33 AM
Gazing out the second floor window of a creaky, century-old Victorian in downtown Boulder, Ashleigh Armitage can see a half-dozen crosses. There's a
Catholic school across the street, an Episcopal church next door, and a Catholic house of worship on the corner. But inside these walls tonight,
Armitage and her psychic Aislinn are practicing a different kind of faith. Aislinn, a thin blonde with translucent blue-green eyes and long, slender
fingers hands a deck of Tarot cards across the table and asks Armitage to shuffle them slowly, cut them into four decks, and pick one. As Aislinn
flips each card over, revealing vivid illustrations loaded with ancient symbols, Armitage's eyes widen. Over the next hour, she's told whether the
man she is dating will be her husband, whether her baby sister will survive her reckless stage, and whether relationships at work will improve. She
also has several of her own "hunches validated," she says. "I've come here before," says Armitage, a bright 26-year-old professional from
Boulder. "I have my doubts definitely, but I'm open to this." She's not alone.
At least six centuries after the emergence of the Tarot, the mysterious 78-card decks are enjoying unprecedented popularity. There are more than 300
different versions of the deck, thousands of books on the subject, and dozens of Web sites, schools and organizations dedicated to its study. People
use the cards as everything from fortune telling tools at psychic fairs to vehicles for accessing the divine or attaining spiritual enlightenment.
Others use them for meditation, psychotherapy and dream analysis.