After gaining quite the following on her Modern Mystic Instagram page, Kelley Knight set up shop in a brick-and-mortar space at Paris on Ponce in 2016. There, she leads people on their spiritual journeys to learn about deeper aspects of themselves. Through tarot card readings, crystal work and energy healing, she seeks truth and transformation. Step inside Modern Mystic for tarot readings, energy work and classes as well as a selection of mystical tools, crystals and apothecary products for purchase. Most mornings, you can find Kelley at Aurora Coffee in Little Five Points before she embarks on a day of readings. “My focus right now is to keep building this business that means so much to me and to serve my clients to the best of my ability,” she tells us. “That doesn’t leave much for anything else at this time. But as my husband says, ‘You’re feeding this business now so that in the future it can feed you.'” Stop by to experience Kelley’s work first-hand, but for now learn a bit more about her as today’s FACE of Atlanta.
How did you get involved with tarot reading? What are some of the ways your clients benefits from readings?
At first tarot was part of my personal practice of uncovering my unconscious. I used to pull cards for myself and read guide books to uncover what it was about myself, my situation or my interactions with another person that I couldn’t see for myself. It was a great tool for me personally. Then, many years later by husband gave me a deck called The Wild Unknown. It completely took tarot from a practice to an intuitive experience, and I started to share my journey on Instagram and it took off into a full-time professional business.
I tend to be very practical and down to earth with my client readings. Whether it’s a question around career, love or life path, I use the cards to give real next steps and to help solve problems or blocks they are facing. My goal is for clients to leave clear and uplifted. Nothing to be afraid of when it comes to a reading with me.
What inspires your work and led you to open Modern Mystic?
I never set out to become a tarot reader or shop owner. I just kept on saying yes when I saw a need. At first it was a need for readings, and I could see how each person left feeling so much better and more clear than when they came. That is very inspiring and the accuracy of the readings to this day keeps me in a sense of awe. Then, I could tell my clients needed more tools and resources than what I could offer, so when the opportunity presented itself to open a space with more tools and to host events for people on a spiritual journey I said “yes!” to that too.
What is the philosophy behind your practice?
My philosophy is to make the mystic mainstream. I want to have a space for people of all types to feel comfortable exploring and learning about the deeper aspects of themselves. I also believe that everyone has an intuition that won’t lead them astray. When people want to learn how to follow their own guidance and make it stronger, Modern Mystic Shop is here to help take a few steps on that path with that person.
What are some of the main tools used in tarot reading?
I use so many tools, which is why I opened the shop to offer my favorite tools to those curious about it. I love the crystal selenite as a tool. It is the perfect crystal to keep the energy of my cards clean while helping me connect to the highest information coming through for clients. I love black tourmaline to keep me grounded and protected energetically. Native Apothecary’s Protection Oil is something I use daily and recommend for anyone who identifies as an empath. The botanical yarrow offers a wonderful energetic boundary that allows me to connect while having a gentle buffer. Florida Water keeps me refreshed between clients as well as salt. I eat a pinch of salt after every few readings to keep me grounded and to clear my energetic body. I spend more time keeping my energetic body healthy and clear than even my physical body because if you can take care of anything unwanted floating in my energetic field, it keeps it from landing in the body.
Can you describe a typical tarot card reading session?
First of all, a tarot reading is just so much fun! People come in nervous sometimes, but always leave so glad they came. I sit down with a client and explain briefly my approach to tarot, which is very casual. The cards represent different human experiences and archetypes that we can all relate to at some point or another. But when we sit down together for the purpose of gaining insight, the cards that come up for the client are specifically for them. Then, we chat about what areas of their life they would like to focus on. I must admit love and career are usually the two most common topics. From there, we usually start with a three card “check in” about where the client is referent to the subject we’re covering. Then from there we follow the client’s curiosity and keep pulling from there. It’s really just a conversation with the cards as a guide, and most clients find it either very illuminating or very validating. Either way it’s a win!
You are certified in the ReUnion Process and offer energy work. Can you tell us more about this energy healing modality?
This is a tricky process to explain. In short, the ReUnion process uses muscle testing (which is your body’s way to give binary “yes/no” feedback) to guide me to any energy blocks or lower forces. Then we match the type of block and block’s location with the optimal method of clearing that block from the root source. A facilitation most often is a guided visualization where we use the healing power of Grace (the heart) to clear the block, or it can be acupressure or a variety of other means to clear the block. During the session a lot of information comes up describing where the blocks came from and how they play out in the client’s current reality. It’s a highly powerful and effective tool that I’ve used for years to heal myself and others.
Who seeks out your services, and when?
Really anyone looking for clarity or who finds themselves at a crossroads. I would say most of my clients have never had a tarot reading before, which makes me really happy as it feels like my personal mission of reaching out to people newer to these tools is coming to life. My repeat clients come back every few months, or some annually to plan their year. From business decisions (which is one of my favorite kinds of readings) to relocation or family issues, tarot can help with all of life’s challenges.
What is the biggest misconception surrounding tarot reading?
That it’s evil or fortune telling. First of all, it’s just a tool to connect with your highest self or higher power. There’s nothing evil about that. I’m sure just like with anything, there are people who use tarot for negative purposes, but the tool isn’t evil. Before each session I pray that the highest, best and most clear message comes through to ensure we are in a safe space. Second, I think anyone who says they can for sure tell you your future isn’t really telling you the truth. When I do a tarot forecast, it’s the most likely outcome should the momentum stay in the current direction. Forecasts are extremely accurate, however, the future isn’t as fixed or black and white as we think.
When you’re not working, how do you spend any free time you have?
Is sleeping a lame answer? I love to sleep when I can. I also love taking long baths. I’ve got an amazing group of female business owners as friends and we do the best we can to spend quality and productive time together. My husband and I also love hiking with our dogs when we can along the Chattahoochee River or at the Morningside Nature Preserve.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given, and from whom?
Most recently it’s from Rebecca, the owner Young Blood Boutique, who I admire very much. When I first opened, I asked her this very question and she said, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” It’s so simple and so true. When your dream is starting to come to life it’s easy to want it all right now. But that’s the fast route to burn out.
What are three things you cannot live without, excluding friends, family and faith?
My tarot deck. It helps me connect and feel like myself.
My wedding rings. They’re so perfect and remind me of the love of my life.
My ability to connect with those who have passed. If that went away I would have a lot more fear of death of my loved ones. I don’t offer mediumship as a service, but it’s a really great gift to myself to keep in touch with those who have passed on and help to ease my fear of death.
Thank you to Catrina Maxwell of CatMax Photography for today’s fantastic photographs!