Have you ever read your horoscope somewhere, found it freakishly accurate, proceeded to get creeped out and then wondered who comes up with such stuff? Well that makes two of us, sister!
So when I got the chance to talk to Zohra Shanti (Karishma Rajani), tarot reader who writes daily horoscopes, former fashion blogger and writer at Cosmopolitan magazine, I was more than excited! There’s been nothing like this on the blog before; heck, I don’t think there’s been anyone like her before! I’m just so truly fascinated by all that she is and I wanted to know more about her journey. Her real girl vibe made this interview all the more endearing. I’ve asked her every last doubt I had, and she has patiently indulged me! Read and devour – there’s also a happy surprise at the end.
Blogger, writer, tarot reader, traveller – you’ve donned many hats with ease and aplomb. Honestly, I’m rather confused how to introduce you. 🙂 Why don’t you take the reins and tell us a little about yourself?
Haha! I’m going to stick to witch this time ’round. 🙂
How does one get into tarot reading and astrology?
Well, ancient wisdom is already within us, especially if you have practiced it in another life. But if you’re asking me for ‘real-world’ solution, approach a teacher you trust, sign up for an online course, or self-learn. I picked up my first deck when I was in college and let the process of learning take place organically. After a point, the cards start teaching you everything you need to know. It’s amazing. The more you read, the more layers you unveil within the same card.
How did you know this is what you were meant to do?
I secretly bought a spell book when I was in school. I really ought to have been devouring Sweet Valley or something then. So, divination has been a part of me all along. I don’t regret any of the other things I did, because it was all a part of the journey. Right now, I know that tarot is my calling. And this is the medium through which I am supposed to communicate with the world. You’ve got to give your soul the space to grow and evolve to the next stage, whatever that might be. Who knows I might feel the urge to be a crazy knitting lady tomorrow?
Tell us one thing about yourself that no one knows.
I hate planning. I hate instructions. And I hate, hate manuals. So I rely on my intuition for everything from cooking to directions. Oh, and I refuse to learn driving until they legalise broomsticks!
Do you miss blogging?
Yes. But not necessarily fashion. I reached my saturation point there. Let’s just say the authentic voice was lost. It’s become a platform for brand endorsement now and you don’t really know who is behind those clothes. So yes, I will get back to blogging for sure! The idea is to make ‘mystical knowledge’ more accessible to everyone.
What was working at a fashion magazine like?
Everything I dreamed of and more. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!
What’s your favourite brand?
I’m more of thrift finds, Indie labels and make your own clothes kinda girl right now. But if you’re talking labels, then Pero and Raw Mango.
One thing you would never endorse?
I feel about white flour the way people feel about fairness creams. Say no refined flour/refined sugar business. Get the real stuff, guys!
What’s the toughest part of your current profession (if I may call it that)?
That you’re constantly dealing with people and their emotions. It’s not always man of my dreams slash how do I meet my soulmate kinda stuff. People are dealing with some serious sh*t. Just the other day a friend of mine who is passionately fighting for a cause called to ask if he’d be imprisoned. So it can get exhausting for the reader as well. If you don’t get plenty of downtime yourself to restore your own energy, you’ll be out of business.
What keeps you motivated?
That I really, really believe in what I do. And I believe that it helps people understand where they are, where they want to go, what they need to do in order to get there, and the blocks that are keeping them from moving in the right direction. Yep, it’s pretty life-changing stuff.
Someone you look up to?
The Tarot Lady. I mean she writes rap using the cards!
Best piece of advice you ever got…
‘Stick to the cards.’ This came from Lee, a wonderful tarot reader with over 25 years of practice. I met her in Dharamshala this summer. These seemingly simple words helped me trust the cards in more ways than you can imagine.
Describe your personal style in one line…
Gypsy fortune teller on some. Street urchin on others.
What would you tell a young girl who’s not too sure what career path she wants to take?
Remember who you wanted to be before ‘the world’ happened to you. And if you don’t know, that’s okay too. Give yourself plenty of time to discover. Never settle for a job. It’s not just a profession, it’s your purpose. So you better bloody be passionate about it.
What’s your idea of unwinding?
Currently, Grace and Frankie! It’s a show about 70-year-old women who are re-discovering themselves after their husbands decide to marry each other. Frankie, with her extravagant kimonos and cleansing rituals, is me circa 2047.
What feeds your soul?
A heartwarming cup of cacao.
How addicted are you to social media?
Legit ‘gram addiction. Pinterest is my cardio.
What’s your take on feminism?
I used to be a raging feminist in my days. Ha! Women empowerment is everything to me. But I want to begin with femininity. The war against the sacred feminine. The war we wage against ourselves.
One misconception people have about astrologers and tarot readers…
That it’s all future, future, future. Yes, divination will give you a glimpse into the future, but it’s right now that matters. Both tarot and astrology work as a mirror to make you aware of where you are at in your journey.
One thing that “growing up” has taught you…
It’s okay. Not fitting in is okay. It takes a while to accept the things that are ‘different’ about you, but they are actually your strengths.
One thing that travelling has taught you…
Who I wasn’t. It’s the biggest burster of bubbles. It makes you self-reliant in more ways than you can ever imagine. Makes you discover the inherent freedom of your soul. And oh, the adventures that await you on the way!
One thing you would like to say to your younger self.
Make more art. I know exactly how much it makes your soul happy.
What does being a Real Girl mean to you?
100% authentic. No bullsh*t about anything, from your emotions to your likes and preferences.
One thing is certain, we both share the same idea about keeping it real. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did. if you have any doubts or questions, leave them below and she’ll answer them for you!
You can book a TAROT READING with her by mailing her at email@example.com
Best Part? A 30% Discount Code for the Real Girl Fam! Just tell her this blog post sent you. 🙂
(#RealGirlsRock is a segment on the blog wherein I reach out to interesting, creative, awesome women who inspire me with just who they are. It’s like an ode to all the real girls out there – ultimately, that is the main reason this blog exists. If you, or anyone you know, would like to connect and be featured please reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org)