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Secret of the Tarot

Interview with Sona by Kamakshi

You have a reputation for being one of the finest tarot readers. What makes you so good?


Osho taught me, himself. I had been reading for 15 years professionally before I came to Poona, and Osho called me a fortune teller. He said you put people in their minds because you tell them about the future. You don’t know here and now, you must read from the present. I really didn’t know what he was talking about. He then started sending me people, and I would go see him once a week. There were so many people, I was reading 10-12 hours a day, one person after another, I’d try to understand what language was here, and understand what they were saying – that’s how I learned. He taught me in a 9 month period, completely shifted my consciousness, so that I got out of the way; to read. I was like a psychic sponge, I worried about every reading, I worried about all those people. I didn’t know how to disconnect and I was just going mad. But it cleared me a lot, he started saying that I would be a master of Tarot, so I was encouraged to take bigger and bigger chances, without having any safety nets… just going for it. There’s a possibility – if somebody’s mind gets blown enough by what you’re saying – that there’s a gap. They could become enlightened, both could! (laughs) That’s the secret of the Tarot; for that mind blowing experience only takes one tiny little nano second, that’s all we need where two hearts go like that…So each reading is, I feel, Existence offering an opportunity for two people… that’s why I don’t read for myself. Some readers are very good, they read for themselves. I don’t do that because I feel its a two way street, its heart to heart. I knew it from the beginning…


Were you always reading cards?


The cards happened because I saw the word tarot one day, and it rang a big bell, and I started asking around what did that mean, I didn’t know it was even a deck of cards. Same thing happened when I saw Tantra and come to find out they mean the same thing. But I got the same kind of inner feeling, I don’t know what is that – the warrior way, the middle way, and that made sense to me.



What are the origins of Tarot? Its history?


Somebody had the presence to ask Osho that question. I’d never ask him anything in darshan, I’d get in there and I couldn’t think of a question. But other people would ask, and very articulate questions. I’d think wow, I should have thought of asking that, about their experience with the reading, and how it affected them, and they’d ask if there was a secret to the Tarot? I mean what a great question. He said that it was at the time that the great library in Alexandria was burned, and it took 9 months to burn, it was such a huge place. The holy men got together and comprised 22 Major Arcanas showing people how to wake up. Each can be the stepping stone, it can be the thing to us, like a challenge or an obstacle that we would go through to become totally clear. They decided to disguise this book of tarot as a deck of cards. He said, knowing man’s propensity for gambling and entertainment, they were put in the hands of Gypsies who spread it throughout the world. On the 8 of Cups, there is what looks like an ‘M’, they might have written it a long ago. And in the miter, the hat that a pope wears, there was another upside down M, perfectly out of synch with the rest of the card. Then Osho told me that Jesus had not died, like they said that he did. He was a Yogi, he had become enlightened in India, and he had put himself into a deep samadhi like a deep sleep, Yogis can do that, and that they had got him down. He then continued his ministry, was married to Mary Magdalene, had children… So that M was a way of letting the people know her lineage is still ongoing. Osho had told me this back in ’75. So, chronologically I don’t know when it happened, I don’t even know when the library burned down, but to me that rang a bell of truth….


How did you arrive in India?


I was 35, I used to read for some very big people, revolutionary people, they’d fly me down to the Burbank studios on the Red Eye, and I would read for people in Hollywood, and then go back to San Jose, 50 miles from San Francisco. I was reading for a benefit in San Francisco to raise money for a meditation center – Divine Light Mission people. An Indian man came in, actually I wasn’t reading cards, I was reading hands because he showed me his palm, and I told him exactly what had been going on, which was quite amazing really, because it wasn’t a usual set of affairs. And he was very intelligent, he decided I would make a very good partner to him because of my abilities, and so he brought me to India. I came for 3 months, but no one knew anything about Tarot, so I only read hands. And then the next time I came to India was at the end of ’74, and I had decided I wanted to come to Poona to meet Osho.


You also teach how to read the Tarot, do you think anyone who is interested can learn it?


Yeah, beacause I believe that the people who come are supposed to come. And after a while they say that too, they start looking in retrospect, how they first heard about it. I had somebody tell me the other day that they’ve been looking for me for 20 years, and they had gone to Dr. Patrick’s. I had left a card there on the table, and they had to move the table, and the card fell on the floor.. (laughs) And it said Sona and phone number (0091-9850722828 πŸ˜‰ ) … she was so happy. So that’s how I think it is – its just some beautiful play and synchronicity. A very famous Indian lady, a very fine reader, Ma Prem Usha, she does the tarot scope for the ‘Osho Now’, she does the ‘Delhi Pioneer’. and she’s on television. She has her offices in the Maurya Sheraton Towers in Delhi, I didn’t tell her I was coming and one day I just dropped in the door and walked in. She was sitting behind this beautiful desk, and she said “I’ve been waiting 6 years for you to come through that door.” She said “How am I doing?” So sweet. She was my first student in India, and she gives me full credit. Lot of people don’t, because I was blacklisted for many years, it wasn’t popular to be my student. I mean there used to be crosses on my front lawn… (laughs)




People were superstitious, I’d have to move…


Are people scared of tarot and readings?


My youngest daughter is 40 years old, this was 40 years ago…


What about free will and destiny?


That has been a query for me – whether its predestined. I have read some people’s palms over 30-40 years; and I can see that the main lines stay the same, some lines can disappear, and more can come. So I started having them take prints every 3 months. Even after a 10 day meditation camp, your hand can change – its amazing. I’d take prints from people before the camp and after.Everything’s made perfectly balanced. I don’t think of it as free choice. I think we have freedom if something comes up – to accept it and go along with it, or kick and scream and drag our feet. (laughs) But the river’s moving, one way or another, so might as well surrender and enjoy it.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti


You have said this is the year of ten thousand buddhas awakening?


Yes, ten thousand. That was really fun, so clear…in Goa. That’s where I heard it, I’d been sitting silently for about a week. I heard it really clear, its not just the words, its the way it came, and in that moment, that electric moment, it was just really incredible! I’d been sitting watching the ocean for about a week, and it just shocked the hell out of me. I mean its just too much! (laughs) It was the one, even now the hair raises on my arms, I get goose bumps thinking about it. It was amazing! I always tell everybody when I get a flash like that, but I can’t jump up and start going “There will be 10,000 Buddhas!!!” But that’s what I felt to do…
I was predicting earthquakes, and I really got scared – I had to stop all that. I even moved my children to a zone that I thought would be safer – and the earthquake came there. So I went and found my earthquake, basically that’s what happened. And I was telling everybody to move and some people even sold their house, so I couldn’t go back to that town.. (laughs) I’m pretty convincing…


What do you make of that?


For me not to be meddling in the affairs of tomorrow so much (laughs) Not to be a doomsayer, its not my job.


Where do you see people are at now? Do you see a change??


I see in the way young people talk to each other, the words that they use. When I was that age, I didn’t have a clue to be talking about ‘projections’, or ‘that’s just a trip’, or ‘don’t worry, you’ll get over it’… In this way there’s much more emphasis on awareness, being aware. I look into children’s eyes, and I see amazing children. I see a future that is more conscious…

GateLessGate Magazine


16 responses

  1. Hi!

    Where is Sona & how can I get in touch with her? Thanks. Premrup

    July 5, 2007 at 11:42 am

  2. Thank you Premrup,
    This is Sonas e-mail

    Love and best wishes

    Kamakshi xxx

    July 7, 2007 at 2:55 pm

  3. southern star

    I do know that 2007 is the year of 10,000 buddhas. the awakening of the all one is happenning faster and faster. my big psychedelic season was 13 years ago but it seems it took 13 years for me to actually become enlightened. now I am encountering so many positive self manifesting beings that I am convinced of the positive outcome of our dream. peace

    July 10, 2007 at 3:44 am

  4. southern star

    if I may, I support the idea of predestination. but I believe we might be one being that has predestined a beautiful outcome for ourselves…maybe even the possibility that we are all one being going through the proccess of the afterlife and we are karmically being drawn into a positive awakening. just a thought.

    July 10, 2007 at 3:49 am

  5. Sona The Sorceress πŸ™‚ has the wonderful ability of tapping into the mysterious world of Tarot for your greater good… openhearted lady with great wit & humour and a good dose of compassion and courage, she’s definitely worth a visit! A great doctor for the heart whatever yr situation, Erika

    July 10, 2007 at 10:00 am

  6. Thanks for the positive vibrations.

    Love πŸ™‚

    July 18, 2007 at 10:03 pm

  7. Matt H

    The sole responsibility of a star is to shine as brightly as possible. I am looking for guidance, enlightenment. I am here to meet someone more gifted then myself to show me the way.

    July 21, 2007 at 3:17 pm

  8. 10,ooo buddahs, eh? well, i think there is alot more….i know quite a few, i do believe, and i think we’ll see many many more as the earth continues to cleanse herself….
    my eyes are open……..
    my filter needs a good cleanse…

    August 3, 2007 at 7:56 pm

  9. to matt h:
    i battle with the “demon(for lack of a better word) of doubt” everyday.. the more i open my eyes, the more i see.. and i get the feeling its not only me.
    you are not here to meet those “more gifted”.. you are here to connect with those whose light burns bright….alot of stars are brighter than just one….many will show you the way, and you will show many..
    cause and effect is a natural law…

    August 3, 2007 at 8:03 pm

  10. On the subject of ms. Layla……Oh the stories I have and memories of her being here,sharing days with me in this funny place in America. She alone brought light to my life when I could not see any myself. She is the bright and shining light I connected with and bathed in for a good long time which in turn enabled me to begin to become aware of the secrets of the universe, open to all who learn to look, listen and trust in the KNOWING without earthly confirmation as opposed to questioning everything without visible proof. She led me to other long and valuable friendships with others who do not have to question so much. We try to accept things, follow advice from those wiser and hope to touch and make life a little sweeter for others. She has this amazing comfort about her. All feels well when you talk to her, even on the most difficult painful subjects that may be affecting you. I am not so enlightened but am very aware of the steps towards being so. She started the whole thing and she was and still is a great big blessing in my life. And FUNNY!! So serene and sedate and then BAM. She comes out with stuff that just makes us giggle like little girls…Shes “a trip” One marvelous trip, and I feel very fortunate to call her family…. Layla …….Always and 4ever your friend Diana

    September 21, 2007 at 12:29 pm

  11. Note to PremRup is her new address…Diana

    September 21, 2007 at 12:45 pm

  12. Robyn Furci

    Oh yes, Sonalayla is a “trip”. I met her in Poona and first had a reading, and then attended a wonderful tarot course she held. Her door and heart was always open to those she met. Her reading was very accurate and it was great fun to be with her and experience her wisdom. Her courage and the ability to “go for it” is something we should all strive to emulate. All the best and may love and light continue to be with you for many more moons. Robyn Furci – September 23, 2007

    September 24, 2007 at 4:08 am

  13. Some work from Sona from the 80’s.



    September 24, 2007 at 8:07 am


    September 24, 2007 at 8:07 am

  15. Deepa

    Sona taught me tarot in Sep 2005 & has been a great guide since.

    October 5, 2007 at 10:59 am

  16. It is good to understand that we are wanderers, gypsies – searching for something, certainly.

    Don’t search for the home, because there is none.

    Search for your self, because there is one!

    And finding that one, suddenly, miraculously, the whole existence becomes your home.

    And you don’t create it, you don’t project it, you don’t make it.

    Suddenly it is a revelation.

    You cannot believe how you have been missing it up to now.

    The home was always where you were.

    Osho – Light on the Path.

    January 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm