Ferol Humphrey sleeps by day and works by night, spending the small hours divining the future.
The 62-year-old resident of Forest Hills, Queens, is a Tarot educator and has spent the last two decades reading ornate 78-card Tarot decks. Tarot, which originated as a trick-taking card game in the mid-15thcentury, has been enjoying something of a modern renaissance after years in dusty half-obscurity, languishing on the shelves of 14th street new age stores.
Tarot was the focus of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009. “Certainly the art form has exploded,” said Sasha Graham, a Tarot author and organizer of the exhibit, “Tarot Treasures.” According to Graham, a growing online network that facilitates connections between members of a niche community is fueling Tarot’s resurgence.
Women, particularly younger women, are showing the most interest, Humphrey says and underneath the mystic allure, the practice has a simple appeal: “In the old tradition of women sitting around jabbering,” Humphrey said, “Tarot is a companion.”