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A Theory of Everything

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We talk to Noviana “Bude Novi” Kusumawardhani, Ubud’s well-known tarot reader, to debunk the stigma that surrounds the art of forecasting the future. 

In your own words, can you tell us about who you are?
I am a woman who knows exactly the kind of things that make me happy. I know that I am happy when I am useful to myself and to other people. I won’t do something if it doesn’t make me happy. I have three professions: an English teacher, a festival media manager, and a tarot reader. Each of them enriches my life. One allows me to put my ego in its right place, one allows me to be social, and one is simply to serve others. 

How did you become a tarot reader?
After leaving the corporate world, tarot found me in 2006. It started as a hobby, but then it got more serious when I was forced to rely on it as my livelihood when I moved to Ubud a year later. I’ve always been in touch with my spirituality but it was only here that I feel free to be who I want to be. Bali teaches me how to be happy and tarot reading is one way where I can be of service to the people and the place that I love. 

Can you use tarot to foretell one’s fate or, ahem, soul mate?
First and foremost, tarot reading is not fortune telling. It’s a mind and energy mapping. Those drawings on the cards are symbols that connect human to the unknown. That unknown could have happened in the past, it could be happening right now, and may or may not be going to happen in the future. When somebody flips open a card, what happens is synchronicity, a meaningful coincidence. Tarot card is a medium to map one’s self-knowledge and energy, to heal and to find one’s path towards one’s happiness. As for the soul mate, well, all I can say is what we want and what we need are two different things and often, that’s where the problem lies. 

And, what sort of clientele that comes to see you?
I have received both men and women in equal numbers. Around 70 per cent of them are foreigners. I limit myself to read only up to five clients per day. One session lasts for around one hour. 

If there’s a mantra to empower one’s life, what would that be?
All is well. Tomorrow is a different day and everything will be alright. Everything in life has its own timing and stop worrying over things because more often than not, it is not going to happen at all.



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