Mariam Aftab is no stranger to the world of fortune telling in Pakistan. Her claim to fame has been the accuracy of her tarot card readings. Even though the subject might be controversial in the eyes of many, Aftab takes her job seriously. She is not just a gimmicky fortune teller, as some may dismiss her.
Aftab spoke exclusively with The Express Tribune regarding her vision: “When I initially started reading tarot cards, my very first client had a problem of impotency, and after the reading he requested me to give him a solution.” Aftab realised that her she should use her psychic abilities more constructively than merely making predictions. Rather, she should be helping people. This realisation gave birth to the Mariam Healing Center.
Many falsely believe tarot card reading to be a type of fortune telling. However, Aftab has proved that a reading is not designed as a substitute for decision making. Tarot is a powerful tool for gaining insight. It’s like a snapshot into one’s life at the time of the reading, mapping out the journey of an individual to that particular moment, and seeing which direction that person is headed in. Even though it can suggest actions and likely outcomes, it cannot and does not predict the future.
As the author of Journey of Insights, Aftab takes the reader on an insightful journey of bruised souls and indicates methods of healing or solving the individual’s problems. “All of us have to show a little concern for the multitude in distress,” said Aftab. Combining tarot card readings with healing methods, Aftab’s healing centre is the only one of its kind in Pakistan.
After diagnosing the patients through tarot card readings, Mariam refers them to her sister and partner Dr Aliya Aftab, a psychologist, who in turn helps the individual with psychological therapy, reiki, stress management and Ismey Azam (using God’s name with numerology connected to your name). “Once Mariam has diagnosed the client, I help them change their lifestyle and provide psychological methods that will enable them to bring a change in their lives,” said Dr Aliya.
Mariam Healing Center is unique because, not only does it provide diagnostic services, but their foundation on Bedian road in Lahore gives pro-bono help to the distressed. Men, women and children who have experienced trauma or marital or familial discord can use the centre free of charge.
Along with providing help, the sisters offer their clients their specific Ismey Azam. When asked about its significance Aliya said: “Your Ismey Azam is very good for you. That is why we provide this service for our clients, so they may benefit in every way possible.”
Mariam and Aliya plan on hosting a fund raiser at Chaaye Khana in Islamabad on June 1 this year, to pursue their goal of opening healing centres in Islamabad. “We want to open up another clinic in Islamabad and then carry from there on, around Pakistan. However setting up costs money, and right now we are funding everything ourselves and from the sales of my book,” said Mariam.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2011.