Tarot readings, jewelry, and philosophy found at Shambala

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First Posted: 5/13/2013

The word “revitalization” has been thrown around when it comes to discussing the upswing that downtown Wilkes-Barre has seen with businesses, but Dory Marino prefers to call it something else.

“It’s more of a ‘re-energization,’” she said. “It seems everyone has a new energy coming in, and it’s wonderful.”

Marino is certainly a large contributor to such energy, having just relocated her shop, Shambala, from the Mall at Steamtown to Midtown Village on Main Street in Wilkes-Barre. Marino, who has worked with the store since 1994 and now owns it, grew up in the city and was itching to get back.

“It’s home to me,” she said. “It feels good, familiar. I know everything around here, and I wanted that back, that feeling of community, and being here in Midtown is the perfect place to get that.”

Shambala, in itself, exudes much energy. It’s a store that Marino said showcases two main genres: a hippie haven and a place for the metaphysical.

There are tie-dye pieces of attire and accessories, but there are also crystals, stones, and Buddha statues strewn about. And, even if you aren’t into either and you’re just someone who appreciates well-crafted, gorgeous jewelry and home décor, Shambala is right for you.

The metaphysical side may be a bit of a mystery to some.

“It means beyond the physical, more to the spiritual realm,” said Whitney Mulqueen, the store’s resident tarot card reader.

Marino feels that the two things, though they may seem opposite, go hand-in-hand.

“The blending of the two in this store is perfect because of the philosophy behind each. The era of the ‘60s, peace and love and having everybody help each other, and the connection we have with each other – it’s the same philosophy that the deities are giving us, such as when you think of Buddhism and its philosophy.”

“And that’s what I want to get out there,” Marino continued. “Not so much the individual things I sell in the store, but the feel of the store on the whole. I want people to walk in and feel welcome, and good.”

She also wants people to be comfortable with asking questions.

“I’ve had many people come in and ask about the stones, the crystals, and Buddhism, and that’s a good thing.”

It would seem that there are some misconceptions that go along with many of the elements of these philosophies, one of the biggest having to do with Mulqueen’s part in the store: tarot cards.

“A lot of people think the cards are Satanic, but they’re not,” she said. “If you look at the deck, there are chalices, swords, and women like the Empress and High Priestess that look like Mary. The tarot deck is actually Christian-based.”

Mulqueen, 47, is a third-generation psychic who began reading at the age of nine. Her great grandmothers, grandmother and grandfather, and aunt also dabbled in the art.

Mulqueen has worked with Saks 5th Avenue and done Christmas parties for fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg in a life that she calls “exciting, one that’s taken me a lot of places.”

Tarot cards are a pack of cards, usually numbering 78, that give the reader insight into the person they’re reading and serve as a guide in that person’s life.

“I just hope I have touched people and helped them, healed them in positive ways,” Mulqueen said of her tarot reading career.

Mulqueen is available at Shambala on the first and third Saturdays of the month currently. 15-minute readings are $30, while half-hour readings cost $45. She is also available for longer sessions, and more information can be found on Facebook at “Tarot by Whitney” or by calling 570.575.8649.

Both Marino and Mulqueen are excited to be a part of the downtown movement, especially in a store that Marino said was pretty much her life.

“There’s nothing I would want to do, or that I would feel as good and right doing, as being right here.”