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Tarot and Tea divines brighter present for Detroiters

Nefertiti inside Tarot and Tea       PHREDDY WISCHUSEN PHOTO

Nefertiti inside Tarot and Tea PHREDDY WISCHUSEN PHOTO

By Phreddy Wischusen
The Michigan Citizen

Nefertiti comes from a long line of spiritually precocious people. Her grandfather was a spiritualist. His son, a jazz musician, also had the gift. “He used to touch people’s hands and tell them about themselves,” Nefertiti says of her father. “(But) he was frustrated because he had to work a factory job. No one would take him seriously about his spiritual gift. It got to a point where adults would ask him to touch their hands and give them the numbers.”

Still, he passed on his experience and his stories to his daughter who was already having insights at a very young age.

“I would intuitively sit at the window in a sunny space and look out into the stratosphere — look at the skies and the clouds — and in my head I would have a conversation; I would receive messages at 8,” Nefertiti says. Laughing, she continues, “You know now they might call that schizophrenia.”

“As I grew older, I would get impressions as I would look at people,” she says. “And when I was doing hair, they would get really strong, because I was over the crown (or top of the head, where some faith traditions feel humans connect with the divine) and I would see visions, and get messages about that particular person I would work on.”

Nefertiti is a natural hair stylist and owner of Textures by Nefertiti (4147 Cass Ave., Detroit). As she performed the time-intensive work of twisting or locking hair, she would ask her clients about the visions she was having about them.

“I would have people cry and turn around in the chair and ask, ‘How did you know that?’ All of the conversations have led to some kind of healing experience.”

Nefertiti says over the years clients and friends told her she needed a space dedicated to her “intuitive work.”

In October 2013, Nefertiti opened Tarot and Tea at 8019 Agnes Street in Detroit’s West Village neighborhood. “There’s a (good) energy on this block, there always has been,” Nefertiti says of the historic neighborhood where new businesses like Detroit Vegan Soul and Craft Work have recently rooted. “Probably because of the old trees and the old homes, the energy of the people that have passed through here over the years,” she says.

Tarot and Tea offers customers a variety of balms for the soul. Nefertiti and three other “intuitives,” each with their own special gifts and skills, read tarot cards; examine astrological charts; work with crystals, water and candles as mediums; and engage numerology. She says a reading is a balance of the reader’s energy, the client’s vibrations and the divination medium (cards, crystals or such).

Nefertiti’s own technique, she says, is less about the future and more about the present. “It’s more about learning what spiritual obstacles or even physical manifestations might be in that person’s path that could be getting in the way of their destiny.”

Renee, who reads at Tarot and Tea on Fridays, says the future as revealed in the cards is not written in stone. “It’s more like the probability that if (the client) keeps doing what (they’re) doing these things will come to pass.” The reading can help the clients open their eyes to options for overcoming obstacles they may not have considered.

In addition to divination work, Nefertiti performs dwelling cleansings — freeing homes and buildings of negative energies and inviting positive healing vibrations into the spaces.  Tarot and Tea also sells local art, incenses, sage, crystals, books, and of course tea.

“The tea functions as a tool for taking a breath and relaxing,” Nefertiti says. “When you have something warm in your hands, it’s comforting. Many of the teas I have here are for that and medicinal functions as well.” Her personal favorite is the Moroccan Spice, a sweet sugar-free blend of spices, herbs, and dried orange peel.

Nefertiti says everyone can benefit from some kind of spiritual practice, because “we all have different spiritual impediments that are around us that we’re clueless about. I think there has been a lot of study around the physical — broken legs, high blood pressure, chemical imbalances in the brain — but there hasn’t been enough study about … how spirituality is just as important as the physical.”

According to Nefertiti, the spiritual field that surrounds the body is the first entry point for negativity. “It comes in from the spiritual sphere into the physical through your head — you start having little weird thoughts, your emotions are off. If you continue to function in that manner without any kind of clearing, then you set your self up for problems. You are at a weakened state.”

What begins as a spiritual issues becomes mental/emotional, and those issues can manifest physically as illness, says Nefertiti. “That’s why meditations and things that help to keep you mentally aligned are important because they create space for you to relax and focus and that affects the physical.”

Nefertiti created Tarot and Tea primarily as a place for healing.

Learn more about Tarot and Tea and/or schedule an appointment at, or call 313.409.1644.

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