Read more here:By Richard Weizel
Updated: 04/18/2009 12:33:51 AM EDT
STRATFORD -- Dressed entirely in black, accessorized with a silver Pentacle star necklace symbolic of the Wicca religion, Keith Fiermonte's eyes are barely visible behind dark, tinted sunglasses.
A black fedora is tipped down over his forehead, adding to the mystery and showmanship he admits he strives for.
Fiermonte carefully lays out Tarot cards on a table from a deck he has shuffled with the mastery of poker dealer.
Speaking in slow, almost hushed tones, the 23-year-old co-owner of "Tempest Tarot," a new age shop that recently opened at 7365 Main St. in the Oronoque Plaza shopping center across from Sikorsky Aircraft, begins a Tarot reading demonstration for the mother of his business partner, Timothy Bristol.
"It looks like the situation is changing, like this person you are concerned about is becoming more receptive to your help," Fiermonte tells Deborah Bristol of Shelton. "It looks like the situation is improving."
Deborah Bristol is quick to agree. "Yes, that is what has been happening," she said. "You are right on target."
But Fiermonte says he's not always right, that reading the cards "can be open to interpretation."
There is a lot, in fact, about Wicca that is open to interpretation, too, including whether it's one of the world's oldest religions dating to ancient times, or as Fiermonte believes, among the newest faiths established about 50 years ago, and whether it is based on a positive connection to Mother Earth or to the darkness associated with Satanism.
Fiermonte, Timothy Bristol and Sarah Delion are partners in the shop where they hope to foster a better understanding of the religion by offering classes such as Wicca 101, Advanced Wicca and instruction about Tarot Card, Runes and palmistry readings.