Cara Cutro is the owner and lead massage therapist of Abracadabra Massage & Wellness, an 8-year-old company serving Rappahannock County. She’s not only a gifted massage therapist, but also an intuitive healing artist, herbalist, alchemist — and a mom. She’s studied mysticism all her life, with a focus on tarot and astrology and says that she was “influenced by her father who was an astrologer, and a keeper of esoteric wisdom and knowledge.”
She will take a brief respite from her thriving massage business to offer a unique and fascinating three-part course on learning the tarot this weekend (more on that in a bit). Cara came to Castleton as a little girl, and in later years moved to Sperryville. She was raised in an Italian household, a good Catholic, immersed in the symbolism of the Church.
Her father was well versed and talented in the field of astrology, and as Cara tells me, filled with philosophical “Jungian stuff.” She has “fond memories of perusing her father’s bookshelves as a kid, and has made a study of personal transformation her life’s work.” Cara’s adolescent years found her surrounded by lifelong friends whose Rappahannock “hippy mothers,” she says with a smile, were fond of new age thinking, crystals, tarot cards and the like. Cara was always a spiritual little girl, so it comes as no surprise that she is an intuitive, empath and healing artist. While conscious of the stigma surrounding these arts, Cara chose not to practice them publicly, but rather privately with friends. She’ll do readings mostly for fun, but she also uses the discipline for self learning and personal development.
Cara’s series of three tarot classes will be held at Wild Roots Apothecary, 7C River Lane in the Copper Fox Antiques complex: Saturday, Feb. 27, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday. March 26, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.; and Saturday, April 23, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Cara tells me that as a young girl, while impressionable, she “picked up on the subtle energies, the relationship with the tarot and the endless amount of interpretation. My friend Colleen O’Bryant, of Wild Roots Apothecary in Sperryville, approached me and asked me to offer this course. The art of reading is understanding that everyone has gifts, and the secrets and mysteries of Arcana, reveal the energies of those surrounding you.”
I asked Cara if she truly has a gift, and she responded humbly, “Yes, I do. I have an intuitive gift and I embrace it, and I enjoy through the craft learning about those around me.”
Not knowing much about tarot and readings, save for my early teenage years traipsing into downtown Boston on an occasional Saturday afternoon, with my girlfriend Sharon Riley, enjoying shopping near Tremont Street and always having our tea leaves and tarot cards read, I asked Cara about the cards.
“Classic Tarot” she says, “are decks comprised of 78 cards, divided into a Major Arcana (22 cards) and Minor Arcana (56 cards). The Major Arcana cards, also called trump cards, are important because they represent significant life events on a large scale, or they can stand for literal people in your life — sometimes you’ll draw a card that even resembles the person in question and the first card is known as ‘the fool.’
“In general, Major Arcana cards impart messages of greater weight than the Minor Arcana cards, so beginning Tarot readers should learn the meaning of these cards first. It’s wise to note when your tarot reading turns up many Major Arcana cards, because that’s a good indicator you are going through a dramatic period in your life.”
Cara’s series of three tarot classes will be held at Wild Roots Apothecary, 7C River Lane in the Copper Fox Antiques complex: Saturday, Feb. 27, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday. March 26, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.; and Saturday, April 23, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. The series will focus on the development of a relationship with the Major Arcana and your intuition. Topics to be covered include what the tarot is and what it is not; preparing for a relationship with the tarot — tapping into your intuition; Major Arcana study — symbolism and meaning behind each card; a study of care and question asking techniques, practical use of the Tarot in everyday life.
And if you should decide to patronize Cara’s massage business, she specializes in deep tissue, relaxation massage and Reiki. Cara received her certification from the Virginia School of Massage in Charlottesville, and has been practicing since 2007. She is currently working toward her Doctorate of Divinity at the University of Metaphysical Sciences in Arcata, Calif. Cara studies Reiki with Eka Kapiotis of Blue Skies Wellness. Also, Cara has completed the Foundations in Medicinal Herbalism and Herbal Apothecary courses at Green Comfort School of Herbal Medicine in Castleton. She is currently in the clinical phase of her study, working toward becoming a registered herbalist, and she uses herbal wisdom in her practice.
Cara customizes each massage to your individual needs. In addition to massage therapy, Cara also offers wellness consultations rooted in herbal medicine. Her business is mobile, and she and her staff can come to you. She often comes to local B&Bs to offer services to guests, for example.
Gina Sweatt, co-owner of Ridge Line Designs in Sperryville’s River District says, “My recent massage with Cara can best be described as a journey! She inspired visions, and the end of the session brought on a very emotional experience through Reiki. I hope to be able to use her services again soon!” Gina is one of many who celebrate Cara’s gifts. To reach Cara, call 540-878-7085 or visit her website: www.caracadabra.com