Lauren Cucinotta


35, Founder, Marketer, Tarot Reader

Tell us about a time when you felt cared for?

These are both Burning Man related somehow. The first was my first Burning Man -- I arrived late at night and it was pitch black. I had no idea how to set up my tent and a bunch of men literally set up my tent for me, a few  of whom are close friends now. I always try to return the favor now to lost newbies who just need an extra helping hand with something that can provide a lot of stress. The second was two birthdays ago -- I had this daisy outfit that I wore at Burning Man that was kind of a hit (it left little to the imagination) and two of my close friends got me a custom birthday cake of the daisy outfit. It was so incredibly thoughtful and I just felt so seen! 

How do you provide care for others?

I check up on people a lot and make sure they are doing well, and send encouragement when I can, or kudos when I've seen they've done something great. Sometimes people just need to be told they are doing a great job and that you see the work they are putting into something!

You work a lot with female-founded startups. How are these companies going to change business culture and our country?

Right now, all of the companies I work with are female-founded. It didn't start off as a choice, that was my network after working at a female-founded women's health company, but now it's been a conscious choice. I have so many thoughts on this. I think more and more women are starting companies because the corporate world is in general not made by women and innately not made for our success. These companies are changing the world because they are solving our problems -- one of my clients is an at-home fertility test for example -- and are paving the way for a new kind of success and female leadership and general business structure in the world.

What's one thing that would help men develop healthier relationships with women?

Oh jeez, no pressure... There are a lot of things, but two simple ones would be: listen, and don't always look at woman as sexual objects, or of what value they would be to you if you are attracted to them sexually.

You're one of the best tarot card readers we've ever met. Turned us into believers. Can you articulate the magic in working with tarot? 

Oh thank you! Tarot is something I've always been connected to, but didn't start reading for other people until a few years ago. I'm a visual person so the tarot really just connected with me and my sensibilities and is the way that I bring out my intuition. To me, tarot brings the subconscious to the surface -- it is a way for all of us to tell our story, and to relate our lives to universal archetypes that have existed through time. It is a way to make meaning. Humans need meaning through symbols or events, or other things. I can't always explain the messages and insights I receive when reading tarot for someone (and often don't remember), but reading is about following your intuition about what you see in front of you versus what someone is telling you often as well. 

Follow-on: Were you surprised to see astrology app Co-Star raise 5M from Venture Capital? Why have astrology and tarot become so popular? Are people searching for more meaning now?

I was familiar with Co-star early on because my old company and them had an investor in common. If you go on the subway and look at what books people are reading -- it's all self-help, people are searching for meaning, it's true. I think it's awesome that astrology is getting this attention, and it's becoming more mainstream. 

So no, not at all. It's really an untapped market that's worth billions of dollars. A lot of this metaphysical stuff is still very old school, and now we have a new wave of readers that are meeting people where they are now. It's not about being hoodwinked, or being taken advantage of, it's about adding a layer of meaning to our daily lives to better understand ourselves and the world around us, without taking it all too seriously at the same time.

Astrology is an easy first start, because there is a science behind it, where tarot really depends on the reader. There are some good apps that let you pull tarot cards per day, but it's hard to replace the in-person reading experience. I do think that the apps have limitations -- Co-star doesn't say what house your planets are in, which add another layer of meaning, and sometimes their messages are too negative for my taste -- but overall it's become a cultural phenomenon.

Last wellness purchase?

Five 30 minute sessions to Higher Dose, it's an infared sauna in New York. They also have this deal where you can bring a friend for a certain period of time for free, so I've been bringing friends and introducing them to the experience.

Who is a hero of yours? (you can have more than one)

Right now, my mother. She is the most resilient person I know. She has experienced two husbands dying on her, and more. Most recently, my step-dad just passed away from cancer and she was so devoted to him, and giving him the best end of life and death, and it was truly beautiful to see that. His devotion to her, and her devotion to him was something I really learned from and something that I will strive for in my next relationship. She is also an entrepreneur (she owns and runs multiple yoga studios) and started them because a very famous yoga brand told her she couldn't be an ambassador, so she said eff you, and started her own studios and really brought this type of yoga to south Jersey and Philly, where I'm from.

Catherine Spence