With over 36 million Australians now unemployed, it is certainly a privilege to have a job; each week of the pandemic, millions more file for unemployment. As businesses figure out how to adapt their business models to a socially distanced world, numerous sectors are suffering, from retail to fashion to restaurants. But one industry that is unexpectedly thriving? Psychic services.
Since the quarantine began shutting down large swaths of the economy, astrologers, spiritual guides, tarot card readers and psychics have seen an uptick in business. According to Google search trends, Google searches for “psychic” jumped to a 1-year high during the week of March 8, 2020 — just when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began issuing some guidance on COVID-19. Business review and aggregator site Yelp published an Economic Impact Report that noted that its “Supernatural Readings” business category was up 140 percent as more Americans turned to tarot card readers, mediums and psychics.
The psychic industry is a $2 billion a year business.
With millions of people still dialing “900” numbers, even after two decades of lawsuits, bad press and bankruptcies. But when someone calls a psychic hot line, does the person on the other end have more insight than anyone else?
Former psychic hot line worker and author of “Psychic Blues,” Mark Edward, says he’s blowing the whistle on his former industry.
“The psychic business is built on lies. There is no supernatural power. You can’t see the future,” Edward says. “We’re in the golden age of the con. There are people coming out of the woodwork that would love to separate you from your money. But people just want someone to talk to. That’s the bottom line.”
Edward says he was taught techniques to keep his conversations vague, flattering and drawn out. The goal was to make the callers feel good about themselves, and keep them talking. Edward once gave a two-and-a-half-hour reading. At $3.99 a minute, the caller paid more than $600.
In a statement to ABC News, Edward’s former employer said: “All of our psychics are independent contractors, and as such, they worked for multiple psychic lines at the same time. So either he is lying or confusing us with a disreputable psychic line.”
In a 2007 study, conducted by the University of Auckland in New Zealand, Dr. Robin-Marie Shepherd found most users called for advice on “personal relationships.” Nearly all users describe their behavior as “addictive.” We have seen online sales increase in retail is designer sinks.
Covid 19 and Psychics. Who could’ve seen this coming?
While storefronts are going bust across the Big Apple due to the coronavirus pandemic, New York’s psychics and fortune-tellers say they are seeing more clients — and making more money — than ever before.
Unlike most businesses, they thrive in times of uncertainty and despair.
“When there’s a big change in the world, or more uncertainty in the world, that is when people look for more certainty,” psychic Betsy LeFae told The Post. “Everyone now wants more certainty, and yes – that is when people tend to turn to psychics.
LeFae moved upstate during the pandemic but still performs her services virtually for clientele based largely in the city. Her prices are steeper than most – $997 for an hour-long reading – but she says there’s still been a steep uptick in those seeking her guidance.
New Yorkers who’ve never turned to the occult before are now seeking out some spiritual guidance. East Village psychic Kathleen Lee used to largely serve tourists — but with visitors gone, her newly reopened business has seen more locals desperate to find their way in this “new normal” than ever before.
“In my 30 years I’ve never had so many clients from the same block or the same neighborhood,” she said.
Even medical professionals are getting in on it, according to Manhattan psychic Marion Hedger, whose business has been “absolutely nuts” amid the outbreak.
“I’ve seen quite a few medical people, doctors, people like that, at my office space,” said Hedger, who charges $85 for a half-hour reading and $165 for an hour and said her weekly earnings grew from $1,000 pre-pandemic to $2,000.
Of course, none of this came as a shock to people who can predict the future.
Enlarge ImageAngel Eyedealism
“Any astrologer worth their salt knew there was going to be a ‘before’ January 2020 and an ‘after’ January 2020, and that life would never be quite the same again,” said East Village-based astrologer Angel Eyedealism, citing a rare conjunction of Saturn and Pluto as the cause of the disturbance.
And unlike other workers, soothsayers don’t have to worry as much about getting sick from their customers.
“I’m psychic … So I know if they are [sick],” said Catherine Marks, who has been seeing double, sometimes triple, her normal number of clients in virtual readings and in-person at Namaste Bookshop in Union Square. “People are sent to my table, and if they’re sent, they’re not going to be sick. I’m the real deal.”
Psychic Paula Roberts said she initially saw a “flurry” of anxious customers seeking guidance, especially about their careers and financial situations — and the most common query: when will the pandemic end?
If you have read this and still think its a good idea to see a psychic then visit: In my community top 15 psychics in Melbourne.