From astrology to tarot, interest in the mystical arts has flourished during the pandemic. So what is in store for the year ahead?
This age of uncertainty has been a boon for crystal ball gazers. From New York to New Delhi, fortune-tellers have seen spikes in business; in the US, Forbes magazine reported a 136% rise in people seeking supernatural readings. In societies where religious belief is dwindling, and trust in the establishment under threat, the idea of looking elsewhere for guidance – to the stars or beyond, if you believe in a beyond – has made a kind of sense.
Millennials and Gen Z-ers are increasingly likely to livestream YouTube mediums, receive daily tarot readings via their Instagram feeds, or consume online horoscopes. The logic of astrology appeals to a modern desire for answers, while the magic of tarot is now available in “hip hop”, “modern love” and “bad bitches” themed card decks for sale online. In the US, the psychic services industry as a whole – which includes astrology, mediumship, palmistry, aura-reading and tarot – was valued at $2.2bn in 2018 (a 52% rise on 2005). Some celebrities consult spiritual healers just as they do therapists or nutritionists.
In 2020, the fear and upheaval spread by the pandemic has driven an extra need for reassurance, whether that is relatives unable to attend the funeral of a loved one, or people who have lost jobs or businesses seeking a way forward.
Not all psychics have had a good year. Some have been unable to make the switch from face-to-face readings to video calls, and many rely on tourists, parties or events for their income, all of which have been in short supply. And even they could not have forseen every consequence of 2020. With a year we’d sooner forget almost behind us, dare they predict the next one?
‘Political systems will be taken down’
June Field was voted the world’s greatest psychic medium, beating 70,000 others in International Battle Of The Psychics, a European X-Factor style TV show, in 2013. Based in Dundee, she has been clairvoyant, clairaudient and clairsentient (seeing, hearing and feeling spirits) since childhood and makes predictions based on psychic intuition. She usually tours theatres and the events circuit, but this year has been approached by Covid survivors wanting a healer’s help with their recovery.
These next 12 months are a stepping stone to something better. We’ve done a lot of transitioning and 2021 is a time for re-educating and adjusting to a new reality. It is a year of healing and rebuilding.
People are in denial about the virus and that causes friction. People will continue to be afraid, and the return to normality will run into 2022.
March feels like a turning point, a light at the end of the tunnel. Confidences will grow. September feels like another turning point, a fresh start for business, with things picking up a little in the economy. Financially, 2022 feels lighter and brighter than 2021.
I started January 2020 with a feeling of dread. Long before coronavirus arrived in the UK, I had cancelled work commitments – theatre dates and events. I felt death coming. I wanted to give the year a miss.
2021 will present an opportunity to reassess what’s important. Sometimes people are forced into that because they have lost someone or something, a job maybe, but it brings a chance to rebuild.
In politics, I feel there is major change comingnext year. We will see more division, like the standoff between Manchester and Westminster over the second lockdown, and there will be more polarity – geographically, ideologically and financially.
You don’t need to be a psychic to see the anger over how this has been handled. Political systems will be taken down, but we will then rebuild. We are reaching a point where nearly everyone will know someone or be connected to someone who will have passed from this. We will hug again next year, and we will come through this.
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