Amid problems, concerns and uncertainty, people are opting for tarot card readings, astrology, and manifestations to heal.
Sneha steps into a cozy room and is greeted by a light yet sweetish smell of lavender. She then sits on one side of a table covered in a white silk cloth. On the table there are two big candles, a crystal ball and a deck of tarot cards. She is here with several questions whose answers she seeks for a long time to curb her anxiety.
Sneha started going for tarot card reading sessions during the second wave as she was struggling mentally with respect to financial issues and relationships. “It’s been eight months since I started going for my reading sessions. They are therapeutic for me and have helped me cope with my anxiety,” she added.
A recent trend showed that India searches for ‘tarot card readers’ has doubled over the last two years. Almost 60 percent people from Karnataka search for psychic readings every day. Terms involving ‘tarot’ gains an average of 4000 plus impressions over the internet. There has also been a surge in the number of people using astrology, tarot and horoscope related apps like AstroGuru, Guruji, Faladdin etc. AstroGuru and Faladdin have over one million downloads on Google play store.
Any certification or legality of having a license is not required to become a psychic reader. Moreover, most of such tarot card readers and spiritual healers follow their inner calling in order to do so, Vaibhav Adi, a tarot reader said. In Indian culture, when people lose faith in themselves, they look around for faith, he added.
Especially during the pandemic, people actively started looking for things that gave them stability and peace.There has been a reported 65 percent increase in the number of people opting for psychic readings from September 2020. “Since the last two years, every month I get around 30 customers whereas I used to get only 8 to 12 customers in 2018-19,” Vaibhav said. And this is where people leaned on gurus, tarot card readers, spiritual healers and astrologers.
The online sphere:
An online survey revealed that one out of three people on social media will opt for a reading. The majority of people opting for such services online are young adults, psychic readers said.
“The online sphere and social media has made it easy for us to conduct reading sessions to a much larger audience. Through Instagram reels and YouTube live, we are able to perform generic readings for the audience and help them know about the law of attraction and how manifestations work”, Neha, a spiritual healer said.
Psychic Readings and Mental Health
Uncertainty can make a person anxious, so the human nature then looks up for places where it can find some certainty, Somya Awasthi, a clinical psychologist said. The last few years (the pandemic) have been very uncertain for a majority of people which made them suffer from anxiety, fear and grief. So seeking spiritual healing or opting for psychic readings provides the individual with some psychological support but this can never be an alternative cure for anyone with mental health issues, she added.
Faith can provide you with a temporary relief from mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety but in the long run one cannot be dependent on psychic readings or astrology, said psychologists.
Taruna, a fashion designer said, “I had been taking astrological services for the last six years. But after I lost my job to pandemic and was not able to make ends meet, I slipped into depression. I go for therapy in every two weeks and also continued to go for tarot readings.”
She added, “The tarot readings gave me hope whereas the therapy cured my depression.”
Another psychologist Dr. Renu said, “A person with anxiety or depression needs reassurance time to time. And the belief in knowing what is going to happen next via these tarot cards or astrology makes people opt for them.”
Tarot reading sessions are completely different from therapy or counseling sessions because they do not address your problems rather only provide you with possible predictions according to your energies or planetary movements. And anyone with mental health concerns should not rely on psychic readings to get cured, she added.