Business is booming for spiritual advisers, who have seen rapid growth during the COVID-19 crisis.
Anxiety and uncertainty caused by the pandemic has seen a surge in Australians seeking the help of psychics and fortune tellers.
According to Dr Alana Piper, postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian Centre for Public History at University of Technology Sydney, this trend is not unusual in times of crisis.
“We saw booms in fortune-telling businesses and people seeking out fortune telling and psychic readings in Australia in both the first and second world wars,” Dr Piper told The New Daily.
“Obviously lots of people (were) worried about relatives fighting overseas and I think it’s natural in times of uncertainty for people to seek our reassurances in whatever way they can.”
Rose Smith, owner of Absolute Soul Secrets – the largest psychic and spiritual network in the Southern Hemisphere – said her business has seen a 25 per cent rise since the beginning of the pandemic.
A leading psychic and spiritual adviser, Ms Smith attributes the growth to social distancing regulations that have stripped people of support and connection.
“Since it’s near impossible to get a straight answer from the powers that be, people are turning to the universe for guidance and hoping to find some clarity – this is where we help,” Ms Smith said.
“Social distancing is having a huge impact. As a necessity, people have been isolated and alone. They haven’t been able to share their energy with others in a physical sense.
“People are worried about their relationships, travel plans, job security – we have had many questions from concerned small business owners worried about the future.”
Ms Smith said 85 per cent of clients seeking clarity during the COVID-19 crisis have been women, a trend that has been longstanding in Australia since the early 1900s.
According to Dr Piper, this is because women are more likely to engage in “talking cures” than their male counterparts.
“For women historically and today, fortune telling or talking things through with psychic advisers can almost act as a form of informal therapy,” she said.
“Part of it might relate to women feeling more comfortable with seeking those sorts of emotional reassurances, rather than men [who are] expected to be a bit more stoic, traditionally.”
A look into the coronavirus crystal ball …
Despite the recent repeal of lockdown restrictions, Ms Smith predicts that Australians still have a long road ahead of them.
“Things will not go back to the way they were, but the virus will end in three years (starting from either November 2019 or February 2020) – far longer than anticipated,” she told The New Daily.
“A black shadow I see in my dreams is an increasing level of complacency worldwide – some people’s hopes are being dashed so now they have given up on following the guidelines and don’t seem to care if others catch the virus and possibly die.
“But complacency is an evil we have to be ready for, as this pandemic won’t end for some time.”