The rise in the interest in psychics

Psychic experts say that most readings have been requested out of uneasiness about effects of the pandemic, rather than the virus itself. Photo from free use.

The pandemic has forced many businesses to change the way they operate — including local psychics–who have found their appeal has not diminished.

There are a variety of businesses in the Ann Arbor area dedicated to psychic work and supplies. Most are trying to make their services accessible during the quarantine. Psychic Medium Joan StJohn said that rather than fearing the pandemic itself, many people have anxieties stemming from the effects of the quarantine.

“Nobody’s freaking out and asking if they’re gonna get sick,” StJohn said. “A lot of people are calling more with anxiety related issues, than fear based issues, because they’re sitting in their houses, they’re not working, the money’s not coming in, they can’t go out and about, they can’t see their friends, their boyfriends, so there’s that level of off-energy happening.”

Amy Garber, co-founder of the Enlightened Soul Center, said that people are also feeling an added element of introspection prompted by the global events.

“I think during this whole pandemic and lockdown, people are, and rightly so, turning within and reevaluating their lives because they don’t have all the business that used to distract them,” Garber said. “Even on an astrological level, it points to this period of time as being more reflective.”

Pioneer senior Carissa Hawkins said that with the challenges of life, it is good for people to have activities like psychic readings to occupy themselves. “With all the stressors of school, it serves well to have distraction, and looking more into and learning about psychic topics is something of a comfort interest,” Hawkins said.

The Enlightened Soul Center, described on its website as a center “for the holistic and intuitive arts,” provides a variety of services, including readings, classes, and metaphysical supplies to people interested in the psychic arts. Many of the classes and events it hosts have been moved online, or are available as hybrid. Their shop is available by appointment.

“There have been more people asking for the protective supplies like sage, so people might feel like they’re more aware of energy,” Garber said. “Things got so quiet, it could be that people are more able to feel the stuff than they used to, which I think is good. It’s nothing to be scared of, it’s all around us, but we don’t often pay attention to it.”

The pandemic has also changed the setting of some events. StJohn has done readings in person and over the phone in the past, but now is only doing appointments on the phone or on Zoom.

“When it’s not a pandemic, people do prefer in person, because they want the whole experience. They come into the office; it’s got the incense burning, the nice music in the background, the dim lighting, the artwork, the crystals, and they just love that environment,” she said. “I’ve always done phone readings so it’s no different for me. It’s actually easier when it’s on the phone, because you’re not distracted by the person sitting there.”

The quarantine has not only changed how people interact with psychics, but the way they are able to connect with them.

“The pandemic is probably a more difficult time for people to engage with psychics in a personal sense, but I do think that interacting virtually has increased since quarantine,” said Hawkins. “It’s been easier for me, personally, because the time I have now that I used to spend going out, during the pandemic can be dedicated to my other interests, the broad expanse of the psyche among them.”

Garber believes that this interest has been increasing especially in younger generations due to the availability of resources. 

“When I was in high school, I was interested in this stuff, but I didn’t know anything about it. If young people are interested in things like crystals, or astrology, or whatever it is, you’re lucky you’ve got the internet, you’ve got resources at your disposal, and there are places like the Enlightened Soul Center where we have classes, we have people you can ask questions of, meeting like-minded people, because a lot of times we don’t know people who are interested in this stuff,” Garber said. “I think it’s good that young people might be seeking, might be thinking, ‘Well, what’s important and what should I be doing with this time?’”

Indeed, many people have also taken the time in quarantine to pursue hobbies that they already had interest in to a fuller degree. Hawkins said the quarantine has even given people a new openness.

“A lot of people have become more open with their interests and beliefs over quarantine, especially since other interests have been suspended due to the virus,” she said. “With the uncertainty surrounding everything that’s going on, it’s a more plausible option for people to look to psychics for guidance.”

While people may be seeking certain services from psychics more now, whether it is the channeling of loved ones, protective supplies, or virtual readings, StJohn believes this is not born out of fear, but rather uncertainty.

“The pandemic isn’t changing the business in a negative way. It’s not making people flood to psychics.  I don’t see people in fear,” she said. “I think I’ve brought people a lot of peace, because we’re going through something we haven’t seen in over a hundred years. People don’t know where to turn, they don’t know what to do. So when they come to me with their questions, even if their questions have nothing to do with  the pandemic, they’re leaving the session feeling relaxed and that’s my job: to help them with that healing, to help empower them.”