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 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.
“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 there’s one basic question in round terms, it’s ‘when can we get back to our lives,’” she said. “Who isn’t terribly anxious about whatever it is? Whether you’re still in business, whether you can pay the rent, whether your children are going back to school.”
Most psychics were cautious to pinpoint a specific date or way the pandemic will end. But some, including Marks, predicted that the crisis will slowly start to abate in January as advances in medicine are made. Eyedealism sees a “great ray of hope” coming during the winter solstice in late December.
But COVID-19 isn’t the only thing on customers’ minds. Brooklyn astrologer and psychic Kim Allen said she’s been giving more relationship advice than usual these days.
“People have been panicked – not so much for career, but for love,” said Allen, who estimates a 35 percent increase in clients since the pandemic, often from lovers in new relationships separated by quarantine.
“Love is really important, I think people were really feeling the sting of isolation.”
Allen also claims to have saved a few marriages strained from pandemic stress, by giving phone readings to both spouses and “looking at the truth” in their tarot cards.
“People kind of understood that they couldn’t really control their whole financial situation, and that really it was more important to be with a partner and have someone to love,” Allen said.
But for clients, it’s just nice to get answers in a time when there are so few — even if they’re not real.
Plus, it’s cheaper than therapy.
“I think with traditional therapy, it’s like people just talk at me, whereas with psychics it’s kind of like I’m getting questions answered,” said Arien Evans, who suffers from chronic anxiety and frequently visited psychics long before the pandemic, especially those at Namaste Bookshop.
“It might not be real, maybe it’s not, but still getting those questions answered for me, just calms my anxiety. It reassures my thoughts.”
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