Psychics project positiveness

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, intuitive Reverend Shannon Cary is providing spiritual guidance to her clients over the phone. (Photo courtesy of Rev. Shannon Cary)

In uncertain times, local intuitives give their advice on how to get by, from a distance

If any profession is suited to the adaptability needed in trying times like these, it’s that of intuitive—metaphysical or “New Age” professionals such as psychics, mediums and tarot readers.

Psychics are among the first teleworkers, with many working primarily or exclusively by phone for decades. The Sacramento region has an abundance of intuitives of all stripes, and there’s a fair chance at least one member of your friends and family falls consults with one, whether they admit it or not. A 2018 Pew Research poll found that 62% believed in some sort of “New Age” or metaphysical concept—psychics, mediums, tarot readers, or astrology.

“Without having all of that confidence from having the assistance and the work I’ve done…I probably would have had a great deal of anxiety at this time,” says Elise Cole-Da Cruz, a small business owner who consults with a tarot reader about every six weeks. While Cole-Da Cruz’s hair salon has seen a downturn since COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, it seems the business of intiutives—many already operating by phone, Zoom or other conferencing interfaces—haven’t taken quite the hit.

Sacramento intuitive Rev. Shannon Cary has given in-person readings for years, and occasionally still uses online conferencing. But now she’s primarily interacting with clients over the phone.

“Most people want to confide and speak with someone who is usually unemotionally attached to what their situation is so they can process it in a safe manner,” Cary says. “There’s a lot to be said for pulling back and not feeling the need to ‘do, do, do,’ so [one can] ‘be, be, be,’…and to see what blessings and what lessons and what can be renewed and gathered from all of this, as opposed to focusing on what is not working, or what is fearful, or what is unknown.”

A larger institution, the Sacramento Berkeley Psychic Institute, continues to offer the majority of its services, including readings and consultations, trainings, and certifications. It has had to change how those services are offered.

Reverend Marion Henshaw, the institute’s director, notes it has been using Zoom for several years, but during the pandemic has relied on online meetings.

“In the past, just a few logged on, some even from across the country,” Henshaw said. “Now all of us are doing the spiritual work from our homes. For this, we’re very grateful for the online space.”

Where the New Age community has taken a hit, however, are independently-owned brick-and-mortar stores. “Prior to when the scare even happened, we were having a magnificent beginning of [March]” says Darrell Trimble of Planet Earth Rising in Folsom. “We were really busy, and all of a sudden it all stopped.”

Trimble says the shop tried to stay open “in case someone needed anything, some sage to clear their energy around the house, or for protection …but then the Folsom Police Department came up and told us the governor wanted us to shut down.”

Sunlight of the Spirit, on J Street in Sacramento, met a similar fate. The owners declined to be interviewed, but its website says: “Sunlight of the Spirit will be closed starting March 20th to adhere to the mandate that all non-essential businesses be closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please stay well and safe. We will post updates as things change. #FlattenTheCurve.”

A representative of Old Sacramento Psychics, another brick and mortar store, said many residents have bigger needs than psychics during these dark times: “People need to buy groceries.”

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