Tarot, Tibetan bowls and a marathon of desires: what esotericism do Russians now believe in

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Esotericism has firmly established itself in our lives and does not intend to give up positions yet: according to the Levada Center, from a third to a half of Russians believe in fortune telling, horoscopes and amulets. VTsIOM also cites similar figures – 59% of Russians trust predictors, 36% trust astrological forecasts.

The last surge of interest in mysticism was understandably in the 90s: the higher the level of uncertainty, the more people turn to magic and the occult, psychologists say. Tourism has also become completely unpredictable: borders are closed, flights are canceled, tours are canceled – how can one not turn to the supernatural in such a situation? The five most fashionable irrational trends of our difficult times are in the review of “Subtleties”.

1. Tarot cards

Tarot cards are breaking popularity records: in 2022, in Russia, the demand for esoteric books as a whole increased by 53%, and for card reading manuals – almost 6 times, Wildberries calculated. Cards and their interpretations are sold in bookstores, artists draw their own versions of the decks, they are laid out at secular parties, trying to get an answer to the question that is more relevant than ever – what will happen tomorrow?

“Since 2020, everything has become so unstable that people have lost their bearings. Now the turbulence is only increasing. People have nothing to rely on, so they began to turn to tarot in an attempt to somehow predict their lives, ”tarot reader Nina Yudova explains obvious things. >

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2. Divination in Tiktok

Modern magicians and clairvoyants are using the Internet to promote their services with might and main, and Tiktok has become the most popular platform for predicting the future. Videos with the hashtag “fortune teller” collect hundreds of millions of views, and especially advanced fortune tellers have up to 300,000 subscribers. Using all the same tarot cards and other improvised means, tiktok fortune-tellers live answer simple questions: loves – does not love, will the husband return to the family and will the child finally pass the exam. In return, they only ask for a like and a subscription, but a deeper analysis costs money – for example, a personal forecast for a year will cost 500-1500 RUB. According to statistics, young people from 18 to 24 years old are most interested in esotericism in Russia. In the West, the age limits are wider: practical magic is a hobby not only for zoomers, but also for millennials.

3. Astrology

The ancient teaching that conquered Russia back in the 90s has returned updated and fully armed: astrologers of the 21st century maintain YouTube blogs and Telegram channels, equate themselves with psychologists and believe that not today or tomorrow their work will be recognized as a full-fledged science. Skeptics, of course, remind that even a light bulb affects a person more than retrograde Mercury, but they listen to them little and reluctantly: stellar forecasts help to gain confidence in themselves and the future, because astrologers give people what they are looking for – ready-made advice in difficult situations. By the way, the first astrological column was published in the Sunday Express newspaper during the Great Depression in August 1930.

Today, 16 % of employers pay attention to the astrological sign of the applicant, and three-quarters of Russians admitted that they always read horoscopes.

4. Marathons of desires

If clairvoyants and fortune-tellers only reveal to a person the cards of his fate, then energetic gurus and coaches teach to control their life and change it. One of the most common techniques today is the wishing marathon. After registration, its participants receive homework: make a list of wishes, set dates for their implementation and, of course, visualize dreams. There are also paid options: for money, the mentor will check the assignments, give useful advice, and even talk in person. At the end of the training, the wish list is tied to a balloon and released into the sky. So you will see such a ball with a note – do not be surprised.

Marathon organizers claim that miracles happen in the process and unrealizable things come true, but the participants of special races themselves, as a rule, assess what is happening quite prosaically: only those wishes are fulfilled that they worked hard to fulfill.

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5. Tibetan bowls

Alternative medicine sometimes uses the most unexpected devices – for example, Tibetan singing bowls. This ancient musical instrument was widely used in Asia during religious rituals. Today, bowls serve as an aid to meditation, yoga, massage and other medical practices. Adherents of this technique believe that the vibrating sounds extracted from the bowl with the help of a wooden stick pass through the body and improve the functioning of the organs, allow you to get rid of stress and achieve, if not nirvana, then at least peace. And at the same time – success in business and personal life, this is really a trifle for cups.

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