Gone are the days when the oracle or Delphi were revered and feared. The high esteem which was attached to the mysterious workings of the occult has now become inundated with the over exposure and often over simplification of this world of mystique.

1604: After a long walk up the hill, the king approached his council. In the language of the gods, the priestesses spoke to their king of events to come. They warned him of a plague to come. A terrible plague.

2011: You get an email at 2 AM from a ‘visionary medium’, informing you of tactics to win your ex-boyfriend back.

With the number of numerologists, tarot card readers and a myriad other facets of the occult mushrooming over the last few years, the question now arises whether these mediums are authentic or merely feeding off the craving of millions of fortune seekers.  The new fad is to consult the occult for all ones problems. There has been a record increase in the number of tarot card reading and numerology sites between 2008 and 2010.

Kara Trough, author of ‘The Occult Stories’ said: “As sceptical as some people might be about the powers of the unknown, many people just find it easier to attribute their miseries to ill luck or black magic. Hence there is this great fascination with the occult.”

While it is easy to brush off the run-of-the-mill tarot card readers, and online ‘psychic mediums’ it is hard to ignore some of the stories where a consultation with a practitioner of the secret arts has led to a drastic change in fortunes.

Aditi Khanna, a housewife in Delhi, India, recounts the harrowing experience she had with tenants who were well versed in the art of black magic. After an altercation on some financial issues, she asked them to vacate the house. Soon after, there were a lot of issues in her life. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer, they were suffering huge losses and the general scenario was bleak. At the insistence of a friend, she consulted a visionary medium. He asked her to look under a lose tile in the room which was formerly occupied by the tenants. To her utter shock, Aditi found two voodoo dolls complete with the pins. She was shocked by the complete turnaround after she disposed of them. She is no longer a sceptic.

This is not a one off incident. There are several people who do not take any decisions without the express approval of their tarot readers, numerologists and astrologists. But most of the new age occult consultants cannot be described as anything but suspicious.

There are numerous mediums online. And they seem to have all employed the same web page designer. Most of them have identical websites, offering a free consultation. After the said free consultation, you are bombarded with a host of emails, all warning of the dire consequences you face if you do not respond to the psychics. Vulnerable and desperate people fall prey to this and soon, the psychic is literally living off your despair.

An online witchcraft site, 7witchescoven, advertises their expertise in solving all problems. From love spells, to world domination spells, there is nothing they cannot solve. But of course, it all comes at a cost. Some of their services are as expensive as £700.

Some of these people not only run huge financial scams on you, there are other murky aspects to this business too.  An astrologer in Indonesia would routinely ask the women to exchange sexual favours to please the gods. And because he had been lucky with the first few clients, whose fortune improved due to no effort of his, others soon fell for this trick.

It is easy to find the conmen, but how is one to approach a real visionary, if there is such a thing at all. Some of them attain cult status, because of the celebs that go to them. Ma Prem Usha, an American psychic, used to be the consultant for big wigs like Madonna, Phil Collins and so on.

It is hard to brush off the occult as non-existent, but it is harder still to accept it, with the innumerable fake practitioners doing the rounds. But one thing is for sure, occunsulting is never going to go out of style.


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