InternetHow psychics, crystal healers and exorcists utilize the web
Tapping the supernatural through your wifi.
A belief in the unknown has been present for as long as societies have existed. Even in its naysaying there lives an acknowledgement that a realm beyond what science spells out for us in textbooks is available for use, if only we figure out the means to properly tap in. This explains why niche mediums of any variety continue to multiply in a world where data is more accessible than ever. For every listicle outlining how to unmask a phony psychic, there are ten times the amount of resources cementing their immortality. Homepages, chat rooms teeming with eager augurs, crowdsourced tutorials on the best tarot deck for you, and always, always a payment plan, the digital era has made an interesting footprint on these practitioners of fate. As long as there is a future in front of us, there will be mystics to see us through.
Below, is an examination of how they have switched gears from Ouija boards to keyboards and everything in between.
What people cannot quite grasp yet is that [neither] space, distance, [nor] objects ever interfere with energy. It’s the energy I hook up to and nothing can block it.
“I could not survive without a computer, Skype, my website, taking credit cards and PayPal,” says Elizabeth Joyce, professional psychic reader, energy healer, spiritual counselor (she has her minister papers). “Many underdeveloped psychics have a problem [with technology]. What people cannot quite grasp yet is that [neither] space, distance, [nor] objects ever interfere with energy. It’s the energy I hook up to and nothing can block it. Almost like fog. Fog goes everywhere. Up, over and around.”
The funny thing about fog is that it’s free. As in, one need not swipe fog in their mobile card reader for fog to occur. Psychic ability has long faced its share of criticism. The role has also managed to persist since ancient times. Astrology, spiritualists, dream prophets, Mel Gibson in What Women Want and the Long Island Medium -- the profession and its practitioners have taken many forms over the past few centuries. While publicity about the takedowns and fraudulent charges against these mediums have increased, the market for them in the information age only seems to expand. If our reprieve from the digital revolution means seeking comfort in the clairvoyant, can we blame them for cashing in? Online psychics are so prevalent that there are entire companies based around screening them. In the same way you have formed your network on Facebook, the profession uses the web to band together and create massive rebel alliances. It always comes back to numbers, and the united front adds perceived legitimacy to things like Miss Cleo, crystal balls, black cats, etc. It’s a hard, weird world out there. Get by with a little help from your friends, not VirginVirgo97’s interpretation of your dreams.
“Technology creates connections a bit more effortlessly; healers find one another around the globe, which builds camaraderie and community, and enthusiasts dig deep for information they may have otherwise had a difficult time finding.”
Brooke Rosenblum, Certified Crystal Healer
Have you noticed a slew of giant rocks dangling down the front of the fashion elite? From models to Madonna to health goths, the prominence of crystals is the most visible sign that the occult has made its beeline from the shadows into the halo of haute couture. This has only been of benefit to crystal healers, who happily channel the emotional currency of our binary biofields. Traditionally mapping energy points, or chakras, to create an energy grid, crystals are selected and dispersed over the subject to heal the body and spirit. Each stone comes with its own properties, be they emotional or esoteric. Take quartz for example: clear quartz is energizing; rose quartz teaches us about love; smokey quartz enhances dreams. Basically, there is a quartz for every quandary, and what is technology today if not one giant roadblock standing in the way of your zen? Crystal healers have wisely taken tech into their own helping hands, using our growing exposure to gadgets and the resulting effects to their full advantage. Whether it’s an entire workshop or one hour session to cleanse you of the dreaded EMR (electromagnetic radiation), they will restore your frequency and retune you like the little guitar you are. Successfully tapping into the sweet silicon of this century, the crystal crowd has also honed some serious social media networks along the way, plugging them into your drunkest selfies and most regrettable tweets.
Whether it’s an entire workshop or one hour session to cleanse you of the dreaded EMR (electromagnetic radiation), they will restore your frequency and retune you.
Tarot reading is the most naturally suited medium for its online upgrade. Ever heard of solitaire? At its most basic, it is a decorative set of cards used by the dramatically inclined to tell us sad sacks that we will love again. The cards have been around since the 15th century for purposes both dilatory and divine. Mystics have long used the decks as a map from on high, where a client (or in spiritual speak, a querent), shuffles the stack, thereby physically and intuitively connecting them to the cards. The sequence in which they pull the 78 wands, swords, pentacles and cups shapes a narrative for the guidance they are seeking. There is a vast market for online readings, most of which are free.
Querents simply click as the mode of shuffling and wait to see the results. It could be argued that because computers operate under algorithms, there is much less authenticity in playing such an Ender’s Game with your fate. It also begs the age old question of human vs. machine. Can a website relay to you the intricacies of your reverse high priestess without knowing anything of your past? There are definite drawbacks to the use of tech in terms of readings, but for the purposes of studying symbols and most importantly, networking, tarot has found its place on the web. Fear not, lonely querents, and seek refuge in the qwerty of the stars.
Querents: inquirer; specifically: one who consults an astrologer
Here’s the thing about psychics. We can debate their actual abilities all we want, but at the end of the day, it takes an intelligent and keen observer of the human condition to pull off the act. TV producers clearly understand this concept, considering the number of shows featuring a protagonist with questionable ESP serving as the plot’s go-to crime solver. There’s solid logic to the premise, and it’s no wonder it has more real world applications than The Mentalist would have you believe. Take apartments, a city’s breeding ground for discontent. The tenant has it tough with bills, leaks, heat, broken buzzers and the like, but landlords have little to tell them who’s even moving into the building beyond a credit check. Until there’s a litmus test for late rent, it’s often a gamble with seriously high stakes. Cue the Watson of the walk-up: your Super. They deal with the nitty gritty and save the day should a renter go rogue, serving as the liaison for the habitually absent landlord.
But wouldn’t it be nice to prevent the crazy before it hits your property line? It could be a combination of knowing the ins and outs of their buildings or just plain paying attention, but psychic superintendents are a landlord’s best friend. They can weed out the weirdos while screening potential applicants, order a new pipe before yours bursts and arrive with a spare just as you start that text about losing your key. Similar to crystal healers, they are the anti-tech antidote to a realm where the complications of the web are equal to its convenience. In the miscreant clusterfuck that is Craigslist, it’s good to have a filter that extends beyond bad grammar and requests for guarantors.
They can weed out the weirdos while screening potential applicants, order a new pipe before yours bursts and arrive with a spare just as you start that text about losing your key.
It ain’t easy being green. Just ask Linda Blair, who turned heads as Regan MacNeil in 1973’s horror candy The Exorcist. Hollywood may have been onto something when it put the process on screen, a ritual that's as much performance as it is pastime. Found in most all religions, exorcism is the process by which an evil spirit is cast from the body of the possessed by a member of the exorcised's congregation. Like drama, exorcism was born for the stage, utilizing a script, actors, props, sound, etc. It leaves little question as to why it continues to draw so much interest from the public. And if we’ve learned anything from the internet, nothing spells expendable income like an audience that clicks. FaceTime, Google+ or Skype, click your poison. They all provide the means through which you can now evict your demons with the help of a trained professional. The kind of professional you often find on the internet, the one with no qualifications and a Geocities homepage.
$295 will get you an hour of devil killing delight, or you can join a roomful of your peers as you watch a 50-something year old man in a button-up simulcast the shit out of Satan. From Buffy to Angel to Bones, let’s all take a page from the David Boreanaz book of life and get rich on the cash crop that is internet exorcism while there’s still time. You only die once, you know?
will get you an hour
of devil killing delight
"Popular interest in telephones, gramophones, and typewriters was due in no small part to their supposed potential for contacting dead spirits."
James Hodges, PhD Student in Media Studies
It was only a matter of time before the internet stopped serving as only a vehicle for mystics and became its own divine right. Mysticism is the surrender of the self in the name of knowledge inaccessible to intellect alone, and it’s a definition as equally suited to Tor as it is your subway soothsayer. If the web is where the world now seeks salvation, who will save the web? Enter Cicada 3301, which quietly came onto the radar in 2012 and has been picking its way through the deepnet’s elite ever since. It is a series of puzzles that passes back and forth between the digital and physical and requires a knowledge of cryptography, coding and general computing genius so sophisticated that the government began mimicking the challenges in its own recruiting efforts. While any official outcome or purpose remains unknown, it is clear from the challenge that it presents that the protection of privacy and the right to anonymity on the web are inherent in its mission. The game’s references are a laundry list of theories, systems and innovators that have long held an air of mystique, from William Gibson to William Blake, Kabbalah and Carl Jung to the more modern Webdriver Torso and Linux. It’s meta mysticism born distinctly of and for this era, and it is the last line of defense in a society where the selfie has become this generation’s ouroboros, to the chagrin of anyone still hoping we have a chance. Cicada 3301 is a good indicator for the future of mysticism, which will continue to move into largely technological terrain and rely on practitioners as well versed in programming as they are in the history of cultural outliers. Don’t say you weren’t warned when the locusts rise again.
They can weed out the weirdos while screening potential applicants, order a new pipe before it bursts and arrive with a spare just as you start that text about losing your key.