Is there a market for actual mysticism?

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PoisonPen
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Is there a market for actual mysticism?

Post by PoisonPen »

For the last few years I've been earning extra money doing tarot readings on a little folding table on the street. My skills have increased over that time, and something odd is happening. I used to make $60-$80 in a 12 hour shift pretty reliably (I charge by voluntary donation), but for the last two or three years, that amount has been slowly declining. Yesterday I made $6.

As a Jungian mystic, I always explain to querents that I'm not psychic, I don't have magical powers, and I can't see the future, that what I do is a form of applied psychology which works through the phenomenon of apophenia, and my readings are for delving into one's own unconscious. I've noticed that the charlatans who tell people they're going to win the lottery, go on a cruise, and find true love have no difficulty making money. On the other hand, as my own skills increase and my intuitive ability to act as a mirror to reflect people's unconscious thoughts back at them improves, fewer and fewer people have any interest in my services. I'm not even sure how this is happening, since it's not like people stop to question me about which paradigms I'm using.

This is concerning for me because I'm about to open my own tarot parlour. I have a storefront I've been renovating, and I'm going to be in debt. As a hobo and a mystic, this enterprise represents a considerable risk for me, but I've really had no choice. The world is becoming meaner, smaller, and less tolerant, so my bohemian lifestyle is no longer possible; after a half-century as a drifter I have to bunker down and figure out how to make enough money to survive. I'm concerned that my skills as a real and actual intuitive may drive people away. I have a lot of serious health problems, and the medication which keeps me alive is expensive. If this enterprise fails, I will simply die. Does anyone have any suggestions? Am I going to have to give deliberately false readings to blow sunshine up people's asses? The negative karma associated with that seems so horrendous that death may be preferable.

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Cybernetic_Jazz
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Re: Is there a market for actual mysticism?

Post by Cybernetic_Jazz »

My only advice is you can't control people's baseness. If they want some occult version of prosperity doctrine Christianity or Rhonda Byrne style Kabbalah so their yuppy lifestyle can go from a little posh to more posh with trinkets - you'd have to be able to change other people, make them smarter, or make them care about things which actually matter and as far as I can tell it's pretty rare for people to care about anything that isn't instant gratification of a base impulse.

I'd actually shift focus a little bit and get one-pointed in your meditations on this - option B. There may be another way to make a living that won't drain your soul, won't force you to lie or scam (sadly the business world is rank with dishonesty these days), and really you'll have to give this one to your own subconscious to process and come up with more profound solutions than you could intellectually muster as well as perhaps using its own web of outreach to chain the right synchronicities together to bring you to the place you need to be.

Part of why I've sort of gotten out of most ceremonial magic and only do it rarely, aside from having doubtful sensitivity, is I've noticed it has to speak very directly to a core developmental need I have to be worth much and when I can wrap that core need around a structure and utilize that structure then its something worthwhile. As far as life changes it's the same - I have to feel, if I'm going to dedicate myself to a new plan, like I'm 100% behind it. Most of that work, that purification and organizing yourself so that the distractions are decreased and your subconscious and conscious minds can really strike a resonance and get you fired off like a bullet in a good direction takes a lot of deliberate staging. That staging is probably what you want to do. I'd also add, maybe even to help that staging, you may not do much at all for entertainment but what amount you do you may even want to decrease that to somewhat deliberately peak the restlessness and the time in which your mind can dialog with itself.

Obviously if that advise doesn't speak to you no worries. We're all built a little different and I think even if not you'll get a sense of what similar lines may work for you.

What I'd fully agree on - you don't want to make your tarot reading watered-down crap. Even if there were no karmic consequences to selling out the trouble is you'd grow to hate something you live and for most of us there's just too little we really find enjoyment in to sacrifice or spoil those things for cash.
You don't have to do a thing perfect, just relentlessly.

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Re: Is there a market for actual mysticism?

Post by Procel »

No, it's not an issue of authenticity. You need to take a closer, maybe even ruthless look at what you are presenting. If people aren't connecting with you (and there for not getting readings and not donating) it's probably a cop out to assume that they don't appreciate the real deal. Are you coming across as a warm and inviting, or as a desperate old street person? I am not saying this to be cruel, I mean to be helpful. If people aren't coming to you it's almost certainly you, not them. Look in the mirror first, then look outward.

That said, let's talk a bit about the readings and about the business of giving readings. If you are setting up a space, complete with a roof, walls and utility bills; you are making a bold and commendable move. My hat is off to you. My advice is to maximise what you do there as long as you don't become that which you despise. How do you maximise without becoming a McPsychic? First, sublet your space. You can only read so many a day, and not every client wants the same reader. Let others use your space for a payment (that you and they agree to.) There are likely palmists, tarot readers, rune readers etc in your area who would love to get into the world of psychic reading but can't afford a shop. Let them book their clients and benefit from the professional appearance of your shop. Also, you need to offer workshops. Meditation for beginners, cultivating your psychic abilities, how to read tarot for beginners, and so on. As you build some momentum you can think about offering books and other physical items for sale.

You don't need to sacrifice your authenticity, you DO need to find others who share your passion and offer them a way to offer their skills to the world. And you need to pay the bills, and that means getting clients in your door. No one wants to pay to go to a fake psychic. Remember that. You need to find good, sincere people who want to give good readings, and you need to offer their services to customers. In short, you need to look at what you do in a professional way. Just because it's mystical doesn't mean it can't be done in a professional way. There is a thriving "New Age" community out there, and they don't want sunshine blown up their ass. They want your authenticity.

You can do this.

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Re: Is there a market for actual mysticism?

Post by PoisonPen »

Cybernetic_Jazz:

Thanks for the insight. Part of the problem I'm having with focus is because I never wanted anything like this to begin with. I've always been a free spirit, never worried about money, and spent my life in service to other people and my community. I was always content living in destitution. My needs are small, and as long as my hours were mine to do with as I pleased, I was content to let the world follow its own path to the sea and establish its own level while I followed mine. Unfortunately, something in the deep bedrock of our culture has started shifting and it's become more and more difficult for me to survive. I haven't changed, but the culture has. It's reached the point where I will literally and actually die if I don't become part of the world of licenses and permits and accounting and bank accounts and all the rubbish I've spent my life avoiding. This isn't something I've felt moved to do, but rather something which is being forced on me.

I did have warning of this. Months ago my Anima changed forms, from a gentle and teasingly sarcastic manifestation to an older, harsher, and more mordantly wry manifestation who is fraught with subtexts of conflict and even cruelty. The transition from Maiden to Mother seems to be the result of my unconscious recognition that there is a time of struggle ahead, and that I no longer have the luxury of passivity.

Procel:

I look like a hobo, because I *am* a hobo: long hair, huge shaggy beard, crumpled fedora. That was never a problem until recently. There's some really serious anti-poor hatemongering going on, and some of it seems to be slopping onto my boots. While sitting out on the street with my little folding table, just in the last couple of years I've been getting people pitching things at the back of my head from moving cars or telling me to "get a job." I'm also getting more christian types stopping to berate me for "sorcery" and telling my querents that consorting with the supernatural is sinful and evil. I recently had one guy pull out his rosary and drag them over my cards as he passed. This is all stuff which didn't used to happen until fairly recently.

I do like your idea about renting out this space. I'm living in the basement of the storefront right now, which is the only way I can afford to do this, so I've been a bit hesitant about inviting people into my place of solitude, but I think if I could find the right people it might work. I do tarot and I Ching, so finding people who can expand the services offered is a good notion. As I'm a Jungian I tend not to get along with the "New Age" crowd, who tend to be a little... Wiccan, I guess. But we'll see what happens. If I can get my Anima firing on all cylinders again, I should be able to arrange the right synchronicities to draw out people who parallel my own path.

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Re: Is there a market for actual mysticism?

Post by Omnicentrik »

Rebooting these older threads is an iffy business I would say, because who knows if the original poster will even get to read it? Even so, the issue of the thread is worth reconsidering five years down the line. In times of collective stress people will vent on who they think they can: usually those who appear marginalized. Then those who are marginalized might be given a "green light" by new trends to vent back. I would say for the western world, at least, the collective stress levels have increased since 2015 and its getting even more intense. The result is that we more and more face the "shadow", and perhaps have to reevaluate former givens.

That does not necessarily imply self-betrayal, although some form of adaptation might not be as bad as we think. The idea, for me, is to adapt without betraying ourselves. That calls for extra creativity and diving into our own resourcefulness. As a long time reader myself, I view communication as important in the process as tuning into the information needed for the reading.

Is there a market for mysticism? I think so, but changing times call for creative evaluation. In my view, someone who is into esoteric practice is challenged to use that knowledge, along with logic and material skills. This is more an attempt to get my "forum-mind" working again, so forgive the shallow gloss of a reply. Still I think the topic is worthy of more consideration, the OP's personal situation notwithstanding. Hope she is doing well, btw.

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