When Pearl Prather opened Mystikal Scents in 2006, she primarily served clients from the Thonotosassa area where her store is located. But with the rise of social media, and then the pandemic, she saw a growing interest in metaphysics.
People started coming from all over Tampa Bay to visit her witchcraft shop.
“We’re getting more and more known, but so is witchcraft,” Prather said. “If you look up witchcraft on any website, you’ll find a lot more now than when I first started.”
The world of psychics and fortune tellers is full of misunderstandings, but Prather says that has started to change over the years.While Mystickal Scents primarily carry products related to the Wiccan belief, a pagan religion that emerged in the 1950s, the practice of fortune-telling is moving beyond belief system.
“It’s big business,” said Prather, 61. “There are a lot of people who get readings: people with witchcraft beliefs, people who don’t believe in gods or goddesses, and Christians or Jews.”
She said her store was the busiest during the pandemic because people were forced to stay inside and had to think for themselves.
“Everyone has no extra distractions,” Prather said. “They had to sit at home and concentrate so they could focus on themselves. It really helped our store, it helped us get more on the map.”
Local governments in Tampa Bay have seen an increase in fortune-telling and clairvoyance businesses and are trying to regulate them by requiring psychics to apply for a license. But many psychics operate without them, making it difficult to count how many psychics there are in the Tampa Bay area.
stone. According to city records, St. Petersburg has several crystal and metaphysical stores spread across the city, but only two licensed psychics. Still, psychics and mediums interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times said they have seen a growth in curiosity about their industry.
“It’s definitely got a reputation, and it’s got a good reputation,” Prather said. “I’ve found that more and more people see witchcraft as a way to heal their emotional, spiritual and physical needs.”
It’s a common misconception that psychics possess some kind of magic, says Danielle Clark, a professor at Psychic Media and the University of South Florida’s School of Business. She describes psychic ability as a sixth sense that everyone has, but some people are more comfortable with it than others. Most people in the industry claim to have it from birth, or develop it during a life-changing event or near-death experience, Clark said.
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“When I work, I work with your energy so I can gain insight into careers, goals, finances, and pretty much everything we go through in our day-to-day lives,” says Clark, who specializes in trauma-informed reading. “Then I The middle part is also where I have the ability to open up and give energy to those who can’t talk to you.”
Many psychics, mediums and clairvoyants prefer life guidance and health over predicting the future, Clark said.
Barriers to accessing mental health care have forced some to turn to alternative methods. Clark added that many of the people who visit readers also don’t want to feel like they are examples of medical textbooks, but want to see how they fit into the bigger picture through the spiritual realm.
“I might remind you that some crumbs follow yourself in the future,” Clark said. “But it’s really about me empowering you, not telling you what to expect.”
For Angel Reader Ronald Dayton, one of two registered psychics in the city of St. Petersburg. He said Pitt found the neighborhood across the bay more popular and a better place to establish his psychic practice, Angelic Whispers Inc.
“Stone. St. Petersburg has become more diverse and our population has grown,” said Dayton, 57, who was baptized Catholic but now attends a non-denominational Christian church. “It really brings in an incredibly diverse group of people who see things from many different perspectives.”
While the more common tarot cards have generic messages that psychics can interpret the client’s path, Dayton uses a similar but different deck specifically to interpret messages from angels of biblical fame (such as the archangels Michael and Gabriel).
“After I had a near-death experience, I came back with some new abilities,” Dayton said. “It was a car accident. I was awakened and traveled to the other side. Then when I got back into my body, I could see guests I didn’t know before.”
A few local governments have ordinances that require psychics and fortune tellers to obtain special licenses to practice. In 1995, Hillsborough County passed two ordinances requiring psychics to obtain business tax receipts, according to county spokeswoman Hilary Zalla.
The ordinance also mentions a licensing process that requires five county residents to provide proof of character, to be fingerprinted by the sheriff and to pay $2,500. Zalla said that while the decree is still on the books, it is an “outdated” requirement and is no longer enforced.
But some locals say Hillsborough’s demands have caused chaos for their businesses.
Dayton said he could interpret Angelic Whispers for 25 years and launched Angelic Whispers in 2015. In addition to his offices on Gandy Boulevard and 4th Street, Dayton works at private events and Halloween festivities. part of St. The appeal of St. Petersburg is that he can easily register as a psychic, which allows him to work at parties and through his shop.
“It’s a very rigorous process [in Hillsborough County]. You have to get letters from people vouching for you, you have to get in front of people. It’s horrible,” Dayton said. “I do everything in St. Petersburg. Pete just because I don’t want to deal with the Hillsborough County bureaucracy. “
Thonotosassa’s Prather said she remembers a competitor asking for code in her store when she first opened. Since then, she has ensured her employees become ordained priests online so that religious freedom laws protect them from fines.
Pasco County has also required psychics to obtain a license from the county board of commissioners since 1975, according to county spokeswoman Sarah Andeara.
In 2000, after its consumer affairs office noticed an increase in the number of local businesses, Pinellas County officials began discussing issuing special licenses for fortune tellers, according to the Tampa Bay Times filing. However, county spokesman Tony Fabrizio said the county has not had a special permit requirement for psychics since 2007. Holy City According to city clerk Chandrahasa Srinivasa, St. Petersburg issued its own psychic licensing requirements in 2009.
According to minutes of the council meeting when the decree was approved, a representative of the refugee ministry at the time expressed concern about how the decree would affect religious freedom. Member of the St. Louis Astrological Society. St. Petersburg asked the council to postpone the vote so the group could discuss it.
Gary Molmino, a Florida historian and professor emeritus at the University of South Florida, said the state tends to attract second-chance seekers — people who may naturally seek esoteric guidance.
“I think in many of these cases there may also be a sense of desperation to discuss their future with the psychic,” Mormino said.
New Yorkers brought a powerful spiritualism movement to Florida in the late 1800s, Mormino said. But even in recent decades, economic and political turmoil may prompt people to seek advice from fortune tellers.
“There’s a lot of fear in living in Florida,” Molmino said.