When Yannina Diaz was laid off from her job as a publicist over the summer, she was looking for her next step. She went to get a tarot reading to help her cope.
"I had been laid off, gone through a breakup, health issues in the family, not to mention this pandemic we're going through," Diaz told TMRW. "It was a bit of what is this year going to bring?"
Diaz, who lives in Los Angeles, said she had visited psychics and tarot readers in the past, but doesn't make it an annual habit. However, during the pandemic, she was able to connect with a card reader and astrologer over FaceTime who helped her find some clarity.
"It does give you a little peace of mind when there is chaos around you. Some people take it literally, which isn't healthy, but in this case I heard her say, 'You're blocking yourself,'" Diaz said. She kept that message in mind and soon signed on with a big new client to launch her own public relations business.
Mitzye Ramos Ribas, a card reader in Pasadena, California, who runs Tarot Del Corazon, said the "uncertainty" of 2020 has led many people to contact her for tarot readings, which she does virtually to keep safe during the pandemic.
"I've done quite a few virtual readings using the Facebook messenger app, over the phone or on Zoom. I've also done quite a few written readings that I've emailed to people who prefer to go back and reread what the cards said. I prefer readings where I can see the person and they can see me and we can talk for 30 minutes or an hour about what concerns them, but some people don't want to be on camera and that's OK, too," she said. "Whatever makes the client more comfortable works for me and I follow their lead."
Brad Keenan, who lives in Toronto, Canada, said he decided to get a virtual reading when he needed some clarity about what was next in his professional life. He turned to Ribas for help via FaceTime.
"I had just started looking for a new chapter in my work career last January and then COVID-19 hit and I was like, now what? How does my future look along with the rest of the world?" he said. "The reading was eerily accurate as to where I was at and how I was feeling."
Other tarot readers, astrologers and psychics who spoke with TMRW said their business is booming during the pandemic as more people seek guidance during times of uncertainty. But instead of meeting face-to-face, they're taking new clients over Zoom, Skype, FaceTime and even Facebook Messenger.
"My work has probably doubled because of this time and people looking for that spiritual connection."
Theresa Fernand, a psychic medium from Westchester, New York, who is currently based in Florida, said she used to do in-person readings and events, such as gathering 100 people in a restaurant for dinner and then providing audience readings.
"My work has probably doubled because of this time and people looking for that spiritual connection," she said.
Whether it's connecting with late relatives, including those who have died of coronavirus, asking about the future or weighing business decisions, Ferdinand said she feels her job is to open up minds.
"What are you not seeing? Your perspective narrows your belief," she said. Fernand said she has been asked questions about the election, cryptocurrency and even advised a Florida businessman to stop real estate acquisitions in February, weeks before the pandemic hit.
Markus Barrington, a tarot reader based in Los Angeles, said he has gone completely virtual with his readings. As someone who always felt "different" and tapped into his gift at an early age, he said it doesn't matter whether his client is next to him in person or on a video screen.
"As people have started to realize this (pandemic) was going to go on a lot longer, people have been coming to me for readings and clarifications, asking when things are going to improve," he said.
Jonathan Mark, a psychic who works with celebrities, said he's used to meeting people who are skeptical and "can't wrap their minds around" the idea of believing. Mark said he is "booked for the next year" but understands why people are looking to people like him for help.
His advice for anyone who wants to have their first reading over video is simple.
"Find someone you trust or people you know trust," he said. "Have your own experience and see what happens through it."