Who would have guessed that Etsy, known for handmade products would have so many psychics and the issues that come along with overpromising and preying on the vulnerable. Read the entire article here.
Here is the excerpt:
Etsy has 8,694 results (and counting!) for "tarot reading," 7,650 for "psychic reading," and 945 for "astrology reading." The Etsy psychic community conducts its business digitally, sending results over email, video chat, or text message. Psychics and fortune tellers can perform their services as quickly as they would were a customer to enter a neon-lit storefront, depending on when they see the request on Etsy and receive payment, up front, using PayPal, debit card, check, or money order. But instead of wandering into a physical shop and displaying vulnerability to a mystical stranger, Etsy customers experience readings from the comfort of their own homes.
There are many kinds of psychic readings available on the site. Among the most widespread is tarot, in which a reader analyzes cards drawn from a deck to answer a question their client has posed; Etsy tarot readers send customers photos of their card spreads. Astrology readings are based on zodiac birth charts, which are essentially maps of the star, planet, sun, and moon alignments at the exact moment a person is born. Etsy shopkeepers also sell energy readings, during which they use alleged extra-sensory abilities to perceive the invisible field of energy surrounding a customer, including her chakras and aura.
The prices of metaphysical readings on Etsy range wildly in price, generally based on the depth of the reading and the amount of time the psychic puts into the work. A one-card reading from Gemini Tarot is less than $2. One of the most expensive readings available on Etsy is something called a psychic archetype reading from The Mystical Rose. For $3,300, you can have a psychic named Doreen meditate on what sort of goddess you are. After obtaining a customer's birthday, Doreen meditates on each goddess archetype and asks the spirit questions accordingly. For example, "Hag, what in you is ugly and terrifying? How can you redeem this monster?" The shop has 836 positive reviews.
Proprietors on Etsy also sell healing crystals, protective amulets and talismans, aura analysis drawings, and sometimes — illegally — magic spells. Etsy classifies itself as a marketplace and prohibits the sale of services sitewide, mystical or not. Psychics are required to sell their online readings with a "tangible item," which can be as simple as a .pdf or .jpg file, and are not allowed to make any explicit or even implicit promises, which means spells are strictly forbidden. To monitor psychic shops that have been skirting site rules, Etsy clarified its policies over the summer.
Site guidelines now state that "any metaphysical service that promises or suggests it will effect [sic] a physical change (e.g., weight loss) or other outcome (e.g., love, revenge) is not allowed, even if it delivers a tangible item." According to site regulations, Etsy also reserves the right to remove any listings that are not in the "spirit of Etsy." When the change occurred, the Etsy psychic community worried about revenue loss. Many took their services to sites with looser rules for spellcasters, like Bonanza, Keen, and Kasamba.
As for me, I am happy conducting quality readings in both tarot and astrology. If you are interested in one of my readings, click here.