We're not prone to make believe and magic but psychics in SF have sprung up fast in the last year. Taking over small business spaces and apartments--our question: how do they stay afloat in a competitive SF housing market.
We'll be honest. We've never been inside any particular psychic's work space. All we can tell from the outside is that they usually line everything in velvet and place family ornaments around their windows to really "set the mood." Followed by a couple neon signs and a piece of paper that reads "cash only." Many flock to these places in order to connect on a spiritual level.
Recently on Geary Blvd between 19th and 20th, A sign that read "change of management" lined one psychic's establishment and with that change, they began accepting walk-in's and Square. SQUARE. Mediums can be tech savvy too. So when the opportunity offered itself, we took the plunge.
I decided to take on a '30 minute session' at the psychic (4244 Geary Blvd) and get my fortunate, palm, and tarot cards read by mrs(?) Sabrina. (For the most part, many psychics in SF are of Russian decent so I'm totally setting the scene for you.) I was sat in the small and dimly lit waiting room where the windows had been blacked out to the outside world. The smell in the air had this stomach churning stench - and not even a bad smell to begin with, but a smell that psychically changed the chemistry of your stomach acid. I promise it wasn't acid reflex.
After about 15 minutes of waiting, Sabrina's "husband" (I think...) instructs me to move beyond the curtain wall dividing the single room. And there she sat, on a tufted blue velvet love seat no less. No crystal ball but light "mystical" driven music playing softly in the background. It was exactly every scene out of a Scooby Doo movie. Any of them.
She shakes my hand limply with a smile and asks me to sit on the adjacent chair. There isn't any tables, it's two seats right in front of each other. To my knowledge, I was expecting fog, lights, and the sounds of gems hitting themselves to create atmosphere. You know exactly what that sounds like, don't lie. Sabrina offers me coffee or tea to which I nicely refuse but she doesn't waste anytime with my reading. Because time is money, am I right?
She takes a good look at my face and begins to thoroughly give me the up and down. An almost judging face but still very sweet. I sit quietly making direct eye contact with her as she inspects me, "you're a very strong personality" she tells me in her (either fake) thick accent. I smile and agree to her claim; in hindsight, I think this is what set the tone of the entire "reading."
She takes my hand and begins to read it--somewhat quickly begins spouting trigger words that she could see in my facial expression. Words like healthy, tired, sluggish are all ones she used to pinpoint who I was. Sketching out my palm with her finger, she gave me a (kinda) light hand massage... that was admittedly not too bad. We continue the reading and move into the tarot card portion. Sabrina hands me a deck of cards from her side that have been definitely used, they were not in any way fresh but I begin to shuffle as she keenly eyes my hands with a smile glued to her face.
We continue the reading for another 30 minutes, talking lovers and water and kings; queens when an outside buzzer goes off. Her husband quietly comes in through the curtain and tells me my time is up. We've made general remarks about my life, future, and goals. Love, work, and connection are soon to be had (which is essentially the future anyways.) The smell in the room became much more familiar and the stomach churning feeling I felt didn't toss as such. As I grab my tote and begin to throw on my jacket, her husband hands me his iPhone with a Square reader attached. He motions to the $35.00 and tip (totaling: $41.00) on the screen--I swipe my Chase card for him and fill out the signature. He immediately unplugs his square, puts both gadgets back in his pockets and lead me out. Sabrina gives me one final goodbye before closing the door behind me.
Some days later, after the bank processed my interaction, I get a text from Chase saying my account is locked and that I needed to call customer service A.S.AP. Trying to convince a voice over the phone that I saw a psychic was like trying to tell them that their mother had passed away. Of course, nothing sketchy came from the transaction--but it was listed as "unusual activity." But was my reading worth it do you ask? Yes and no. We did talk vaguely about happenings in my life while simultaneously getting a mini-therapy session. Nothing specific was ever said or mentioned but her sly tongue drove the conversation, leading me to bring up more details that suited her reading. TLDR: she's good at talking to people.
Overall, she was very nice but the experience wasn't life changing as some claim. A "psychic therapy" session could potentially replace my normal weekly therapy sessions for a dollar of the price. It does feel a bit "splurgy" to go talk for 30 minutes but knowing why people flock to psychics is the reason why these places can stay open. People will pay to have their minds juggled lightly. They will pay to have their brains basically trained with thinking exercises and deep meditations--for those who work in any high stress enviorment, you need the relaxing qualities to slow everything down. Being able to provide this brain break is what Sabrina and her "6th sense" friends do. And they do it well, it's relaxing, no?
Anthony is the founder of Bob Cut Mag and the director of business development. Anthony writes on LGBT, people, and gender issues but catch him also writing about other shenanigans he finds himself in. Want to partner with Bob Cut? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org