When TikTok turns into a crystal ball

“Gwhimsical enamel with adventurous Sagittarius ascendant”, “cartomancer and astrologer” or even “medium and energetician”… crystal” or “sign of the zodiac”. Some TikTok and Instagram users are even giving in to the afterlife frenzy. “No hashtag, only destiny” card draws, “lions vs. scorpions” parody videos, live pendulum tests, these publications arouse many debates and reactions. For Generation Z, are the occult sciences a way of reassuring themselves in the face of an uncertain future or a desire to stand out, or even to know themselves better?

Covid, ecology, wars, 12/24 year olds are the first to display their anxiety and their commitments through publications on the Internet. At the same time, religions and beliefs, starting with the occult, are exploding on social networks. “In the LGBT community as in the feminist milieu, it is the basis for asking your astro sign, like your pronouns,” laughs Ayoub, a high school student. The teenager, fond of astrology, has as a model Dersim, non-binary tiktoker with more than 2 million subscribers and a fan of humorous videos showing the signs of the zodiac.

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Discreet, Ayoub avoids talking about his passion in his very pious family. “My two older brothers make the law and are very religious. For them, it is wrong to talk about astrology or clairvoyance. My mother has already let me use her card to pay for a TikTok medium when I wanted to have a message from my grandmother who died during the health crisis, ”says Ayoub. If astrology allowed him to better understand his temperament, the young man explains that it was the card reading and clairvoyance sessions that helped him overcome his anxieties. “At first, it made me laugh when I saw that I was a real ‘libra’, whatever the situation. But when I came across tiktoks without any SEO that described in the card draws exactly my situation and my problems, I wanted to know more. »

The medium gave me a very nice message from my grandma [décédée].Ayoub, high school student

Hurt by the departure of his father, the health crisis and the difficulty of accepting his homosexuality, Ayoub asked for an “astro coach” and a medium last year. From an analysis of his birth chart and a distance spiritualism session with his deceased grandmother Ayoub says he has come out grown up and does not feel the need to start over for the moment. “The first helped me to know myself better, like my reactions in love or with my family, and the second gave me a very beautiful message from my grandmother with details that she could not know alone”, insists the young man.

“Lives clairvoyance”, energy specialist and medium

Elsa, 22, has also gone through a difficult period of questioning her future. She says that the TikTok videos that appeared in her “for you” when she was in the heart of the cyclone helped her to recover. “I felt privileged when I came across these videos. While I was out of shape, I strangely found myself in the prints of a TikTok psychic. Each time, he hit it right and the cards corresponded significantly to my emotions, my feelings. When I sent them to a friend, she identified my situation, but it didn’t speak to her,” justifies the young woman.

Quickly annoyed by the “clairvoyance lives” where each of her questions remained unanswered in the face of the flood of instant messages, Elsa preferred to consult an “energetician and medium” who connected her to her ancestors. “My energy therapist proved to me with proven facts and details that she can connect to energies and chakras, which helped me a lot and reinforced my beliefs,” says Elsa, who has since overcome her seizures. anguish.

A “generation effect”

When asked, Romy Sauvayre, sociologist of science and belief, teacher-researcher at Clermont-Auvergne University and at the CNRS (in the social and cognitive psychology laboratory), believes that a link is increasingly being made between astrology and psychology. . “Historically, astrology has always been looked to for its predictions and its supposed (but unproven) ability to reveal the future. More recently, another use has appeared: that of discovering who one is from the birth chart calculated by astrologers. Astrology then enters into competition with psychology,” explains Romy Sauvayre.

For the sociologist, the craze for astrology is fluctuating and is coming back into fashion thanks to social networks and mobile applications, which she describes as a “generation effect”. “We adhere to astrology for two reasons: either we want to know our future and reduce the uncertainty that weighs on us. Knowing that we are in a period shaken by a pandemic, a war and economic problems, this question arises for all generations. Either we want to find out who we are, or know how to establish friendly or romantic relationships. This second motivation finds an echo in particular among the younger generations since it is with experience that one learns to know oneself. There, astrology promises you faster access to this knowledge of yourself and of others,” says Romy Sauvayre.

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Ines is 19 years old. This student with a scientific profile admits being the first surprise to have become a follower of the occult sciences. However, like Inès, 70% of young people aged 18 to 24 believe in parasciences. But how many are convinced that they have a “gift”? “I am Kabyle, I have always believed in energies, in karma, in the evil eye, it is in Arab culture. And it gradually became my belief. I’ve always had a lot of intuition, a bit like feelings about my relatives or strangers, and I told myself that it had to come from somewhere,” says Inès.

I don’t consider myself a witch, but I do believe that we are all connected by energies and that we can learn to control them.Ines, student

Thanks to the “witchtoks”, these TikTok videos focused on magic, Inès discovers the world of cartomancy, energy rebalancing, stones and other pendulums, and managed to “cut the fire” last summer on the burn of a friend. . “I don’t consider myself a witch, but I do believe that we are all connected by energies and that we can learn to control them,” says the student.

This is also the case of S Do, tiktoker and medium. The young woman, who arrived on the social network in order to succeed in music, finally broke through as a medium. Thanks to videos of card draws that have all met with great success, S Do has since been able to devote herself solely to her donations and move to Mexico, an “energy vortex”, as she defines it. “My card draw videos exploded quickly and people kept asking me for consultations. I didn’t even know how to know if I was aiming straight at the start! I had simply studied the TikTok algorithm to post my videos, ”recalls S Do. Quickly, the medium moved away from cartomancy to turn to “life coaching”, which she considers “deeper to help energetically” her patients in the long term.

Beware of manipulation

For Romy Sauvayre, the danger lies in the degree to which followers adhere to their beliefs: “Let’s imagine that, following the reading of a horoscope, an astral chart or session with an astrologer, you decide to make drastic changes in your life, such as resigning from your job, moving away from your family circle or stopping your drug treatment. You may also come into contact with more radical beliefs that distance you even further from your daily life. This would act as a doorway to attractive, but unreal dimensions,” warns the researcher. Another example: announcing that “Mercury retrograde” can justify or even accentuate a person’s anxiety during a certain period of the year.

Inès, lucid, evokes on her own the famous “Barnum effect”, which encourages a person to believe that a description or prediction is intended for them. “There are a lot of scams on TikTok and Instagram. Most of the so-called psychics always interpret the same thing: “You’re going to hear from her, it’s going to be mad love.” And presto, all you need is a like on an Instagram photo and you’ll believe it! On the side of the bad news, we are always told that we have experienced difficult things, but like everyone else in the end ”, gets annoyed Inès. The student undertook to draw the cards in order to obtain answers and reassure herself, but the verdict became more and more vague. “When I gave my friends their horoscopes, some saw the “cheating” side of Gemini as an excuse and a justification for cheating on their girls! This is why we must always be aware that, whatever the message that the energies deliver to us, free will will do the rest. »

We are not here to save people.S Do, medium on TikTok

Remarks corroborated by S Do, who also underlines the danger of certain “false mediums”: “There are people who manipulate, sometimes without knowing it, out of ignorance, and who buzz by saying anything. Apart from informing, we can’t do anything, we’re not here to save people, we create content and, beyond the message, my subscribers watch my videos for entertainment. The medium maintains that the “Barnum effect” exists, but that it can be beneficial, because the process of illusion “allows one to believe in the positive rather than lamenting one’s fate. »

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20 euros the astral theme

If S Do is transparent and tells of earning, from the height of its 25 years, between 5,000 and 6,000 euros per month thanks to its remote consultations, believing in the occult sciences can be expensive. “My astral theme cost 20 euros and the thirty-minute connection session with my grandmother a little less than 70. On the other hand, when I add up all the donations I made in TikTok live draws, I must reach 200 euros. It goes quickly to click on the gifts online, ”admits Ayoub, who punctures on his pocket money and his Christmas envelopes. Inès, for her part, paid around thirty euros for her training in astral themes to a coach on Instagram. “If we add my various oracles and two sessions with a shaman, I must be around 300 euros. The private lessons that I give alongside my studies have allowed me to pay a lot, it’s a long-term investment. »

I followed about fifteen sessions at around 75 euros.Elsa, about her shaman

Elsa, more precarious, had to make a choice to promote her “mental health”, as she specifies. If no psychologist, doctor or psychiatrist could help her, her shaman proved to be a lifesaver, despite her price. “I followed about fifteen sessions at around 75 euros. My energy specialist is very understanding and can adapt her price if it’s too complicated for me sometimes. But I prefer to prioritize my well-being rather than putting it in something else that won’t help me get better, “says Elsa, whose shaman recently blew her away with the analysis of her personality drawn from her way. to write letters.

Recently, the craze for astrology now concerns pets: their playful or aggressive temperament would be justified by their astrological sign.

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When TikTok turns into a crystal ball

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