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Hexing and Texting

Millennial hipsters are finding solace (and some cool outfits) in that old black magic

By Katie J.M. Baker

Every reading is kind of like a snowflake,” 28-year-old Bay Area tarot reader Alese Osborn tells me before reading my cards over the phone. It’s Wednesday, Osborn’s day off from her hectic metaphysical schedule — she hosts readings at a popular vintage store in San Francisco’s Mission District on Sundays and Thursdays, an Oakland cafe owned by the founder of Internet search engine Ask Jeeves on Mondays, and saves her weekends for larger events at places like Bloomingdale’s — but she cheerfully fits me in, although she has to hang up halfway through to catch a ride to a babysitting gig. “I think we can rock it ;)” she reassures me via text, along with a peace sign emoji.

She later texts me a photo of my tarot spread, which is, apparently, “pretty healthy.” Phew.

Until recently, I wouldn’t have been able to listen to Osborn detail the kinetic energy running through my body without cracking up, but chilled-out multitasking hipster psychics don’t seem so eccentric anymore. Upwardly mobile millennials are often accused of being self-obsessed and afflicted with “special snowflake” syndrome, but that’s not the only reason more and more smart, savvy and usually cynical 18-to-30-year-olds are dabbling in the occult, from astrological natal charts and tarot to séances and full-moon ceremonies.

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