For shops like Anima Mundi in Brooklyn, New York, business is booming. The company, which means "world soul" in Latin, focuses on natural herbs with medicinal purposes. And, since the beginning of the pandemic, revenue has doubled as has the number of employees and capacity.
"[Anima mundi] is a very deep biochemical concept considered to be the soul of nature, the presence of nature, which is also in us," Anima Mundi owner and herbalist Adriana Ayales said. "Human beings also contain the Anima Mundi. It's that which connects us all and becomes the collective energy that we all share as living beings."
Oftentimes, people are looking for an elixir to spice up their romantic side.
"Something I think everybody loves, the love potion section of herbalism," Ayales said. "There's so many amazing herbs for us to activate all these reproductive centers, or just beyond that. They're just also joy boosters. They're heart-opening allies."
The worldwide herbal medicinal industry is supposed to reach $84 billion this year, according to Global Industry Analysts. The group expects it to grow to $111.6 billion by 2026.
As a child Ayales found herself connected to spiritual energies. While her grandmother was more connected to psychic energies, she herself was drawn to nature.
"For many of us that have lived in cities and still live in cities, it's so hard to connect," she said. "So I think herbs is that real connection to reconnect to this ancient source that we're all from and a part of."
It's not just seeking natural solutions to life's issues. People are tapping psychics and tarot readers for help. At the top of Dante Sabatino's client requests is advice on partners or on relationships with friends and loved ones.
"What most people will look for in readings are guidance, direction, and insights," Sabatino said. "Some people look for other feelings like validation in what's happening in their life, hope, relief from stress and strain. And also, sometimes people like to know questions about when things could happen."
Sabatino is a busy man, booked almost two months in advance at this point. The U.S. psychic service industry reached $2.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow 1.5 percent this year, per IBIS World. And, younger generations especially Gen Z are looking to the stars based on social media posts and searches, especially on Pinterest.
"Our world is changing and people want to know," he said. "People are searching from a soulful level, and there's answers about questions that they can't find, maybe just in ordinary daily life, and are looking for more."
As we seek new meaning as things open up, people open to new sources of insight, he added.
"Our evolution of our society is moving into opening up doors and questions," Sabatino said. "Ancient wisdom is part of what people find to be important, and there's a wealth of knowledge there. I just think it's a curiosity of where we are as a race and as for society."