Spain’s economic crisis has forced many unemployed citizens to try alternative ways to improve their fortunes.
This is the case of an unemployed 48 year old mother of two, Maite Izquierdo who has purchased several occultic items in desperation to get by in a country where one in four is unemployed.
Around her neck hangs a necklace of shungite – a shiny black mineral from Russia, said by occultists to bring emotional stability. In her bag she has a statue of a smiling Buddha and another of a three-legged frog – Asian charms reputed to bring wealth.
They are her latest purchases at Magic International, a spirituality fair in crisis-hit Barcelona where crowds browse over magic stones and spiritual tomes and countless fortune-tellers seek new clients.
“Any kind of help is welcome. In our house, we’ve had enough. My husband can only find temporary, badly-paid jobs. My eldest son can’t find anything and neither can I,” she said.
Attendance at the occult fair has surged to 50,000 this year compared to 30,000 before the crisis started in 2008.