How can you avoid false spirituality?

"I'm already with you in the energy field" : What fascinates the Germans so much about esotericism

On Tuesday afternoon, Andrea Partisch is sitting in the Berlin recording studio and takes the next caller. It's Waltraud's turn. She says she would like "the energy booster". “You get it,” Partisch replies. In her left hand, the medium holds a shiny stick with which she circles in the air, directly above the small pyramid that stands on the table in front of her. Partisch says: "I'm already with you in the energy field."

Then Andrea Partisch diagnosed a problem with Waltraud: The caller's energy was "very much programmed to flow away", so do not linger long in Waltraud. Partisch knows this at once as well, “to do with a deficiency program from the line of ancestors on the father's side”. But do not worry, Partisch will now counteract this. She circles once more with her staff over the pyramid and says: "The power and strength are being activated for you."

The property you live on is drawing a lot of energy right now

Andrea Partisch, according to her own statements, clairvoyant

Partisch does it every minute, this Tuesday in the recording studio of the television station Astro.TV, in an office building on the edge of an industrial area near the Jungfernheide S-Bahn station. Andrea Partisch immediately recognizes the problem with every new caller. Sometimes she allegedly feels "a lot of foreign energies in the energy field" of the person seeking help, which she then dissolves in seconds, sometimes she claims: "The property on which you live draws you a lot of energy."

She knows all of this because, according to her own statements, she is clairvoyant and clairvoyant and so can read at will in foreign energy fields and knows "what's going on right now". Almost all callers are female. In between, Andrea Partisch gives a viewer "a blue protection around your aura", cleans a "mental field" and generally has an urgent advice for her audience: "Take your neediness seriously!"

If you believe Andrea Partisch, her energy work is “very exclusive and high quality”. After all, she handles the “energy of the Pleiades”, which is “a particularly fine, highly frequented one with which it is possible to work energetically very quickly”. She is very grateful that she has this gift and that she can make people happy.

Elements of esotericism have arrived in the middle of society

The energy of the Pleiades is a real unique selling point in a flourishing, multi-million dollar industry. In Germany alone, fortune tellers and astrologers, dowsers and dream interpreters, shamans and energetic people have an estimated annual turnover of between 20 and 25 billion euros.

There are no exact figures, as there is no professional association, trade unions or training professions. Around nine percent of the German non-fiction books sold relate to the subject areas of spirituality and esotericism. In the form of yoga courses and mindfulness workshops, incense sticks and dream catchers, esoteric content has long since arrived in the middle of society and is no longer considered exotic, but part of modern life in Germany.

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In the year of the corona crisis, esotericism came more into the public eye - and irritated some. Because, of all things, during the much-noticed protests against the pandemic measures, a noticeable number of esotericists took to the streets and had no hesitation in demonstrating alongside right-wing extremists and Reich citizens. How is this possible with people who are primarily concerned about their spiritual well-being and inner peace? And now does everyone who is interested in the supernatural have to distance themselves from the anti-democrats who wanted to storm the Reichstag building at the end of August?

Who is ripping off? Who means well?

The criticism that esotericism in Germany had to contend with so far was different. First, none of the effects that their gurus promise and their followers hope for can be scientifically proven. And secondly: the industry is bustling with businessmen and charlatans, including those who have no inhibitions about ruining gullible people seeking help. And it's hard to tell the rip-offs and impostors from those who mean it really well with their customers.

Andrea Partisch, the provider of high-quality Pleiades energy, claims to be a medium, spiritual coach and transformation trainer. She has supposedly had her psychic abilities since she was born, which she wants to use for the benefit of mankind. One can get advice from Partisch - apart from her television appearances - by telephone. That costs 3.99 euros per minute.

"Aura Chakra Cleaner Pro" - 120 euros

She also runs an online shop where she sells products such as the “Aura Chakren Cleaner Pro”, a palm-sized piece of glass with seven pink balls on it. Andrea Partisch claims that she “specially energized” this object, which is why it can realign energy fields. The "Aura Chakra Cleaner Pro" costs 120 euros.

Why can she of all people offer Pleiades energy and why is her advice so expensive? Upon request, Andrea Partisch wrote that she was ready for an interview with Tagesspiegel. A day later, she called again and announced that she had changed her mind. After consulting her marketing agency, it was concluded that an article “does not fit into our concept at the moment”.

Diagnoses by astrologers

The broadcaster Astro.TV, which gives people like Partisch, but also dream interpreters, karma astrologers, commuters and pet clairvoyants, a stage, belongs to the Berlin company Adviqo. The operates 14 other esoteric brands and online portals, including the Questico platform, on which the expensive telephone advice can be booked with the esoteric people who previously advertised their skills on Astro.TV. The business model is massively criticized by consumer advocates, among other things because medical diagnoses were made on the station from time to time (“You will have a hip operation in the next two years”).

The creative director of Adviqo initially promises an interview with Tagesspiegel several times. She has the questions sent to her in advance. Then she writes that an interview is not possible due to lack of time.

The club of the "initiated"

The knowledge that only the initiated have - that means esotericism in the literal sense. Esoterics are those who know, exoterics don't know anything.

Esotericism is often associated with: unaffected by civilization. Close to nature. Without technology. Easy. Down to earth. This is a model of esoteric thinking that has often found expression on the pages of printed books. The main work of one of the most important French critics of the rationality of the West in the 20th century - his name was René Guénon - was: "The crisis of the modern world". First published in 1927. At the end of October 2020 a new edition will appear again; there is obviously a noticeable demand. A few years before René Guénon, namely in 1917, Oswald Spengler had published his work "Der Untergang des Abendlands".

René Guénon is one of the most important thinkers of a trend that wanted to oppose rational thinking with a religiously based thinking inspired by the great religions of Asia. The British historian Mark Sedgwick describes him in his standard work “Against the Modern World - The Secret Spiritual History of the Twentieth Century” as a pioneer of “traditionalism”.

Longing for the spiritual elite

Traditionalism is a spiritual doctrine that is not based solely on reason. Sedgwick gives Guénon's idea of ​​saving the West as follows: A new metaphysical and spiritual elite is required, trained in oriental systems of knowledge - another element of many esoteric directions: the wisdom of the East. The new elite, Guénon said, should lead the West towards a restoration of traditional culture.

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Civilization, the society designed according to the rules of reason with its rights, regulations, constraints and duties: This is the target of esoteric thinking and, as a result, esoteric models of life. Civilization with its possibilities - and with the emptiness of its functionality, the mechanics of its institutions, the coldness of law, the pragmatism of politics. Esotericism, on the other hand, sets its supposedly higher meaning - even if only initiated, members of an elite, recognize it.

The conflict between science, politics and religion

For the religious scholar Daniel Cyranka from the University of Halle-Wittenberg, the development, the boom in esotericism, shows a dispute over the power of interpretation in our present day. This dispute began around 150 to 200 years ago, in the time of the political, economic and scientific revolutions after 1789 - such as in the German Vormärz and in other European countries. At that time, according to Cyranka, it was about a dispute between politics, science and religion - and about truth: about true religion, true science in the field of tension between materialism and natural philosophy, but also mesmerism and occult and spiritualist currents.

Cyranka's research is based on terms: It has a meaning that Karl Marx wrote in 1848 that “a ghost” was around in Europe. At the same time, movements arose that were concerned with contact with the other, invisible world in "séances". According to Cyranka, socialist movements are also converging on issues such as spiritualism and the occult.

Demarcation from a world that doesn't suit you

"New names stand for new situations, constellations, developments," says Daniel Cyranka. That also applies to the present. Esotericism today - for him that is a search movement, the search for truth, orientation, for self-empowerment in a time when the state suddenly regulates much more than has long been the norm.

Esotericism is the demarcation from a world in which a lot does not suit you. Those who claim cosmic consciousness, higher knowledge or alternative ways to knowledge define themselves as “higher than” or “better than”, says Cyranka. This is often associated with the devaluation of science, the open society and its culture of debate, as well as the rejection of social consensus or communal religion.

Then Cyranka said the nice sentence on the phone: “Democracy is not available. Democracy is an effort. ”And effort is something other than proclaiming esoteric knowledge.

A 72-year-old predicted Corona - or not

One of the core competencies of esotericists is to be able to look into the future. Some do this by reading the stars, laying cards, or putting themselves in trance states. Andrea Partisch, the woman with the Pleiades energies, also claims that she will know what is coming if she only looks carefully in her energy fields. Many believe they can foresee the course of world history and publish their forecasts for the following year in December. Shouldn't they have known about something as serious as the coronavirus in advance?

Yes, I foresaw the virus, says the Amberg clairvoyant Annatala Natalia Geiger-Jordtveit. She also has evidence, she writes to the Tagesspiegel, and is ready for a telephone interview. As proof, the 72-year-old sends a prognosis about impending volcanic eruptions, changes in world politics and the danger of terrorist attacks, which actually contain these two sentences: “A virus from Africa will spread a dangerous disease. Thanks to new vaccines, however, this is combated quickly. "

As it turns out, however, the forecast is from December 2016 and should therefore anticipate the events of 2017. In the years that followed, Geiger-Jordtveit no longer predicted a virus. There is a plausible explanation for the wrong time, says the clairvoyant on the phone. The visions she received did not contain any timestamps, so there could occasionally be temporary deviations: “Time doesn't matter.” The fact that she also foresaw a virus from Africa instead of Asia is also unproblematic: “You know never exactly where that came from. It can come from anywhere. ”She continues to consider Africa as the real origin to be conceivable.

The list of failures is remarkable

In order to look into the future, Annatala Natalia Geiger-Jordtveit says she initially goes into a trance. She learned how to do this during a one-week stay in Croatia. She has been a clairvoyant for 45 years. On the phone, she said that she had foreseen other remarkable things besides Corona. If you look at the archives of their forecasts, the list of their failures is particularly noteworthy.

For 2010, Annatala Natalia Geiger-Jordtveit explicitly predicted that Germany would not become world champions. For 2012 she knew that Vladimir Putin would no longer be elected, that Caroline was getting a divorce from Monaco, and that the D-Mark would probably return. In 2016 Hillary Clinton will likely become US President ("She will make some good changes for America"). The clairvoyant even wrongly predicted that Angelique Kerber would remain at the top of the tennis world rankings.

A surprising event has never been correctly predicted

Michael Kunkel, mathematician

Geiger-Jordtveit is no exception, but practically the prototype of a clairvoyant, says the Mainz mathematician Michael Kunkel on the phone. On behalf of the Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences (GwUP) he has been documenting the prognoses of fortune tellers, clairvoyants and astrologers for 18 years in order to check them for their truthfulness at the end of the year. The results are sobering. "A surprising event that was not to be expected and that never happened before has never been correctly predicted," says Kunkel. Nobody around the world forecast a pandemic of the magnitude of the corona crisis.

People claim they can move objects with thoughts

This is generally how it is in esotericism. As soon as an attempt is made to statistically measure the effect, the result is devastating. At the University of Würzburg, the GwUP offers tests every year for people who claim to be psychologically gifted. Anyone who can prove their skills under scientific framework conditions will receive 10,000 euros. There came mind readers, dowsers and fortune tellers, also people who claimed to be able to move objects with their power of thought or even to float through the air themselves.

Nobody ever received the money. The person in charge of the test series says that the actual superpower of the candidates is only revealed after the tests: that is, when they can find creative explanations for their failure.

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Sometimes the stars were unfavorable, sometimes it was due to a lack of sleep or a secret power that wanted to prevent victory. Only one candidate has shown insight in all these years. After his failure, the man admitted that he might not have any supernatural abilities after all. But the insight did not last long. A few days later he called again and said he had changed his mind. A higher spiritual power allowed him to continue using his psychic talents.

The esoteric scene also knows about the impostors

The fact that there are many impostors and rip-offs in the industry is also evident within the esoteric scene - and is increasingly viewed as a problem, since in view of the scientific non-verifiability of any benefit, the customer's trust is what counts. However, it is controversial who counts among the rip-offs, where fraud begins and where distancing is necessary.

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The umbrella organization Spiritual Healing e.V. has its headquarters in Nidda, Hesse. An association of healers and esotericists who want to differentiate themselves from dubious providers. The association has developed a code of ethics. If you want to belong to the circle of pure healers, you have to follow rules when laying on your hands, praying or performing shamanic rituals. For example: "I never promise healing or even relief."

I never promise healing or even relief.

From the code of ethics of the umbrella organization for spiritual healing

Or also: "I expressly urge my clients not to put their hopes in me alone." This weekend, the association had actually planned its annual congress, there should be lectures on "Therapeutic Telepathy" and "Spiritual Healing in Animals", plus an introduction to the "still little known bee shamanism". Critics say: The efforts of the association are honorable - but do not change the fact that the offers of serious spiritual healers have no scientifically proven medical benefit beyond the placebo effect.

Books are an essential medium in esotericism. Whereby one should allow their authors - from Eliphas Lévi to Alan Kardec to Rudolf Steiner - that they believed in what they put on paper and for a lecture. The volumes of the Russian author Vladimir Megre are selling millions of times. His fictional character Anastasia, heroine of the ten-volume book series, is supposedly the ambassador of an ancient people, she has psychic abilities such as telepathy and teleportation. Allegedly, the author met Anastasia in 1994 "in a remote taiga clearing". Above all, however, Anastasia is the leading figure of a movement in which the protection of the constitution is now interested.

The believers of Anastasia

Anyone who considers it to be the innocuous nonsense of a Russian author with a highly developed business acumen is concerned with the "Anastasia Movement", which is meanwhile in Germany - the emphasis is on "land". The series had an impact. There are Anastasia believers in this country.

Their followers settle in the country and practice agriculture, preferably ecological. The settlers like to wear a flowing full beard and talk down what their court has to do with “Anastasia”, at least when they are approached by representatives of public broadcasters. This is shown by a report by "Bayrischer Rundfunk" about the movement in 2018.

In the sights of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution

The movement has also caught the eye of the constitutional protectors in Germany. When asked about the “assessment of the state government” of the Anastasia movement, the constitutional protectors of Baden-Württemberg wrote: It was “a right-wing esoteric, natural religious movement whose ideological orientation includes racist, ethnic and anti-Semitic aspects”. The protection of the constitution did not know to what extent this ideology "is lived in practice". But you mentioned two “family country seats” - the ideological nucleus of the movement - near Landshut and near Lörrach. And they knew about "connections" between the Anastasia people and Reich citizens and self-administrators.

Esotericists on the side of right-wing extremists "Running up to the Reichstag is a new level"

It's easy to get to Berlin, where at the end of August at a demonstration that was bigger than expected, strange people with aluminum foil on their heads, old hippies and squat men with short hair and black-white-red flags walked the streets to the scene of a “cross front “Did. So are esoterics right-wing extremists who don't know? Do esotericists pursue the agenda of strict rights, the citizens of the Reich, the haters of the state - all those who have made the corona pandemic the vehicle of their criticism of the regulating state power with its tendency to constantly new regulations?

31 esoteric fairs

Esotericism in Germany is as complex as it is colorful. Germania is present, as is the pacifism of Far Eastern spirituality. On the website “Asatru” - apparently based on the Germanic gods, the Aesir - one reads under the photo of a small table standing under trees in the middle of the forest: “As a friend of simple and archaic forms, this is a stablear, so a small one Altar table for easy carrying in a rucksack intended for strolls through the forest or Blót hikes ('Blót' means sacrifice). There are so many sublime moments in some clearing flooded with forest light that invite you to stop for a moment and celebrate this in a framed form. "

Forest hikers with their own altar have something as esoteric as hippies who have grown old who danced singing on the street during the demonstration at the end of August. The (commercial) website "Messeninfo" writes (the data presumably comes from the time before the corona pandemic): Of 3687 trade fairs, 31 are esoteric fairs.

Top topic: energetic cleansing

In German-speaking countries they have titles such as “Spirituality and Healing”, “Happiness”, “Life Force” or “NaturEinKlang”. Lectures are offered as well as coaching, life support, talismans and wellness products. The “Spectrum of Spirituality” trade fair, which is to take place in Siegen in May 2021, advertises with events on healing sessions, media sessions, contacts with the hereafter, card reading, aural reading, aura cleaning, water shiatsu, singing bowl massages, Fogo Sagrado - this is a shamanic technique to dissolve blockages . Further topics in Siegen: spiritual life counseling, energetic cleansing, massages, reading clover-leaf cards. And astrological consultations.

According to a study by a large insurance company, 23 percent of those surveyed believe that the stars influence our lives. Social psychologist Pia Lamberty cites this number as an indication of how widespread “magical thinking” is. At the University of Mainz, Lamberty researches how “prejudice structures” work, also politically. Conspiracy theories are structures of prejudice; they belong to at least some branches of esotericism, such as the Anastasia movement.

Reich Citizens and Electrosmog

The "connection" between esoterically moved and right-wing citizens of the Reich, which has now been shown publicly, did not surprise Pia Lamberty. You go to the health food store, leaf through an esoteric magazine and come across an advertisement from the right-wing Kopp publishing house, she says. He is currently promoting the new releases “Beware of dictatorship - How democracy is being dismantled in Germany and a totalitarian state is being built” and for “5G. Electrosmog and Glyphosate - How to Eliminate the Silent Killers of Humankind ”.

The conspiracy belief has "made a leap" since 2012, says Lamberty. The authoritarianism study at the University of Leipzig shows that. In 2012, around 21 percent of those surveyed were convinced of conspiracy theories, in 2016 it was 32 percent, in 2019 it was a third. Between the belief in a conspiracy and esoteric beliefs there is a "correlation on a quantitative level," she says - that is, a direct relationship. The starting point is a feeling of loss of control. That could be the loss of a job, the search for a meaning in life - or a pandemic like Corona.

Few can control many

A study that can be found on the Internet under “Infoticker Passau” shows how this works. The website wants to draw attention to “right-wing activities in and around Passau”. In June, Infoticker published a long text with many photos about the “Passau Corona rebels”. An exciting dossier. It shows how a few, well-connected and communicative people can control a movement - as was the case with Pegida in Dresden.

The infoticker people identified an entrepreneurial couple, a neo-Nazi and a businesswoman from the “power food” scene as the organizers of various rallies and the “For Freedom” movement. Don't you have to think of the vegan rebel, would-be Federal Chancellor and future resistance fighter, the Berlin corona rebel Attila Hildmann?

Fight against water veins

In any case, the business couple earn their money with: esotericism. She organizes courses in “Theta Healing” and promises: “Here you will learn how you can work with your subconscious in a simple way and how you can track down and change everything that still burdens or blocks you in any way in your life! “He sells“ sleep systems ”based on beds made of pine wood. The company's offer also includes “complete interference suppression of the bedroom using a specially developed process”. It "neutralizes" electrical radiation as well as "Earth's magnetic fields, grids, radioactive and cosmic rays as well as water veins".

In esotericism, some things come together that actually do not fit together. Some things have to do with business, some with belief, some with politics. The Passau Corona rebels organized weekly demonstrations in May and June - as Infoticker documented - in which a few hundred people took part. There were violations of hygiene regulations, which at such demonstrations have a confessional character.

Proximity of rights and rebels

The connection between closeness to esotericism and - right-wing - political rebellion can be found in many places and in the most varied of variants. One cannot conclude from this the size of the scene, something like a corona rebel movement. But you can see, as with Pegida: Few can set a lot in motion.

A phenomenon of our time. We live in a series of crises. At the end of the noughties, the financial crisis - at that time the Chancellor coined the phrase that there was no alternative to bailing out the banks and the gigantic euro rescue package. A little later the refugee crisis. The climate crisis. Then the corona pandemic. In between, the dispute over how to deal with Greece, the development of the EU, the distribution of the refugees to West and East, today the dispute over how to deal with the autocrat Putin, the Bosporus Sultan Erdogan, the mentally difficult Trump, the politically highly demanding Xi Jinping .

Dystopias are booming, in books and computer games. Politics has become crisis management, difficult to see through and to judge for most. Especially since orientation in and out of politics is not easy to get. Politics in a non-ideological time, a time of the pragmatists, at least in Western Europe with its established democracies - people are looking for the meaning of engagement and interest elsewhere.

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The protection of the constitution are still viewing photos of the demo, which at the end of August made the strange alliance of right-wing and esotericists so clearly visible. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution says that the number of those who bring esotericism and strict orientation together is "manageable". A connoisseur of the imperial citizen scene and its connections to esotericism says: "Not everyone who speaks to angels is an evil person."

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