While the mystical is alive and well from temple fortune tellers to magic monks, a younger generation interested in the occult have embraced Western New Age traditions. They learn and hone their crafts by reading foreign books, searching out online documentaries, taking on foreign teachers and importing supplies.
Such practitioners gather and meet online or in astrology classes, crystal shops and at one cafe in the city dedicated to witchcraft, Lat Phrao’s Ace of Cups.
Below are a few of the people hanging out there on a recent evening, and what they had to say.
Tarot reader Purit Bhuditanakul‘s interest started early.
How did you get into Tarot?
When I was young, I found a book about Tarot. Inside they wrote about each card, it’s meaning and history, how they interact. I was fascinated but didn’t have access to cards, so I forgot it for a long time.
I’ve always been drawn to magical things, to things you can’t explain. When I was in university, I was drawn to the New Age shelf of the library and found a book about angel therapy with cards siilar to tarot and a CD inside. I learned what to do, but it doesn’t tell you everything. You have to use your feelings too. I moved on to traditional tarot cards after that.
I became obsessed. I went to a horoscope school for three months at Rachanada Temple.
After that, I knew how to read the cards and about horoscopes. At the end of the course, they gather all the interested fortune tellers and horoscope people and card readers and have a competition, to see who is the most accurate.
I got into the final 20 out of 100, so I decided that I can help people and have some talent. People can come here to the cafe and get a reading with me or take classes on psychic development at my home.
I am a believer.Everyone can learn tarot and use it. Use it like you use Google, to get some answers.
Theeraree Sutthana is a black magician who communes with spirits in seek of their aid. He claims fear of a bully drove him to start practicing black magic at 13, while love and money kept him returning to the spirits for help, something he accepts is likely putting his spiritual debt in the red.
I practice things that are closer to voodoo and black magic. Not the traditional Thai witchcraft. I use tarot sometimes but I mostly do rituals.”
What are the rituals for?
To get luck, love or money for me. I do a lot of love spells for me and my friends. To do them, I have to have an item from the person, like some of their hair, clothes, fingernail or something to connect to the person
Then I work to contact dead spirits or ghosts for help, like a medium. The first time I tried it on myself,” he said.
Did you fall in love?
Haha! No, I made someone fall in love with me and actually from that experience, I made some rules about this since I realized it can get out of control,” he said.
What’s the morality of making people fall in love with you for a spell?
I consider myself Wiccan and practice my own style. The morality is different for each case. It depends on what is needed, black and white magic both mix.
You can’t have the head of a coin without also having the tail side. So practicing magic can be like that, you can’t always have light without also invoking the dark.
Purit and Theeraree share a master, a witchcraft practitioner from the United States who says he’s traveled the world studying with everyone from Brahmins in India and Native American Shamans in the United States to Shakti energy masters in Nepal. They met him online in a forum and have been apprenticed to him for many years since he spends much of his time in Bangkok. He has taught them much of what they know.
Josh Tuam is studying personality-typing but also gives readings to interested people. He learned about it online but then sought out a local association, of which he is now an active member.
I study enneagram. It’s something that some psychiatrists and psychologists use to ascertain personality types. They say there are nine personality types; each correlates to an animal, and every person is one or maybe a combination of them.
I believe in these personality types and use them to predict what will happen each time between certain people and in certain situations. I use it as a way to know what I should do to effect certain relationships.
Enneagram has nothing to do with something like, say, astrology. It’s not done by the birthday but more subtly, by interviewing people. It relies on psychological guidance, colors, synchronicity and and divination types. i became interested in it and taught myself because I didn’t know a person that was involved at the beginning.
Each personality type is represented by an animal. The pig likes to be unique, the tiger is the observer and likes to be alone, the dog offers support, the monkey is about finding happiness, the ox is the protector while the elephant wants to help everyone,” he explained of the system, which has no scientific backing.
It has helped my life. With this system, I can realize how to fix what’s wrong and how to make things more auspicious.
In addition to the usual cafe fare, Ace of Cups also sells spells, amulets, books, crystals and other New Age swag.
Ace of Cups, the Witch Cafe
10am – 8pm
187 Nak Niwat Road, Lat Phrao
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