You don't need to be a sociologist to have noticed that a lot has changed over the past few years. Where once going to college insured some job security, now it means nothing, and what with marriage break-ups, such as the picture-perfect Ronan and Yvonne Keating and supposed soulmates Demi and Ashton, we can't help but be a bit scared of what the future holds.
Now, more than ever before, people are turning to psychics, mystics, healers and readers. The sad reality is that for every wonderful, truly gifted medium, there are several charlatans waiting to take your money.
With this in mind, should you feel the need for a bit of mystical advice you can trust, here are some of the most talented in the business, in my opinion.
Astrology Kate Arbon
Not simply a page in the back of a magazine, proper astrology takes your location and exact time of birth into consideration before a chart is drawn up.
It's astonishingly accurate. People design their lives with their astrologers on speed dial in other parts of the world and, having had a reading, I'd ask why not here?
Kate Arbon was incredible in her clarity as we discussed the year ahead. Apparently I am just through my Saturn return, which is when you distance yourself from your parents' protective care.
The 2000 album by the band No Doubt is called the Return of Saturn; the album was named because Gwen Stefani had her 29th birthday while it was being recorded and her then-boyfriend, Gavin Rossdale, told her she was going through her Saturn return.
Location is a big issue for me. According to astrology, there are places where people's true light shines brighter.
My love of California was reiterated when Arbon said that is where the essence of 'me' is brought out -- so no wonder I felt so comfortable and happy there.
Relationships, meaning your compatibility with another, and, amazingly, fertility can also be measured by astrology.
Astrology done well is both empowering and enlightening and a wonderful tool that clarifies why sometimes we almost feel invisible and other times we feel like we're on a roll.
It helps you to maximise those times when you feel like you have the magic touch and push forward and when to retreat a bit as calls will be unanswered and few chance encounters will occur.
It's all in the stars -- you just need an astrologer to explain it and chart it out.
Phone/Skype reading: Approximately one hour, €60
One-to-one: 90 minutes, €75
Call 076 6154941
Tarot Card Reading Patricia Weston
It is believed that tarot cards originated in the 14th or 15th century in northern Italy. Originally, the cards were used in games, but eventually came to be used as a tool for divination.
Patricia Weston was previously a journalist. She is now a full-time white witch which simply means she uses her gifts to aid healing.
I met her on a wet Monday. My phone had been stolen over the weekend and I was a bit irritated about that. She calmly set up her table.
The cards she uses are druid cards. They are beautiful big cards that she takes out of a wooden box, alongside some crystals.
The reading begins with me tapping and shuffling the cards.
Without telling her anything she explains that there is a man I am still angry at and I need to release him. She explains that I am to write him a letter expressing all I want to say and then burn it, and also to write a list of lessons I have learned from him.
All of this almost brings tears to my eyes as it's so accurate. Bear in mind she had never met me before and all this is coming up within five minutes.
Strangely the cards are all upside down and she states that this implies that he is turning my life upside down. I am flabbergasted.
Apparently spirits also come in to heal, and often people will come to her wanting to communicate with a specific person, but someone else will present themselves.
In this instance what the person actually needs to hear rather than what they want to hear is what is happening.
I ask can people get addicted, and she says on average regular people come every three months, so that can hardly be counted as an addiction.
After my reading I feel exhausted. Once I am back home, my brother comes bounding in.
"Holly does your phone have a screensaver of Alexa Chung?" he asked.
"'Yes," I say.
"A friend of mine, Lisa, has found it," he continues. Within half an hour I have met Lisa and gotten it back. I am blown away and also convinced Patricia had something to do with it coming back to me.
Up to one hour, €50
Call 087 6846024
Numerology dates back to the Ancient Egyptians.
Western numerology was brought to prominence by Pythagoras the Greek philosopher and mathematician 2,500 years ago. A numerological interpretation of your name and date of birth can be used to help figure out your purpose in life, clarify phases you are going through and assist in career direction, and relationship decisions.
Grainne Tyndall has been practising for several years but is busier now than ever.
"I've seen a huge rise in the number of male clients lately as people become more open minded," she tells me.
Simple things all reveal so much. I tell her my name is actually Holly-Kate. No one calls me this ever, even in school the teachers never put the second part on to my name, and this is telling.
Similarly to astrology, we go through life phases. Based upon my date of birth I am a 'One'. This, she tells me, means I am an incredibly autonomous person. In every aspect of my life I must have some independence.
I found this really insightful: there have been times I have thought that I would like a regular nine to five job, but also instinctively know that it wouldn't suit me. In relationships I get smothered easily and a lot of my life has felt a bit square peg-round hole.
One big drawback to being a 'one' is the tendency to become egotistical, so it's important to monitor that aspect.
I am amazed more people are not benefitting from analysis like this. It would save years of dissatisfaction in the choices we make when we don't realise how different we are from our friends and families.
One-hour sessions, €70
Call 086 385 9599
Angel card reading for relationships Patricia Loughlin
Specialising in foretelling relationships, Patricia Loughlin has become someone who many women and men trust for guidance. She has a gentle yet respectful tone and is more likely to point out the truth of the matter rather than lead anyone astray.
Practising in the Dublin Holistic Centre, she reads cards that are specifically angelic than the aforementioned tarot.
In terms of relationship advice, Patricia has earned a reputation for being able to help people break out of negative situations and stop self-destructive patterns and habits very quickly.
You get the feeling she knows just how things are going to work out -- both good and bad -- and that she holds back a little in what she tells, only giving just the right amount of information. She encourages you to ask the right questions and reflect inwardly. My session with her flew by and there were plenty of gentle pointers. I left feeling re-invigorated to face and work through potential problems rather than let things fester.
€30 for 30 minutes
Call 087 620 9892
Psychic/ mediumship Betty Cosgrave
In this category Betty Cosgrave, in my opinion, ranks among the very best in the business. Time with her is insightful, special and productive. Sessions take whatever form she intuitively feels is right at the time.
Sometimes this will involve healing therapy done in silence, or via hypnosis or other times she simply just talks you through things. In moments she has solved issues that have buzzed around my mind for months. I cannot recommend her highly enough and she is truly gifted.
€100 per session
Call 086 812 4054