Shakopee, MN — Unfortunately, for many Minnesotans mental health care is too expensive. Due to rising healthcare costs, “spotty coverage”, and inflexible schedules, people across Minnesota are deciding to take different paths for their mental well being. One of these paths will lead them through the gates of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and into one of the many booths of fortune tellers who set up shop on festival grounds each year.
“It’s about $60 per session and if I go twice in a year, I’m paying less than $150 per year for my mental health, which is great” Amy Wolden, 27, told us. “This year my reader told me to whisper my anxieties into a leather boot under the light of each full moon and then chuck it into Minnehaha Falls.”
Another Festival attendee, Ross Anderson, shared why he’s opted for palm reading in lieu of therapy. “The insurance through my work doesn’t cover therapy and I haven’t had great experiences out of network I thought I’d give it a shot. My reader Chrysanthemum told me if I want to succeed, I need to place each of my dreams into a different stone. There are some good rocks outside of the Applebee’s near my house so I’ll grab a couple of those bad boys to get my healing started!”
There are eight soothsayers who provide Tarot card readings, palm readings, birth chart and handwriting analysis to the 300,000 lords and ladies who roam the Renaissance Festival. While the desire to find alternative means of mental health care has been a boon for business, some tellers are feeling the pressure.
“I don’t know, it used to be fun, giving people an idea of who they are and who they might become but recently, people are coming with HIPAA documents and I just have no way of processing these forms,” reader Mary Ann Calvert told us. “I work out of a tent so I don’t think I can guarantee privacy. I mean, it’s a tent. I can’t control the flaps if there’s a strong breeze, those puppies are wide open, anybody dressed like Henry VII could waltz right in.”
The Festival has yet to comment on the recent influx of mental health patients, but on their website a tunic that reads “Me Mind’s a Pest But Not at the Ren Fest!” is available for purchase.