New digital products have also exploded.
Mobile wallpaper maker Mootae World has created tens of thousands of images – each with different tarot cards and symbols – for customers’ phone screens.
Priced at 249 baht, each is tailor-made based on customers’ unique star positions at birth, as well as their deepest wishes, whether financial or romantic.
Traditional-looking Buddhist amulets – often images of guru monks or the Buddha in bronze, brass or gold – are also available as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Thailand’s Crypto Amulets project has sold around 3,000 such NFTs since its launch in 2021, each for around 2,000 baht ($60) on the Ethereum and Solana blockchains.
Each digital amulet is first printed on paper to be blessed by monks in Surin province, a huge market for the trade in Buddhist amulets from Thailand 435 km east of Bangkok.
“We used to wear physical amulets around our necks, but now we can also wear NFTs on our phones,” said Ekkaphong Khemthong, who owns Crypto Amulets and also collects traditional amulets.
Major commercial brands recognize new Thai psychic entrepreneurs as key to the growing market of young believers with disposable income.
Last month, Mootae World promoted Cigna Corp insurance to its subscribers, citing Chinese astrology’s “unlucky year” belief that in each animal year of the zodiac, those who are born with the same animal sign incur the curse of Tai Sui, the god of age.
“A new marketing trend has emerged. Trends are constantly changing, but supernatural belief is a constant in Thai society,” said Muratha Junyaworalug, chief researcher of the CMMU study.
“All brands want to tap into this market.”