The Big Business Of Manifesting Money
Cosmopolitan India|November - December 2021
What if you could get rich just by believing you could get rich? A rapidly growing industry of social media finance mentors says it’s possible—for a price.
Amelia Harnish

''All right, babe. Are you ready to tap?” Natalia Benson asks. The LA-based, millennial women’s empowerment mentor and astrologer—’all things mysticism, motivation & money’, according to her Instagram bio—is beaming into my bedroom via a pre-recorded video, encouraging me to embrace my inner wisdom.

Tapping, Natalia says from within the glow of a ring light, means drumming my fingertips across different parts of my body to ‘smooth out’ speed bumps in my nervous system...and ultimately help me find a ‘new wavelength’ in how I regard myself.

While I am very pro astrology and the ~celestial arts~, I do have to pause for an, umm, okay. But I am here for work, and willing to go all the way to investigate the hugely popular, new-age-y idea that positive vibes can bring money into your life. And also, I would love to manifest a down payment for a house.

Onscreen, Natalia is now reciting a series of self-help mantras, which she repeats in a soothing, yoga-teach rescue voice, and I repeat in a less soothing, less yoga teacher-Esque voice: ‘Even though I worry sometimes that I’ll never have enough, that I won’t be able to pay my rent or my mortgage, and it causes me so much anxiety...even though this feels like a big hurdle for me that causes me so much pain, I still deeply love, accept, and forgive myself.”

10 minutes later, my class—part of Natalia’s Magical Women & Money online course, which can be purchased for approximately ₹18,000—is over. I have 17 parts to go.

It has been called a ‘secession’ (*eye roll*) and its impact has been profound: in COVID19 devastating times, about 17 million women lost their jobs in April 2020, according to a report by Oxfam India. Unemployment for women rose by 15% from pre-lockdown levels. This also implies that four out of every 10 women, who were working earlier, lost their jobs during the lockdown. Let that sink in.

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