Signs of time
A reading of tevetab loans for a week at the end of November-December 2014 indicates that there are at least six different reality series with alleged experts on spirits and supernatural phenomena that are public help in solving various problems: Medium in the name of the law, Rescue mediums, The Unknown, Ghost Hunters, and The House of Evil Spirits (all on Channel 7, included in TV4). To this will be added the autumn's major investment in the genre: "A night at the castle". The latter is an original series in eight episodes, where famous Swedes get to spend a night at Bogesund Castle outside Vaxholm in the company of "the nordic region's foremost and most respected medium Lena Ranehag". "Lena will be the link between the stars and the spirit world, the stars will get a glimpse of their future, face the past and experience the spirit world". Svt 2 will this week show an episode of "From Sweden to Heaven", which on the channel's website is presented as a "[s]vensk life-watching series", with the host Anna Lindman. This week's episode is described as follows:
Anna goes to Karlstad and meets Anna-Lena, who calls herself a medium and says she can find missing things, talk to the dead and see who comes around the corner. Anna-Lena was born in Lapland and was told when she was a child that she had special gifts, but anyone can learn, she says, and takes Anna out to practice.
Hammer (2004) comments on an IKEA catalogue where customers are encouraged to decorate in a certain way so that "the energy will flow freely". A color is recommended for its healing qualities. "What had only a decade ago been perceived as a moderately controversial and exotic interest is today almost part of the Swedish average culture". A reporter from Dagens Nyheter (Utterström, 2014, April 13) describes in the report "Spiritual smorgasbord or cultural Prozac – the new times are here" how surprised he is to find representatives from Korskyrkan at a Body and Soul Mass in Solnahallen, surrounded by a variety of activities and services of a New Age character. "Do you want to get well? We pray for back and joint problems, headaches, allergies, vision or hearing problems, pains or injuries in the body, etc.," the church banner reads. The reporter thinks back to his upbringing in a free church home: "Those who meditated with crystals or engaged in reiki healing were lost souls. Even psychologist Lars-Eric Uneståhl, who helped elite athletes with mental training, was considered suspicious and possibly in connection with evil powers." The Church of Sweden has also been impressed by these new trends. In Engelbrektskyrkan in Stockholm, services were arranged with "Oneness blessing", also called "deeksha". The church's newspaper was present during the premiere and reported on unusually many and active visitors, as well as about a relatively low average age:
Last Wednesday, about four hundred people made their way through rain and wind to Engelbrektskyrkan in Stockholm to attend Europe's first oneness blessing service. It was undoubtedly an unusual evening, it is not common for the church to be full on a weekday evening. It is also not common for so many people to actively participate in the fair, nor that the average age of visitors is between 35 and 40 years.
The Christian-oriented website Bibel Fokus comments on the event: "The Church of Sweden offers the occult 'spirit' in Mass!"