Importance of a Pagan Store
If you’re anything like me, you love to go shopping for Pagan goodies. LOVE it! There’s nothing like going into a shop and feeling immediately at home, and wondering where that book or altar item has been your whole life, and talking to the cute guy who works there, and looking at the notice boards…. I could go on.
Dear Pagan Shop owners,
You are the most important people in the Pagan community.
Does it seem bold of me to say that? It’s true, though.
We are a home-made religion, which means we have to go and buy ingredients. In other religions, they go to a church or temple and donate money for its services and upkeep, but Pagans pretty much refuse to do that. Because our worship is wherever we do magic–or in the quiet space of nature, or a backyard or living room–we don’t have places we can go that are already set up for us to do ritual. I think this is a damn shame, and it’s something I plan on working against in this lifetime. (Someday I’ll tell you about my MasterPlan™).
So the Pagan store becomes this sort of hub, where we can hang out and meet like-minded people. But as much as the shop serves the community, it also creates the community.
Let’s say you are new to the whole idea of things, but maybe you was something on TV and want to know more, so you saunter into the nearest witchy-looking shop, and all they sell are oils and herbs, and they have classes on how to use them, and they have a meditation room and a bellydance instructor. You’re going to try those products, and the shop keeper is going to introduce you to books they have, and you’ll buy a few of them and read them. You’ll probably become quite eclectic in your religiosity.
On the other hand, let’s suppose you move to a new town, and you’re shopping for a new Besom (because your old one got left at the old house) and you walk into the local shop. And it’s New Age. And all they have are Tibetan Prayer Flags, color therapy cards, pyramid shaped boxes, and perfumey incense. You aren’t likely to continue to shop there, because it’s not really what you need and it’s not your style. You want skulls, knives and broomsticks, which would scare the yoga pants right off these New Agers. Different strokes for different folks.
This happens to me a lot. I’m always on the look out for the perfect Pagan store. I’m lucky enough to live in an area that supports quite a few stores, depending on how far you want to drive. The biggest one with the enviable teaching space that puts on the most events is, in fact, a New Age store. I admit that I find myself going in there, buying essential oils, but wishing it were really Pagan. I might spend $5 or $10 there a few times a year.
There is another one in the area which has these wonderful fantasy figurines of fairies and dragons, and a wide assortment of Pagan things, but they never have the incense or oils I like. I’ll buy a statue there, on occasion, or I bought these wonderful prayer flags there. I’ll drop $20 a year there.
But there’s this other store, in Seattle. And I used to be afraid to go in it because they have a large selection of Voudoun and Satanism supplies. But I’ll spend upwards of $80 on books and supplies a few times a year, when I can afford it. And I go there for rituals that groups in the area put on, and if I ever sell a book, I’m going there first to do an author reading. It’s my kind of store with my kind of shop owner for my kind of people.
And if it weren’t for these places, I’d be completely lost.
I’ve been in stores around the country that cater to different segments of my community, and stores that don’t know that they do. Many of the ones that are unabashedly Pagan have the same stuff in them by the same companies. I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed when I find that perfect pentacle that speaks just to me, and then find ten other people wearing it at a festival. I don’t want my altars at home to look the same as everyone’s altar! I want to be different, just like everybody else.
I know what it is, though. It’s the wholesale market. There’s a handful of good Pagan distributors that bring products from all over and sell them in once place. Who has time to go through all those gift catalogs and order one or two items from each place? I do! (ok, I don’t, but I’ve done it anyway). And I’ve opened the Witchful Thinking Shop. It’s based on eBay and Amazon. You can get to it by linking from the page in the above tabs. I found things that I think are interesting and different, that will delight you, or be a great gift for a friend. If you don’t see what you need, ask and I can probably get it for you. More items are coming all the time, so check back often.
So now, all the books I recommend here at Witchful Thinking can be purchased in the shop.
I’ve volunteered my time at a couple of Pagan shops, helping during a psychic fair, and found it was a lot of fun. So if you have any questions, let me know. If you need help with a dream interpretation, spell, or need a good book, or if you would like a tarot reading you can contact me online.
I know this is all shamelessly self-promoting, but I really think it’ll help the community, and it supports this blog which you already enjoy and get information from. After the semester is over, I hope to update it even more often. And if I don’t have to work, that means more great content for you. So do consider purchasing something in the shop. :-)