For the first time in what felt like forever, my daughter and I went to the local mall – there we happened upon a store that sold a wide variety of items once only found in small boutique metaphysical or occult shops. The name of the store isn’t essential, however, I have a feeling you have one in your town too; they are everywhere – we had one as well on the tourist strip in St. Augustine where I lived years ago.
Within the walls of the store, you could find crystals, essential oils, pendulums, and even mass-produced macrame wall hangings, along with imported clothing. The kind of exotic clothing once only available to those who traveled to destinations such as Bali or Thailand or to their friends who brought them back as a tiny treasure.
Many of the items for sale there were once only available in what many called fringe shops. They were not remotely close to the mainstream; after all, knowledge of just the right crystal, or a suggestion on a book or deck came from someone with wisdom rather than sales skills – the people who ran some of my favorite metaphysical shops also offered classes and workshops.
Once visiting a shop in Orlando, where I lived at the time, it was suggested by the wise woman working that I may want to add labradorite to my bevy of crystals as it has the power to awaken mystical and magical abilities. She thought it paired nicely with a book I was purchasing and felt it might help enhance my experience. Then there was the shop in Geneva, a town near my home in West Chicago, where the knowledgeable owner taught us how to harvest a local plant and create tinctures from it.
As I walked through the aisles of the store at the mall, I felt a deep sadness. Not that crystals and other such items were now mainstream, but because they were sold by people with little to no knowledge of how they could use them. They came with about as much of an explanation of how to incorporate them into your life as a pack of gum or a pair of hoop earrings.
These items were trendy now and a part of a huge capitalist machine that would offer up something different in a few years to lure away our dollars.
Let’s be clear here – I’m not opposed to shops selling items that can help those seeking it, what feels sickening to me is selling things just for the sake of selling.
Leaving that store affirmed my resolve to shop where people could share their wisdom and to support the small local businesses as well as those in small online shops. And while it may have been easy to pick up a new rose quartz crystal there, to replace the one I’d given to my granddaughter, I think that our purchases should come with a little more thought than what is the easiest.