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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 44 - 6/4/2001
Do You Spend Money with Pagan Merchants?
With the rise in commercial ventures in the Pagan community we just had to ask. IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS, what pagan merchants did you give your hard earned cash to? Was there anything that you needed? Are you all set? What did you buy? What are you planning on purchasing from Pagan Merchants? Do you buy your books from Amazon or from a Pagan shop? So many questions but the bottom line is ... IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS was there anything that is sold by the Pagan community that you are interested it?
| Reponses: There are 24 responses posted to this question.
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| My Husband Wants To Quarantine My Check Card! I Like To Visit... ||Jun 4th. at 1:58:41 pm EDT|
|Charlayne Elizabeth Denney (Friendswood/Houston, Texas US) ||Age: 44 - Email |
My husband wants to quarantine my check card!
I like to visit the Pagan stores here in Houston. I do it about once a month, come in, talk to the owner, look at the goodies (drool on the cases) and then I try to always pick up something I can use or give. I really try hard not to leave without something. Why? Because I LIKE supporting them and my community.
When I travel, I do the same thing: if there's a store and I know about it and if I have time, I'm there.
I am currently serving as Representative for CMA and interface with the community is one of my jobs. But honestly, I would do this even if I didn't have a job to do: shopping is so much fun and the merchants always have cool stuff.
I have not ordered from a Pagan shop online yet, I really don't online shop. I like having the item in my hands, feeling the vibrations. I only shop online in an emergency when there's no other choice.
What I would wish for is more merchants with "other stuff". I would LOVE to order from a pagan clothing merchant with more "goddess-sized" stuff (cotton sun dresses, please!!!) and pagan kids stuff (we need more kid-oriented things, from books to toys and games to clothing with "that look").
But I love shopping the Pagan community, whether at festivals or in the towns.
| In The Past 6 Months? I'd Have To Say That No, I... ||Jun 4th. at 3:17:15 pm EDT|
|Comfort (Reva, Virginia US) ||Age: 33 - Email |
In the past 6 months? I'd have to say that no, I did not purchase anything from pagan merchants, unless you consider Pyramid Collection a pagan merchant. Why? Well, mainly because I live in a rural area and merchants, let alone pagan ones, are few and far between in general. I don't buy athames, crystals, etc. I have a friend who makes most of my candles and I buy books and tarot decks from Amazon.com. Why? Because Amazon has it all bookwise & if I was a tarot deck, and the "Chalice & the Blade", and the latest Anne Perry mystery, and Tex-Mex cookbook and a collection of Dilbert cartoons, it all goes on one order. I've also been burned to the tune of $200 from a so-called pagan online merchant (couple years ago) and now only use online stores after hearing many good recommendations from folks I trust. I have purchased from online pagan stores and had no problems. I just haven't done it in the last 6 months.
| I Buy Some Stuff From "pagan" And Metaphysical Shoppes. Smudges, Crystals, Some... ||Jun 4th. at 8:23:38 pm EDT|
|Calliope (Oakville, Ontario CA) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I buy some stuff from "pagan" and metaphysical shoppes. Smudges, crystals, some candles. I don't go there specifically to buy "witch stuff", such as altar tools. All my altar tools are things I've happened upon. To list:
Athame: found at a flea market
Cauldron: yard sale 2 summers ago
Salt Bowl: flea market last year (the one i used before was inherited from my mother)
Water Bowl: former salt bowl, was an antique silver planter
Wand: i made it
Goddess and God Candle holders: Silver Dollar
Goddess and God Candles: Ancient Earth (pagan shoppe)
Altar Tile: a flat rock which i painted a pentacle on
Chalice: Value Village
Bell: The Salvation Army
Libation Dish: hand made clay dish from the IODE Opportunity Shop
Cords: Michael's Crafts
Books: wherever I find them cheap--bookstores, pagan stores, second hand stores
Book of Shadows: Sketchbook from College Bookstore
Grimoire: Scrapbook from College Bookstore
Well, you get the picture! I'm always looking for magickal items, and often buy candles, crystals and incense. Mostly, I utilize the dollar store (can't beat 6 candles for $1).
As a Pagan Crafter, I have tried to sell my wares (wands, invocation rings, etc.), and I have found other Pagans as cheap as I am. They are not willing to pay for the time and effort put into the work, and always try to barter the price down.
There *are* some things I have bought: a pentacle necklace, smudges, crystals. Other than that, I don't believe I have bought anything but books.
| A Bought A Shirt From Faeriesnthings.com, And I'm Assuming That They Are... ||Jun 4th. at 11:05:42 pm EDT|
|Manda (memphis, Tennessee US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
A bought a shirt from FaeriesNThings.com, and I'm assuming that they are Pagan only because I linked to them from E-witch.com. Hmm.. I bought some jewelry at a gem and mineral show in Memphis from some decidedly "witchy" feeling folks, but didn't ask because that admission in a crowded room in the bible belt could cause all sorts of trouble for the vendors.
Other than that I haven't bought much of anything from anyone, Pagan or otherwise. *sigh*
| Hi. I Live In Western Massachuessettts.....and I Just Had To Post... ||Jun 5th. at 7:12:01 am EDT|
|Rob Velasquez (chicopee, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
hi. I live in western massachuessettts.....and I just had to post my bit. Considering where I do live its hard to find paganmerchants resonably nearby to meso ive found my self shopping everywhere..... Barnes and Noble for any books I might be wanting, a little book store in NorthHampton for my jewlery (Ive found a beautiful little pendant of the Great Mother there) and a place down the street from that one for my incense and herbs. Anything else....grocery store for herbs (don't ahve ability to grow own garden), dancgin bear inmall for oter incses and just whereeve I am lucky enough to find what im lookin for. I would prfer to have a pagan store nearby since that made things much easier wen I lived in southern california....but this right now has made me somewhat more resouceful. Lol.
| I Am A Pagan Merchant/musician, And I Try Whenever The Choice... ||Jun 5th. at 8:47:50 am EDT|
|Wendy S. (Rahway, New Jersey US) ||Age: 43 - Email |
I am a Pagan merchant/musician, and I try whenever the choice is there, to purchase from other Pagans. I stock up on consumable ritual materials (herbs, charcoal, etc.) either from pagan stores or from the vendors at festivals. I save my money for festival purchases on larger, permanent, high-ticket handmade articles (like drums). I also create things myself for myself and to sell to others. Barter is also big at festivals, and that method of exchange is often very satisfying.
I shop a lot online, and when my band needed T-shirts, we chose a pagan vendor 5 states away, and was very pleased with the personal service and the quality of the work.
I make every effort to support musicians, artists and artisans in the community so that they can continue to create wonderful items of beauty for us all. I encourage you all to do the same. It's extremely difficult to do artisitc creative work "in the margins" after you have put in a 40 hour week as a corporate slave. I would like to believe that the community can support our gifted artists, and allow them the freedom to create.
| In The Past 6 Months I've Bought Candles From An Online Pagan... ||Jun 5th. at 11:23:00 am EDT|
|Hearthstone (Calumet, Michigan US) ||Age: 39 |
In the past 6 months I've bought candles from an online Pagan shop. That's it. One reason is that we have no Pagan shops in my area (we did have a very Pagan-friendly new-age store that was wonderful and I shopped there often, but they closed a couple of years ago). The other is that, well, I've already *got* most of the Pagan stuff I need! I don't buy many supplies and tend to stock up on those few that I use (like unscented votives--incredibly hard to find!--and those lovely little 4" spell candles). Since I don't use oils, incense, or anything scented if I can avoid it there just isn't much that the average Pagan store carries that I need.
As for books, our local B. Dalton has quite a nice Pagan section due to the number of Pagans who work there. I occasionally buy something there (will probably go pick up a copy of "Christians and Pagans" soon, in fact) but rarely, since most of their selection is either beginner-level and/or Llewellyn, and I have enough of those two categories of book already. And since I'm currently more interested in history and mythology, subjects not carried by most Pagan stores in any case, I don't anticipate buying many books from Pagan merchants either.
Now, if I do need something and an online Pagan store carries it, yes, I would happily deal with that Pagan store--but if a local non-Pagan store carries it as well, I will go with the local merchant because I feel it's important to support small businesses in my area when possible. So in order of preference--local Pagan store (which we do not have), local non-Pagan store, non-local Pagan store. But my answer to your bottom line of "was there anything that is sold by the Pagan community that you are interested in" my answer is "not much."
| In The Past Six Months? Only Once... From Whispered Prayers In The... ||Jun 5th. at 3:01:25 pm EDT|
|Flame (Jackson, Tennessee US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
In the past six months? only once... From Whispered Prayers in the auction... got a great deal on a pound of sage and spearmint! I've noticed, after talking to other people and seeing some of the responses here, a lot of us are thrifty witches. There are not any metaphysical shops in this area. I'd love to support pagan merchants more ( I spent some time in Denver CO and loved the shopping!), but I usually know what I want and I want it now... not 6-8 weeks later.
I tend to buy most of my books from second hand stores online and offline... again.. a thrifty witch I am.
I do have plans to shop more at Whispered Prayers.. I'm lucky enough to have two drivers in the company I manage for who go to CA twice a week and don't mind going down to the store to pick up a few things I'd like... turns out they're pagan and never knew it!
| Uh- Oh Here We Go Again :) As A Pagan Artist, And Yes... ||Jun 5th. at 9:04:20 pm EDT|
|Deagan (Jacksonville, Florida US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
Uh- Oh here we go again :)
As a pagan artist, and yes i am an actual artist with a degree, i have to admit that the regular gamut of pagan material is rather shoddy. And in response, i have to say "you get what you pay for" I don't often purchase from pagan retailers except for simple supplies, Herbss, charcoals, etc. instead i often prefer to make my own things instead. though this isn't an option for most, i'd be willing to part with my hard earned cash oh so eagerly if only the quality and taste of the availabe products would go up. "witchy" and "goth" statuary and tapestries, along with chalices with skulls are all so juvenile and even of such poor workmanship that i can't fathom purchasing them, supporting fellow pagans or not, retailers who supply such material aren't really doing us a favor as a community., now im not saying that we ought to make nice tools and pagann merchandise only accesisable to wealthy, but why not work with existing contractors and srtists to really create something worth buying? I had my medallion of my patron dieties cast by an actual jewlwer for a reasonable and quite cheap fee, the workmanship is excellent and surpasses anything to be found in local and online retailers. My final answer, when we have more to buy i'll have more to spend, in the meantime...back to chipping marble, Herne doesn't sculpt himself you know...
| I Spend Rather A Lot Of Money At Our 2 Local "metaphysical... ||Jun 5th. at 9:24:41 pm EDT|
|Lynne-Renee (rural St. Louis area, Missouri US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I spend rather a lot of money at our 2 local "metaphysical" stores. I live approx. 60 miles from them. I know I spend a lot due to a deal one has where every $250 you spend (no time limit), you get a $20 gift certificate. Not everything goes toward that-just books and "useful" things-not a cutesy plaque (although they have that too). Let's say I've used a few gift cert.'s over the past couple of years.
The reason for this is that I made a conscious effort to purchase from them rather than other places. I kept reading the message over and over again in SAGE WOMAN. Well, gals and guys, it finally sank in. I make my own candles and soaps...for "special" things. I *always* save candle bits for this purpose. Let's say I do buy a candle cuz it's oh-so-divinely scented, I'll definitely use the leftovers in a divinity candle.
I sort of walk the line between doing it for myself and helping support other Pagans. It just doesn't feel right to spend the money at a major store when they'll charge me the same or $1 less.
| Some Things I Can Find In Any Old Store And Make Into... ||Jun 6th. at 10:09:17 pm EDT|
|Sandra Rowland (virginia beach, Virginia US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Some things I can find in any old store and make into something I like but there are things that you just can't find in a dollar store or thirft shop such as anything with a pentagram on it.
As with any store, I would rather frequent one that supports a good cause instead of just lining their own pockets. The Blessed Bee and A Mystickal Grove's store, Whispered Prayers are my 2 favorites.
The Blessed Bee gives out scholorships and Whispered Prayers uses it's profits to organize events for the pagan community.
Amazone.com isn't a bad choice eigther. They gave out quite a few scholorships at my brother's high school graduation last year and money to recieptent of Oprah's Use your Life award.
I would never shop at Barns & Nobles. There was always christian lituare in the "New Age" section to the point that I'm sure they were trying to convert someone by showing them "the evils of their ways", (at least in my home state, California) they held bible study classes and they refused to carry The Green Egg for being "to contravernal" (or something that sounds like that but doesn't spell like that).
| Greetings! I Have To Answer An Emphatic "yes" I Do Try To... ||Jun 6th. at 10:39:19 pm EDT|
|Rachel Bowman (Broadway, Virginia US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
I have to answer an emphatic "YES" I do try to buy items from our local Pagan shop!
I made a conscious decision to do much more business with the local Pagan shop, On My Wings in Harrisonburg, this year after reading an essay on Pagans supporting one another. Hey, it makes sense to me! My husband and I have bought some of our ritual items (at least, the ones we haven't made for ourselves), books, and even gifts for friends and family from the shop (and can tell you, most of those friends/family are not Pagan!).
Sure, I might be able to find a particular book on magick much cheaper at one of the big chain bookstores--and maybe I could go to the local "stuff-mart" for a quick and easy gift. I find, however, that the gifts I buy at On My Wings are unique and tend to be a big hit, especially the itmes handmade by Lynn, the shop owner, or other local Pagans. Also, the book selection at the store is much more in-depth and the subject matter is less generic than some of the books featured in the big stores.
The biggest reason my husband and I frequent OMW, however, is for the friendships we've developed thru the shop. Lynn is such a wonderful prson, and it's neat just sitting in the store talking to her or enjoying a snack. And the people who come into the store tend to be fascinating people who have many stories to tell and lessons to teach, each in his or her own way. Some of those people I've only seen once; others I consider my friends and sisters and brothers in Paganism.
Look, there are lots of us Pagans out there, but we still need to stick together to withstand the slings and arrows of the Religious Right. The RR will try anything to rid this country of Paganism, and going after a Pagan shop is an easy target. (In fact, OMW is a frequent topic on a local radio call-in show, and the store is often blamed for promoting violence, drug trafficking and satanic worship. I'm sure our store isn't the only Pagan shop that has come under fire from local conservatives.) When such visible targets go, to what will the RR turn its attention? Maybe us?
Let's get to know our local Pagan shopowners...let's support them with our money and our prayers...let's let the community know we're the Good Guys.
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