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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| Hi Everyone In The Past Six Months I Have Bought A Book... ||Mar 17th. at 2:38:39 pm EST|
|Catherine (Chingford, London, England UK) ||Age: 15 - Email |
In the past six months I have bought a book (not from a pagan bookshop) and hopefully in about a week the pentacle I ordered from 'Whispered Prayers' (http://www.whisperedprayers.com/) will arrive. So...in six months I have bought TWO things...change that, two *pagan* things! I also only HAVE two pagan things (I'm quite new to the Craft)!!!
I have spent a lot of time at online stores just looking. The problem with that was, by the time I had decided I wanted something, it was SOLD OUT!!! (It's not fair...I really wanted that pendant! *sob*...Okay, I'm fine now! *sniff*) That's why, last week I impulsively ordered a pentacle (...although it is lovely and I haven't seen it in the other shops!) even though I wont have the money for it until next month!!!
I bought the book in January when I was staying with my grandparents in Sussex (I had to hide it from them though!!!).
Sorry pagans, but I do like Amazon, because you can put all the items you want to buy (unless it's in an auction. Obviously.) on your 'wish list' and you can work towards buying them (and they don't disappear just as you're ready to buy them!!). I now have 26 items; books and CDs, which are all pagan (and it'll probably take me years to get it all)!
There is only one whitchy shop in my area (that I know of) and I only found out about it a few months ago! I'm going to check it out on tuesday!!! (All I know about it is that it's called 'White Witch' and is in Waltham Abbey, Essex...not much to go on really!)
I am mainly interested in the jewelery because I don't have the resorces to make it myself (except out of clay, but that brakes easily!!!). I'm making most of my tools myself, but (if you sift through the crap) metaphsical stores DO have some good stuff!
I think that's everything I have to say...
| I Do Spend Money With Pagan Merchants On Some Occassians, But Here... ||Jun 10th. at 12:37:40 am EDT|
|Perrin (Denver, Colorado US) ||Age: 24 |
I do Spend Money with Pagan Merchants on some occassians, but here in Denver, CO, there are not alot of them. There are several stores which have a back room of various pagan/occult/demonic items, but they do not often advertise openly. I asked a merchant why this was, and he told me "...the 'Christian' groups have made threats against most merchants, and in one case I know of they blew up a fellow for trying to sell it on the street, so we all keep a low profile..." I can not say that this happened or did not, but there was an incident at the same time 2 years ago, which was over shadowed by columbine, where the cops found a body burned to charcoal near the Spear Bvd viaduct. I luckily travel abroad, so I find shops all over the place. There is a wonderful little shop in Las Angeles that I find most of my items, and books, although on the books, if you know an autor or title it can usually be found at Barnes & noble. I also go to graveyards for certain items, a blank tombstone makes a good altar, and its' bulletproof. I also reccommend Avatar.com if they are still in buisness, they are the closest thing that I could find to a "pagan" yellow pages.
I prefer not to mention specifics as to what I do and don't buy, as I dont' think thats' anyones' buisness. I would like to know if the people who run this site would like to post a list of their stores, and the products they buy. I doubt that they would, for the same reason I don't, but one does wonder.
| In The Past Six Months The Only 'brick And Mortar' Pagan Owned... ||Jun 8th. at 3:18:59 pm EDT|
|Iko (Beautiful Sunny Chicago, Illinois US) ||Age: 37 - Email |
In the past six months the only 'brick and mortar' Pagan owned store I have spent money in is Salem West in Columbus, Ohio. Otherwise I spend my money with Pagan merchants/craftspeople over the Internet. The last time I was at Salem West I bought a book and a star cut citrine pendant (the star is cut into the back of the faceted stone so it looks like a pentagram (sort-of) from the front. Salem West has great prices on QUALITY handmade jewlery and tools. Their books are regular priced. Salem West for the most part does not carry the usual stuff you will find in every other Pagan store, and that is why I like to shop there. I agree with one of the earlier posts that I read, in which the author says (in so many words) that so much of the "Pagan" stuff out there is not so great quality wise (personally I would rather have a black velvet painting of Elvis hanging in my living room than some of the "Pagan" stuff out there). Yes, there are tons of cheesy plastic Goddess and God statues, candles, celtic "tapesteries" made of printed cotton in india (I do use one as a beach blanket though), and other assorted items out there - all of which is doing its best to masqurade as Pagan art. All of this is fine if you are decorating a dorm room, BUT if you are looking for quality art that search will be a little more difficult. I am willing to spend money on quality items, and I think a lot of other people are as well. (If anyone knows somebody who makes elegant sterling silver athames I would love their web address.) There ARE artists out there who make beautiful items. My scrying bowl is a hand thrown piece of pottery glazed black - this was from a Pagan artist (an eBay find). I have recently found a Pagan potter (and a Grandma!) who makes beautiful little clay pots with rune symbols engraved around the top - I use these with tea candles - I bought 13 of them - they are so beautiful when lit. I found this artist on e-witch. I have bought many other items from Pagan artists including two who work with glass (one with stained glass the other with etched). These people took looking to find, but it was well worth it. I believe there is a real niche that needs to be filled out there for somebody to make Pagan clothing (ritual and mundane). What is out there is either 1.) really tacky and possibly dangerous (you do not want to get a flame near some of that cheap shiny fabric that people make robes from) or 2. too expensive for what it is. I end up making all of our ritual clothing and I love to do this but if somebody made interesting original quality stuff I would pay for it. The last category of items I have found on ebay and e-witch is jewlery. Here again there is tons of crap, but I have found 3 artists who I will go back to time after time just to see what they have. (And I have bought several items for myself and for gifts from these folks.) So keep looking and you might find something that you never knew that you needed but can no longer live without. Everytime I find a new quality Pagan artist I am THRILLED. I am sure that as the Pagan population grows both the tacky and the artistic merchants will grow as well. Good luck to all (for even I know that one person's tacky is another's masterpiece... and no insult is meant to any of you who might have Elvis on black velvet in your homes.)
| I Mainly Buy My Books From Local Barnes & Noble Stores. I Don't... ||Jun 7th. at 1:54:10 pm EDT|
|CharismaKitt'e (Dayton, Ohio US) ||Age: 14 |
I mainly buy my books from local Barnes & Noble stores. I don't have that many local Pagan shops, that I go to since I'm the only Pagan in my family and that probably won't drive me half-hour or more to go to one since I'm only 14! But as soon as I get my license whhoooaa buudddyy I'm there! Hehe!I've even seen Tarot cards sold in B&N stores, can you believe that?!
| There's A Great Shop In Kingston On Called Sacred Source Which I... ||Jun 6th. at 11:00:56 pm EDT|
|Stormwind (Kingston, Ontario CA) ||Age: 23 |
There's a great shop in Kingston ON called SACRED SOURCE which I recommend to anyone. The atmosphere inside is wonderful and the upper loft is magnificently painted, floor to ceiling, it's like another world. My favourite place in the town for gemstones is VERY SHARI, which despite being called a gift shop is very Pagan-oriented. I also recommend HARMONY, for stones and unique gifts, though it is not specifically Pagan. My regular address is in a small northern community, though, where there are no Pagan shops, so I'm used to making do on my own. Living up there, I ordered Pagan books through the big chains, since they would deliver to my house. Now that I'm in a city, I usually shop at Sacred Source instead of big chains for Pagan books, though I'm not above using my Chapters discounts for books on magick.
Most of what I buy at Pagan shops are things I can't make myself, such as books, and hard-to-find gemstones. My tools I prefer to make/find on my own so they have the imprint of my energy on them. I also don't have a lot of money so that rules out fancy extras.
| 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.
| 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).
| 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.
| 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...
| 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!
| 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."
| 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.
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