A Metaphysical Shop, You Say... Again?
Article ID: 14940
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 753
Times Read: 2,690
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Author: Michael Wolfheart
Posted: April 1st. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,690
It's amazing how life moves in circles isn't it? When I was 17, I wrote a lament on this very website entitled “Metaphysical Shop? What's That?”* Now, I'm 21 and writing a very similar article.
This time, I'll open with the Panhandle of Nebraska, where I currently live. It's got rolling plains while still managing to have Hills that make this South Dakotan feel right at home, ranches, a tourist attraction or two (even a copy of Stonehenge! albeit made out of old cars...) , and space a-plenty that can -- and probably has been -- used for whatever you can imagine. However, you guessed it, there isn't a metaphysical shop within 200 miles or so.
Blame it on this being a “small town in the bible belt” if you will, but I call that rubbish. In the short time that I've lived in Chadron (only 2 years) , I've met more Pagans from more spiritual paths than I did my entire 19 years in South Dakota!
Yes, things have definitely changed in the four years since my first article. For a short time there WAS a metaphysical shop in Rapid City, South Dakota. Yes, I said was. Now, I know what you're thinking… but it did not close down because it wasn't doing well. Quite the contrary, the shop was thriving. They had lessons once a week that also did rather well. Unfortunately, the family that ran the shop was not the kind to stay in one place for very long. So, before I knew it, their shop had been packed up and they were gone. Just like that.
That was all right, though. We still had Borders for our metaphysical book needs and Borders had a rather large section on the subject. Of course, this section had been expanded when the fundamentalists weren't looking and put in a back corner of the store where it wouldn't offend the church types too much (their eyes being so sensitive, you know) . But, before we knew it, even Borders had been taken away from us. This time by economic hardship. It's replacement, Books A Million, well...l let’s just say they shelved their Bibles where our large metaphysical section used to be and still had overflow. That isn't to say that they DON'T have a metaphysical section... it's just very, very, small.
Now, where Borders had been our book supplier after the departure of Mystic Arts, our supplies came from somewhere you may not expect. There is an import shop in down town Rapid City. Up front, in a single glass display case they have a wide selection of crystals and jewelry, and to one side of the store there is a shelf devoted to altar items. Granted, a lot of the jewelry is cheap and many of the altar items say “Made in China” but there are some good finds hidden among the junk. My own Hammer of Thor came from that shop.
You might be thinking by now that all that I'm doing is complaining. Maybe a little, but my true purpose is to paint a picture. You see, to us down here in the panhandle of Nebraska, Chadron to be specific, even the current sparse availability of Rapid City is a treasure trove. Here's the problem. Our “treasure trove” is over 100 miles away!
Chadron is a town of roughly five thousand people when college in session. For it's location it really does have a larger pagan population than you might think. In a town this size you'd expect maybe one or two, but it seems that every time I turn around lately I find another one of us! My fiancée and I are both Pagan, as are most of our friends, some of our former roommates, several current and former classmates, and so many other people that the list could probably take up the 1000 word requirement of this paper. Yet, we all drive the 100+ miles to Rapid City to scrounge the pickings like vultures over a carcass when we need ritual components.
And so, all that being said, here is my question: If there is such a great demand, and there is.. and if there is such a great precedent of success, and there is.. Why doesn’t someone attempt to open a TRUE metaphysical shop in the area again? Perhaps someone could invest in a shop that doesn't have to hide behind the guise of an “import shop” and that can offer ingredients, books, and even lessons, for the willing and desperate public?
What brought this on, you ask? Why reopen this subject after four years of silence? The answer is simple: I received an email today. This email was from a boy who reminded me of myself, shortly before I wrote the original article. And he said this:
“My name is I'm only 16 years old and I really want to learn about being a wiccan and their practices and rituals and healing. However I have no idea where to start I have a pewter pendant, a cd book, and then another book. But i have no idea where to get the supplies needed to do these rituals and make potions I could really use your help. The only person, that I know personally, can help me a little bit is a friend who quit the craft after not too long. I dont have much money but I have some. I also have a loving mom who can give me rides. Please help me to learn I really could use your help.”
Remember what I said about life going in circles? Read my first article; then read this poor boy's email again. I think you'll find some similarities. These may be just more thoughts from a now-21-year-old boy whose sea of information and items is more reliable than they were four years ago… But something still needs to be done.
Location: Chadron, Nebraska
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