I was spoiled as a fledgling Wiccan. I lived in New Jersey and ended up commuting to high school in Manhattan in the late 80s. In my all traveling I found many used bookstores with vast occult sections, passed by street vendors selling hard to find amulets and I frequented the finest occult shops. Magickal Childe in NYC, and Spellbound in Bloomfield (later to move to Belleville, NJ before closing all together) were “old school” shops where you could get everything you needed for any ritual. I became used to being able to buy candles, oil, alter cloths, alter tools, robes, wands and everything else I needed in one stop. Halcyon days, my friends.
When they closed they were replaced with “New Age” shops that specialized in cheap gemstones, books by Deepak Chopra and self-righteous moralizing. As Barnes and Noble closed down the bookshops, and the old occult shops fell by the wayside I had to find botanicas that catered to Voodoo and Santeria to buy oils, pour through Ren-fest catalogs to seek new Athames and lurk in antique shops hoping some old Warlock’s estate had been acquired. Here in South Carolina the local supposed occult shop is secreted in the back of a weekend flea market known mainly as the place to score stolen goods and the ingredients for methamphetamine production. Needless to say I struggle to find the goods I need.
I resign myself to this because I’d rather struggle to find goods then pay for some hausfrau’s yoga lessons. It may be a pretension but I prefer to buy my materials from those who know what they are actually used for.
Some people are of the same mind and I recently was able to recommend an actual magic shop to someone and thought I would share that recommendation online. I spent a few years in a college town called Middletown in Connecticut which is the home of not only Wesleyan University (where I received my Master’s degree, apropos of nothing) but one of New England’s finest magic shops, Knight People.
Knight people is a small shop but what they lack in size they make up for in quality of their goods and the people who work there. When I was a customer I mainly dealt with one of the co-owners named Melissa who I understand is now an author of supernatural fiction. She is a very nice woman who was knowledgeable and always willing to help you find what you need. The other co-owner is Emile who is also their in house psychic who does astrological charts as well as tarot readings. Also a very pleasant and knowledgeable person.
Again, Knight People is not a large shop but they carry almost all the basics you need. Because it’s a college town their book selection leans heavily toward the younger crowd but I have found some interesting self-published chapbooks there, so it’s worth browsing. Their selection of ingredients for various preparations is also impressive. They, of course, do business online and I urge anyone who is in the position of having to order material from online vendors to consider them.
I have added their store’s link to my blogroll section because I have done business with them for many years and fully endorse them. If you’re in the area pay them a visit, they often hold psychic fairs where some of the area’s better readers ply their trade. But get out of Middletown before winter sets in. Trust me.