While writing The World is Your Oracle, I wanted readers to be able to perform every divinatory technique included in the book with items they could find in their homes. In retrospect, I guess I was generalizing on what I keep in my own house, because several techniques require things that many people might not own. So today I’d like to describe the supplies you might need and introduce you to my favorite stores where you can stock up on them.
My go-to bookstore for books, journals, tarot decks, and even candles is A Room of One’s Own. I’ve watched this bookstore evolve over the years, and have always been an advocate of its feminist approach. I began to buy books when A Room opened in 1975. I watched the store flourish in the 1980s and 1990s. I supported them when they began to have financial troubles and was happy when they merged with another independent bookstore in Madison, namely Avol Books. As a result of this all of this, A Room of One’s Own is one of 13 feminist bookstores still left in the country, when in the 1980s and 1990s, there were over 200.
When it comes to magical, ritual, or New Age supplies beyond books, A Room doesn’t have very many, although I love their selection of blank journals and beautiful candles. What they have instead is a wonderful selection of spiritual books, one of the best in town. It’s so large that they subdivide the books into a variety of categories: Wiccan books; New Age; general Spirituality (which covers religion and its history); Meditation; Spiritual texts (including Bibles, Korans, etc.); and Mythology. I can spend way too much time just looking through the titles on their shelves. And it’s also been important to me that A Room of One’s Own continues to be a major meeting place for feminist events, readings, book clubs, etc. In other words, they are a beloved feminist fixture in the middle of the city.
If I’m looking for smudge sticks or incense, drums, mirrors, crystal balls for “Scrying,” or pendulums for the “Dowsing” technique, then I will visit one of the New Age stores in town, namely Mimosa or Cosmic Delights. Madison and its surroundings are very lucky. We have almost a dozen New Age stores, including Peaceful Heart in nearby Oregon, the Rose Gallery in Stoughton, and Beyond the Elements in Verona.
If you live in the Madison area, please support some of these wonderful small businesses and purchase your supplies through these links. We need these shops. That’s why I’ve written this blog post (because I certainly didn’t get paid for any endorsements).
What was your first experience shopping in a New Age bookstore? How did you feel, walking out?
Let me know in the comments below.