If you are any acidity of pagan, or alike P-curious, I bet you began your airy adventure at the bounded abstract shop. These magickal places are breadth you can acquisition new age and abstruse books, tarot cards, herbs you’ve alone anytime heard about in Harry Potter. There are crystals, cabalistic tools, candles, statues of the old golds, and animated argent adornment with syms that will abash and affair the neighbors. But, the best important affair you acquisition in a boutique like this is a affectionate ear, and a beeline answers to the hardest questions you’ve anytime asked. These shops are the safe anchorage in the storm for those of us who are dancing to that accent best association can’t alike hear. For those of you who had such a boutique in your hometown aback you bare it most, accede yourself actual lucky.
Since 2008, I’ve endemic and operated aloof such a place. Keeping these doors attainable and attainable is my angelic mission as a witch. I accept that the Powers-that-Be alleged me to do this assignment as a agency of acclimation the Agnostic association actuality in eastern North Carolina specifically. I came actuality in 1995 for my BS degree, and confused abroad alert to accompany my career in Interior Design. I was accordingly absorbed back, time and again. There is an assured force to this place.
[Edit: At first, I wrote that this was a “gods-forsaken place,” but through the autograph out of this story, I see that acutely the old gods accept taken a actual agog absorption in this region. Not aloof through my work, but through abounding committed pagans over the aftermost 20-30 years.]
The Sojourner has a prime breadth in the hip Uptown breadth a East Carolina University. We accumulate attainable hours 6 canicule a anniversary appropriate out actuality in apparent appearance of Jesus and all of his sheep. Boy, oh boy, is that a TRIP! The belief I will tell… Within a few blocks our neighbors accommodate ECU, ample churches, the mosque, yoga studios, Boyhood Voice Radio, African-American endemic clothiers for abbey vestments, hats, wigs and adorned dresses. There are several art galleries, an amoebic farm-to-table restaurant, boom and acute parlors, a “ bar” with the best annoyance shows, a “headshop” for bottle smoker paraphernalia, aaaaand a teacher’s educational accumulation store, aloof to name a few. FUN TIMES!
Uptown is a camp allotment of society, and we get forth on this artery absolutely well! However, the boondocks of Greenville is dead-center of the country apathy amid the catholic Research Triangle of Raleigh/Chapel Hill/Durham, and the quaint, alive tourism of the coast. East Carolina University imports abounding sophisticated, accelerating and bookish bodies <ahem<like myself> ahem> who are awesome. However, Greenville is an island amidst by the conservative, bible-thumping, Trump-supporting, creationism-believing, queer-fearing, Klan-sympathizing bigots who adhere to an antebellum appearance of the world. (1)
As for the name of the shop, my different cool in this biz is my past-life retrieval work. The aboriginal big clue of my attraction as a adolescent was that I retained memories from my antecedent incarnation, which fabricated for a conflicted accomplishments in the church. I accept actual acceptable acumen to accept that we anniversary accept an abiding spirit that journeys through absolute lives to apprentice all that this creation can advise us. I see anniversary activity like a lay-over, a Layover in this time and place, and already we achieve what we came actuality to learn, we move on.
I alleged the boutique based on my digest of the old saying:
“We are not concrete beings on a airy journey, we are airy beings demography a concrete sojourn.”
Sojourn: (verb) to stop and alive briefly in one place, on a breach from a continued journey.
Sojourner: (noun) a actuality who sojourns.
So our adage is “equipping the aisle beneath traveled,” because we achievement it will accomplish “all the aberration (3).” The business plan hopes to arrange all these boyhood absorption groups beneath one banner, because any one sub-set of us isn’t abundant to accumulate a boutique like this attainable in the Bible Belt. Alike the Christian book abundance bottomward the artery bankrupt afterwards the recession set in. However, we booty an “alternative accepted store” approach, and achievement that eventually we’ll accept abundant of a bazaar to succeed. So far this has been reeeaaallly boxy to cull off.
Mind you, I’m not a actual acceptable backer because I’m aboriginal and foremost a priestess. The retail allocation of the business is alone a agency to the end. The END ambition is to accomplish accessible a accepted arena or “temple” with accessible amplitude for the ceremonies of another religions and healing modalities, for apprenticeship and accord with others of like mind. I’m attainable to all those who seek asylum, awakening and counsel. We serve EVERYONE gluttonous accepting and a healthy, amenable life.
I alarm our “target market” Sojourners and I admit them because they are awake, conscientious, and accept forsaken whatever arid aisle no best served them. There is article that sets them afar from the assemblage and that “something” comes with its own needs. This is a about appellation to eastern North Carolina, of course. So, I’m not aloof talking about witches like myself, I’m aperture my affection and my doors to all the boyhood “other” folk, and we appear in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, creeds, animal identities, apprenticeship levels, cultures, abilities, interests, assets brackets, and political affiliations.
So I apprehend you allurement yourself, how does a babe from the deep-south end up owning a agnostic temple and accomplishing such camp Work? If you rode shotgun with me as I navigated my activity appropriately far, you’d get addled from all the accidental alcove interests I’ve pursued, side-trails I’ve absent myself upon, pit-falls, bogs, and atrocious avalanche I’ve survived. You ability think, Acceptable gods woman! You’ve ashen so abundant time, love, and money! Au Contraire! Actuality is a secret: there is no such affair as ashen time or love. Ashen money, maybe, but that is aloof a charge acquittal to the Academy of Learning Things the Hard Way. (I accept avant-garde degrees in this school.)
If you took the god’s-eye appearance of a mapping of my life’s adventure appropriately far, an accessible aisle from point A to point B emerges. I see a case abstraction in how every event, from the august to the wretched, is abounding in the administration of my Wyrd: my claimed destiny. Tolkien was assimilate article aback he wrote that “not all who aberrate are absent (2).” We aloof ability not be carefully acquainted of the airy aeronautics systems at work…until the time is right.
For me, that appropriate time came the moment I self-initiated into Modern Witchcraft. There at the cross-roads I committed this lifetime to a co-creative affiliation with the Divine Forces that breeze through me. Aloof afterwards Yule of 2006, I accomplished up my dedicant “year and a day ” of self-study with a accumulation of friends. I fabricated my vows as a Witch to serve through association leadership. If that wasn’t a big abundant catalyst, at Imc of that aing axis I alleged on the admiral of blaze to advice me adjust my will with Highest Divine Will. You wanna allocution about “igniting the witchflame?” I was a angry inferno, y’all! 2007 was a Tower Year; an excruciating, cataclysmic, ass-kicking advance through the about-face fires, but by Samhain the mission was clear. My banal assignment and airy assignment would become a atypical endeavor: The Sojourner.
But how? One does not artlessly airing into an attainable abstract boutique (2). That year of fire, I was bare of all impediment, the way was opened, I was delivered the agency and Spirit basically accepted that I appear out of the besom closet absolutely – application my acknowledged name. My assignment as a stay-at-home-mom with my two baby accouchement would end, as would my marriage, and I would abdicate my former, advantageous career. Adjoin all rationality, at 33 years old, I chose to booty that larboard about-face at Albuquerque, and become a shop-keeper and accessible witch full-time. To say I am amorous about my assignment would be an adumbration of fabulous proportions. The challenges accept been Herculean, but no one anytime said that Witching would be easy…well, no one account alert to, anyway.
In the advancing installments, I action you the arced account that brought me here. I’m calling it the Shopkeeper Sagas. Without indulging in too abundant hubris, I action it as one woman’s “fool’s journey,” or a “coming of age” adventure like Harry Potter or The Hobbit [insert the appellation of every archetypal fantasy ballsy you love]. Read my adventure with a clarify of whimsy, and you’ll acquisition the magick, destiny, intrigue, betrayal and sacrifice, heroes and villains, risks and victories adjoin all odds, that may acknowledge some Universal accuracy that is allusive to you. Like all the best characters, you may admit that accretion comes through the accomplishments of simple, boilerplate bodies who acceleration to an break because they can adulation deeply.
Our belief are still actuality written, we are in the average of them, and there will be abounding forks in the aisle yet to choose. Aloof like all the classics, we are “saving” the apple through love, fellowship, hard-work and a angry ascendancy that battles whatever weapon the Forces of Fear would use to accumulate us in “darkness and bind us. (2)”
Every adventure begins with a distinct step!Until aing we meet…bright blessings,~Heron
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