Out of the Shadows

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

You may have noticed the major shift in the appearance of Quill's Occult Supply.  The shop has been open for two years now (amazing, isn't it?) and I felt that it was time for a change.  And, as per my usual, when I change I change big!  

Hocus Pocus, Pittsburg, Penna.
The old images of my shop were pretty much par for the course as far as magical businesses go: old world, dusty attic, dark corner shop on an abandoned street.  That sort of thing.  This is how we generally put forth the idea to other witches of Serious Magic.  "This is the big kid stuff and I don't want you to mistake me for a minute," we say with our hands on our hips.  But after all this time I began to wonder--why on earth is that so popular? Why do we communicate in terms of age and secrets?  And what else can I do besides that?

To appear to have swept cobwebs away from the scene just before the shutter was snapped is the very vision of most magical retailers, from online businesses to brick-and-mortar ones.  We desire to have our eyes dazzled, our senses overwhelmed, and our minds reeling with the thrill of discovery.
Mystical Horizons, East Lime, Conn.

While I do find this good fun (and have experienced it myself a good many times, feeling quite the explorer in a shop despite the fact that there really was nothing "new" to be found), I don't think it works very well for the customer.  I've been to many places that so confuddled me I ended up leaving without buying what I really needed.  I felt dizzied, bewildered, and a little irritated that everything seemed to go by so quickly.  Shutting the door behind me as I left was like touching down from a skydive.  It was a helluva rush, a sight to remember, but how much did I accomplish?

The Village Witch, Milton Regis, Kent, England
Perhaps my Capricorn mind desires things of a literal nature a bit more than the average. I know that most magic folk have the idea that the truly interesting part of the arcane is that it is hidden and secret.  To me, however, it is the knowledge part of it that is paramount.  Whether a spell from a thousand years ago or just last Tuesday, whether a freshly printed book or a scrawled tome from a forgotten hand--this is magic. Every bit of it is fascinating, every bit filled with possibility.  Naturally, the old works delight me (and they are certain to have better written rhymes) but the new still have the blush of innocence that wells up joy in this reader's heart.  They are both worth collecting, sharing, and experimenting with.  That is how we continue to move forward in our culture, in our literature, in our trades.

And that leads us back to my shop's new style.  Instead of treading the same worn path, I decided to go a different, almost opposite, way.  I wanted something clean, smart, and every bit as worldly as its dusty predecessor.  My clout never came from the charm of secrecy anyway, but from time-tested knowledge and the sincere desire to share it simply.  I needed to kick off the old, heavy wool cloak and come out in something smooth and bright for the breeze to blow through.  I dreampt of white-painted druggists with their marble counter-tops, apothecaries with rows of bottles and jars labeled in careful block lettering, and the fantastic herb shop in "Bell, Book, and Candle," all light and glass and a white-coated man behind the counter.  If in some beautiful future Quill's becomes a storefront, the first thing I will do is buy all my staff crisp, white coats.  Until then, I have done my best to translate this feeling into the finished product of this simple online shop.

The lady behind the counter at Quill's
It is surprising how very much such things mean in this business.  One would assume that the only thing needed for a magical shop to thrive was good wares at good prices but, as in any other industry, that is far from the truth of the matter.  Magical folk are a fickle crowd and their tastes are as varied as they can be. To inspire those who already practice witchcraft, a shop must appear knowledgeable far beyond the scope of the average individual.  To inspire those who don't practice (or dabblers who don't practice much), it must
appear enticing--or just harmless fun--but not too serious or threatening.  Depending upon how you work, you will draw in either one kind of customer or the other.  It may be greedy, but I desire both.  I welcome any and all who are interested in magic!  None shall be turned away, no matter your intentions. You may debate me, question me, and pick my brain for ideas.  You may request special items or suggest new goods.  And always you will receive straightforward answers, well-researched information, and careful work.  I see now that because those have always been my methods, this should have always been my presence.


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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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