Grove City Record

Blessed Be Spiritual Shop

Shop owners deal with misconceptions

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Most people would probably assume Blessed Be Spiritual Shop has a black cat prowling around, not an excitable pug-English bulldog puppy named Darla.

"Most people would be wrong," said co-owner Lilly-Beth Carman. "There's a lot of misconceptions about the alternative paths, wicca and paganism in particular."

Blessed Be opened in March 2011 at 3821 Broadway, Suite A, in Grove City's Town Center.

The shops sells items such as crystal balls, cauldrons, hard-to-find herbs, hundreds of books, candles, jewelry, gemstones and ritual items.

It offers "spiritual advice," including psychic readings for customers and pets and Tarot card and past life readings; holds classes; and hosts authors and speakers.

"We opened with a mission statement to educate and serve the needs of the metaphysical community and alternate paths of central Ohio," Carman said. "We are about helping, healing and offering guidance. ... If something fills you spiritually, it shouldn't hang over your head like a (big weight). Beliefs are part of the individual."

The shop is not about blood drinking or devil worship despite what some people might think of pagans, Carman said.

"We've heard it all," she said. "There have been a lot of people who have misguidedly assumed we do things we don't do and practice things we don't practice. ... We're normal, everyday people."

Co-owner Veronica Heskett, known in the metaphysical community as Feather, said they don't even believe in hell. Their beliefs, she said, are about becoming a better person.

"I was brought up Baptist," Feather said. "I ventured out on my own, and my parents were very accepting. It made me look at things differently that there were other things out there."

Carman said her mother was "eclectic" in her beliefs. Born in Italy to Catholic parents, her mother took her a number of different institutions, including Christian churches, Jewish synagogues and Buddhist temples.

"We were encouraged to explore and find what felt right," Carman said. "There were pieces of each that felt right, but when I started looking out on my own, this felt right because it's balanced."

The pagan path, Carman said, is a polytheistic path and is based a lot on balance: male and female energies, night and day and light and dark.

"Dark is not evil. It's the opposite of light," Carman said. "We have a balance. We don't believe in doing harm to anyone. ... What you put out you get back, so why not put out something good?"

The path also has elements of Native American beliefs, particularly a respect for the natural world.

"We get called 'tree-huggers' a lot," Feather said.

Carman said she doesn't mind, but some of the others things people have said and done do hurt.

In addition to notes left on the door by people who say they are praying for them and urging them to convert, some people cross the street to avoid the shop while trick-or-treating on Halloween, during the Town Center's Boo on Broadway.

"There are people who won't let their children take our candy," Feather said. "It's sad."

"It's hard to put into words how much that hurts," Carman said.

Halloween, Carman said, is when the shop brings out the "witchy wear" to give out candy, but it also involves a celebration known as Samhain, a time to celebrate ancestors, mark their passing, remember their hardships and share mementos, pictures and stories.

While the shop caters to "alternate paths," all faiths are welcome. They do not condemn anyone for their spiritual choice, Carman said.

"There's just more than one way to believe," Carman said. "We don't strive to change anybody to our way of thinking. ... If we all walked the same path, wouldn't life be boring?"

Anyone is welcome to come in and talk, Carman said.

"We're here to help," she said. "We're here to educate. We're here to be part of the community."

"I hope people who have questions would feel comfortable coming and asking questions," Feather said.

Blessed Be Spiritual Shop is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, reach the shop at 614-539-4444 or visit blessedbespiritualshop.com.

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