Spiritual Cleansing

Metaphysical Pop-up Shop Offers Spellcraft Prep for Winter

Photo Marie Briere de la Hosseraye

Buried deep within the Mile End, an unassuming garage door on Marconi St. was wide open to the elements, yet what lay inside was still shrouded in mystery.

The hypnotic scent of Palo Santo incense overwhelmed my senses as soon as I stepped into the vacuous warehouse. The warm light coming from outside enveloped the visitors as I watched.

This weekend, The Hermit, a “Metaphysical Pop-up Shop,” opened in the well-known bunker of 820Plaza.

As I entered, two individuals were meditating on one side, just beside a tarot reading session. An artist was drawing a personal mandala, and a few meters away, a woman was busy getting a sigil protection stick-n-poke tattoo.

A few stands were dispersed around the room, and everyone seemed to happily eschew the cold, in order to better experience the items present. I could still see my breath as I meandered around, chatting with vendors.

The Hermit was conceived when friends Jordan J-K, Sophie Berg, and Aditi Ohri decided to gather their talents within a shop of magical goods and services. They were initially unable to find a permanent space, so they decided in August to try a pop-up initiative instead. J-K said they all felt the need for a New Age community space where they could buy spiritual and self-care items in Montreal.

“It is all about reclaiming traditions that have been lost or forgotten,” said J-K, describing the most new generation’s interest in astrology and magical artifacts.

Known as The House of Intuition, the group hopes to follow up The Hermit’s success with similar events, and eventually create a permanent home for spiritual exploration in Montreal.

The spell craft items sold were created specifically to help users better deal with the winter, to deeply clear spaces and renew the body for a fresh start, J-K told me. Next to a handmade moon calendar, a dream pillow with a mesmerizing smell was filled with all sorts of spices.

“In winter, everything is monochrome. The nights are endlessly long so we do more sleeping. It’s the perfect time to connect with our dreams,” he added.

On a table, healing balms and teas were sold, all coming from an eco-community in Brazil.

Following Berg’s advice, I had a shot of her Fire Cider, a mix of horseradish, garlic, onion, vinegar and ginger to boost my immune system. As I felt it warming up each inch of my body, I entered a tent with a sign inviting me inside. There, I put headphones on and a bewitching audio slowly hypnotized me and dragged me into a calmer place.

“I’d advise the smoky quartz. It’s really grounding. It will neutralize negative vibrations and detoxifies your body,” said An Đức Nguyễn, who was offering a selection of crystals and stones. She showed me the different stones that she keeps in her pocket all the time, and even sleeps with.

“I definitely think we’re filling a need, there was a great response,” said J-K.

He also added they were hoping on returning on May 1, for Beltane, the Pagan holiday which celebrates the rebirth of spring.

“We will create products focusing on exiting winter, on tearing off the bark that [has] been rejuvenating our skin for a few months.”