341 East 9th Street
(212) 228-4394

Enchantments External

"The Goddess is alive and living in Enchantments" reads their business card, and I do not doubt that for a second. When looking for a shop to buy all the things necessary for magickal ritual, the "vibe" of the store is generally important. Enchantments has no problems in that department, being one of the most pleasant and calm stores around.

The store has all that a witch could possibly need from candles of every colour to incense to books. Cats sit on the shelves, waiting for a bit of attention or a warm body to cuddle next to. The staff is generally friendly and chatty, talking about anything from the Goddess image in modern life to Babylon 5. It really is a beautiful place.

Enchantments is definitely a right hand path store, but many different aspects of paganism are covered by the books and jewelry sold there. Wiccan, Egyptian, Norse, Kabbalah and many others are covered, though the store does seem predominantly Wiccan.

Enchantments is a trusted store, with quality products and a wonderful staff. I can, without any reservation, recommend this store to the novice witch, as easily as I could to a High Priestess.

Commentary by Joan Rachel Dennis, Saturday, January 17, 1998.

I am of the opinion that Enchantments is friendlier to some customers more than others. Years ago when I frequented the place a lot more than today, I often got the cold shoulder. I was never sure whether they could tell that I was not RHP or because it was reasonably clear that I was a straight male (the priority of the store being feminist and gay.)

Despite it's pretense of being warm and open, Enchantments is one of the centres of the vicious intrigue and witch-wars which have made NYC notorious. This isn't to say that the Enchantments people are malicious or even wrong in their gripes, but they are a strong political force and that force seems to be at work constantly. The store has become a solid foundation of the community and to some degree represents all that is good and bad about the NYC Pagan scene.

Being a fairly serious scholar of the occult, I should note that the book collection at Enchantments is quite good, albeit with an enormous priority put on Llewellyn and Aquarian Press books. It's Hermetic selection is good, though it's unlikely to find rarities. It's section on Santeria is growing impressively as well. Lots of books on divination and shamanism, and an ocean of books on pop philosophy and pop anthropology. It's selection of herbs is probably the best of all the occult stores in Manhattan, and some of the mixed and powdered incenses are sufficiently potent that I seek them out particularly. The jewelry is overpriced, but is clean and made of reasonably good silver—compared to Magickal Childe's jewelry, which is mostly pewter or nickel and kept in a dusty and grungy case.

One of the reasons why Enchantments is political is that it hosts many services for the Pagan community; most importantly classes and rituals held in the extremely beautiful garden behind the shop proper. Though I cannot vouch for the quality of the training itself, I can say that the teachers are sincere and usually objective, which is something you probably ought to be especially careful about in NYC. This shop has links to Video Haven, a Pagan-run store, and general trust should be extended to them as well.

Commentary by Clifford H. Low, Wednesday, January 21, 1998.

Photo: Risa / Model: Leonora Unser-Schutz