Review: 13 Magickal Moons, Occoquan, VA

13 Magickal Moons, 407 Mill St. #201, Occoquan, VA 22125, 703-492-2211

Hours: Sun-Tues 12pm-5:30pm, W 12pm-9:30pm, Thurs-Fri 12pm-5:30pm, Sat 11am-5:30pm

This store is a little hard to find. It’s at the very end of Mill Street, the main part of the Occoquan historic/shopping district, at the opposite end from where you enter the area from the highway. It’s on the second floor, over the rug shop. The sign might be visible from across the street, but when you’re right underneath it, the railings make the sign almost invisible. The entrance is via an external flight of stairs that starts just beyond the rug shop’s corner.

Merchandise and selection: 13 Magickal Moons has a strong emphasis on its own in-house product lines. For example, they didn’t have regular essential oils, but had a variety of oils that seemed to be mostly perfume oils (not extracted from plants), plus their own custom blends for particular purposes: Full Moon, Isis, etc. They also had in-house brands of salves, herb blends, incense, candles, Books of Shadows, plate-and-chalice sets, and witch bottles, as well as pre-prepared spells meant to be “activated” by the user by a recitation and intention. A good idea of the selection of in-house products is available through their website.

They had a good selection of tumbled stones, also for reasonable prices. The book selection seemed haphazard at best; it was heavy on Tarot, lacking basic classics like Cunningham or contemporary bestsellers like T. Thorn Coyle. It seemed to be more a selection of what the owner would like to read (or has read) than what she thought was best to offer. (Or maybe she hasn’t thought about the difference.) I did discover good-quality used copies of High Magic’s Aid and The Sea Priestess, but I don’t know how regularly they get in interesting used items like that. There were two or three Tarot decks available, but the selection seemed to be similarly eclectic; I didn’t see a standard RWS, for example.

Prices: The store’s no-nonsense setting and attitude were reflected in low prices on basic supplies, like chime candles for 35 cents and many stones, even large pieces of tiger’s eye and amethyst, available for a dollar. But so much of the product selection is focused on the in-house brands that I felt like I was actually shopping for pre-made spells or major components, instead of just picking up my own supplies. There was a huge selection of candles incorporating herbs and oil blends hand-made for specific purposes, but since I like to make my own correspondences and rely more on my own focused intent than an imbued spell component, I wasn’t very attracted to them.

There is also a basic selection of jewelry, mostly silver, with some pretty gemstone pendants. Prices were a little high on the silver pieces, probably because of the tendency to high margins in retail jewelry. They also had some pretty handmade jewelry pieces, including hand-knotted malas (Buddhist prayer beads) with semiprecious gemstones for very reasonable prices, ranging from $30 to $60. A few things, like the healing salves, didn’t have clearly marked prices.

Healing services, including Reiki, and Tarot readings are available for prices about average in this area. The very active schedule of classes had some stand-alone classes available for $15, but most of them were part of longer sequences related to the in-house tradition. The owner is a member of the Order of the White Moon and offers OWM teachings on women’s spirituality. (Full disclosure: I am also a member of OWM, but I have had no direct contact with the owner through OWM and was unaware of her connection prior to visiting the shop.) She also has her own tradition; information about that is available online.

Side note: The three store cats were friendly, with one tubby tabby escorting me through the store and offering comments on my observations. The owner greeted me kindly and was available if I needed anything. My favorite part of my visit there was that when she was checking me out, she put my purchased stones in a baggie and added a spoonful of sage and lavender as a way of cleansing the stones of any energy or intent from other people who might have handled them before I bought them. That’s a perfect example of a gesture that takes little effort on the part of the merchant but is a very thoughtful and considerate acknowledgment of the customer.

Overall: I enjoyed my visit there, but got the strong impression that the store is aimed at a specific community and acts more as a base for classes and the in-house lines of candles and so on than as a merchant aiming at the general public. This store wouldn’t be much help to someone new and exploring the Pagan path, for example, unless he wanted to start classes there. It’s not a place where I would discover new things that expand and enhance my personal practice, either. If I were a practitioner in the nearby area, I could use it as a source for supplies, and would definitely go there if I wanted something for a particular purpose but didn’t want to go about making it myself or didn’t know how to.

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About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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2 Responses to Review: 13 Magickal Moons, Occoquan, VA

  1. Mike Timonin says:

    Your discussion of the book selection intrigues me – what would you consider good recommendations for the curious, or those considering paganism/witchcraft?

    Also, your description sounds very much like our local magic store, although they don’t trend towards in-store materials in the same way.

  2. Literata says:

    That’s a good question, Mike. I’d have to say that Starhawk’s Spiral Dance is still a necessary classic as well as a decent introduction. Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner are what I would recommend for someone who’s considering Wicca as a path, although they take a little bit of a Wicca-lite approach. They’re still better than half a dozen more recent intros I’ve read. I’d also say that Bonewits’ Essential Guide to Druidism is where I’d point someone interested in that path, although I haven’t read it myself. I’ll think about that some more and put together a full post on the topic, actually!

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