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Columbus Pagan community finds sanctuary at The Magical Druid

The Magical Druid on High Street might look like just a boutique with oils and incense to the uninitiated patron, but for a certain group, this is the hub of its spirituality.

While many people don’t know much about neopaganism and Wicca, their practicing members have formed strong communities, with The Magical Druid serving as their source for spiritual objects, such as tarot cards, incense, oils and more.

The “metaphysical store” located at 3165 N. High St. in Clintonville also offers psychic readings, chakra attuning and energy work.

“The Columbus sanctuary is good for those who want to join a coven,” said Lindsey Amore, a visiting pagan and first-year in theater and journalism. “Plus I feel Columbus is very open, at least compared to where I’m from.”

Wicca draws from the old traditions of witchcraft and dates back to mid-20th century England. The largest form of paganism, Wicca has found many followers who have been turned off by more conventional religions.

Tarot cards and healing crystals at The Magical Druid. Credit: Claire Lefton | Lantern Reporter

“I feel like there is more of a feeling of obedience in traditional religions. Fear tactics, you know?” Amore said. “Whereas the main philosophy in Wicca is like, do your thing, give good energies to the universe and generally be a good person.”

The appeal of neopagan spirituality has lasted for thousands of years, but some, like co-owner of The Magical Druid, James Dillard, believe that those who join are interested in Wicca the way anyone is interested in any religion.

“I think neopaganism is hanging around for the same reason all religions hang around. It’s a compass and a map,” Dillard said. “It gives you a place, it gives you a community, it gives you like-minded, like-souled people to commune with.”

Though Wicca is merely one form of Paganism, there are several ways to practice, depending on the deities in the sect someone subscribes to and personal preference.

“My practice mostly involves meditation and simply talking to the angels and deities, either vocally or with tools like tarot cards, runes, and pendulums,” Amore said.

The Magical Druid offers the ability to worship with fellow pagans in group rituals as well. Events include meditations, divination technique sessions and a variety of rituals.

“Every Sunday at noon we do a blessing ritual,” Dillard said. “We have High Day rituals, and we also have all kinds of meetups and classes. There’s always something going on.”

For those who wish to explore this alternative spirituality, Dillard said the best way would be to just jump into it.

“The simplest thing is to start a candle,” he said. “Start lighting a candle and doing simple meditations or simple devotions, even if it’s just to your ancestors because they, more than anyone, have a vested interest in your success.”

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