Wicca is an officially recognized religion in Canada, and Edmonton is home to a number of contemporarily practicing Pagans, Wiccans, and witches
guide and photos by Bree Meiklejohn
From its earliest origins in 1950’s England, Wicca has grown in followers, split into different sects, and expanded its way to North America. Today, it’s an officially recognized religion in Canada with many practitioners across the country, and is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Edmonton is home to a number of contemporarily practicing Pagans, Wiccans, and witches who have cultivated local community. One of the easiest ways to find and connect with this group is through the various Wiccan, Pagan, and Metaphysical supply stores located around the city.
While I don’t identify as a Wiccan (I opt for eclectic witch, if anything), I do browse these establishments regularly to pick up supplies for my own practice. If you’re new to practicing, or just want to learn about a different spirituality, there’s a few places that can help you get started.
Where Faeries Live
When you think of witchcraft, you might envision dark, musty dungeons and spellbooks for nefarious purposes. Where Faeries Live (10425 79 Ave) is the exact opposite, with its colourful purple walls and inviting signs.
I buy most of my supplies here, which typically consist of crystals, incense, and herbs, all of which you can find neatly displayed and labelled with their correspondences.
Correspondences are the properties they possess and how they can aid your intentions. For example, I’ll typically pick up some frankincense and coriander to burn because they’re an effective spiritual disinfectant – only good vibes allowed in my home.
The descriptions of all the items are informative for those like myself who are relatively new to practicing, and makes finding the ingredients you want to work with very simple. Even if you have no spiritual leanings, you may still appreciate the sweetly aromatic incense as an alternative to scented candles.
I love browsing the card section because of all the unique and gorgeous artwork on the tarot cards, and I’m particularly fond of the Edgar Allen Poe deck. Though you may be able to buy a less expensive metal dish for burning herbs (I did), I smile every time I see the little black cauldrons displayed on the table — witches are a humorous bunch.
10425 79 Ave
I had never been to Ascendant Books (10310 124th Street) before, but I think I’ll be returning. This place is huge, so if you’re looking to spend some time browsing, I’d definitely recommend starting here.
Not everyone has a mentor figure that can introduce them to safe spiritual practices, and in that case reading is an adequate alternative. I enjoy doing my own research and exploring my spirituality through literature, and Ascendant Books is a gem. Most of the store is made up of entire shelves of books on topics ranging from astrology to divination, from tarot to oracle card reading.
I was drawn to the Wiccapedia Journal, as the first few pages list some basic herb and crystal correspondences and the rest serve as a beginner’s grimoire (a book to log materials, correspondences, rituals, and spells used in your practice). There was a book as well that catalogued 365 everyday spells, suitable for someone like myself who wants to add a little magick to their daily life.
I also found an iridescent hematite ring that I may just return and buy since hematite is good for protection, and don’t we all need a bit of that these days?
10310 124th Street
Nevaeh Concepts Metaphysical
Nevaeh Concepts Metaphysical (2016 Sherwood Drive) technically counts as “Edmonton area” since it’s located in Sherwood Park, but I thought it was well worthy of being on this list. This was the smallest store I visited, but there was so much to see!
I was drawn to the colourful pendant of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life. Even if I’m not a Norse Pagan, I can still appreciate the symbolism and aesthetic that may have been held in reverence by my Danish ancestors.
What struck me about this store was that the sweetgrass and white sage bundles on sale were Indigenously crafted: the owner bought them from a First-Nations person who was travelling through Edmonton. I don’t use sweetgrass or white sage to cleanse because I feel it would be cultural appropriation for me to use medicines sacred to Indigenous peoples. It does make me feel better knowing whoever does buy those products will be supporting Indigenous practices.
This store does sell a Ouija board, and even if I’m personally against using one under any circumstances, others may not be. As the rede goes: an’ it harm none, do what ye will.
2016 Sherwood Drive (basement of Park Centre Hotel Residences)
Silver Cove (6930 104 St NW) was one of the biggest crystal stores I’d ever visited – in addition to the Edmonton store, there are ones in Red Deer and Calgary, plus an on-line outlet.
The entire store is filled with shelves upon shelves of crystals, minerals, and stones, and it feels like you’re a geology museum patron rather than a customer when browsing through. It contains a section of stones found in Canada, which can accommodate those who wish to work with materials from a place they feel connected with spiritually or physically.
I’ve been in the market for new crystals for a while, and I did walk away with an egg-shaped piece of selenite – a crystal good for calming the mind and repelling negativity. I’ve spent a sizable amount of time in introspection since lockdown, and meditating with this stone may assist that process. Plus, it’s very satisfying to hold in my hand and roll in my palm.
Even if you have no spiritual leanings you may still enjoy using these crystals as worry rocks or sensory stones to ease anxiety.
Once my budget rolls over at the beginning of next month, I’ll likely return to buy a set of the rune stones (stones carved with Nordic symbols used for divination and spellwork) that Silver Core had on display. However, I do wonder if it’s wise for me to expand into divination practices, since we’ve all learned recently that the future is simply beyond speculation.
6930 104 St NW
on-line store and store details
Witchcraft is my way of connecting to myself and the world around me, and what I love so dearly about it is that no two people need to practice in the same way.
While this makes spiritual practices fluid and highly customizable, it can also be intimidating for new practitioners to know where to begin. But, just like the practice itself, the people are diverse, welcoming, and more often than not willingly to answer questions.
From visiting these different places around the city, I have a better understanding of the resources around me and I’m glad other beginners do as well.