Awesome Pittsburgh shops, services, and spiritual practitioners with the magick touch | Arts + Entertainment | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Awesome Pittsburgh shops, services, and spiritual practitioners with the magick touch

Intuitives, psychics, clairvoyants, witches. They invoke various labels and possess a multitude of talents, and in Pittsburgh, they’re everywhere.

Whether you’re looking for a tarot reading, potion, or something new to believe in, Pittsburgh has an eclectic handful of shops that offer a range of magical merchandise and spiritual services. Here are a few of our favorites:

Hocus Pocus

Kali Vee and Paul H. co-own the oldest witch shop in Pittsburgh, so naturally, they have stories to tell.

It is nestled in between what is now an Insomnia Cookies and a salon and is unexpectedly cozy, even with burnt orange walls and metal decor. 

October 13, 2023 will mark over two decades of Hocus Pocus in Pittsburgh.

“It’s our 25th anniversary this year, and it’s on Friday the 13th,” Vee tells Pittsburgh City Paper. “We opened on Friday the 13th and our address is 113. Yeah, like, our zip code is 15213 and our phone number is 412-622-0113. I was going to name the shop 13.”

Vee has been tattooing for 20 years, but her tattoo studio, 13 Needles, only recently reopened after a hiatus due to the pandemic. Her services include everything from ritual tattoos — in which the timing of the tattooing incorporates astrology and moon phases — to reiki and healing oils.

“People always come here, and they have serious problems,” Vee says, including everything from serious diseases to difficult relationships. “We have a really good success record with helping. I mean, we do everything; the stuff we hear is crazy.” Often, this work is done for free.

Additionally, Vee says, “we have the city's only fully functional Magickal Apothecary,” stocked with 100-plus herbs, roots, resins, and essential oils, plus hand-ground ritual incense. With all that, she says, “we have over a thousand recipes that we can make fresh for clients while they shop.”

click to enlarge Awesome Pittsburgh shops, services, and spiritual practitioners with the magick touch
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Dr. Amber Epps of Arts & Crafts shows a set of tarot cards

The Menagerie

This shop, which specializes in folk magic, has sage green walls and wooden floors that gently invite you in with a soothing, hospitable vibe. They offer free coffee and tea all day long. Walk all the way to the back, and you’ll come upon another shop, The Odd End, full of vintage jewelry, accessories, and taxidermy animals. (Yes, taxidermy animals for sale.)

While the place is eclectic, “I would say our theme is community,” owner Jess Kaderka tells CP. “We try to do community-building events, including Stitch, Witch, & Bitch and cycling potlucks. We do divination classes for beginners so they don’t have to worry about being right in their reading.”

The store offers spiritual figures from Egyptian, Celtic, Catholic, and other traditions. “We try to be as inclusive as possible with our practices,” Kaderka says.

Also available is a library of books and tarot cards which customers can use inside the store for free to practice with their friends or with strangers. The cards are also available during the beginner divination courses for those who don’t own a deck.

“There’s a nice thing when you look at metaphysical shops in the Greater Pittsburgh area — that there’s a good number of us, and there’s a lot of variety,” co-owner Patrick Kaderka says.

click to enlarge Awesome Pittsburgh shops, services, and spiritual practitioners with the magick touch
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Dr. Amber Epps, co-owner of Arts & Crafts: Botanica & Occult Shop poses for a portrait inside the store

Arts & Crafts: Occult and Botanica

Arts & Crafts specializes in products for African traditional religions, but it doesn’t stop there. In fact, the name of the store is a play on words of sorts, alluding to “dark arts” and “witch crafts.”

Offering readings, spiritual cleanses, and consultations, owners Amber Epps, Pamela Schon, and Elizabeth Kivowitz — all intuitives in their own way — encourage everyone who comes to Arts & Crafts to make it their own. “Regardless of what you practice, it is still your own path,” Elizabeth tells CP. “We want everyone to feel comfortable.”.

Unfortunately, though, time is limited.

“We are actually closing at the end of the year. We have been here for seven years in September. We have our own things to focus on. It will leave a gap in the community, but we hope people find understanding,” they say.

click to enlarge Awesome Pittsburgh shops, services, and spiritual practitioners with the magick touch
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
Kali Vee, owner of Hocus Pocus, holds a human skull.

Ceremonial (formerly Juju) and The Moon Studio

Ceremonial (formerly Juju) is a metaphysical shop in Point Breeze where you can find tarot decks, potions, crystals, and incense, among other mystical supplies. It is tied with a separate space, The Moon Studio, which focuses on workshops, classes, and community events.

“You know, they are both my babies,” Leslie McAllister, owner and founder of Ceremonial, tells CP. "I am a childless woman, so my children are cats and my business. The Moon Studio has been an extension of what we’ve been doing almost since we’ve opened.”

Since 2017, candle, spell, tarot, and other themed gatherings and workshops have taken place both in the Ceremonial store space as well as The Moon Studio, informally called “The Treehouse.”

“I believe that the moon is the greatest teacher in terms of understanding that things wax and wane in our lives. You know, we are cyclical and are not meant to be static,” McAllister says.

There are both virtual and in-person events, including a week-long Teen Witch Camp hosted by McAllister for teens looking for education about witchcraft.

“I really just always identified with the witch archetype,” McAllister says. “The witch archetype to me is — this is just my personal definition — is a person, woman, male, non-binary, which is for everybody. It’s a person who identifies with their inner power.”

McAllister found her grandmother’s tarot notebook when she was little, and it sparked a long, complicated journey.

“I really kind of focused on tarot and runes growing up and then went through a religious existential crisis when I was 15 to 16. I thought, ‘Oh my god, I’m bad. This is bad.’ I really went through this whole crisis and processed that and then came back out on the other side between the ages of 18 to 21.”

McAllister chooses not to use traditional metaphysical or spiritual labels for herself when it comes to practicing divination practices and leading customers through classes and workshops.

“I don't even know what to call myself at this point. I try not to call myself psychic or medium because it makes me squeamish. Because I’ve always just been like, ‘No, I’m just going to do what I do.' I don’t really want to put a name on it."

Editor's note: This story was updated to correct a last name, which was listed incorrectly.

Hocus Pocus. 113 Meyran Ave., Oakland.
The Menagerie. 494 Lincoln Ave., Bellevue.
Arts & Crafts: Occult and Botanica. 4901 Penn Ave., Garfield.
Ceremonial and The Moon Studio. 6739 Reynolds St., Point Breeze.

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