Sure, you could hop online and order a mass-produced candle along with some cheap incense and a generic beginner book on pagan rituals. But trust us, you’ll have a much more interesting experience, learn all sorts of new information, and discover some really cool, locally made items if you stop by the Magical Druid in Clintonville instead.
Owners Seamus Dillard and Michael Dangler first started exploring the idea of a business many years ago, after attending a festival together and realizing that the products they wanted to find weren’t readily available. “There’s a lot of new agey kitsch out there, lots of cookie cutter items from overseas and we couldn’t find the specific things we were looking for,” said Dangler. “We wanted to start something that would provide a service and make things that had meaning.”
The Magical Druid is both a physical shop, selling supplies for Pagans, Neo-pagans, Witches, Druids and Occultists, as well as a working storefront, offering a wide variety of classes, workshops and rituals. The term ‘druid’ comes from ancient Celtic cultures and referred to members of the learned class who acted as teachers, priests, and judges.
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Dillard and Dangler are both Druid priests, trained in the study of Ár nDraíocht Féin, an international fellowship devoted to creating a public tradition of Neopagan Druidry. They view Druidry as a way of being, based on the traditions of seeking the sacred in nature, building relationships with others and creating a community.
And community is exactly what they have formed, particularly now that the store has been in a larger space at 2887 N High St for a little over a year. With 5,000 square feet, there is plenty of room for all their wares, which include hand-poured candles infused with crystals and herbs, spell kits, engraved altar tiles, jewelry, runes and books.
There are also three reading rooms and a classroom which are used for a rotating list of offerings including Reiki, tarot readings, and how to make a sacred pact. “We’ve discovered that there is a niche for the things that we want, the things that aren’t necessarily ‘normal’ or mainstream,” said Dillard. “We try to balance that with the more common items that people are looking for, like the introductory books and candles. We want to make sure our inventory is high quality, as well as sprinkle in some new, odd, weird cool things.”
Another important community aspect of the Magical Druid is its hosting of the Columbus Witches’ Ball, an annual event slated to take place on November 4th at the Convention Center that will draw in witches, druids, heathens, pagans and other open-minded people from all over.
It is held to observe Samhain, which marks the end of the harvest season and honors those who have passed. “The Witches’ Ball has been occurring in some form or another in Columbus for over 30 years,” shares Dillard. “First and foremost we want to emphasize that it’s a spiritual celebration, not just a Halloween party.” The ball includes a ritual, lecture series, ancestor shrine, energy work, plus many different vendors. The evening concludes with a DJ and dancing, and costumes are encouraged.
Whether you have dabbled in Paganism or are a complete newbie who’s interested in learning more, the Magical Druid offers a welcoming environment to explore and ask questions. “We are intentionally designed to be inclusive of any spiritual path for anyone who walks in,” said Dangler. “Our work is to create a space that anyone who is seeking is able to find what they need. That’s the central aim of what we do.”
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