Magical boutiquedraws in seekers

by Kaana Smith

As the curious passers-by venture into Magus Books and Herbs, the erotic, smooth sounds of some New Age melody intermingle with the sweet aroma of burning incense.
“Hi folks. Give me a holler if you need any help,” said store owner and self-proclaimed spiritual guide Roger Williamson in his unique English accent.
As Williamson scours the store with his inquisitive guests, his thinning gray hair, tucked back in a pony tail, shines underneath the tapestry-shielded lights. His energetic gestures seem to reveal that he is a man who likes what he does.
Williamson moved here from West London 11 years ago. He was influenced early in life by his parents’ metaphysical teachings. For Williamson, belief in the magical unknown is a way of life.
The store, which has been located at the back of Dinkydale Mall in Dinkytown for four years, is home to numerous thought-provoking books and tools for those dabbling in the metaphysical. Williamson said he chose the University location because of the bohemian feel of campus.
Several walls are lined with loose herbs, such as chamomile, while other walls are filled with oils, powders and candles. Magazines on UFOs that detail accounts of alien implants are tucked between magazines on massage and commentaries on the metaphysical.
Beside the magazine racks are numerous tarot cards in a glass showcase. A few feet farther is a bookcase containing candles sculpted like naked men and women and their respective genitalia.
“We stock anything here. We’re not here to specialize in one particular belief,” said Williamson as he glided his skinny fingers across the spines of books on Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. “We’re here to help develop individuality so people can fully participate in the adventure of life.”
And quite an adventure it seems to be for many of the customers who frequent his establishment. On some nights, the store closes an hour later than it is supposed to in order to service its wide spectrum of customers.
One only needs an open mind and a desire to improve all aspects of life to fully understand and appreciate the charms found within the walls of his shop, Williamson said.
And it’s easy to see why.
As the music continues to play, curious eyes are exhausted by the many unique and strange objects that fill the shop. Whether in search of a job or in need of enhancing the passion of an unresponsive love, the answers may be found within a bottle of oil or on the pages of how-to witchcraft books.
But though Williamson says he has had customers come back to tell him of their successful use of his charms, he offers no guarantees.
“It’s like going to the University. Just because you go to school doesn’t mean you’ll get a degree. Your success all depends upon the amount of time and work you put into it,” he said.