In East Lansing, increased spirituality may be a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. This past year, two local metaphysical hubs, Triple Goddess Bookstore and Coyote Wisdom bookstore, have experienced an influx of new customers.
Metaphysical experts and the influx of business
Triple Goddess Bookstore, 2019 E. Michigan Ave., is filled with everything from tarot decks and spellbooks to bulk self-serve herbs and candles. Owners Dawne Botke-Coe and Alan Coe provide tarot, astrology, palmistry and rune readings by appointment, as well.
“Lansing is a very liberal town. And we all kind of know each other. Some people surmise that it is some sort of metaphysical hotspot,” Botke-Coe said. “But we definitely saw a huge uptick in people buying books and studying themselves just to kind of figure out ‘what’s going on here?’”
Several miles away, at 2338 N. Grand River Ave., is Coyote Wisdom bookstore. Along with psychic and astrology readings, the shop has an extensive supply of crystals, incense, tarot cards and metaphysical books. Similar to Triple Goddess, Coyote Wisdom has experienced an increase in business following the pandemic – especially young people – said Kathy Cadwell, spiritual practitioner at Coyote Wisdom.
While the shop was closed during the early months of the pandemic, curbside services remained and business returned quickly after reopening, Cadwell said. “I don’t know what that was about. Maybe more people just had more questions about things.”
Botke-Coe said that in astrology, the position of the Sun determines astronomical periods called epochs. She said society is transitioning out of the Picscean epoch into the Aquarian epoch. “The Picsean age was about faith and belief in the unseen. The Aquarian age is more scientific and factual.” Threats, such as the pandemic and climate change, have fuelled people to seek out explanations through astrology, rather than faith, Botke-Coe said.
Teens speak out
Astrology and other forms of spirituality have become popular on social media, especially TikTok, said Mya Kwiatkowski, who works at Coyote Wisdom. Kwiatkowski, 17, began working at Coyote Wisdom last year and is a self-identified witch. “People are more open to things,” she said. “One hundred years ago, the word ‘witch’ would terrify people.”
Coyote Wisdom customer Ava Jackinchuk, 17, said she was introduced to crystals via Tik Tok during the pandemic. She said it became something she and her friends could relate to while they were all at home.
Lucy Breda, 19, is a Triple Goddess customer and a witchcraft-practicing member of the Satanic Temple. She said social media has helped her find her spirituality. “It’s helped me to see other people doing things that I’ve always felt a connection with and that it’s not weird.”