Harry’s Occult Shop scares away lurking spirits, mixes love potions

Midterms are over, finals are approaching and you feel like nothing will get you through this semester. A hint of magic, along with the help of experts at Harry’s Occult Shop, might help you through it.

What’s an occult shop? It’s not a cult, store manager Marcia Finnegan said. Finnegan, who has managed the shop and served as a spiritual adviser for the past 10 years, said that idea is a common misconception.

It isn’t a place where witches sit around and cast evil spells, either. The practitioners at Harry’s only work with “white magic.” Finnegan said white magic forces its practitioner to ask, “Is what I’m doing for the benefit of everyone concerned?”

In keeping with Philadelphia’s tradition of mural art, Harry’s has a painting of St. Michael the Archangel towering over evil with several sword-toting angels at his side. Individuals who wish to use dark magic are kindly instructed on how to use a more positive form of magic to achieve their goal.

“I don’t judge people,” Finnegan said. “We just try to help.”

Harry’s began as a pharmacy, founded by pharmacist Harry Seligman in 1917. At the time, most of Harry’s clients were black people who had recently moved from the south and still practiced rituals from their African religions. They often came in asking for occult powders and oils.

This sparked Harry’s interest and after intensive research, he learned how to create the powders and oils himself.

Currently, Harry’s sells its own special blend of bath oils that promote love, spiritual cleansing, power, healing and prosperity. Just drop the oils in the water and meditate on whatever positive energy you choose.

After bathing in an occult bath, one can use corresponding oils to maximize the effects. If the idea of soaking in a bath doesn’t work for you, Harry’s has a wide assortment of candles that, when lit, provide the same results.

Harry’s can solve specific problems as well. People from all over the city come into the occult shop for free consultations from their spiritual advisers. Each consultation is accompanied by a personalized ritual that should help solve the problem.

In the spirit of Halloween, Harry’s is selling “Halloween Ritual Kits.” The all-inclusive, one-time-use kits cost $8.95. Whether you want to make someone fall in love with you or make sure you get an ‘A’ in a class, the kit will work for you.

“It’s best if you use your kit on the actual night of Halloween or Samhain,” said Lou Tarrpler, a practitioner of occult sciences.

The Celtics, who started the Samhain festival from which Halloween originates, believe that Halloween is when the gates between the living and non-living sprirt worlds open. This makes the completion of rituals easier and more effective.

If you’re afraid of lurking spirits, you can pick up a crystal pendulum for $10 to $15. The pendulum will help you detect any negative energy that may be around you. When held still in your hand, the pendulum swings in the direction of dark energy. You can then burn it away with a sage rope or, for those living in the residence halls, wash it away with a special blend of Harry’s floor wash.

If you want to catch a glimpse into the future, the store offers spiritual readings. Walk-in readings last about 30 minutes, cost $15 and take place in the shop. Readings by appointment last an hour, cost $25 and occur in a private room located in the shop’s upper level.

Harry’s also offers workshops designed to teach individuals about the art of occult. “Everyone is born with the same ability,” Finnegan said. “It is up to the person to develop it.”

Harry’s Occult Shop services people of many religious backgrounds.

“This is not about religion,” Finnegan said. “It’s about spirituality and faith. Every religion has spirituality and faith. Anyone who takes interest in this store, I will take time to talk to.”

Tanequa Neale can be reached at tanequa.neale@temple.edu.

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