- September 20, 2017
Old homes and castles had what was called a stillroom — a place that was part apothecary, part kitchen and part lab; a room where medicines, dried herbs, tinctures, ointments and other household items and healing properties were crafted.
A metaphysical shop in downtown Winter Garden — called The Stillroom and owned by April Eckwielen — offers the same concept.
“We’re like a spiritual store basically, New Age, very earth- and energy-centered,” Eckwielen said. “This is my passion. I do consider myself a witch, I do practice. I am not Wiccan; a lot of people get that confused. I am into working with energy and nature and moon phases and putting out into the universe what I want.”
The shop specializes in tarot cards, candles, books, journals, ethically sourced crystals, local artisan goods and other ritual and practice items. The organic herb apothecary — which Eckwielen calls her baby, her favorite part of the business — has 140 herbs.
“Some people will make teas or tinctures or add them to lotions and oils that go on the body,” she said of her herbs. “There are a handful that you don’t really want to ingest or put on the body because they are toxic. … Most of the ingredients can be used in cooking, so you can use them in a variety of ways. Some people will use them as loose incense and burn them on a charcoal disk. Some people will add them to their workings if it calls for a specific herb. Some people will put them in little sachets to carry with them.”
Nearly 100 different crystals are available and include Rose Quartz (for love), Green Aventurine (for abundance), Tiger’s Eye (for grounding) and Obsidian (for protection).
“Everything that we come into contact with has an energetic fabrication,” Eckwielen explained. “With crystals, some people do just have them for the aesthetic, the décor, but a lot of people will use them for the energetic properties that are associated with them. … Some people put them around the space for the intention they want to put out there. Some people will put them out when they are meditating or praying. Some will carry them on themselves or in their car for protection.”
Incense and burners, leather journals and local artisan goods including jewelry and handmade salves are for sale, too.
Also available are ritual and practice items.
“Those are items that are used for somebody who considers themselves a witch,” Eckwielen said. “Those are items that you would use for specific intentions. Like, you could do a whole thing on abundance. Some people will do a working or rituals, some people call them prayers. It’s just what resonates with them. … Some might call for specific candle color, or herb or crystal or incense, and those are also things I carry in the shop to help people with their craft.”
Another service Eckwielen provides is 30-minute readings with tarot cards.
“My readings are different from what either some people have had in the past or what they assume a tarot reading is,” she said. “Many times, if you see people who do readings, people think that they are foretelling the future or I’m going to get your great-aunt Mary to come in from the other side and speak through me. There are people who do that and are great at that. But mine is more, ‘We’re going to sit down over the table with coffee, and we’re going to have a good conversation about what the card is pulling up. This is what is happening to you right now and what you need to do in order to get onto the path you want to be on or meet your goal that you want to do.’”
The Stillroom offers a variety of classes, such as tarot-card reading, understanding the moon phases, and working with crystals and herbs and how to use them. Classes currently are online, but Eckwielen said she has acquired the space across the hall from The Stillroom and will use it as a dedicated space for tarot readings and classroom space.
“There are some people who get a little freaked out about the kind of shop I am,” Eckwielen said. “There’s nothing to be scared of — what I have or the type of shop that it is. I’m very energy-based, nature-based. … I think a lot of people need to know that it’s not a scary place and you’re not going to walk in and I’m going to put a hex on you.
“We are very big on being a safe space for everybody, no matter what their path is,” she said. “People can come up and ask questions, and they’re not going to be judged. I have people who come in (and) look very conservative, and then I have people who come in and they’re in full cosplay costume.”