If someone on your gift list has a penchant for casting spells or foretelling the future, a new boutique stocked with merchandise almost as enchanting as its proprietress has opened just east of Biltmore Village on Sweeten Creek Road.
Local medium, Shelley Wright, said Nevermore Mystical Arts might be called a “magic shoppe,” but her wares have nothing to do with parlor tricks, illusions, and acts of prestidigitation.
It is the new go to place to find everything from hard-to-find magical supplies, occult reference materials, scientific investigation instruments for paranormal research, candles for ritual spell casting, Ouija boards, and tarot decks for every occasion. “Plus we throw in some fun stuff for good measure,” Wright said.
The store, she relates, has a duality that mirrors how she sees herself. “I love the paranormal, I love the magical, and to me they’re on the same level. As a paranormal investigator I embrace scientific principles, but I’ve always been fascinated by magical thinking and texts. I am a reflection of the contrast between the notions of both worlds.”
Edgar Allen Poe’s memorable poem “The Raven” provided Wright’s inspiration for the name of her store because his writing is so visually evocative. “When you think of the poem you just get this idea in your head, a delicious feeling of fascination, mystery, and maybe even the macabre. The Raven draws you in and it keeps you suspended in the moment wondering what the possibilities are, and what will happen next. That’s the feeling I want to evoke when people hear ‘Nevermore.’”
Locating supplies for casting spells and finding a shop that’s comfortable to walk into creates a challenge Wright hopes to bridge. “We offer hard-to-find herbs, roots, minerals, and talismans you can use in a mojo bag, and sachet powders you just don’t normally see in this area. We just got curio kits in that have everything to do with attracting good luck. The best selling amulet recently has been the ‘raccoon love bone.’”
Internationally recognized paranormal expert Joshua Warren said, “I love Nevermore since you don’t have to be a wizard to walk inside and find what to buy. Shelley is always here with a bright smile to quickly diagnose your situation and send you along with the exact, odd little remedies. She has an uncanny ability to understand and help people. I’ve traveled all over the country visiting so-called magical and mystical shops, and this is the most legitimate one you’ll ever encounter.”
Nevermore Mystical Arts carries supplies selected to meet the needs of benevolent witches that practice “white magic.” Wright said she hasn’t seen any “dark witches” in her shop. “I’ve met some who’ve experimented with things they shouldn’t have done and maybe suffered the consequences, but I haven’t met anybody truly bad or evil. I think they might be repelled by this place.”
Wright is currently studying to earn her certification in “hoodoo, herb and root magic,” Christian based practices drawing from historical African-American conjuring rituals. “The woman who’s teaching me has spent her whole life researching the belief system of those who created it. You have to be emerged in their culture to really comprehend how it works.” Wright composes a regular column for the Asheville Daily Planet newspaper. The subjects she has covered include the ethics of magic, hauntings, the five stages of cursed grief, mysteries in prophetic phenomena, thought forms that can be seen by and interact with others, and other such personal paranormal experiences and philosophies.
People visit Wright to learn from her, and sometimes to attach some kind of name to what they do. “I don’t have a name for what I do, I’m a solitary practitioner. I don’t belong to a coven or do rituals with other people. I’m very well read on the subjects, and borrow from many different traditions in my personal beliefs. Whereas other teachings such as the Wiccan tenet believe in many gods and goddesses, my customs draw from the old Southern conjure with its roots in Christianity,” Wright said.
Nevermore Mystical Arts is located at 1271 Sweeten Creek Road, next door to her father’s store, Wright’s Coin Shop.
By Mark-Ellis Bennett