The Good Spirit Gastown

It's a sign.

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“All signs point to yes,” reads the mantra, imprinted on the floor at the entrance of The Good Spirit. Harkening back to one’s long-lamented Ouija board days, it’s the perfect nostalgic note with which to enter the newly opened metaphysical boutique. Sleek and minimal shelves are delicately lined with tarot card packs, smudge sticks, rocks, and crystals—some familiar, some not. What is immediately resonant, at least for the casual Gastown shopper, is their presentation. Founded by Savannah Olsen, also co-founder of neighbourhood success story Old Faithful Shop, the store is a re-introduction to the tools of the spiritual world.

The Good Spirit is a retail-forward interpretation of items, scrubbed of their hippie-dippy duds, and concepts that are in the midst of a mainstream revival. Olsen, who grew up reading tarot cards with her mother, started hearing murmurs of interest in the spiritual world through the women she staffed at Old Faithful. “A lot of the other girls that I worked with were into tarot, or meditation, or crystals, and there wasn’t really anywhere that you could go that would really speak to that generation, or even something I would like,” says Olsen. So when the location just down the street from Old Faithful became available, Olsen began thinking about what a modern, metaphysical source would look like. “I mean, I love ‘70s hippie culture, but there’s got to be a way to push this, and update it, and make it fresh, so not only will these people experiment with one thing, but walking into somewhere like this store may make them want to delve deeper into it,” she says.

Though smartly refashioned to look modern, the offerings at The Good Spirit are more substantial than their pretty packaging. Rose gold pendulums are not just beautiful, but offer calm meditation. Bath salts and perfumes are more easily understood, but kind and knowledgeable store attendants can guide one through the various rocks and crystals, finding a personally tuned item to take home. Various tarot cards, made by local female artists, are funny and intriguing. “Generally, I wanted to keep it really light,” Olsen says of the items in the store. “Not going too deep. Again, it’s opening up a door.”

In addition to the take-home tarot cards, The Good Spirit also offers readings. Lorri Clark gave a session, shuffling through a deck gifted to her by her grandmother. Clark gets personal, but only as much as one is willing to go. Her familiarity and closeness to the cards is reassuring, and even if you’re dealt a particularly spooky one, she gives uplifting insight. Clark places down the cards, one in front of the other like a path. All you have to do is take the next step.

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June 20, 2016