Recently I learned of a rather unusual shop opening on Hertel that specializes in a wide array of spiritual and religious beliefs. The business is the brainchild of Kurtlyn Cunningham, a self-professed eclectic witch (Wicca, Santeria and Buddhism) whose beliefs center around the earth and the universe. Kurtlyn’s shop, Love Light & Magick, is intended to attract a broad range of people whose spiritual and religious practices range from Buddhist to broader pagan to more focused Wicca.
A trip through Kurtyln’s store is certainly an eye opener for anyone who is fascinated by the rituals people who hold so many different types of beliefs, many of which are intertwined by the love of fellow man, animals, the elements, the earth and the universe. I asked Kurtyln how she came to be so in tune with all of these various articles of faith. She shared with me that she grew up in a family that was, in one way or another, exposed to a number of different religions and faiths, including Catholicism, Native American beliefs, pentecostal worship, Methodist beliefs, and even a bit of voodoo practice. “When I was young,” she began. “I would take trips down the Central Library and spend hours reading the history of religions, from A to Z. That is how I finally figured out what my path would be – earth and universe centered.”
As I spoke with Kurtlyn, she opened my eyes to a number of different rituals, by merely pointing at items on different shelves and telling me what each of the objects was used for. It started with the Santaria candles (Orisha and Saint) and supplies. Next to the candles was the floor and bath wash – yes, the concoction is used for one’s person, and to clean the floor starting at the back of the room and cleaning towards the front door (where all of the bad juju gets the boot). These types of cleansing and bathing rituals are a mixture of Christianity and voodoo.
The spells and the rituals can be enhanced with black salt (wards off evil), which can be found on the next shelf. Next to that is the toasted corn – an offering for Eleguá. There’s also incense resin and charcoal, all to interact with various gods and goddesses.
After the Santaria corner of the store, we find ourselves in the pagan section. This is where we come across essential oils, offering bowls, mini cauldrons (the big ones are coming), mortars and pestles, tarot bags and boxes (some made by a local pagans), tarot cards, chakra jewelry infused by a local reiki master. This is where Kurtlyn began explaining the differences between Druidism, neo paganism and Wiccan practices and beliefs.
And that’s when the shop transitioned into an array of chalices and wands, altar tiles and bells, athames, spell book holders, chimes, stone pouches (and stones), cowrie shells (divination, protection, grounding), herbs, altar clothes, runes, and mini crystal balls (big ones are coming). As we walked, and she pointed and talked, and I took it all in, there was a sense that everything she described to me was positive in nature. Everything was meant for healing, communicating with the spirits of the earth and the universe. The items were intended to ward off evil and to bring health and positivity to one’s side.
While the crux of the shop is set up to outfit people with the items that they need to conduct their spiritual journeys, there are also a number of classes and services that will be available on a daily basis. There will be in-house reiki masters in the back room (for people with chakras that need to be healed), along with psychic readings (in the front of the house behind a curtain) for those who are need of some elusive answers. There will also be classes and meditation sessions offered on many of the different religious and spiritual topics.
As we neared the end of the tour, I asked Kurtlyn if there was really such a large “community” in Buffalo, as I had not been keeping track of the numbers. “It’s much bigger than you would expect,” she told me. “Of course there are people who worship different sabbaths throughout the year, along with global ceremonies. All of these communities generally support each other, and are not out to cause harm to anyone, quite the opposite. The first rule of Wicca is “Harm No One”.
If Love Light and Magick sounds like it’s up your alley, grab your pendulum, a smudge bundle, a couple of spell candles, and your fairy bottle and head on over to the shop for a look-see. If you’ve run out of supplies, have no fear, you can find it all here. If you’ve been looking to join others from these various communities, Kurtlyn can help.
Kurtyln also supports the Buffalo arts and crafts community. She will be hosting monthly art shows, and sourcing as many products locally as she can.
In an age when we need to be more open and understanding of people, their natures and their beliefs, I think that there could be no better time to welcome a business such as Love Light & Magick to Hertel, and to Buffalo.
Love Light & Magick | 1374 Hertel Avenue | Buffalo NY | 716-262-0724 | Facebook