Witchcraft isn’t just found in the pages of Harry Potter; it can be found right here in the streets of Peoria.
It’s that place with plants crowding the windows by Zion Coffee Co., that place with a certain air of mystery across from Sugar Wood-Fired Bistro. Those curious enough to venture inside know that this place is Mystic Arts, a “mini mall” of new-age art and “everything but Christianity.”
The concept of Mystic Arts dates back to 1993 and occupied a much larger space in Tazewell County, but Kaye Berry opened its new homefront in Peoria about 12 years ago.
“We were here before the whole block decided to be cool,” Berry joked.
Currently, five local artists share the space with Berry, each owning a section to display and sell their wares. Items for sale come from all across the globe and include a wide range of herbs and spices, handmade Voodoo dolls, teas, over 500 sticks of incense, crystal jewelry and more.
“We carry stuff no one else does – witchy stuff,” Berry said. “People come to us from different states because we’re a specialty store.”
Mystic Arts serves as the location for several unique classes and workshops not offered in bordering states. Students travel from afar to learn skills such as palm reading, dream interpretation, Native American chanting, tarot card reading and herbology.
“Everyone has a certain degree of psychic in them,” Berry said.
Up to hundreds of people show up to certain events hosted by Mystic Arts. Guests must be pre-approved and then can join in for full moon rituals, Day of the Dead ceremonies and other special celebrations.
“We dance … [and] have a big party,” Berry said.
Around 500 people belong to the Temple of the Phoenix, headquartered at Mystic Arts and led by Berry. The Temple of the Phoenix is one of the largest Wiccan/neopagan organizations in Illinois.
Highly respected as a gifted born psychic and energy reader, Berry conducts private appointments of all sorts at Mystic Arts as well. She offers past life regression readings, reunions with the dead and crystal energy healing, to name just a few practices.
Along with these exclusive events and sessions, Mystic Arts stays involved with the community.
Mystic Arts participates in Peoria’s First Fridays, a self-guided monthly tour of open art studios throughout the city and even developed an “Artists Under 16” gallery project to further encourage the up-and-coming local art community.
Another popular public offering of Mystic Arts is the Original Haunted Peoria Tour, held the first Wednesday of each month and an extra two times per weekend throughout October. This tour shows guests the documented spirit “activity areas” in Peoria.
“Everyone needs to believe in something,” Berry said.
For more information on the many offerings of Mystic Arts, visit http://www.mysticartsltd.com or venture into the mini mall located at 817 SW Adams St.