Answers Without Questions: The Growing Popularity of Metaphysical Beliefs

Abitha’s Apothecary first opened its doors in 1989 at a time when metaphysical beliefs and the occult where deemed taboo. Since then these beliefs have started to rise according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With this rise, metaphysical shops like Reta K. Bray’s apothecary have become more popular. According to Time Entertainment, “Witches Are The New Vampires”. With shows like American Horror Story: Coven driving this popularity.

Answers Without Questions: The Growing Metaphysical World from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

Many metaphysical and occult shops hand make many of the supplies since they cannot be created any other way. Abitha’s Apothecary hosts some 260 herbs and growing due to demand, Bray also boasts 1154 formulas for handmade oils and incense. Many of these oils and incense are used to promote positive thinking and outcomes. Bray does research on all the ingredients and uses this research to create her own one of a kind product. The research and ingredients define what the outcomes will be for the oils and incense, whether it be love, money or even legal trouble. Like a chemist each formula is researched and measured for a certain outcome.

Abitha's Apothecary in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Abitha’s Apothecary in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Metaphysics is defined as a philosophy that is closely related to spirituality but is not tied to a specific religion. One branch of metaphysics is cosmology. In a religious form cosmology is a body for beliefs such as esotericism. Esotericism has many movements and philosophies such as Numerology, Magic, Kabbalah, Freemasonry, Astrology, and Mysticism. Many of these movements and philosophies have been around since the Medieval doctrinal in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Most of these beliefs have been classified as taboo and some practitioners and even the accused have been feared and discriminated upon. One such violent case was the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The panic was later said to be due to an epidemic of small pox and threats of Indian attacks. Since then some of these beliefs have become more accepted due to popular television shows and the advent of the Internet; where practitioners of metaphysical beliefs could communicate without prejudice. But some still feel that these beliefs are destroying society. In an article Mother Jones published in June 2013, a Virginia GOP Lieutenant Governor candidate in his 2008 book, Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life, warned that modern-day “witchcraft” would lead to a social destruction. And even the 2010 events in Akwa Ibom, a state in Nigeria. Evidence was found that children where abused after being accused of practicing black magic.

With modern beliefs such as Neo-Paganism, Wicca and Louisiana Voodoo becoming more popular, shops like Abitha’s Apothecary are going to continue to grow and modernize.


K. Charles Moore


  1. it is very inspiring to see alternative philosophies welcome and growing in our city!

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