In the first week of November, many people are preparing for traditional autumn festivities like carving pumpkins, going on hayrides and even some early Christmas shopping.
For some in the Tyler area, the beginning of November signifies something else: a chance to showcase their practices and wares at the New Moon Monthly Market, a pop-up market at Tyler’s downtown square organized by Raynie Castaneda of The Fickle Witch Homestead & Witchery. November marks the second of what Castañeda hopes to be a monthly occurrence.
Pagan vendors join to sell their unique merchandise.
“I just like to share in our culture. So if I can talk to people about this and other nerdy stuff, it refills my heart and makes me happy,” said Genesis Indira, owner of Indiis Creations. “I hope that there’s as good of a turnout as last month, and to spread awareness and understanding.”
While outsiders may perceive paganism as a cult or a negative practice, the participants at the market believe otherwise.
“[Paganism] is very fluid, and it’s very open to accepting new members. It’s not inherently one congregation or specific group; it’s something that can apply to anybody regardless of their background or current beliefs,” said Amber Johnson, owner of Galaxy Gear.
Merchandise at the market included handmade jewelry, wall art, metaphysical crystals, tarot cards and rune stones. These items and practices have been used in pagan worship since before the ancient Greek and Roman empires, where much of paganism began its introduction in art, literature, music, and ethics. The practice eventually spread in variations across the globe. Many still use its practices today for personal benefit and to help others.
Beckah Miller is the owner of her own wellness practice, Dragon’s Way Wellness. “I specialize in trauma work, so I’m able to really focus on deep-seated things like childhood trauma, abuse, recurring patterns and things like that. It helps others find release for themselves safely, so that they’re not carrying it around.”
Miller does this work through her jewelry and palm therapy by guiding guests through their thoughts and feelings and connecting to them through her energy.
Vendors enjoy educating the public and addressing any questions or topics regarding their pagan belief systems.
“I feel like people always view [paganism] with a negative connotation, but really everybody here are some of the nicest people you’ll meet. They want you here regardless of who you are,” Johnson said.
Summer Adams, owner of The Blessed Bee said, “I want others to know we’re not bad people, we’re your neighbors, and we love you.”
The New Moon Monthly Market may see returning guests and new faces at their upcoming pop-ups on the Tyler square each month near the time of the new moon.
Kathryn Henderson is a Jacksonville, Texas, native and a Tyler resident of 21 years. She graduated from Whitehouse High School where she developed her passion for news writing and storytelling. Her interests include art, music and political activism.
Chris French is an independent photographer based in Tyler, Texas, who takes all of his photos through vintage film lenses. He is also a local musician and barista. Chris loves to share in the nostalgic feeling provided by photos and aims to bring that joy to others. To see more of Chris’ work, you can follow him at @mrcoffeeswag.
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