From Tarot readings to essential oils and candles, shop aims to offer something for every spiritual path
Walking by on Mainstreet in Hopkins, it’s difficult to tell what lies in store for curious customers at 3rd Eye Blue: the store front, across the street from Munkabeans coffee shop, showcases brightly-colored flags, eye-catching crystals, and what appear to be decks of cards. Inside, infusions of ylang ylang, citrus and lavender permeate the air of the small, welcoming space, and there’s a little bit of everything on the shelves. At least, that’s the hope of owner Beverly Niznik, who opened the shop with the goal of providing natural and spiritual resources for people of all walks of life.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” she said. “Conjure,” as the shop is described, runs in Niznik’s blood, as she traces her roots to Creole culture in New Orleans and Louisiana.
“My mom took me to metaphysical shops when I was a kid. It was something I grew up learning about,” she said. “It’s really about wellness — things that are good for your body, good for your mind and good for your spirit, and connecting with nature.”
Niznik’s background includes west African traditions, specifically Ifá, a religious and cultural system in which Niznik is training to be a priest specializing in herbal healing.
Businesses like 3rd Eye Blue are often referred to as “New Age,” a title Niznik prefers to avoid.
“I don’t like that term. There’s a lot of baggage associated with it. People have a lot of misconceptions,” Niznik said.
New Age, or related subjects such as paganism or witchcraft, can make people skeptical or even afraid, as it’s sometimes erroneously associated with Hollywood-style voodoo or black magic.
In reality, Niznik said, it’s no different from any other form of religion or spiritual practice, aiming to help people live healthier, more fulfilling lives and have a positive impact on the world around them.
“It’s really about connecting with yourself, with the world around you and being the best person you can be,” she said.
After helping a customer, a young woman in a white dress, purchase candles, a few colorful stones and a piece of palo santo, Niznik explains that the store’s clientele is hugely diverse, from homeopathic yogis and young hippies to scientifically-minded professionals, doctors and lawyers.
“Metaphysical used to be a fringe thing and it isn’t anymore. It’s not strange for people to have Tarot readings, use essential oils or light candles as part of meditation,” Niznik said. “Culturally, people have become more open to wellness and natural ways of doing things.”
She added that it’s not necessarily becoming less popular, but rather that people who have always been doing metaphysical work are more willing to talk about it.
“People are more out of the closet about it now. It’s always been happening, but now people aren’t afraid to share it,” Niznik said.
Niznik’s clientele includes people of Mexican, South American or Native American heritage, seeking out items like palo santo (holy wood), sage, or yerba santa, all used to help cleanse negative energy and promote healing.
Florida water, one of the shop’s most popular items, has a similar purpose. A blend of essential oils, the natural perfume is used for purification, ritual offering, calming and healing, or simply to make things smell nice.
“I’ve been using it my whole life,” Niznik said. “Not many people knew about it, and now it’s become more popular. Everyone can use it.”
The shop’s stock is sourced from variety of vendors, from the 200-year old purveyor of Florida water (Murray and Lanman, est. in 1808) to local artists who handcraft candles and other items. Niznik, also a fine art photographer, displays some of her own work in the shop as well.
3rd Eye Blue also sees a fair number of clients who practice Wicca, a contemporary pagan religious often based on honoring the earth, moon and other natural forces.
Still others are people one wouldn’t expect to find in a conjure shops, people of all religious and walks of life, from atheists to Christians to Muslims, young and old.
Niznik said her customers are a snapshot of the diversity in Hopkins which, with creative, art-oriented and open-minded residents, made for a perfect place to open her shop.
“Hopkins is a good place for it. People are interested, want to learn more, and so far there’s been a great response,” Niznik said.
The shop has been open for about six months, but it still picking up steam due to a slow winter season. Since its debut, Niznik said the shop has continued expanding, offering additional services.
The cards in the window, of course, are Tarot, a form of divination. Niznik said it’s less about “reading the future” and more about recognizing patterns in a person’s life, offering insight they can use to improve their life and relationships.
“I don’t like to say that it predicts anything or tells the future. There are so many possibilities and things that can happen, that’s a hard thing to promise,” she said. “What it can do it show you patterns and perspectives you might not have realized before. It’s a different way of looking at things.”
3rd Eye Blue offers Tarot readings, and Niznik plans to eventually host classes in Tarot reading, meditation, and other spiritual practices.
The shop also hosts New Moon ceremonies, led by a shamanistically-trained man of Mayan descent.
In the metaphysical community, with a wide variety of spiritual and religious backgrounds, practices and traditions, Niznik said cultural appropriation is a real concern. As such, she doesn’t try to speak for cultures outside her own.
“There’s always appropriation happening, and I’m sensitive to that and try to stay away from it,” she said.
She also doesn’t judge anyone who comes into the shop.
“I try not to get wrapped up in what people are trying to do or why they’re here. That’s their personal business. I just try to provide resources and knowledge for people,” Niznik said.
The shop is meant to be a space for all spiritual paths, and inclusive of everyone who’s willing to engage in a respectful and open-minded way.
Although Niznik said she hasn’t encountered any aggressive skeptics, she’s prepared for people to disagree with her beliefs.
While she’s happy to answer questions and offer resources, her role isn’t to justify her own or others’ spiritual practices.
“I haven’t had a single negative reaction so far, but I’ve been ready for it,” she said. “I’m not here to argue with people, to convince or persuade anyone.
Not everyone is interested in this, but if it can help people connect with themselves or each other in a better way, that’s what I’m here for.”