Ritualcravt holds more sparkly goodness than you'd expect to find inside one store — unless it happens to be an eco-craft store, where every gem, bone, fur, nest, petal and potion is the real deal, not some fake geode, and all chosen with care by owner Missy Rhysing, who opened the shop at 4036 Tejon Street in Sunnyside.
"If you ask me what my religion is, I guess my response would be that I don’t really have one," says Rhysing. "But I have practiced various forms of Wicca, other Pagan paths, as well as Lakota practices, so I sort of have a melding of all of those things."
And the store reflects this melding of different beliefs, balancing the light with the dark arts, with an intermingling of metaphysical spirituality. The gems range in price, size and utility, and include brightly colored spirit quartz clusters, selenite wands, Labradorite slabs, green calcite, apophyllite clusters, even a rare rock called the Chalcedony Rosette, with what appears to be an entire "galaxy" inside of it.
The shop is also stocked with spirit bundles that include sage, a crystal and more Wiccan magic than you can wrap your head around. Along the walls, jars of herbs give off subtle smells and hints of rose, sage and lavender. There are novels on self-love, magic and spirituality. The jewelry for sale looks like what Urban Outfitters and many major retailers want to emulate, but is made with real materials from locally sourced companies or by Rhysing herself.
Ritualcravt has fans not just in Denver, but around the world. The Ritualcravt Etsy and Instagram have tens of thousands of followers between them. Several years ago, Rhysing began selling her Ritualcravt items online and at the Ritual Tattoo shop, where she was part-owner. When she opened Ritualcravt in the fall of 2015, business exploded — so much so that she sold her part-ownership of Ritual Tattoo to William Roy Crandall. But although she's taking a break from tattooing right now, she'll have a space at the new Ritual Tattoo, which is moving to 4241 Jason Street after the sale of its current location in Dickinson Plaza.
"I think that right now people, especially women, are opening up to the fact that you don’t have to follow a patriarchal religion if you don’t want to," says Rhysing. "You can find the answers within yourself, within the wisdom of Mother Earth, the wisdom that the universe offers us. Some of the older religions such as Wicca or Paganism really lend an understanding of just a different way to practice spiritually. Right now there's an awakening to all of these sorts of spirituality that don’t limit us."
Every month, tarot card reader and overall spiritual guru Rory Lula offers private sessions in the Ritualcravt space (the next is set for April 15). Lula uses the most classical form of tarot cards, called the Rider-Waite deck; while the store is small, it has a perfect, light-soaked space near the front for the readings. Lula also runs Psychic Beauty, another metaphysical business that meets on weekends and hosts different events, including a Love Thyself workshop, an archetype workshop and more.
Rhysing also holds special events at Ritualcravt, including a Plant Medicine Primer Series class on April 7 and a Beltane sale on April 30. The store is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 303-458-1459.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.