Culture

Exploring The Labyrinth, Dallas’ Oldest Witch Shop

There's All Kinds of Magic in That Little Purple House

BY // 10.28.20

Two years ago, I met with Britten LaRue, a Dallas-based astrologer who came recommended by The Greenway Shop, an elevated clean beauty haven on West Lovers Lane. Over lattes at Halcyon, we talked about the current trendiness of all things metaphysical, from tarot and crystals to Ayurvedic practices. But unlike New York or Los Angeles, Dallas still has a ways to go in embracing the more woo-woo things in life. LaRue noted one exception though: The Labyrinth, a metaphysical store run by self-proclaimed witches that has called Lower Greenville home for 24 years.

In a Dallas neighborhood that has drastically evolved over the last decade, The Labyrinth has stood strong in a sea of dive bars-turned-tony restaurants and farm-to-table concepts. Operating out of a little purple house on Bell Avenue (just steps from Truck Yard and HG Sply Co.), “Dallas’ Oldest Witch Shop” has also stayed impressively popular. Even before the pandemic, shoppers would line up outside on Saturdays for homemade candles, created to conjure everything from success to “banishing negativity.”

But like most things metaphysical, The Labyrinth has gotten more popular with time. In fact, when Cerina Wrye and Unarei Saldana first opened their shop the ’90s, the then-taboo store received plenty of hate mail. Sentiments shifted around 2007, according to one of the kind owners (also a reiki healer) I spoke to after finally working up the courage to pay a visit this fall. She credited that increase in earnest interest to the Harry Potter franchise.

I dabble in astrology like most millennials do, but don’t know much about modern witchcraft, a trend that typically (and understandably) tends to rise and fall in tandem with waves of feminism. If you did want to learn more, however, Dallas is lucky to have The Labyrinth. The painted-green rooms are stocked to the brim with sage, summoning blends, powders, and bath salts for spiritual awakenings. Books of “white spells” and oils for “fast money” and “passion” abound. (Their most popular oil is “Jezebel,” which has an alluring effect.)

There are whimsical oddities, like male genital candles, “magickal” body wash, and black powder that keeps the neighbors away, but there’s a sincerity to The Labyrinth that’s immediately evident. The founders express a desire to promote peace and bring healing, which — based on the many masked visitors shopping in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon — they seem to be accomplishing.

 

FERN FREEMAN

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Like many, the ladies of The Labyrinth have hopped online during the pandemic. You can keep up with the store at @AskTheWitches on Instagram, where they announce new hours and, potentially, a new location with more room for products and workshops. Nothing is set in stone yet, though. When I asked someone where the store might be headed, they explained they were waiting to see where the spirits take them. I just hope it’s not too far.

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