The Street of the Idol-Makers

Last Monday I drove to Denver for the last day of the International New Age Trade Show (West) at the Merchandise Mart, partly to see friends and also to check out the

Books, New Age and World Music, CD’s and DVD’s, Aromatherapy Bath and Body Preparations, Apparel, Candles, Crystals, Tarots and Divination Tools, Heath and Wellness Herbal Remedies, Incense, Jewelry, Native Traditions, Metaphysical Supplies and Greeting Cards.

I had not visited that show (it’s wholesale only) since 1997, when I was signing copies of Sacred Mask, Sacred Dance at the Llewellyn booth. (They were not about to fly John Jones over from England, even though he wrote 75 percent of the book.)

The Llewellyn booth this year was big, but the energy seemed low. Nobody made eye contact. Maybe the staff had partied too hard the night before. I snagged a free 2007 Tarot reader for M. and left.

When M. worked for Celebration Books in Colorado Springs, she also had to work some of their metaphysical fairs–the same stuff, but at the retail level. (The two businesses are now owned separately, I understand.)

Walking the show, I could not help but notice how little has changed in the 20-some years since we first went to a metaphysical fair, other than the shift from videotapes to DVDs.

But there is one big change. In 1981 there was no Pagan merchandise sector. Now here was the Mythic Images booth next to Maxine Miller Studios and Celtic Jackalope (love that name), followed by Sacred Source and Dryad Design.

With all the divine images, it was like the Street of the Idol Makers.

Off to the side was King-Max Products with its bland Chinese manager representing a whole line of Gothy knick-knacks and kannabis kitsch and some very NSFW statuary. (You can’t even see it on the website without an account.)

I just wonder if the Chinese worker painting the statuette of a voluptuous woman receiving cunnilingus from a wolf thinks that that is a common occurrence in America.