Julia Gates (22, she/her) has been studying metaphysics for over 6 years. Her journey began at age 16 when she learned about pendulums and was told to check out a local crystal shop by a co-worker at her first job. Julia was instantly hooked and began collecting crystals on a regular basis. At age 18, she moved out to college and left the Mormon church. It was then that she really started learning more about crystal healing, and eventually entered the world of witchcraft – which can be considered a big no-no in Utah Mormon culture. Julia is now a metaphysical shop owner and community teacher with the goal to eliminate the stigma around witchcraft and the word “witch”.
How do you relate on a personal level to the Metaphysical Community?
-I am an eclectic (non-religious) witch and I study and do a lot with crystals, herbs, spell jars, and energy work. I am a learned clairvoyant and a firm believer that you can unlock gifts that you weren’t born with. I teach community witchcraft classes regularly, and try not to have any religious or cultural bias so anyone can attend without abandoning their own beliefs.
What do you love most about being a witch?
-I love teaching! Explaining how the chakras, crystals, or spirit guides work in a scientific way is my cup of tea. I have opened the minds of many people who believe what I do is “evil”.
On the other hand, what are some things you dislike about being considered a witch?
-There is a lot of fear and misunderstanding where I live. I am sometimes avoided by people who know I’m a “witch”, which is why I’m trying to educate others so it doesn’t happen as often.
How would you fix the world’s problems, if you could?
-If I could, I would take away opposition so everyone could coexist peacefully in all things.
About Your Events
You mentioned teaching and hosting metaphysical events. Tell us a little about them.
-I host spell jar classes and open house workshops, group meditations and rituals, Akashic Records accessing, and have hosted grimoire workshops and crystal history lessons. Most of my events are at Cocktail Collective in Salt Lake City as the owner, Alexi, is a like-minded woman and loves helping small businesses succeed. We also host smaller events at our shop location in Murray.
How would you consider the turnouts to these events?
-It really just depends on what other community events are going on! I am really close to Salt Lake City, which is constantly hosting large scale events. On the days those are going, we usually have a low turnout. If we are the only ones hosting an event in the area that day, we reach maximum capacity.
Are there participants in the groups that surprise you?
-I have seen people from the Mormon community I grew up in attend and participate in my events, and I love seeing someone who is open minded enough to branch out and learn about things outside of their religion!
When is your next event and what does it entail?
-I am co-hosting several Mixology & Moon Magic classes throughout October with Cocktail Collective in Salt Lake City! It is an age 21+ experience where you learn how to create a celestial themed cocktail (or mocktail) and afterwards I teach everyone how to make a spell jar that coincides with the drink! We have this event on October 1st, 9th, and 28th at 7pm. (Tickets are available at CocktailCollect.com)
About Your Business
What can you tell us about your brick and mortar store? Is there a reason behind the name?
-My shop is called The Pleiadian Altar. The name comes from a seven-star cluster in the Taurus constellation called the Pleiades. It is believed that healers’ and lightworkers’ souls originated there. These people are known as Starseeds.
What kind of items do you carry? Do you have a favorite?
-We carry ethically sourced crystals, handmade spell jars, “baby witch” kits, candles, jewelry, oils, books, herbs, and tarot/oracle cards. I source from small local businesses wherever I can. I am most proud of the animal bones I scavenged and cleaned in Texas earlier this year.
Can people shop online with you too?
-Yes! You can find our products on Etsy (ThePleiadianAltar) and our website (UtahCrystals.com). Use the code METAPHYSICALTIMES for 15% off!
Where can people find you online?
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