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Oh, oh, it’s magic: Store enchants Orlando clients

Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 18:07

avalon

Melissa Chadbourne

Behind the well-known stretch of Asian import stores off Colonial Drive near Interstate 4, there is a small shop that caters to the magically inclined.

"[Avalon] was founded to serve the pagan/Wiccan community," co-owner Miranda Solace-Kabina said.

Avalon, formerly known as Dragonwood, opened in 1993 under the ownership of Hillary Morgan. Morgan operated the store under the Dragonwood name until 1997, when she sold the store and it became Herne's Hollow.

It was sold again on April 5, 1999, when Solace-Kabina took over and gave the store its current name.

Morgan and Solace-Kabina originally met while Morgan was working the Church Street Exchange near Christmas. Later, Solace-Kabina came to the store for a class, where she spent time with Morgan and eventually began working there part time.

Avalon offers a wide variety of products throughout the store, including a large selection of tumbled stones, incense, herbs, clothing, divination tools and two rooms worth of books covering many earth-based religions and practices beyond just Wicca.

The store also offers space to psychics for readings under a contractor-style basis, with set days during the week in which they come to the store for walk-in and by-appointment readings. Classes on nearly every subject matter available in the store are also held at Avalon.

"We have classes on Wicca, spell craft, psychic development, tarot, meditation — all of that stuff," Solace-Kabina said. "Feng shui, crystals, pick your new age, old age stuff, [and] we'll find a class on it."

Along with these classes, the store hosts two major sales throughout the year and other festival-like events.

"We have two sales a year, some are winter, like pre-Christmas," Solace-Kabina said. "And it's just grown into kind of an event thing where we have vendors in the parking lot, like a craft fair and a psychic fair. We have psychics in here and then it's turned into theme things. So because it's summer, summer is the time of the faeries. So, okay — we'll do a faery festival."

This year's Faery Fest will be held Saturday and will include a rededication of the store in honor of the recent renovations the store underwent.

Jacqueline Dombovy works with Solace-Kabina at Avalon, handling stock and customer service, as well as helping watch over Solace-Kabina's two children, who are often at the shop. Dombovy has been working at Avalon for nearly two-and-a-half years and says she enjoys her work.

"I love to work here, because who wouldn't?" Dombovy said. "It's just like a really chill environment. I'm passionate about herbs and all this stuff as well, oils and stones, and it at first started off as just a favor for Miranda.

"When I first started working here I had no idea about any of this stuff at all. She gave me the opportunity to come work here and I've learned a ton of information. It's helped me personally as far as believing in something or having an idea of what's going on."

Solace-Kabina fondly recalled her time working in the store when it first began, and is happy to see it continuing to thrive and grow.  She said it currently has more than four times the inventory than when they began.

Both agree that the best part of working in Avalon is the chance to help people balance themselves and improve their lives.

"My favorite aspect of the store is … a combination of the herbs as well as helping people put together certain things to balance them out and align them," Dombovy said. "There are lots of different objects and things that you can put together and create for people depending on what they're going through."

Dombovy appreciates having repeat customers.

"It's really nice when people come back and they tell you that … whatever they did worked for them," she said.

Solace-Kabina also noted that during these hard economic times, some people who don't have church to fall back on for support and stability find comfort through other means, including magic.

"You can't understand it — like you lose your job, or your relationships are suffering because of money problems, you're supposed to be able to fix those things, you're supposed to be able to understand them," Solace-Kabina said. "So people actually turn towards the things that they really can't understand, which is, you know, God." 

For people looking for a way to open themselves up and find comfort in what they are going through, Solace-Kabina offers help through readings or getting stones.

"Magic seems to be a more accessible form of prayer for people who aren't necessarily religious," she said.

Avalon is located off of Mills Avenue, south of Colonial, at 1211 Hillcrest St. They are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

 

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11 comments

J. Black
Mon Dec 28 2009 10:55
Thundering Buffalo

Shock is pretty amazing, you must admit. I went to his site. Oh, my. I didn't stay long but it seems he may have more to sell than Avalon.

He not only rubbishes other religions but science as well.

Avalon is great and certainly not evil.

NY LuvnWitch
Wed Jul 29 2009 18:34
I applaud the this lovely enterprise and commend the author for a pleasant read...May they all continue in prosperity and joy for the highest good and harming none
Raven
Tue Jul 28 2009 14:05
This is a fantastic store with lots to offer. I also recommend asking them about their classes -- while they don't personally host them, there are lots of people who gather there to learn and share! :)
Lanthiriel L.
Fri Jul 24 2009 20:37
Hi everyone,
"Shock" is a fundamentalist who is highly into self-promotion, and delights in spreading as much misinformation about wicca and witchcraft as he can. Many have tried to educate him about what Wiccans truly believe and what witches are,but he willfully ignores any input, spreads even more falsehoods, and goes as far as to belittle people, pirate videos, and other less than honorable things. If you debate with him in a civil manner and he realizes you have more of a mind than he does, he will block you (on YouTube) or else he will run away. Fast.
Just a public Service announcement. :)
Mr. Joel
Thu Jul 23 2009 20:32
I always enjoy my visits to Avalon.My alters and my sacred space have really benefited from the unique and blessed products that they have there.It's just plain fun to experience real magik!
UCFman
Thu Jul 23 2009 16:56
I would rather believe in an earth based religion such as wicca than any human-divine based religion such as christianity or Islam-simply based on the amount of lives each took from our world.

Very Interesting Article, I will have to check this place out

Starwind Evensong
Thu Jul 23 2009 08:57
Shock, that which we fear controls us. It is better to seek understanding.

Thanks for the great story about Avalon; next time I'm in the Orlando area I'll visit!

Christopher Blackwell
Wed Jul 22 2009 23:17
Shock,

Always fun to listen to a person spout off about something s/he knows nothing about. Religious belief is a matter of opinion. So believe whatever you want. But don't expect me to take you very seriously on your claims about Wicca.

I have more than a couple of decades of experience and have watched the healing affect of Wicca, not too mention learning how to laugh with the simple joy of being alive. Now in my case I don't drink or smoke anything and my only drug is the caffein in my Lipton tea.

I have both the joy of living out in the boonies with contact with people around the world who turn up at my front door. I don't have to do anything to be happy, nor do I have to spend a dime to accomplish it.

Nor do I have to say anything against anyone's religion. They are free to believe whatever that works in their life. My religion does not require me to spread it, nor does it depend on how many other people practice it.

It is a remarkably inexpensive religion to practice. I don't need a middle man to intrepret it for me, nor connect me to deity, nor do I have to support a building to worship in. Whereever I am is holy ground and deity is always available. It teaches me that I am always fully personally responsibile for everything that I do or say and it all does return.

Your name
Wed Jul 22 2009 22:33
Neither Wicca nor witchcraft is evil, it's merely another religion just like yours "shock." That being said, Avalon is an amazing store, one of my favorite stops when I visit Orlando.
Heron
Wed Jul 22 2009 20:03
Avalon is one of my favorite places in Orlando, and it's wonderful to see the store and Miranda prospering. Stop by sometime and feel the beautiful vibes there :D
SHock
Wed Jul 22 2009 19:18
Wicca is evil it's witchcraft, I'd stay away from it. I do a radio show on it at w w w .shockawenow. n e t




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