Leslie McAllister, owner of juju, a modern metaphysical lifestyle shop in Point Breeze, is casting a calming light across Pittsburgh. Due to government regulation, her shop is closed for now so she is taking her spiritual guidance virtual.
McAllister is offering tarot readings conducted over the phone or by video, virtual rituals via Instagram Live and advice via her podcast, Ask A Hag podcast with fellow witch, Alison Garber.
“The biggest part about being a witch,” said McAllister, “especially a witch who owns a business, especially a witch who puts herself in her community, is to serve her community.”
Virtual tarot readings can be conducted however you feel most comfortable – FaceTime, WhatsApp or by phone. It is $50 for 30 minutes and $65 for 45 minutes. After the conclusion of the reading, McAllister sends you photographs of the pulled tarot cards so that you may revisit them. You can book online here.
Spiritual Therapy at Juju
McAllister looks at tarot readings as spiritual therapy. “It is an unbiased point-of-view, it takes you and me out of it and brings in the cards,” said McAllister. “As a double Gemini, and being ruled by Mercury, the Messenger, I am just a messenger.”
If you are new to tarot, a virtual reading can offer direction, healing and can be less intimidating than in person. McAllister suggests creating a comfortable space, and “comfort” can be taken literally here like wearing your pajamas during the reading!
“People are seeking answers and hope, especially during any kind of crisis, whether it’s global or personal. It [tarot] is confirming for people,” said McAllister.
“We are the only species that second guesses themselves, that doesn’t use our instinct. As human beings, we go into that ego space, and tarot is a great way for us to confirm our gut feelings. It allows us to see our higher self, our inner self.”
And for those skeptical about a tarot reading actually working over the phone, McAllister has this to say:
“Any reader – physic, tarot – any work over the phone is equally energetic and powerful. The spirit doesn’t know that phone. There is no challenge for our guides. They can be here and inform us in any way.”
Finding Alternative Ways to Help
McAllister is organizing virtual rituals and meditations via Instagram Live, answering any questions, large or small, through her social media channels and continuing to share her wealth of knowledge around the self and how to care for it.
“The biggest thing right now for me as a small business owner is how we can be alternatively helpful. Small business owners in Pittsburgh, the greatest thing about these people are their hearts. The second greatest thing is their innovation.”
Follow along on Instagram to be up-to-date on ritual and mediation times. These collective practices aim to radiate positive energy out into the world. “One person can do a lot; ten people can do a whole lot more,” said McAllister.
Intention is the focus of these collective rituals and meditations.
“Intention is decisive,” said McAllister. “When you get decisive, you are able to embody the statement and you are able to send it out.” McAllister shared some examples of intentions fitting for the current times:
The world is healed. We are healed.
We want peace and happiness in the world.
We have moved past this.
At the end of each intention, McAllister always adds “I ask for this or better,” allowing space for additional blessings and abundance.
Ask A Hag, a podcast
The abundance around McAllister’s spiritual offerings continues with the podcast, Ask A Hag, which she co-hosts with Alison Garber, ancestral herbalist and owner of Land Spirits. It is an advice podcast about witchcraft and self-care in the modern world that airs every other Saturday. Garber’s wife, Donna Kyler, is the show’s producer.
McAllister became an online fan of Garber four years ago when she learned she was conducting plant walks in Allegheny Cemetery. After randomly meeting in-person at a Whole Foods, Garber led the first-ever class at juju, a mugwort bundling class. Juju began selling Land Spirits’ wild goods, but both witches wanted to create more together.
The latest episode, Mrs. Brown, launched on Saturday, March 23rd. They are talking about “the damn coronavirus!” while focusing on how to build the immune system naturally.
Their Tony Stark Technique episode from June 15th, 2019 is another great place to start. It focuses on boundary work and protection.
Uncertainty surrounds us, not only in Pittsburgh, but around the world. McAllister is here to guide us, to help us be kind to our fellow neighbor, to Mother Earth, and most importantly, be kind to ourselves.
“You are not alone. We are all in this together. What’s so incredible is that we are supposed to keep this social distance, but we have never been closer.”
6739 Reynolds St // Pittsburgh, 15206
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