Cathy Levine, owner of Circles of Wisdom in Andover, wasn’t always the spiritual-seeking owner of a metaphysical store; she used to work as an actuary at an insurance company. Technical finances, numbers and spreadsheets were her thing—not energy, crystals and aromatherapy. But that began to change the day Cathy had her first tarot card reading.
“You should read Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return To Love,” the tarot reader told Cathy. Not what Cathy had expected, but she followed the advice. Williamson’s book then sparked Cathy’s interest in spirituality. It also inspired a deep-seated interest in readingother books, mostly spiritual, metaphysical and new age related. She became so consumed with her interest in books that she kept a spreadsheet of all the books she wanted to read (you have to keep in mind that she was an actuary who worked with spreadsheets everyday). As the list grew, Cathy realized she would love to own a new age bookstore one day.
Years later, Cathy visited a second tarot reader for some relationship insight, but received a career premonition instead. “I see you surrounded by books,” said the tarot reader. Cathy admitted that she would love to own a bookstore someday. “Do you want to draw a card on that?” the tarot reader asked. Cathy drew the Sun card, representing the life force and unlimited energy within us that is waiting to be expressed. It is a sign of happiness and the source of earthly life. In reference to Cathy’s bookstore dream, it is a positive affirmation that she should explore this part of herself and let a rebirth unfold. (It’s no coincidence that Cathy uses the sun in her logo for Circles of Wisdom.)
Several months later, Cathy frolicked in psychic phenomena once again at a fair in Northampton. This third psychic reader had a more specific message for Cathy. She saw Cathy owning a metaphysical store that had several rooms to it. This time, Cathy wasn’t surprised. She knew she would own a new age bookstore one day; she just didn’t know when it would eventually come together.
Finally, two years after meeting the first tarot card reader, a woman Cathy knew called her about a metaphysical store that was for sale in Andover. Cathy had met this woman in a support group for women who wanted to own their own business. When this woman saw that Circles of Wisdom was for sale, she knew it was perfect for Cathy.
Not long before this woman called, Cathy had begun sampling new aspects of metaphysical empowerment; she attended a four-day seminar on harnessing the power of the mind. The seminar taught the Silva Mind Method. One aspect of the Silva Mind Method involved using visualization to manifest your dreams. When Cathy first visited Circles of Wisdom to consider buying it, she was astounded to discover that it looked almost exactly as she had visualized her dream store, including the stairway in the lobby.
The only disappointing aspect that caused Cathy to hesitate in the purchase was the fact that the store had been somewhat neglected. For one, there were not a lot of books. And as a whole, the store had become run down from lack of attention and care. She really had to use her imagination again to visualize what it would look like under her own care.
Over the next few months, Cathy looked at other stores and locations, but her mind kept returning to Circles of Wisdom. She went back to see it more than once. Although the fear of making such an enormous commitment and change in her life was prominent, her intuition told her this was the right place.
One strong intuitive signal came when Cathy took a short vacation from her actuary job at the insurance company. She went camping for some personal grounding time while she considered buying the store. When she got back from her camping trip, she threw her back out of alignment before returning to her job—a clear indication to Cathy that she didn’t want to return to that line of work.
With only a couple months of retail experience behind her, Cathy took a leap of faith and became the new owner of Circles of Wisdom. When her employer, Sun Life Insurance Company, found out about her investment, they made her an offer she couldn’t refuse; they gave her a part-time position and benefit package that made her new venture even sweeter. Everything fell into place, and Cathy knew she had made the right decision.
Today, almost three years later, Cathy has transformed Circles of Wisdom into one of the most unique stores of its kind. Circles of Wisdom offers workshops on crystals, meditation, tarot, angels, magic and witchcraft, runes, intuition, shamanism, Reiki, labyrinths, ascension, soul retrieval, transformational workshops and even astral projection. These are classes taught by some of the leading experts on these subjects such as Dr. Trish Whynot, Christopher Penczak, Tricia Kibbe, and Leontine Hartzell to name just a few.
Circles of Wisdom is known for having one of the largest CD collections of new age music in the New England area. Practitioners travel from every state to peruse their wide selection of CDs for meditation and relaxation. Plus, customers can listen to over 200 CDs on their state-of-the-art system that allows you to hear the music before you buy.
Naturally, Cathy has one of the most comprehensive book selections on spiritual, metaphysical, holistic and new age subjects. Each book has been carefully selected from practitioner recommendations and customer favorites—not to leave out the wish list from Cathy’s spreadsheet. They even have a used book section that allows you to purchase books at about half their retail price.
The two most obvious items offered at Circles of Wisdom are the incredible crystal selection and the aromatherapy products. I use the word “obvious” because you can’t enter the store without noticing them. Each crystal of this enormous collection has been hand selected by crystal expert Dr. Trish Whynot who also facilitates such workshops as “choosing the right crystals” and “working with crystals.” The aromatherapy products, such as candles, incense and oils, are immediately obvious because of the incredible smell that hits you before you even enter the store. Circles of Wisdom manager, Stephen Breen, said they would be millionaires if they could bottle and sell the store’s aroma, which is created by the mixture of scented candles and incense sticks. I have to admit I was wondering if I could buy whatever it was that created the smell before he mentioned it.
If you’re into yoga, Pilates or other instructional exercise videos, you can either rent or buy them from Cathy’s store. Apparently this is an extremely popular program because of the discounts you get as a Circles of Wisdom video club member. Plus, the rental program allows you to see if the video is worth buying before you spend your money on something you won’t use. If you rent it and decide you want to buy it, you get both a discount and a brand spanking new video—not the used tape you rented.
I kind of fell in love with the selection of crystal bowls and Tibetan singing bowls they displayed on a table in the middle of the store. Cathy played one of the crystal bowls for me and it absolutely blew my mind! If you haven’t experienced the sensation these bowls create when played, it is what I expected an alien’s ray-gun to feel like when I was a child—the humming sound resonates throughout your whole body. I imagine it’s a great meditation tool just to sit there and play it. Cathy said someone recently bought an entire set of them as a wedding gift. I wish I got a few less woks and just one of these crystal bowls for my wedding. Great gift idea!
It was an inspiring experience to watch Cathy as she proudly walked me through her store. I could tell she was at home, a place she had manifested in her dreams. I wondered if her desire to own a new age bookstore was responsible for attracting this business to her, or if it was a fateful calling that she was drawn to like metal to a magnet. Apparently, both theories lead to the same conclusion. Perhaps the biggest lesson is that all dreams will lead to the Sun card—the source of life energy and inspiration. Whether you believe in visual manifestation, tarot card predictions or unalterable destiny, I’m sure Cathy has a book on hand to teach you more about it.
Circles of Wisdom is located at 90 Main Street (next to Bertucci's Pizza) in Andover, Massachusetts. Give Cathy Levine or Stephen Breen (manager) a call at 978-474-8010.
Aside from the workshops and products mentioned above, Circles of Wisdom also offers the following: greeting cards, chimes, dream catchers, drums, paintings, statues, flower essences (including Australian Bush Flower Essences), feng shui supplies, aromatherapy supplies, candles, perfumes, incense, jewelry with gemstones, crystals, lots of books and more.
Visit their website at: www.circlesofwisdom.com