When Donna Shook was 5 years old, she remembers dying of scarlet fever.
Above her limp body, floating near the ceiling, she recalls looking upon doctors performing CPR.
“It was such bliss, that feeling. That body I was looking down at was so cold, and I didn’t want to go back,” said Shook, 54, of Victoria. “That’s when I first met my spirit guide, Jenny.”
Shook has since met two others, Moses, whom she calls the gatekeeper, and Kawlif, an ancient Hebrew or Arab man with a long beard and robe, who assists with discerning business transactions and discerning major life decisions.
Shook, a professed empath, medium, tarot card reader and Earth-worshipping pagan, said her experience with otherworldliness has been a long road of learning the essence of love, light and energy.
And with her newest entrepreneurial venture, Something Magical, on North Navarro Street, Shook finally has the space and tools to serve those searching for alternative routes to the divine.
The store will celebrate its first anniversary in August.
“Spirit finally told me last year it was time. Victoria was ready,” Shook said, mentioning she had wanted to open her store for 20 years. “Spirit guided me through every bit of it.”
Shook is no novice at business ownership. She’s the owner of D&D Novelties, which she said in its early days provided a location for her to provide private readings. As the business expanded, she eventually began selling a collection of spiritual items from candles to herbs, which were some of her biggest sellers.
Shook’s long journey with energy work and divination is also not new, she said.
She comes from a line of empaths and mediums. Her mother, sister and grandmother were also gifted, she said.
“It was something we didn’t talk about with others,” she said, mentioning the few times she alerted her elementary school-aged friends she could see colored auras and deceased spirits, her mother always had to come up with a quick cover story.
“Mom really sat me down and stressed to me that we do not tell these things to people,” Shook recalled.
As the years went on, Shook chose who she let into her spiritual secret. The more she opened up, the more others wanted her to do readings or carry a message to their deceased loved one.
“When I hit high school, it got a little out of hand. There were too many people, and I didn’t know how to control the energy,” she said. “I backed off from it for about 10 or 15 years because I was feeling too overwhelmed.”
When Shook’s mother died, however, she finally felt the confidence to come out, knowing her mother’s spirit would now be assisting to guide her from the afterlife.
Something Magical offers a variety of services from past life regression to meditation. Tarot card and smudging sessions can be booked by appointment. The store is packed with spiritual books, crystals, herbs, candles and other materials for purchase.
There’s also a craft room, where customers can come in and carve a candle in someone’s memory or create a project of their own. Blessings are offered free of charge.
“Our store has great energy, and people say they feel it when they come in,” Shook said. “We believe God is love, so there’s nothing evil here. If someone comes in believing they are possessed or experiencing something evil, we do blessings on them to try and open their mind.”
Something Magical spiritual guide, Brandi Farrow, assists with chakra alignment, meditation and locating crystals to align with a customer’s energy needs.
Farrow also said she’s known since she a child she had spiritual gifts, and as she became an adult, she wanted to become familiar with learning how to access it and helping others access their own abilities.
“It’s our little vibe tribe. We have people who come by who are regular people wanting help, and we have others who already know they have abilities. It’s about 50-50 of those who come through the door,” Farrow said.
Shook and Farrow said the store is all about love. They want people to come in for healing, especially if they’re grieving or feeling stuck.
“There are a lot of people who need this in their life. They don’t fit into an organized religion and they need a place for them, a place for the weirdos,” she said. “Whatever religion you have, we totally accept it. We love everyone, and there’s a lot of things that happen to people who come in crying and are in need of help and they don’t feel like they can go to a church.”
Shook said the long-term goal for the store is spiritual openness, helping the community tap into their higher selves.
“We just want to keep helping people, whatever problems they have,” she said. “We want open people with open minds and open hearts to come in who will learn and go teach others how to live in bliss, then go out and spread it.”