I chanced upon this quaint little shop along Haji Lane named Life By Design. With several eye-catching knick-knacks displayed by the entrance, I just knew I had to find out more.
A quick Google search told me that Life By Design was a ‘metaphysical shop’. Isn’t that something to do with witchcraft?
Apparently not. As explained by Brian Koh, Resident Consultant of Life By Design, metaphysics is a science of spirituality. In fact, every religion has close ties to the science that metaphysics employs.
From the incense that Buddhists use, to the meditation that Christians partake in, these are all part and parcel of metaphysics.
Lifestyle activities such as yoga have become so mainstream that many people don’t know that it’s a medium for achieving spirituality. Also, many believe that Feng Shui (also known as geomancy) has links to Buddhism. But guess what? It’s actually a part of metaphysics.
Culture has influenced spirituality throughout the ages. However, with capitalism being the driving force of today’s society, this industry has become more and more monetised.
According to Brian, it only requires a one-day course to become a Reiki (an energy healer) today. I can imagine it gets hard to tell the experienced ones from the others.
Like the Infinity Stones from the Marvel universe, these stones and crystals contain equally mystical features too!
The crystals and stones differ in properties. Crystals tend to absorb negative energies, so they will undergo a “cleaning” process, usually through sound. Stones, however, have their own natural vibrations and can’t undergo such processes.
I picked out some unique stones and crystals to take a further look. Some had odd shapes, while others boasted esoteric origins.
The Hag Stone is a downsized version of a Rai Stone, which was used as a form of currency as early as 1000 AD. The Hag Stone‘s effects are only realised during a full moon.
It provides you with a keyhole view into the spiritual realm. Spooky, huh? I guess you don’t need to be born with a third eye to “see things” anymore!
The uncanny resemblance to the Xenomorphs from the Alien movie franchise isn’t by coincidence. The Tektite Stone consists of extraterrestrial bodies: during a meteorite’s impact on Earth, the immense heat turns the sand around it into a black natural glass composite.
This stone helps a medium to undergo channelling, and connect with a spirit. Of course, ordinary day-to-day patrons won’t have much use for this unless you’ve been trained in the mystical arts.
On a brighter note, this Camelion Crystal didn’t have an ominous vibe. It is said to bring joy and warmth, promoting confidence and yet calming one’s emotions. Who said metaphysics is all about the dark and dingy things?
Hoodoo Oils are commonly mistaken to be related to Voodoo. However, they do not have any connections to black magic at all. They are just oils that have been infused with herbs for several days.
Although its use may be similar to corpse oil which can be used to capture the affections of your beloved, Brian believes in using only natural elements rather than those with dubious origins.
With the little knowledge that I have, I asked Brian if he reads people’s future through these cards.
He doesn’t, but instead can use them to provide people with insight, guidance and a positive mindset to work towards their own future.
Tarot cards are just one of the few methods for an oracle to provide insights. There are also other means such as tea leaves and coffee beans, but they require a higher level of interpretation.
Metaphysics in itself isn’t evil or good, or completely black/white magic. It’s a double-edged sword: for example, hoodoo oils can help you to attract love or a significant other, although you can also use it for the more sinister purpose of manifesting spirits.
So it’s all in the hands of the practitioner who wields the artefacts. Pro tip: don’t be a Voldemort. No one likes a Voldemort.
If you’re interested to browse the wares and satisfy your curiosity, take a stroll along Haji Lane. But don’t forget what they say about curiosity and the cat…
Prices: From S$8 onwards for crystal and stones, S$60 for 30-minute consultations