Martin Anguiano touches the lives of many people every day, but that doesn’t make an individual encounter with him feel any less meaningful. Exiting the crystal shop he co-founded with his partner Mark Phillips after my first visit, supplied with a host of individually-wrapped, cleansed, and carefully-explained small, beginner crystals — complete with their own name cards and metaphysical descriptions in sleek, black boxes — Martin gave me a final parting command: don’t come back until I’d properly familiarized myself with the wealth I’d just acquired. His philosophy on crystals is as maximalist as the shop’s formidable selection, but his stance on consumerism is decidedly not.
Buying crystals for the sake of throwing money at spiritual and emotional problems isn’t the same as actually pursuing the soothing and healing powers these gems can provide, he argued; Get to know these ones, learn how to care for them and recharge them, then come back. As the co-founder of Silver Lake’s most highly-regarded crystal shop, Spellbound Sky, Anguiano isn’t just a small business owner, a crystal expert, or a world-class witch — he’s also an empath of the highest order, a guide who will listen and intuit what a customer is seeking in the realm of crystals by figuring out what issues they’re coping with in their daily lives.
One of the first things I wanted to do after moving to Silver Lake in 2016 was get my hands on some crystals; internet culture was already diving into astrology, tarot, and other new age spiritualism, and I wanted to swim in the deep. My initial visit to Spellbound Sky was hosted by one of LA’s finest beauty witches herself, Marie Lodi, who unequivocally dismissed the idea of shopping for crystals anywhere else — especially as a newbie. Showing up to the shop without a single bit of knowledge beyond “I like rose quartz” meant I was a blank canvas for Anguiano.
He consulted with me on where I felt emotional wounding, or needed support, and even whipped out a spirit animal guidebook… or maybe it had to do with birthdays?… that ascertained I have big spider energy (writer, webs, I can see it) but determined that my webs had been carelessly torn down, and I needed to regroup in order to spin more silver. Following up a cross-country move, and the personal upheaval that preceded it, this felt like a spot on reading.
Imagining myself as a spider trying to piece a web back together is an image I kept with me for the rest of that year, and into the next — and this was all guidance Martin provided just because he was around, just because he likes helping his customers make informed decisions. “We show up to work everyday in order to share rituals that empower, heal, and liberate,” the pair explain in the bio on their site. “Our goal is to inspire people to manifest their own reality and encourage everyone to really embrace the energy of unlimited possibilities!”
Which is the best thing about Spellbound Sky: the way this couple runs their shop squashed any qualms or doubts I might’ve had about crystal pseudoscience. These two genuinely believe in and love the stones they sell, they search for them all over the world, go to shows to find them, and check sourcing personally. There isn’t a single element of their process that wasn’t carefully curated and vetted, and nothing about their recommendations was price based or forceful, in fact, as a beginner, I was encouraged to buy smaller stones (at a lower price point) and familiarize myself with them first. Aside from crystals, they also stock minerals, essential oil potions, guided meditations and workshops, and ritual candles, and they focus on the entire spectrum of spiritual accoutrements, not just one isolated thing.
So, while I’m certainly not a trailblazer when it comes to singing the shop’s praises — their work has made its way to The Whitney Museum, Vogue, Elle, W Magazine, and Paper — I did want to take a moment to honor and respect the empathy they show to each and every customer, despite the heights and acclaim their curatorial powers have received. This is also something they strive to by proclaiming their shop is a space where “the metaphysical meets the individual.” And while many spiritual spaces attempt to see you for who you are, Anguiano is the rare healer who actually succeeds, making space for transplants, beginners, and experts alike to feel welcome in his world-class shop.