The room smelled of Frankincense. That familiar smell of a church. The delicate fumes wafted through the room mixing with the other intoxicating aromas. Every smell seemed to compliment one another. The tea was steeped and piping hot with an enchanting scent of cranberry spice. It was a ruby red with some tea leaves settling to the bottom. After a few sips, it was time to start. The brass goblet tilted and cool rose water spilled into her palms and the ritual began. Deep breaths in, and out, inhaling the smell of rose petals as the cleansed palms hovered above a stone of quartz .
Welcome to the AusetGypsy Metaphysical Emporium.
If you drive along Broad Street in Bethlehem you may notice a new tenant to our shop-local landscape. A small storefront pops with vibrant color. Two neon wooden chairs sit next to a red brick exterior creating a playful look. A sandwich chalkboard sign describes the new services to Broad Street: tarot, palmistry, astrology, and beyond – all brought to you by AusetGypsy.
WHO IS AUSETGYPSY?
AusetGypsy is the inherited name of James Jacob Pierri. If that name is familiar it is because James is no stranger to Bethlehem. He has been a resident, an active fortune teller at Musikfest, and has worked at two metaphysical shops in Bethlehem: Ostara (now closed) and Into the Myst. Now James has opened his own shop, AusetGypsy Metaphysical Emporium.
Let’s dig deeper into the AusetGypsy name. From 1999 to 2003, James worked for Star Souls in The Lost Continent of Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios. This group, called the Mystics of the Seven Veils, was located outside The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show. This group composed of mystical skilled individuals and henna tattoo artists set the scene with gypsy wagons and tents to work out of. The group had permission from the theme park to dawn their own costumes which allowed the workers to make elaborate and beautifully stitched garments. The garments were so authentic patrons would mistaken the Mystics as the entertainment, instead of merchandise. Due to this, the park issued a name tag rule for the group. Everyone in the group had these exotic names aside from James. It was then his boss gifted him with his name tag which read AusetGypsy. Since then, the name has stuck and is now its own brand.
The Auset portion is derived from the Goddess Isis who was a patroness of nature and magic (per Wikipedia). Her statue can be seen throughout James’ shop.
SOME MORE FUN FACTS ABOUT JAMES:
His trade comes from a line of history from his great grandmother who was a renowned fortune teller during her time.
His Dad had a statue of the Virgin Mary in front of their house and a statue of the Goddess Venus in the back. He desired to greet guests properly with a fully dressed woman in the front and something less formal as you progressed through the house.
James studied Natural Health & Holistic Sciences and is a certified yoga instructor.
A great video can be found here which conveys James’ charismatic personality in a field that is not often contemporary.
James is also known for his line of top hats.
ABOUT THE SHOP
Now that we have introduced AusetGypsy, let’s discuss the Metaphysical Emporium. When you walk into the shop you are greeted with warm earthy tones of the a waiting room type area where a closet opens up to display a collection of Elohi Teas for purchase. AusetGypsy also sells lines of artisan made holistic and organic products which include Phos Wellness (The New Standard of Organic Purity Skin Care) and HEM Incense.
To your right, the shop opens up with clean palettes of white on the walls. The Goddess Isis is represented in a beautiful black and white image on the furthest wall. A table is front and center in this space with tarot cards spread across. It’s at this table where the Metaphysical Experience takes place.
The palm provides a map to read the soul. Palm reading is a way to convey one’s health.
At AusetGypsy the first step to palm reading was to cleanse the hands. You cleansed the hands because we touch so many things in our daily lives that we pick up many subtle energies around us. Cleansing the hands with rose water followed by light meditation looks to make the client relaxed and clear of any distracting energies.
After the cleanse, the reading begins. James performs his readings based upon a customer’s needs. My reading was for research purposes, so James made this session very educational, explaining the map of our palms and adding astrology into the mix. It was on point and fascinating how heavily astrological signs play into our personalities and how drastically a person’s palm differs from another individual indicating these different personas.
Contrary to palmistry, tarot is the voice of fate: people, places, and things in the future. This experience was also captivating. First the tarot cards, there are three well-known decks:
- The Golden Dawn Tarot – This is the deck James used for his first reading while at the shop. This has more Victorian themed images.
- The Rider Waite Tarot– This deck per James is the most popular.
- The Crowley Thoth Tarot
James remarked he has even used regular playing cards.
Second, is the formation, or spread, the fortune teller decides to use. This can be dependent upon the client’s needs as well as to what they are seeking to discover. While at the shop, James performed two spreads. The first reading with a seven card formation, and the next a five card formation.
A tarot reading is what you choose it to be. Although fate is defined as events outside of one’s control, being aware of this fate can make an individual feel stronger, more at peace, and/or more in control.
Tarot can be as serious as you want it to be. As James stated, “The cards tend to be sarcastic.” He claimed that if you’re worrying about pulling the death card – you probably will, and laughed.
Plus, James considers himself a contemporary mystic as he is a chameleon to his clients’ needs. Any experience at the shop can be as spiritually neutral as you wish.
James is very excited to immerse himself and the AusetGypsy brand in Bethlehem. He mentioned an eagerness to bring back the Witches Ball that used to take place at the Masonic Temple and bring the spirit of Ostara back to town. James reminisced about serving rum spiced drinks out of clear glass cauldrons during Musikfest in a makeshift exposed hut outside of the shop on Main Street. He wants his trade to be approachable and fun for everyone here in Bethlehem.
Something is to be said for all mystic shops in Bethlehem. In the past decade there has been a total of three shops within miles of one another on northside. Bethlehem’s affinity for everything strange, or deviant of the norm, seems to be thriving once again – and Resident Tourist Bethlehem will be here to embrace it with you!
Check out the AusetGypsy Metaphysical Emporium at the following address:
85-A E. Broad Street, Bethlehem PA 18018.
Open Wednesday – Saturday
1:00 – 7:00 pm
Sunday by appointment only.