A store with spirit and the woman behind the counter

›› Hannah Seaton

Tucked away in the heart of Fernwood Square is a glass door with a round sign hanging overhead, reading, “7 Rays New Age Store.” Climbing the steep wooden steps up a story to the main floor, ­customers are greeted with a long table covered in decks of tarot cards. Beyond that stands a smiling woman who introduces herself as Atousa. She runs the shop with her husband, Soheil, who’s a specialist in reiki energy healing and spiritual counselling.

Atousa speaks in a warm voice with a slight Persian accent. Her tone is soft, just louder than the calming music playing ­quietly on speakers around the store. “I feel that what I do, it’s very aligned with how I feel and what I believe in. I believe in love and service. It’s very fulfilling,” she says.

The shop is small with bookshelves covering three of the four white-brick walls. The fourth is taken up by Atousa’s wooden check-out counter, which is covered in cases of stone-filled jewelry and small statues of Ganesha, Buddha, and people who appear to be in deep-meditative states. The air smells of a mix of incenses.

The space is filled with unique objects that make you wonder if there’s another side of life you’re missing out on. Books titled “Psychic Self-Defense,” “Moon Magic,” “Crystals for Energy Protection,” and “The Witches Journal” practically jump off the shelves, as well as charts on the walls detailing the moon’s phases and the seven chakras, which inspired the store’s name. Atousa uses this other-worldly ­environment to run workshops, such as dream analysis, birth chart readings, and group tarot card readings. “You always learn something new,” she says, “no ­matter how many times you take a workshop. There’s always something new.”

Atousa explains that tarot and astrology aren’t what most people think they are. “They’re meant to be guidance, not about fortune telling,” she says as she checks out a customer who’s buying a beautiful white crystal. “At the end, you’re the decision maker. Who decides what the future is going to look like? It’s only us, we create our own future.”

Atousa knows that not everyone sees the world the same way she does, and she sees that as a positive. “Working here, I’m constantly learning and also helping others to learn. There’s always something that we can teach someone or that they can teach us,” she says.

For Atousa, owning 7 Rays is about more than just business, it’s about fulfilling her life’s purpose—to lovingly serve others.

“Love is the most important thing,” she says with a smile as her sky-blue earring stones glimmer in the sun light rushing through a window, “I think the reason for existence is love. What I do is very in ­alignment with what I believe in. I mean, I don’t even feel that I’m working. I don’t even call this work.”