“Every person has his beliefs,” said the mysterious Espiridión, while sliding a slim white candle onto the wooden shelf at the Bazar Chango Esterico. “I want to make this place open to everyone.”
From the outside, patrons see a light blue banner with the shop’s name in bold white print. It’s nothing that screams flashy; the simplicity of the occult store near the Mercat Central de València gives it a sort of enigmatic vibe because you don’t know what you’ll find right away.
When you come up close to the window, you’ll see a glass casket with jewelled amulets and gold painted talismans spaced out an inch from each other, all imported from places like Peru, India and Mexico.
Bazar Chango Esterico specializes in psychic and astrological products. Those who find themselves wandering in are often regulars, knowing what they need with no second guesses. But there are others who just see the store and have a knack for curiosity.
Inside, you’re welcomed by the aroma of incense; a harsh mix of lavender oil or lemongrass, and then stacks of vibrant candles arranged in rows, each offering a different purpose. The white ones represent purity; the red and pink ones represent love and the yellow represents good energy.
On your left, you’re shown a tarot card collector’s dream. Packs of cards from all over the world, like China, Thailand and Miami, set upright and showcased for customers.
There are even several saints and symbols, like a Jesus figure and a Jewish menorah, all lined up one next to another varying in cultural roots and backgrounds.
Espiridión said he got into this line of work as a distributor. His value of the merchandise gave him hope that there is a market and an opportunity. Going with his gut, he started up his shop from scratch.
The thirty-some-year-old has been running his sanctum for 13 years now. He started out as a butcher with a meat shop, and then for five years ran a Valencian bar where his business plan went into motion.
He met his colleague at the bar and soon enough, their conversations flourished beyond limits. Espiridión shared his interest in the occult culture and possessing various beliefs, some related to Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.
After ending a two-year partnership, Espiridión stands alone, carrying the Bazar Chango Esterico on only his shoulders.
“The day to day life is usually complicated.” Said Espiridión.
“Some clients come in because they see something they fancy, but usually the clients are in trouble.”
At times, people hurry in with a “problem” and are in need of spiritual blessings. That’s why candles are the bestsellers of the shop. They range in providing love, peace, prayer, ritual and more.
Customers may come in for a boost of “quick luck” but then some come in needing to ward off evil spirits.
“There are good days and bad days.”
Espiridión held out a white rosary, decorated with pearl-like balls and a cross dangling at the end.
He wrapped it around his hands, holding it in place.
“It is important to believe in this.” He said.
“Any person who sets a business, it is because he believes in what he is selling. You cannot put so many hours in a day without that.”