Have you ever had trouble sleeping and reached for a warm mug of chamomile tea or made a point to soak up a few minutes of sun because you know vitamin D is good for you? Perhaps you’ve inherited a longstanding family tradition of using an herbal salve on a scrape or a special tonic to ward off a cough. Natural remedies have been passed down for centuries through tribes, communities, and families. This link between soothing what ails us by utilizing what the land provides is the cornerstone of Pyramid: Appalachian Magick + Remedy, a shop specializing in herbal remedies and metaphysical tools in Waynesboro, Virginia. Pyramid owner and herbalist Anh Stanley, imagined a shop where customers could find products that support the mind, body, and spirit connection while strengthening community and fostering an appreciation for Mother Nature.
When Anh discovered the Shenandoah Valley on a camping trip, they sensed it was a special place. Through further research, Anh discovered a rich history linking the region to Scotland and inspiring the phrase “Appalachian Magick” in their shop name. “The Shenandoah Valley and the Greater Appalachia are part of the same mountain range as the Scottish Highlands. Back when Pangaea was one large landmass, when there was one continent, it was just one large mountain range. But then, once everything split off, a piece of that mountain range stayed here with us. What’s even more curious is to find that when the Scots came to America, they found their home in Appalachia because it reminded them of home. So, from there, you get a lot of not only the same geographical structures and formations, but there’s a lot of culture that has bled through from one continent to another because of that,” they explain.
The word “Magick” is an intentional choice that aligns with Anh’s desire to have a community-centric approach to their business. “The magick part is an all-encompassing word. There are a lot of practitioners out here where the buzzword of the past few years has been ‘witch’, but you can’t ascribe that term to every practitioner. A lot of these practitioners are Christian and just doing these things that their grandmother or their great-grandmother used to do. To call that witchcraft would be insulting to a lot of people. But to call something like that magickal, it’s a little bit more palatable. It leaves wiggle room for more religion and more spiritualities, and more diversity. So, the magick part definitely plays into some of the things we carry in the shop. We have tarot cards, runes, and different tools that people might use,” Anh says.
It’s also important to note that the word “Remedy” in the shop name is a nod to both older and newer holistic medicines. Anh makes sure the store is stocked with plant and herbal remedies that reflect the Shenandoah Valley. Wander the shop or browse the online store, and you’ll find ingredients like sassafras, nettles, and pine tar, which have been used as traditional healing modalities in the area.
Anh’s passion as an herbalist combined with being enveloped as a child in the entrepreneurial pursuits of their grandmother and their parents made opening the shop a natural choice. “It was instilled at a really young age for me to live the entrepreneurial dream, as it were, and if you can provide for yourself and do what you want to do, there’s no better job. So, I think it’s just been instilled in me to work for myself, and my siblings are the same way incidentally. I think it’s just a Stanley thing.” Anh’s participation in the Grow Waynesboro competition for aspiring entrepreneurs helped launch their vision for Pyramid: Appalachian Magick + Remedy forward. Anh also credits the accessibility to government officials, a kinship with other local entrepreneurs, and a diverse community as reasons that make doing business in Waynesboro so special.
As fate would have it, in 2020, Anh found themself closing the shop doors due to COVID restrictions on the exact day that marked their one-year anniversary of opening the shop. The pandemic prompted Anh to pivot more towards online sales, and the shop has now reopened for in-person visits with COVID precautions in place. Anh and the Pyramid community also took note of opportunities to pay it forward to those hit the hardest by the disruptions of COVID. A system of outreach that included food boxes delivered directly to families was an extension of a commitment to community, which Anh describes as “the most important thing to me.”
Whether you explore Pyramid: Appalachian Magick + Remedy as a novice curious about natural remedies, or a grandmother looking for ingredients for your tried and true cures, or a practitioner that’s deeply entrenched in new age practices, you can be certain of this – Anh and the community at Pyramid are waiting to welcome you with open arms in an inclusive place where all are valued.
To learn more about Anh Stanley and Pyramid: Appalachian Magick + Remedy, check out the Waynesboro at Work podcast! Find the Waynesboro at Work podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Breaker, PocketCasts, and Anchor.