Who We Are & How We Got Here

The New Age movement originated in the 1970s, and is considered a social and spiritual system with many subdivisions largely influenced by metaphysical thought and Eastern-inspired philosophies.

Betty Hackney, with a family of “seers,” has been involved in the New Age movement her whole life. For many years, she worked in traditional jobs, most recently for AARP Foundation.  When her four-year contract with AARP was set to expire, she knew she wanted to keep working.

Enter longtime friend, Marianne Frost,  The two women were driving back to Illinois from a vacation in Texas. Marianne, who was preparing to retire from her many years in corporate accounting, said to Betty, “You know, we should open up our own shop.”

For the rest of the drive, and it’s a long drive, the duo hashed out their business plan. That was in April. They found a location, cleaned it up, built bookshelves and cleaned display cases until the shop was ready. On Aug. 31, Mystical Journeys opened.

“Neither one of us wanted to sit and do nothing,”  “Betty had knowledge of retail, and I had knowledge of accounting. It was a no-brainer.”

Marianne is a "muggle" (reference to the Harry Potter books) but since the store’s opening, she has learned a lot about the New Age movement and the occult.

Even though she is still undergoing an education in the subject, Frost said more people like her are becoming interested. With ghost hunting shows on television and other supernatural subjects entering mass media, the occult is becoming more mainstream.

For now, the owners say their core customers are a Pagan group in Alton, and others who are curious about the craft.

“For people who want to learn more, we can help them on their journey,” Frost said.

The duo hopes to expand their audience by offering yoga and meditation classes and the requests for psychic readings have been increasing. 

Even for those not interested in the occult, Frost and Hackney say they have another message: even “old” people can start something new.

“We want to show that people who are retired don’t have to sit at home and do nothing,” Frost said. “Even older, retired people can start their own business and get out there and do something.”

For more information, call 618-433-9913 or visit www.facebook.com/MysticalJourneys. The shop is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Psychic readings by Betty are available Monday thru Saturday between 10:30 am and 4:30 pm, but please call to make an appointment.

The charge is $45 for a 30 minute session.