Paganism in Edinburgh


Edinburgh Fortean Society
Meets to discuss topics of a fortean nature on the second Thursday of every month at the Canon's Gait, 232 Canongate [Map] at 20.30. Each meeting consists of an informal lecture lasting approximatley one hour and after that there is an opportunity to chat to like minded people (as well as drink with them). Beware - GeoCities site
Pagan workshop and discussion group. Monthly workshops in the Canon's Gait pub cellar bar, 232 Canongate [Map], on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 3pm.
Scottish Astrological Association
Meetings at the Theosophical Society, 28 Great King Street [Map], every other Wednesday 7.30 pm, £1 members, £2 non-members.



There are only one-and-a-half specialist occult bookshops in Edinburgh, and both focus on the crystally New Age side of things. Fortunately, most bookshops sell a range of appropriate material and this list includes remainder and second-hand bookshops as well as retailers of new books. Most of the second-hand shops stock a listing of all the second-hand bookshops in the area. In addition, one or two of the craft shops stock a small number of books.

Armchair Books 72 West Port, EH1 [Map]
Second-hand bookshop with plenty of occult, folklore and mythology books. Also strong on science fiction. Tel: (0131) 229 5927. E-mail
Body and Soul 52 Hamilton Place, EH1 [Map]
Specialist New Age bookseller. The level of credulity can be judged by their stocking The Courage To Heal! Open Mon-Sat 10-6.
McCall Barbour 28 George IV Bridge, EH1 1ES [Map]
It may seem odd to list a Christian bookshop in these pages, but this shop is definitely on the loony fundie side of things. This is the UK distributer for Jack Chick Publications, so you can find nearly all of those funny little comics (10p each) as well as more anti-occult literature than your sense of humour can bear, particularly the hard-to-get American stuff.
Second Edition 9 Howard Street, EH3 [Map]
Second-hand books. Strong on Arthurian and Scottish subjects.
General bookshop
Transreal Fiction 7 Cowgatehead, EH1 [Map]
Specialist science fiction and fantasy bookshop with a few strange items as well. Tel: (0131) 226 2822.
West Port Books 151 West Port, EH3 [Map]
Second-hand books plus some remainders. Lots of occult stuff in the back room. West Port Books specialises in books from India, including healing traditions (which can be found in the basement). See also the West Port Books eBay shop
Word Power 43 West Nicholson Street, EH8 [Map]
Radical bookshop including books on feminism, ecology and lots of periodicals. Open Mon-Fri 10.00 - 18.00; Sat 10.30 - 18.00. Tel: (0131) 662 9112

Crafts and equipment

This is a bit of a catch-all category. There's only the one specialist occult supplier in Edinburgh, and one supplier of Pagan requisites, but plenty of 'gift shops' which happen to sell useful stuff amongst the tartan loo roll covers. If you're after an athame, you're best off getting a dirk or a sgian dubh from one of the highland outfitters, or make your own like you're supposed to...

Briget of Edinburgh
Silver jewellery with strong Goddess themes. Now online only.
Canongate Jerseys and Crafts 164-166 Canongate, Royal Mile, EH8 [Map]
Knotwork everything, books on 'Celtic' and Pictish art.
Crystal Clear 52 Cockburn Street [Map]
Typical New-Agey 'Mind, Body and Spirit' shop.
Mad Jack's Trading Company 36 Elm Row, Leith Walk, EH7 [Map]
Back with us after a sojourn up north. Candles, incense. fair trade goods and jewellery.
Enchantment 57 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh EH1 1BS [Map]
Pagan and 'Celtic' crafts, tarot cards and a few books.
unFamiliar 19 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QG (near the statue of the daft dog) [Map - the true location is at the junction with George IV Bridge]
Completely unrelated to the shop which used to be at this address, unFamiliar aims to be fairy-free zone unless you want a really accurate Beansidhe! Tel: (0131) 225 4583.
Helios Fountain 7 Grassmarket, EH1 [Map]
Arts and craft materials, beads and crystals and lots of New Age and Steiner books. Open Mon-Sat 10.00 - 20.00, Sun 12.00 - 17.00. Extended hours during the Festival. Tel: (0131) 229 7884.
Past Times 7a Fredrick Street, EH2 2EY [Map]
Part of the chain which specialises in reproductions of artifacts from times gone by. Can be surprising - I once got a set of four glass tealight holders in the elemental colours for a fiver. Also sells copies of Viking and 'Celtic' jewellery, knotwork sweaters and statues of Bast. Open daily, including Sunday. Tel: (0131) 225 5853.
Scottish Gems 162 Morningside Road [Map]
Expensive jewellers with silver and gold knotwork rings, plus lots of amber. Once had a spectacular carved wooden knotwork quaich.
Silver Unicorn 1 Cathedral Mall, St. James' Centre. [Map]
"Celtic" silver and gemstone jewellery. Native American silver jewellery. Plans to start producing jewellery, including pentagrams. 10.15am - 6pm daily. Open until 8pm Thurdays. Tel: (0131) 557 3300.
The Tappit Hen 89 High Street, Royal Mile, EH1 1SG [Map]
Jewellery shop with plenty of reasonably-priced knotwork including tankards, hip flasks, quaiches and skulls. Nice amber, too. Celtic wedding and civil partnership rings a speciality.
The Wyrd Shop 154 Canongate, Royal Mile, EH8 8DD. [Map]
A proper occult supplier disguised as an unusual gift shop - tarot cards, second-hand books, oils, incense, jewellery, posters and odd bits of paraphenalia. Tel: (0131) 557 2293. Beware - the website requires Flash.


Lothian Herbs
Online supplier of medicinal and culinary herbs, and essential oils (including a range of organic ones).
Napiers Herbalists 18 Bristo Place, EH1 [Map - really at the junction with Teviot Place.]
Specialist medical herb suppliers with a wide range. Also essential oils and some toiletries. There are other branches around the city, but they tend to freak when confronted by people who know what they're doing!
Neals Yard Remedies 102 Hanover Street [Map]
Plenty of medicinal herbs and essential oils. Tel: (0131) 226 3223
Real Foods 37 Broughton Street, EH1 3JU [Map] and 8 Brougham St, EH3 [Map]
Wholefood shop with a wide range of loose herbs and spices.

Related Links

Edinburgh Naturist Swimming Club
Friendly, twice-monthly swimming and sauna sessions in Edinburgh.
Ancient Stones
A brilliant guide to the standing stones, stone circles and other stones in the south of Scotland, including Edinburgh.
Ancient Lothian
Website dedicated to the historic cultures of South-East Scotland, attempting to catalogue the majority of ancient sites within the Lothians, as well as documenting the "Celtic" and Germanic histories and mythologies of the region up to about 1500 AD. Browser issues - just turn JavaScript off and you'll be okay.
Celtic Trails
Commercial site offering walks, booklets and courses about Scotland's ancient sites near Edinburgh. "Each Celtic Trail is unique, highlighting Scotland's cultural and spiritual heritage, and the timeless lure of the land."
Scottish School of Herbal Medicine
Glasgow-based non-profit making organisation, founded in 1992 and dedicated to the furthering of herbal knowledge and education. Offers a range of professional training courses, including Massage and Clinical Aromatherapy, herbal courses from introductory Home Help Herbal Medicine, Evening Classes and Correspondence Courses to BSc (Hons) Degree and MSc.