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Expanding Our (Mystical) Horizons

Explaining East Lyme’s inexplicable mysticism through history and local business

Noelle Avena

For hundreds of years, tarot readings, spirit
mediums, and alternative healing have been
utilized by believers in East Lyme. Whether
one scoffs at or swears by these methods,
there is no denying the deep connection EL
has to both historic Spiritualism and the rise
of New Age Spiritualism.
EL’s biggest current craze is crystals. One
of the most popular setups at the Vintage and
Artisan Market in Niantic on Sept. 12 was
a massive setup of crystals, spanning over
three tents. EL’s original obsession wasn’t
crystals, though, it was communication with
the deceased, which dates back locally to the
19th century.
The Pine Grove Spiritualist camp was
founded in Niantic in 1882 in the acme of the
spiritualist movement sparked by mediums
across New England claiming abilities to
communicate with the dead. This laid the
foundation for what would become a long
tradition of gatherings here to practice
meditation, astrology, and mediumship.
Lynn Merritt, co-owner of Mystical
Horizons in East Lyme, described today’s
captivation with crystals.
“A lot of people like the convenience of the
stones and the crystals, they like to work with
those for healing,” Merritt said. “For people
in high school, there’s all kinds of stones here
that they can get a lot out of. There’s things
that can help them for concentration and self
esteem. There’s also things here that younger
people just tend to like, like the good vibes
and the positivity.”
Mystical Horizons is definitely filled with
good vibes and positivity. As soon as one
walks in, they are greeted by the powerful
fragrance of candles and incense. The front
store area is packed with trinkets, tarot and
oracle decks, ornate jewelry, baubles, tiny
bells and bowls, and window hangings. Every
possible surface is loaded with tiny plates of
rounded palm stones or baskets of crystals.
Merritt also shared how Mystical Horizons

came to be.
“I was actually a psychiatric social worker
and I wanted to become more creative and
have other interests,” she said. “I do tarot
card readings, astrological readings, past life,
and mediumship readings. We strive to serve
the New Age community, help people with
what they need, and help people get through
difficult times.”
Offering psychic assistance to a community
comes with a profound connection to
its people.
“We get to know people and we get to know
their families through private consultations,”
Merritt said. “We have met lots of great
people throughout the years, and now that
we’re full time in East Lyme, we’re meeting a
lot of great locals. We enjoy getting to know
them very much.”
“New Age” refers to New Age Spiritualism, or
the resurgence of studying the metaphysical,
and EL is definitely experiencing this wave.
“People have always had the tendency to
be curious. We’ve always been busy, for 30
years. However, I am noticing a large group
of new customers that are seeking us out.
There’s a big interest in spirituality right now,”
Merritt said.

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