Michael Harthorne
Ballard's Seattle Metaphysical Library, tucked away at 2220 N.W. Market St., offers "personal transformation and evolving global consciousness." Click image for more photos.

Book worms offer alternative ideas through Seattle Metaphysical Library

The average Ballardite, if asked where the library is, would tell you it’s right at the corner of Northwest 56th and 22nd Northwest, but, actually, Ballard has two.

Squeezed between Great Harvest Bakery and Tableau Gifts and Embellishments a small sandwich board will lead an individual down some creaky stairs and through a long hallway to the tucked away Seattle Metaphysical Library, 2220 N.W. Market St.

In what began at the Pike Place Market in 1961, the late Carrie Fisher and a few friends, all astrologers, created this library to offer "personal transformation, and evolving global consciousness" by providing access to metaphysical, trans-dimensional, rare and unusual material available to share with their friends, said Margaret Bartley, executive director of the Metaphysical Library.

Over the years, the library moved to a Capitol Hill location where a wealthy patron help to support the its $3,000 a month rent. Unfortunately, after the patron passed, the non-profit resource center could not afford the rent and opted to find a new location.

Today in their Ballard location they carry about 12,000 books and hundreds of video/audio tapes, CD’s and DVD’s on subjects like mind-body healing, rife technologies, goddess studies, ancient Egypt, alternative health, various subjects on religions, UFO's, magik, science fiction, new physics and more.

“Most people wander in here because they’re curious and they are just overwhelmed by just how much there is,” Bartley said. “There’s a whole world of information that most people don’t know about.”

Made up of donated books and a volunteer staff, the library welcomes anyone to come in to sit and read, but the privilege to check out books from the library is for members only.

“We don’t worry about anything,” Bartley said. “We are all aware of the fact that if we wanted to spend $1,000 a month and go out of business in two months, we could go to a retail store with more traffic. But the library for 40 years has traditionally been inward and closed.”

Referring to their staff as not the most gregarious party people, Bartley said, “We’re all nerdy book worms, so doing outreach is not something any of us are skilled at doing or do well, and that’s fine.”

Bartley said that the members of the library are not here to sell anything to anyone but the purpose is to help enrich patron's lives.

“We’re going to keep on doing what we’re doing and as people come in and find out about it the growth is going to happen as we’re able to handle it,” she said.

Bartley said she wants to start offering classes, workshops and periodic speakers.

“We’ve noticed that a lot of people are just looking for someone who’s been there ahead of them with certain books and subjects that have interested them," she said.

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