Sunday, July 28, 2019

The New Spiral Circle

The Spiral Circle  in its Mills/50 Location (750 N Thornton Ave Orlando, Florida) was founded on May 16th, 1975 by Beverly and William Ford. It is Orlando's oldest running spiritual book store. I got a call from Julie Norris Wilder letting me know that the store was going to change hands. Julie was one of the founders of Dandelion Communitea Cafe only a block away from Spiral Circle . She explained that on the day she was looking for a location for Dandelion, she entered Spiral Circle and she was told that her destiny was not far away. When she left Spiral she drove down the street and saw that the Building Dandelion now occupies was for sale.When she had her daughter Maya there was a court case that ultimately lead to Julie leaving Dandelion and Orlando. I partnered with Julie on a calendar a few years ago and I got to see first hand her tenacious creative spirit. In this new business venture at Spiral Circle  she has partnered with Summer Rodman.

Summer is the CEO of Amazon Hose and Rubber which has been in business in Orlando for over 100 years. Summer's Grandmother ran the business, then her mother and now Summer is at it's reins. When Julie contacted me I hoped to sketch the new owners signing the paperwork for the building. Unfortunately work  kept me from sketching that signing at about noon. After work, I drove right over to Spiral Circle  to sketch the building. A sign in the window announced that the business was closed. I figured everyone must have gone home after the business changed hands. As I worked on the sketch of the building someone drove up beside me and rolled down her window. She asked me if the Spiral Circle  was open. I said that the sign on the window said it was closed and left it at that. She decided to park anyway and walked up to the entry since this was the time of day she usually stopped by to get her incense. Maya opened the door and soon Julie greeted me and offered me some water while I sketched. William Ford, the original owner of the spiritual bookstore exited the front door and Julie introduced me to him. He seemed a bit misty eyed as he left this spiritual home behind.

A new sketch opportunity presented itself since Summer was going to stop by and they were going to sign the business agreements. May was tasked with shooting photos of the occasion while I sketched. She stood on a chair to get an aerial shot and must have taken 50 shots of the historic signing. The phone kept ringing and Maya answered, making it clear that the circle was unbroken and business was already in full swing. The documents being signed needed the signature of a witness so I ended up adding my signature to the documents that cemented the start of this auspicious new venture. I felt a thrill that I was documenting a truly historic moment with my sketch.

I am excited by what can be found on their calendar, there are Angel Communication Sessions, Numerologist and Wellness Coaching, Bio-Field Integrative Arcing Light Chakra Balancing, Attunements and Intuitive Energy Healing and a Tibetan Meditation Group. The opportunities for spiritual self growth fascinate me.

Julie's enthusiasm for this new venture is so contagious... "My heart is full. My new business partner is, like, the BEST ever. The people I work with daily are incredible humans. My kid impresses me always. My sweet romance gets sweeter by the day. I've been reconnecting with so many people just by being at Spiral. I get to source and shift dollars into ethical and fair companies, mostly woman-owned, often independent. I'm so passionate about doing right by the land, one another and respecting cultures around the world and now I get to bring sacred offerings to our community with the same discerning eye that I had at Dandelion for ingredient sourcing.  I am so grateful and thrilled this is my new reality." Clearly this place will be a home base for a growing community here in Orlando. I find Spiral Circle  inspiring as an artist who hopes there is still magic and mystery in the world.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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