June 27, 2008

Upcoming Candle Magick Workshop

The Sacred Well in Oakland is hosting a Candle Magick Workshop featuring the knowledge and experience of Rabbit, owner of The Sacred Well and High Priestess of Come As You Are Coven, and Iris, Sacred Well Manager and High Priestess in Come As You Are Coven as well as the Evensong Tradition.

Candle burning is the ideal method for making magickally quick changes in nearly any situation: love, money, security, psychic ability, justice, health, or spirituality. This is a great opportunity to practice your spellworking skills, and learn some new techniques for transforming yourself and your life.

Join us for a 2.5-hour candle magick workshop, featuring tips and practices for using candles to achieve your goals. Figure candles, spell candles, and votive candles will be used to demonstrate a variety of spellcasting techniques. Want to move beyond the "carve the candle and write down the goal" model into more advanced practices? Want to learn how to interpret the results of your spell by watching the burn pattern of the candle? Want to learn some useful chants, songs, hand motions, and other tips for further empowering your candle spell? Then, by all means, please do come to this workshop. In addition to information, you'll receive 2 spell candles to work with in the class and take home to practice your new techniques.

Class size is limited to 13 people, so call The Sacred Well to register for this class today. (510) 444-WELL (9355)

Cost: $35 (includes 2 spell candles that will be prepared during the class)

Date and Time: Sunday July, 6th; 5-7:30pm

The Sacred Well is located at 536 Grand Avenue in Oakland, CA.

June 25, 2008

Ori Ye Ye O!

Speaking of the water and the Lake...

Barry and I were SURE we were going to put our business on College Ave or Solano Ave in Berkeley- after all, our previous office was on College, prime retail location, yadda yadda yadda. But each and every time we went to find the perfect store on either of these streets, the doors were SOLIDLY slammed in our faces.

"This just doesn't seem like a good fit for the building."
"The owner of the building does not think this would be an appropriate match for the location."
"We want to put a restaurant there."

And my personal favorite:

Barry: "My name is Barry Perlman. And what's your name?"
Nameless kooky landlord on the phone: "I don't think that's relevant at this time." (hangs up)


We started to get bummed. Here we were, so excited to get going, everything in place, extensive business plan in hand with all the "Muggle" data on financials and market research and demographic analysis that anyone could ever possibly want to read. And no one was biting.

So we put Ricky on the job. Ricky, that blessed Capricorn. He presented very well to business people, having occupied that world before. We agreed it was better to not have me be the first point of contact for these kinds of business dealings. I mean, I don't really look like I belong in the world of landlords and finance and banks and contracts, with my long flowing patchwork skirts and multiple tattoos and purple hair. (Though I DO belong wherever I want to, thank you very much!) But Ricky fit the bill way better: clean-cut, mild-mannered, always had a little folder in hand - and folders just make everyone look more official.

He forwarded Barry and I this ad for a store on Grand Ave- the ad said, "The store has wonderful energy." Barry and I perked up. We decided to go visit...and we fell in love with it. The landlord is fabu, the space does indeed have fantastic energy, and it meets an astonishing number of the criteria we had in the business plan. As for the magic...

I was scanning, scanning the space for "signs" and it started to add up. You see, Oshun is one of the goddesses I admire most: beautiful, successful, generous, wealthy, sensuous- she's got it all and she isn't afraid to use it. Her sacred number is 5 (numerologically I am also a 5), two of her colors are gold and copper, she is a goddess of lakes and rivers, and one of her sacred symbols is a heart with curly-q's all around it. I actually have a tattoo on my back with one of those curly-q hearts in it in honor of her mythology. Her day is Thursday or Friday, (not universally - that part seems to change from tradition to tradition.)

So it was a Thursday, and we were standing in front of Lake Merritt, looking at this beautiful store, and the address (536) added up to a 5 numerologically and was rendered in copper numbers. The store was painted in a rich yellowy-gold, and on the door was a curly-q heart wrought in iron. Signs, signs, everywhere...

That night, I went home and to bed. My mind was filled with thoughts, questions and ideas. I had a dream. In the dream Oshun came to me in a long yellow dress, bangled, perfumed, and dancing. And she said, "You'd better GO GET THAT SPACE!"

I woke up the next morning, Friday, called Barry, and said, "I think this is it!" And Oshun smiled.

June 24, 2008

We had to put ‘em somewhere

Today I had 76 cases of glass jar candles delivered... to my home.

We decided there’s more storage in my garage than in the back of the store.

When they finally arrived (after some questionable delay), I called Rabbit to tell her: “The wax eagle has landed.”

June 22, 2008

Furry Store Mascot?

with JoJo

Wednesday was a momentous day for our family.

It was the first time I brought JoJo, the lovably gigantic 1-½-year-old puppy, to the store on a day we were opened for business.

I’ve been hesitant to bring him in, since a 100-lb. dog barking at customers isn’t generally considered good for business. He’s actually very very sweet... but also quite protective of me, naturally. And he’s big. And his bark sounds mean. So I can imagine, if one isn’t a dog person, he could be quite intimidating. (Those of us who actually know him, alas, would find that characterization laughable.)

JoJo spent a couple hours at my side, while Rabbit and Mollie and I held our product development meeting around the table. Mostly, he just lounged on the floor next to me.

But whenever a new customer came in and startled him from daydreaming, he’d let out a single bark. He’d prance over and give ‘em a little sniff-and-friendly-lick action... before deciding they posed no threat to me. Then, he became the cute doggie everybody always ends up loving.

I’ll feel better when JoJo matures into not giving that initial bark. All in all, though, he did very well. No customers were uncomfortable with him. (Most, in fact, seemed to adore him.)

Of course, we have to keep him away from the lower-to-the-ground display tables. His tail could easily take out some merchandise.

with Little JoJo (who lives at the store)

June 18, 2008

Water, Water, Everywhere

It’s been clear to both Rabbit and me since the beginning that the energy of the store is very strong in the water element.

During the first ritual the two of us held together in the space, an unexplained puddle of water appeared, as if it had overflowed from somewhere... only we couldn’t determine where.

The first several bottles of sparkling water I opened in there, while we were first getting the place set up, semi-exploded and squirted wetness all over the place. (I’m finally learning how to avoid this.)

And just the other day, on one of the very first hot days since we’ve been opened, I tried out the air-conditioning... and after an hour or so in operation, it spontaneously leaked a stream of water out of an overhead pipe.

(Not to leave out all the many many tears of healing that’ve already been shed in our Reading Room.)

Of course, we are situated directly across from Lake Merritt, one of the only blocks (or perhaps the only one) of lakeside frontage that actually features retail space. We’re in a very special, and very watery, location.

Right Before We Opened...

A behind-the-scenes look at the store before it was "the store"?

Before the grand opening of The Sacred Well, there was Rabbit and Barry getting ready for the opening. What else would I be doing than snapping pics of the whole thing? It's so surreal to see how different the place looks now. I hardly remembered it ever looked like this... and it was only eight months ago.

As we were still laying out merchandise, we put Post-Its on everything to remind us what the prices should be. (Then, when one would fall off, we were totally confused.)

Boxes, mounds of stuff ("where does this go?"), an empty display case... and, of course, a velvet head.

So many empty cardboard boxes piled up at the door, we almost blocked ourselves in...

... and a very proud mama Rabbit, beaming, dotted with exhaustion, just a glint of terror in her eyes. We're about to open our store!

It's amazing how a lot of love can change a place, isn't it?

June 16, 2008