comScore

Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST METAPHYSICAL SUPPLY STORE

Magus Books & Herbs

Emporiums catering to alternative spirituality stand tall among the few remaining bastions of independent retail. Part of the reason is that few corporations have the chutzpah to launch, say, Tarot R Us or the Pentacle Depot, because they figure they'd get unwelcome attention from the religious right. Plus, succeeding in the industry requires a passion for more than the bottom line. (Have any of Target's corporate buyers ever smelled the yucko incense they sell?) Hence, the biz usually defaults to neighborhood operations, of which the metro has a plethora. Eastern Uptown's Present Moment, western Uptown's Stonehenge, Lyn-Lake's Eye of Horus, St. Paul's Evenstar, and at least half a dozen similar establishments cater to their clientele's needs, offering books, herbs, crystals, candles, and whatnot, along with healing services, readings, and classes in everything from astrology to Zen. But even in otherworldly affairs, size sometimes matters—which is where Magus comes in. The 16-year-old Dinkytown institution's vast subterranean chambers harbor the Upper Midwest's biggest, most eclectic occult book inventory, often venturing boldly into realms other local purveyors don't dare enter. Want to learn how to conjure H.P. Lovecraft's horrific critters? You're sure? Store owner Roger Williamson, a respected occultist, author, and artist with eight books and a new Tarot deck to his credit—or one of his comparably educated minions—will gladly guide you to Asnath Mason's Necronomicon Gnosis ($28), distributed in the U.S. exclusively by Magus. But the well-organized bookcases hold tomes galore for vanilla tastes, too. Even Christianity gets ample shelf space! Factor in a schedule packed with readings, classes, and all kinds of healing options, along with an incomparable selection of candles (including the hard-to-find penis-shaped variety, available in red or black for $6.50), incense, jewelry, statuary, crystals, wands, bulk herbs—gear for just about any kind of ritual, really—and you get the closest thing to a supernatural superstore on either side of the Mississippi. Or, for that matter, the Nile.

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