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A photo of Ancient Ways after dark, by the light of a street lamp.

Temescal store celebrates a quarter century of spells and service

on October 3, 2013

With shelves full of mismatched jars of herbs and spices, and cabinets full of rocks and crystals, Ancient Ways has long catered to Oakland’s spiritual side.

Providing a resource for the city’s neo-pagan community, owner Glenn Turner opened the shop at 4075 Telegraph Ave. 25 years ago this month.

“I just feel like I just put one foot in front of the other and here I am,” Turner says. “Of course, one of my personal mottos is I can outlast most people.” The store celebrated its quarter-century birthday this week with a chocolate cake.

The shop stocks books on psychic development. It also offers color-coded candles that claim the power to break up relationships or win financial opportunities. There are oils and inks for writing spells, and budding wiccans can find resources on Bay Area organizations devoted to witchcraft.  Visitors can even have their tarot cards read by Turner in the space’s cozy reading room.

Over its two and a half decades, Ancient Ways has become something more than a marketplace of metaphysical goods; it has also developed into an anchor of the neighborhood.  For example, the store has gotten involved in foreclosure committees within the local Occupy movement in recent years to help local residents.

“That’s one of my personal passions,” Turner says, “helping people and being a resource for people that help themselves.”

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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