Waves of incense wafts out of Ancient Ways, a metaphysical and pagan store on Telegraph Avenue and 41st Street, and the sweet smell mixes with the aroma of Eritrean food simmering at the Café Eritrea D’Afrique restaurant next door. Much of the window space of the shop is covered up by white posters from Occupy Oakland, advertising the general strike in November and Move-in Day in the spring. The inside of Ancient Ways is still visible through white metal bars, though—rows of wooden bookshelves with spell books and books relating to Celtic, Qabalah and tarot. There’s a long counter where different varieties of spice are stacked, and a rotating display of incense near the door, with a lit stick usually nearby.

Read More