Best of the Bay 2011: BEST THROUGH THE RABBIT HOLE

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The N-Judah thunders by it dozens of times a day, but because it's tucked well back in a garden courtyard, you'd never know this spirited, magickal little "multitraditional world mysticism" shop existed. Unless you capital-K Know. Look into your third eye: do you Know? Randy, the genial owner of the Sword and the Rose — a man who is part Keith Richards, part Baba Yaga — definitely Knows. And he'll graciously tell you, spinning tales of about gods and goddesses from esoteric cultures past and present, or reading your tarot cards in a cozy nook warmed by an amber fire, or selling you his house-produced incense, or offering lessons in spellcraft, all while bestowing friendly (if a bit confusing to the uninitiated) guidance to more transcendent realms. First stop: Cole and Carl streets. Next stop: the Divine.

85 Carl, SF. (415) 681-5434