Photo by Eric Best

Magus Books & Herbs reopens in Northeast

Updated: October 23, 2017 - 9:04 am

Northeast now has a new retailer for talismans, tarot cards and the occasional satanic bake sale.

Magus Books & Herbs has relocated to Central Avenue, moving from the store’s longtime home in Dinkytown near the University of Minnesota. In the Holland neighborhood, the all-things-mystical store has a storefront — the owners say it beats their basement space — and more room to offer everything from incense and voodoo dolls to occult texts and divine runes.

Over the past 25 years, Magus (pronounced may-gus) has become an epicenter for various communities looking for the store’s unique wares, which are only limited by its customers’ curiosities.

“Our mission is ‘shining light and expanding horizons,’ so [we carry] everything that will help a person to explore themselves and their relationship with this universe that we all share and create. That is something that we try to support and help them find,” said co-owner and store manager Mela Amara.

IMG_1476 webThe staff includes experts, from a ceremonial magician to a rune specialist, who can offer advice on products and further opportunities for study. If someone comes in saying their house is haunted, Amara said they won’t laugh them out the door. Instead, they’ll point them to resources in the store to check out.

“We take people seriously. They know they can come to us and we’ll take them seriously and seriously try to help them,” she said.

With that said, don’t expect Magus to be spooky. While it’s Halloween season, Magus isn’t the store to stock up on fake blood or pumpkin carving supplies.

“We’re really friendly and open. We’re not doing mass satanic rituals,” said Liz Johnson with the store.

Beyond scrying mirrors, ceremonial statuettes and arcane tomes, Magus offers locally made oils, art, greeting cards and jewelry. It hosts classes and events with community groups and speakers, from locals practicing Pagan witchcraft to tarot conventions.

While things are still moving into the new location, the store will eventually have a selection of herbs, massage therapy, divination services, herbal consulting and wellness services like Reiki, moxibustion (a healing technique combining herbs and acupuncture) and flower essence therapy. Recent trends include sage for burning, bitter kits and essential oils. Founder Roger Williamson, who no longer operates the store, is creating his own tarot deck that will soon debut at Magus.

Johnson and Amara said they moved the store, now 25 years old, out of Dinkytown to find a better location with more parking. Magus didn’t rely on business with college students, and they said their neighborhood was changing.

“Dinkytown was really losing its fun, ‘dinky’ flavor. It was becoming so corporate,” Amara said.

The store has joined the eclectic businesses along the Central Corridor. In fact, a business offering palm, tarot and chakra readings is just next door.

“We’re really excited to be here in Northeast with the arts district,” Amara said.

The new store is located at 1848 Central Ave. NE and is open 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.– 6 p.m. Saturday and noon–6 p.m. Sunday.