No one needs an oracle to know that Santa Cruz is a magical place, but if you do need tools for divination or spells you don’t have to search far. Santa Cruz has five welcoming witchy shops—more per capita than most cities. The shops serve as museums, classrooms, supply hubs, and most important, community centers.
2015 N Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz
Located across from the Clock Tower in downtown Santa Cruz, Serpent's Kiss hosts Conjure Craft, an annual festival held locally in April, along with Witches in the Woods in August, and the Folk Magic Festival in New Orleans. The shop is stocked with locally-crafted botanics and supplies, and stresses the importance of authenticity. Many of the supplies come from nature with an emphasis on heart-filled creation. The shop honors all spiritual paths and provides a learning space for those interested in ritual and earth-based spirituality.
Academy of Arcana
428A Front Street, Santa Cruz
If you have a burning passion to learn about mysticism, begin your studies at the Academy of Arcana, where you will find books on myth, magic, history, fantasy, and more. For more advanced studies, the Academy offers The Illuminarium, providing members-only access to thousands more books, pagan publications and archives, as well as videos and a space for movie nights. You don’t have to be a member to attend events or even rent space at the Goddess Temple, where you will find yourself surrounded by more than 360 goddess votive figurines and many other tools of worship.
Air and Fire
13136 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek
Nestled in the redwoods, Air and Fire has been providing handcrafted natural products made with pure essential oils for 13 years. More than 40 local artisans make items for worship and the home with positive intent and in harmony with the Earth, Sun and Moon cycles. The store also hosts artists on Boulder Creek’s First Friday event, and a seven-session introduction to witchcraft class titled Natural Magick.
208 Monterey Ave, Capitola
Avalon Visions is a legend in its own rite (pun intended), serving the Santa Cruz metaphysical community for more than 20 years. No appointment is required to meet with an experienced psychic-healer, and there are plenty of options offered—from chair massage, reiki, and crystal healings to aura readings, and of course, tarot. Every Tuesday Avalon hosts a meetup with a focus on various mystical topics.
849 Almar Ave Ste C, Santa Cruz
Beyond the shopping experience, groups such as the nonprofit Comunity Seed exist to facilitate a closer union with one another and with nature through rituals, cleanups, and even picnics. Experienced pagans and curious seekers alike are welcome to attend any of their posted events. Earth Energy Walks, held on the third Saturday of each month, are a great place to start the journey. Angus McMahan, vice president of the group encourages anyone to attend. The walk begins with circling up and grounding, thanking Mother Nature for her blessings, and then proceeding on a silent 30-45 minute walk. McMahan says the silence is a powerful way to experience the beauty of nature in a way that reveals otherwise unnoticed wildlife, scents, and sounds. At the end of the walk participants share their experiences.