The Mystic Eye

If you’re a fan of the Zodiac Mysteries, then you’ve definitely visited the Mystic Eye.  You know a lot about it and have met many of the eccentric characters who hang out there.  The occult shop is owned by my protagonist, Julia Bonatti’s, good friend Gale.  And even though I didn’t plan to set so many scenes there when the series began, it just sort of happened.  It was a great place for the characters to come together, especially at the psychic fairs.

There’s Nikolai, the Russian past life regression hypnotist, a larger than life man with a mysterious background.  There’s Zora, the medium and psychic who scares Julia half to death sometimes, lots of other psychics, Wiccans, Tarot readers and all sorts of characters.

So where did my Mystic Eye come from?  A long time ago, there was a real Mystic Eye, also on Broadway in San Francisco, but a little farther east, past the strip clubs and bars and comedy clubs of North Beach.  I remember it well.  It was a strange, dark little place, draped in black hangings.  It sold books and ointments and image candles for candle burning rituals, books on cultural and religious practices, some of it rather dark.  Not particularly my cup of tea, but I was curious since there was no shop like it in the city at the time.  It’s long gone now, so I felt safe using that name for the Zodiac Mysteries.
Julia’s Mystic Eye of the Zodiac books also has an exotic and mysterious atmosphere – plaster gargoyles, Tarot cards, crystals, books on psychic power and healing and religions of all sorts, candle burning supplies, dreamcatchers, magical herbs and ointments, greeting cards and lots of things that make great gifts.  Here are some photos that in spired me when I was writing the Zodiac Mysteries.  Have a look and see if this looks like your mental image of the Eye.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Is there anything happening at The Mystic Eye that you’d like to know more about?  Is there any field of study in the occult world that I haven’t touched upon?  Pyschometry? Remote viewing?  Candle burning?  How about crime or murder?

I hope you’ll stop in at the Eye soon and read about Julia’s adventures in the third book in the Zodiac Mysteries — Tail of the Dragon.  See you at the Eye!
This post first appeared at Island Confidential [frankiebow.com] on June 23, 2018.

17 Comments

  1. Ronald Mason

    I’m interested in your writing. Does it have anything to do with the original Mystic Eye Occult and Book Shop (1970’s San Francisco) that was owned by Aeryn who had a weekly radio broadcast? I’m interested in knowing more about the history of the original store that was on Broadway (next to the Green Turtle bus place).

    Reply
    • Connie

      Hi Ronald ~ what a small world! Yes, I discovered that shop one day, bought some books, I think I bought a book on candle burning if I remember. It was such a long time ago. It was on Broadway, east of Columbus. I wish I could tell you more, but I really don’t know much more about the shop and the owner. There might even be a “Lost San Francisco” on Facebook. Maybe that could tell you more. And I’ve seen people on Twitter who post pictures of old buildings. Hope that helps.

      Reply
    • Susan M. Black

      I used to shop at the old Mystic Eye in San Francisco in the 1970’s and 1980’s! It was such a wonderful shop, full of books on magic and mysticism, incense and figurines.

      Reply
      • Connie

        Hi Susan, glad to hear someone else remembers that shop! It was inspiration for me.

        Reply
    • Micah

      I lived with Arryn from when I was 14 years old until I went to college and the. took care of her until her death 2014. She was an amazing woman and knowledgeable women. One of a kind

      Reply
      • Connie

        Hi Micah ~ it’s amazing how many people remember her and the shop! Thanks so much for writing. The Mystic Eye, of course, was the inspiration for The Mystic Eye in the Zodiac series, very similar to the Psychic Eye occult shops in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Not sure if those exist anywhere else.

        Reply
  2. Ronald Mason

    I’m interested in your writing. Is it based on the Mystic Eye Occult and Book Shop (1970s S.F. on Broadway, next to the Green Turtle bus co.) that was founded by a lady named Aeryn, who also had a weekly radio broadcast. I am interested in the history of this shop.

    Reply
  3. Robert Lowe

    I used to work at the Mystic Eye back in the seventies. I wonder what happened to the zodiac mosaic in the floor. Man if that circle could talk. I was initiated in that circle by Elizabeth and Theo.

    Reply
    • Connie

      Hi Robert ~ Great to hear from you. I’m just amazed how many people remember the old Mystic Eye and have wonderful memories about that shop. I didn’t know the owners, but lots of people still remember. I have no idea what happened to the zodiac mosaic. Hopefully it wasn’t destroyed and someone who can appreciate it has it now. Happy reading!

      Reply
  4. Jem

    When my best friend and I were sixteen we went into the Mystic Eye bookstore.I was so intrigued by the large pentagram on the floor.
    It drew me in. I bought my first spell candle that evening.When I left the store I knew that was the path I wanted to explore all the way up to Forty-eight years later my path has been many shades of magic.

    Reply
    • Connie

      How wonderful, Jem! Great memory! I remember going there with a friend who had discovered the shop and I bought a book on candle burning that day, which I still treasure. Raymond Buckland, who’s since passed away, was a friend in the mystery community. Ray wrote many books, including ones on candle burning, so whenever I had a chance to chat with him, I’d pick his brain. It’s a fascinating practice! Happy reading!

      Reply
  5. Nancy Archuleta

    Loved this store ❤ I visited it often in the 70’s. Purchased incense, body oils, little pouches of magical roots and herbs. I still remember the smell inside. I hate change, please come back😔

    Reply
    • Connie

      Hi Nancy ~ Thanks for writing! I discovered that shop back in the 70’s too, when a girlfriend told me about it. She said, “You got to see this place. Let’s go.” It was an amazing place, even for those crazy days in San Francisco. I’m so amazed that you and several other people remember it and have written to me about it. The original Mystic Eye may be gone, but it can maybe live on in the Zodiac Mysteries!

      Reply
  6. Pam Ivey

    I went to the Mystic Eye in the 70’s. I’m in Michigan and was going to be in San Francisco on vacation. My boss at the time wanted a crystal ball. I don’t remember how, but the Mystic Eye was recommended to me by someone. I loved the shop and bought a bunch of stuff including the crystal ball.

    Reply
    • Connie

      Hi Pam ~ It’s amazing how many people remember the original Mystic Eye. Of course it’s been gone for years, so I felt safe naming the Zodiac Mysteries’ occult book shop by the same name. And I’m really glad you found your crystal ball too! Back in the 70’s shops like that were hard to find. It even created a big stir in San Francisco at the time. Hope you still have some of your treasures from that day!

      Reply
  7. Scott Hewett

    Loved the place in 1969. My friend Nick and I would buy incense there and have spells removed, ha ha. We still laugh about the jar of incense we bought one night. The seller wrote on it: “5 plus cous cous”.
    Used to walk through the Haight and all the dealers had memorized the lines: “Acid, speed, grass, mescaline?” How we survived I’ll never know. Maybe the 5 plus cous cous gave us eternal life!

    Reply
    • Connie

      Hi Scott ~ Great memory! I’m so amazed so many people remember that place! It’s too bad it’s not still open for business!

      Reply

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