• Diana Rajchel

About Golden Apple: What We're doing


Golden Apple has been seeing some new folks since we opened up online last summer, and we are thrilled to have you! We're also well aware that you may well wonder what the hell we're doing for those unfamiliar with Nikki's and my own San Francisco-centric eccentric approach.


We certainly both do daily—me, whenever I leave the room to get something. I can never remember what in the hell I left the other room for until I turn around and come back.

But I suppose you are wondering what in the hell we're doing with Golden Apple.

Right now, we're growing it. At this point, it's a start-up, a baby, a chicken and egg, a little bit of cyanide and seedling waiting to grow into a big old tree - or, ultimately, a brick-and-mortar in one of the great neighborhoods of San Francisco.


We are also bootstrapping it when we figure out what direction our growth is most organic. We're both artists, with families to feed and careers to cultivate, and having an occult shop is a longstanding dream we've both had for years. The pandemic has caused some serious hiccups to everyone's plans, including our own. Still, if Nikki and I have one trait in common, it's doggedness. We're gonna find a way to make this happen.


So the real question a lot of you have is: who is Golden Apple here for? While we certainly do make ourselves available to the continental United States and possibly globally online, mainly, we want to build a place for San Francisco. In the late 80s and 90s, the City had little witch shops everywhere - the spiritual industry has always boomed in the Bay, fueled by psychedelics and beatnik inquisitiveness. Even early Silicon Valley had this spirit-seeking quality. Then Tech Boom II, the Crappening happened. Most of those little shops got swept away beneath the pile of rent hikes and Ellis Act evictions, taking along with it huge chunks of the original city spirit and its history.


Nikki and I met through the Emperor Norton Magickal Folk social.0 I established it after I eyeballed the wonderful array of local Pagan/occult traditions and realized that I did not fit and that attempting to do so could cause more distress to the good people of the Bay than they deserved. So I started my social, ritual free but heavy with talk about sex, politics, and above all, magical practice. What happened is it became the "island of misfit toys" and drew an increasingly eclectic mix of people. Not only did we have New Age angel workers enjoying long talks with left-hand pathers, but we also began to see something that when I moved to San Francisco in 2014 no one thought would ever happen: old San Franciscans and the new San Franciscans began sitting down, sharing stories, and having an authentic dialogue. I didn't even know anyone who wasn't a Gen Xer who remembered how to do that.


Golden Apple grows from this pool and reaches out into the strange, paint-spattered, slightly entheogen-addled, ever-advancing world of San Francisco. While we will always keep some baseline goodies that most magical folk can use, ultimately, we're here for the travelers and beatniks, the reclaimers of land and the proclaimers of truth (all too often named Cassandra), the librarians and rebels, and absolutely the mad scientists of the world. Because that's San Francisco, to its soul. We're here because Nikki and I both have practices but aren't affiliated with traditions. We are putting together a practitioner shop - whatever crooked path you might walk to get here.

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