Memories of a Panhandle Priestess

goddess shop

I used to have a little Goddess shop in the upper Hayes neighborhood of San Francisco. I lived in an apartment in the building next door to the little Edwardian storefront. Just a block away was a beautiful little park called the Panhandle.

A narrow strip of nature in the middle of the city, it was called the Panhandle because of the way it jutted out from Golden Gate Park like a the handle of a pan. It had its own texture and personality with tall eucalyptus trees and a special kind of healing magic.

Every evening after I closed up shop, I would pop home next door and change into my jogging clothes: blue velour hiphugger sweatpants and whatever teeshirt was handy. It was always those pants. I was so sad to part with them when I wore them to threadbare transparency at the thighs and the bum.

Every evening, I would jog one circuit around the Panhandle. The practice was part sacred transition (I knew my work day was done when I went for my jog) and part healing work. I felt the trees lifting the energy of the day up and away from me. A deep feeling of groundedness ensued… along with the happy endorphins that come from sweaty exercise.

Many people who came to my shop brought gorgeous loving energy. Some of the people who crossed the threshold came with deep emotional and spiritual needs. Whether they were there to buy or just browse, my customers were provisioning themselves with the beauty of the art on display and the sacred objects for sale… and with the healing medicine of the space itself.

If a particularly heavy (or hungry) energy was left behind, I would clear the shop with sound, salt-water, and essential oil sprays. (At that point in my life I was not using smoke-based purifiers like sage. I developed an aversion to the smell of smoke after I almost burned my house down with the giant candle spell I used to gather energy to open this shop in the first place!)

I would use my singing bowl and an aura spritz I made called Clean Slate (a top seller in the shop) to release any negative residue. It was extremely effective, and people always commented on how energetically clean and uplifted and loved they felt in the space.

I would use those same tools to clear my own energy field as well. But my daily jog around the Panhandle was the real magic.

The trees were friends and healing allies. The cadence of my feet on the paved path was the drumbeat to a silent mantra. The increased circulation of my breath and blood — my life force, my chi — cleared stagnation before it could set in.

The closeness of — and distinctness of — my work space, home space, and restorative healing space was a true gift. When I was seeking a location for my shop and a place to live that was close to it, I asked for the places that would benefit from my presence to call to me. And they did. They did.


In my year-long Wisdom Program (, the month of May is dedicated to a personal creative project, aligned with the Seeds of Wisdom theme of "Creation."

My own Creation project this month (yes, I do the homework alongside program participants) is 15 minutes of daily writing. These wonderful little memory-stories are emerging, like the one above and this one. The image is a press clipping from a local newspaper about its opening.